Image of actor Wayne Knight and his wife

Are there any performances that stuck with you, but you have no idea the actual name of the actor or actress who portrayed them? You’re not alone. After polling the internet, “Which actors are widely recognized by their characters and not by their real names?” These are the top-voted responses.

1. Kathy Bates – Misery

Actress Kathy Bates
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“Saw her in Misery, and I thought she was super creepy, took me years to warm to her. I’m saying that though, I wouldn’t heckle them in the street or send them mean messages, it’s bizarre to me that people would do that.”

2. Cassandra Peterson – Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

Actress Cassandra Peterson at a press event
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Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Cassandra Peterson is a freaking treasure. And she looks completely different when out of costume,” someone confessed. Another replied, “That’s her name !?! I almost went a lifetime without knowing that.”

3. Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory

Actor Jim Parsons
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Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory is always Sheldon Cooper,” one stated. Another added, “All of the characters from The Big Bang Theory, honesty, except Penny (Kaley Cuoco).” Finally, a third responded, “Johnny Galecki is Leonard, but he was well-known as David, Darlene’s boyfriend on Roseanne, long before The Big Bang Theory.”

4. Christopher McDonald – Happy Gilmore

Actor Christopher McDonald
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“Shooter McGavin from Happy Gilmore,” someone suggested. Another admitted, “He flew on a flight I worked once, and when I went to tell friends. I was ashamed I only knew him as Shooter McGavin.” Another argued, “You mean Goose McKenzie from Grease 2?”

5. Wayne Knight – Seinfeld

Image of actor Wayne Knight and his wife
Image Credit: Kathy Hutchins via Shutterstock.

“Newman from Seinfeld. He was even basically Newman in Jurassic Park and Space Jam, too,” someone expressed. However, others impressed upon the Seinfeld fans, “But he was also Don in 3rd Rock from the Sun.”

6. Danielle Fishel – Boy Meets World

Actress Danielle Fishel
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Someone suggested Topanga from Boy Meets World and Girls Meets World. 

Another added, “No one replied with her real name, so I guess you are right.” While another user agreed, they did know her real name, adding, “Danielle Fishel! I couldn’t tell you if she’s acted in anything else though.”

7. Marc Evan Jackson – Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Image of actor Marc Evan Jackson
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“Kevin from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. You can put him in The Good Place or any other show you want. He’s always going to be Captain Holt’s husband, Kevin, to me,” one confessed. “It helps that he plays the same character everywhere. Not that he doesn’t do it well,” another added. 

8. Jack Gleeson – Game of Thrones

Image of actor Jack Gleeson
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“King Joffrey Baratheon. Sadly, the pressure of the spotlight and people’s inability to separate the actor from the character contributed to Jack Gleeson giving up acting. I’m told he’s a fantastic down-to-earth human being, and we know his acting talent is extraordinary. However, I’ve seen photos of Caligula’s statue, and his face is a dead ringer for Joffrey,” one person replied.

9. Alfonso Ribeiro – Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Image of actor Alfonso Ribeiro
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“Carlton Banks,” said one. “Ironic,” another shared. “Alfonso Ribeiro was the one who gave Will Smith the advice to have his character be named Will as that’s what everyone would know him as.” Others reminded people he hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos and nailed it.

10. Jaleel White – Family Matters

Image of actor Jaleel White
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Someone nominated, “Steve Urkel.” A second person suggested, “Oooh, good one. Jaleel White. Don’t forget about Stefan Ur Kel.” Finally, a third admitted, “I always think of his part in Big Fat Liar where he’s on the phone yelling at someone, “My name is not Urkle. It is Jaleel White!”

11. Rainn Wilson – The Office

Image of actor Rainn Wilson
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“Dwight Schrute. At least Rainn Wilson looks regular without the haircut and glasses, but Jim Halpert will always be Jim Halpert,” someone claimed. Another added, “I feel like it’s all The Office characters.” Finally, a third argued, “Yeah, John Krasinski deserves to be recognized as more than Jim: A Quiet Place and Jack Ryan.”

12. Josh Radnor – How I Met Your Mother

Actor Josh Radnor
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One stated, “Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother. I don’t even know his real name. He’s just Ted Mosby to me,” someone confessed. “Josh Radnor! He’s got a whole music career going now,” a second person added. “He’s great!”

17 Fictional Characters Portrayed as Good That Are Actually Awful

Image from the movie Love Actually
Image Credit: Universal Studios.

In movies, there’s typically a “good guy” and a “bad guy.” However, these labels can often be subjective, depending on who’s watching. A poll in a popular online forum asked users, “What fictional character is portrayed as a good or innocent person that, when you think about it, is an awful human being?” Here are some of the top-voted answers.

17 Fictional Characters Portrayed as Good That Are Actually Awful

17 Little-Known Movies That Are an Absolute Must-See

Image from the movie Pleasantville
Image Credit: New Line Cinema Productions, Inc.

Most movies create buzz leading up to their release or become a surprise box office hit once they’re in theaters. Now with the internet and technology, the doors have opened to allow audiences to access many indie and lesser-known films worldwide. In a recent online poll shared their favorite lesser-known movies – here are 17 options to add to your must-watch list.

17 Little Known Movies That Are an Absolute Must-See

10 of the Funniest Scenes in Movies That Weren’t Supposed To Be Funny

Image from the movie Pulp Fiction
Image Credit: Miramax via IMDb.

Have you ever been watching a film that wasn’t a comedy and then burst into laughter at one of the most hilarious or inappropriate scenes ever? You’ve got company. After someone asked, “What’s the funniest scene ever in a movie that wasn’t a comedy?” These were the top-voted responses.

10 of the Funniest Scenes in Movies That Weren’t Supposed To Be Funny

10 of the Absolute Best Villains to Ever Grace Our Screens

Image from the movie Harry Potter
Image Credit: Warner Bros. via IMDb.

Do you have a favorite villain? You’ve got company. Someone recently asked, “Who is the best villain of all time? They can be from film, television, a book, or a video game.” Here are the top-voted villains.

10 of the Absolute Best Villains to Ever Grace Our Screens

15 Celebrities People Think Are Creepy

Entrepreneur Elon Musk
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Have you ever talked to someone or even just looked at a person, and you can tell deep down inside that something is off about them? They give you that creepy and something isn’t right feeling? We found a discussion in a popular online forum where people were discussing the top celebrities they found gave creepy vibes.

15 Celebrities People Think Are Creepy

Inspired by this thread.

Elizabeth Ervin

Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing, a website that provides information about addiction, recovery, mental wellness, spirituality, and resources to help people succeed in rebuilding their lives. Elizabeth has education and experience with addiction, healing, and spiritual studies. She is passionate about learning, teaching, and loving her neighbor. 

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