Hey! It's That Guy!: The Fametracker.Com Guide to Character Actors Paperback – Sep 1 2005
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About the Author
Tara Ariano is a writer, editor, and Web site producer. She and writer Adam Sternbergh founded Fametracker.com, the Farmer’s Almanac of Celebrity Worth, a Web site that has received rave reviews from Entertainment Weekly, Variety, Playboy, Time, and many more.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
For the most part, this is a very useful guide for looking up actors that look familiar. The descriptions of each actor are humorous but informative. There are several useful indexes in the back of the book and best of all a section with the pictures and names of all the actors featured in the book. Unfortunately, the book is on the small size; I would have preferred a larger book, with more roles listed for each actor. And some of the pictures are movie stills and not very clear, which is shame since the pictures should be the strong point of the book.
All in all, movie and trivia buffs will enjoy this reference book.
It's done in a witty, wisecracking way, but, after reading it like that for the first 10 actors, you start wanting maybe a date of birth, where are they from, maybe interesting trivia about their life.
What we mostly get is the persons name, what type of characters they usually play, and a few movie titles
or tv shows they were in.
The best thing about this book is a face goes with a name,
and yes, some of the humor is good, it could have been better with much more information.
I was going to give it 3 stars, but, because of all the faces that finaly get names to go with them, and some of the TV and movie info that goes with those faces,
I give it 4 stars.
It's still worth buying for those character actor fans in book land, of course you'll have to look else where for more information on these character actors.
Writers Tara Ariano and Adam Sternbergh infuse the book with good-hearted humor as they introduce each actor. For example, Clint Howard is introduced as "Hey! It's that oddly menacing man-boy!" And then there is "Hey! It's that guy who you do NOT want to mess with!" when introducing silver-haired actor Frank Vincent, well-remembered for his role as mobsters in films such as Goodfella's and Casino. Each actor gets a one page profile (although some of the more noted character actors get two pages) with their most noted films and roles as well as some brief but interesting anecdotal information about them.
So who can you expect to find in the book? Well how about Daniel von Bargen who has played dozens of police or military roles but who is most fondly remembered as Mr. Kruger, George Costanza's one time boss on Seinfeld. Victor Wong, who played the wise old Asian man, time and time again in films such as Big Trouble in Little China, Seven Years in Tibet, and The Last Emperor. One of my favorite character actors is Danny Trejo who has made a living playing tough guy roles, usually as a prisoner such as in Con-Air or Lock-up and also played the bartender in From Dusk Till Dawn.
The book also has its own Hall of Fame, for the most distinguished character actors. The Hall of Fame members include: Vincent Schiavelli, the balding, droopy-eyed actor who has been seen in films such as Ghost, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Man on the Moon; Wallace Shawn that little, nebbish actor with the squeaky voice, perhaps best known as the voice of the T-rex in the Toy Story Films; and Edie McClurg, the red-haired body who played the school secretary in Ferris Bueller's Day off and the car rental agent who is the victim of Steve Martin's profanity-laced tirade in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
There are a few selections that are somewhat curious in that they have transcended character actor status to become full-fledged stars such as James Gandolfini and Steve Buscemi, but that's ok. This is truly a great book that any fan of TV or film will sure to enjoy.
Reviewed by Tim Janson
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