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Hey! It's That Guy!: The Fametracker.Com Guide to Character Actors [Paperback]

Tara Ariano , Adam Sternbergh
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2005
Who is that guy?
You know the one: the actor who always shows up in movies as the rumpled police detective, or the stern but ineffectual high school principal, or the wiseguy mobster. What is that guy’s name? And where have you seen that woman before?
You’ll find them all in this exhaustive and entertaining guide to character actors whose faces you recognize but whose names you can never quite recall. Find their head shots in the photo section, or seek out their most common habitat—the hospital, the precinct, the suburbs, the courtroom, and more—to determine their identities. With Hey! It’s That Guy! you can impress your friends and confound your enemies by identifying everyone from Jeffrey Jones (the dean of students from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) to Jennifer Coolidge (Stifler’s mom in American Pie) to Patrick Cranshaw (the really old guy from Old School) to Jane Adams (Niles’s plastic surgeon wife on Frasier).
With Hey! It’s That Guy! in your hands, you’ll never again wonder where you’ve seen that cop (or nurse, or executive) before!

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Product Details

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars You had me at 'Tobolowsky' Nov. 16 2005
By Cathy
It's a great book for any fan of the website, TV and movie buffs, and any lovers of pop culture. Trust me, if you buy only one book this year about Bruce Greenwood, the dude who played Logan's first partner from "Law and Order", and that woman who played the next door neighbour on that show about the kid who was really a robot, make it this one!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Reference Guide March 6 2006
By drebbles - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Hey! It's That Guy!" is a neat little guide to character actors. It has thirteen chapters devoted to various types of roles (the courtroom, the hospital, the office, and the precinct, for example) and features pictures and descriptions of actors that are best known for playing those types of roles. There are also various very helpful icons used throughout the book such as award winner, straight to video, villain and deceased. Also included in the portrait of each actor is a timeline with his or her most famous roles listed.

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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey, it's those people we see from time to time, March 14 2009
By JPGRfan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good biography (I use that word loosely) ...style 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.
15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest of the info Feb. 23 2006
By Bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was interesting in that you finally had a name with some familiar faces, but it was a little too irrevant. I wanted more info on the actors themselves not just some wisecracks that the authors thought were funny. I think the authors were a little too impressed with their own wit. I like having a name with a face, but the authors could have gone further with backgrounds on the actors even using one page bios.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read Once, Throw Away Sept. 10 2010
By jednick - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Very disappointing. The authors fill most of the space with "funny" comments and other observations, possibly to make up for what little they wrote about the actors. I have a similar 1969 book ("The Versatiles"), and every year or so, I pull it out and read it again for fun. Most of those actors have since passed away. I was hoping this book would be a modern version, but it's not.
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SO THAT IS HIS NAME!!! Dec 7 2005
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
We've all got our favorites, those actors whose face we've seen a hundred times but just don't know the name. Well now a fantastic little book throws the spotlight on these famous faces in "Hey! It's That Guy!" from Quirk Books. The book profiles dozens of character actors who we've seen countless times in film and on TV but never knew their names. Sometimes the job of a character actor is a thankless one but this wonderful book finally gives many of them their due. The book is separated into chapters based on what type of role these actors generally play. And that is the thing that is was so surprising to me about the book...so many of these characters have played similar roles many times: Cops, lawyers, mobsters, prisoners, vamps, hicks, military personnel, etc...

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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