Please help me ID this actor.
November 3, 2016 1:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to ID an actor! I thought he was in "Rubicon" (in the first few eps, anyway -- I only watched three or so) but I don't see him on the IMDb cast list.

Here's how I'd describe him:
-- very vaguely resembles an older, evil Mark Harmon (as he looks here), but with a thinner, more pinched face
-- beady-eyed, or at least squints a lot, and has "evil" brows
-- white male, probably American (but I'm not certain)
-- around 60 years old and white-haired, cut short
-- I believe he's on the short side and somewhat slight of build
-- not a household name; more of a "hey, it's that guy"
-- I don't watch many network shows, so he's probably on some cable drama (again, I can see him fitting into a show like "Rubicon")
-- may also be in movies

I'm usually good at remembering actors and their roles so this is really bugging me. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
posted by paperback version to Media & Arts (51 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you watched the first three episodes of Rubicon you would have seen him, but just in case: could it be Arliss Howard? He played Kale Ingram, the shades-of-gray supervisor at the intel firm.
posted by theatro at 1:48 PM on November 3, 2016

Yeah, sounds like Arliss Howard. His IMDB portrait doesn't really resemble his character in Rubicon at all, but he's your guy.

-- Evil Mark Harmon? I can see that.
-- Beady/squinty? Yep.
-- White & American? Yep.
-- 60-ish maybe? And short hair? Howard is currently 62.
-- Short? Definitely shorter than the lead male (James Badge Dale), so yeah.
-- "That guy?" See here; his filmography includes Moneyball, True Blood, Medium, Amistad, and lots of others you may have seen.
-- Cable dramas? Yeah, he did True Blood (6 onscreen)
-- Movies? Yes.
posted by uberchet at 1:56 PM on November 3, 2016

I have not seen Rubicon, but the comparison to Mark Harmon makes me think Sam Elliot.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:00 PM on November 3, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks, but this is someone I don't see on the Rubicon IMDb list, and he's less famous than Sam Elliot (and has a less distinct voice, I'm pretty sure!). Usually sans-moustache, I believe.

He does resemble Arliss Howard a bit, which might be the reason I thought this guy was in Rubicon.
posted by paperback version at 2:03 PM on November 3, 2016

Have you looked at IMDB's Top 100 "THAT GUY" Actors?
posted by sparklemotion at 2:16 PM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ted Danson?

Robert Desiderio

Matthew Modine?

Ben Kingsley?

I looked at the first two pages of this list, but there are a total of 21 pages.
posted by meemzi at 2:21 PM on November 3, 2016

I'm trying to ID an actor!

Without being too snarky - are you 100% sure you are? Is it even definitely an actor? If you don't remember what show or movie he's in, or too much about what he looks like, that's a pretty fuzzy mental image to be working from.

are there any other relevant details at all you can remember, like who he was acting opposite, or a hint of a storyline , or accent, or an item of clothing he was wearing? Memory's a funny thing. I almost feel like I have a memory of seeing this guy from thinking about it now.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2016

Michael Cristofer ?
posted by I-baLL at 2:28 PM on November 3, 2016

Response by poster: I hope it's ok to keep commenting but I thought it'd be helpful to eliminate possibilities. Nobody from the "That Guy" list or the four names above -- am currently on page 5 of that 21-page list but everyone there so far is too well-known so I have my doubts this guy will show up. And, hah, I'd thought about mentioning "not Titus Welliver" in my OP because I realized it sounded like him :) Not Michael Cristofer, either.

If it helps any, 80% of the people on that IMDb "That Guy" list are people I wouldn't even put on that list. This person is less known (to me, anyway!).

Yes, I'm 100% sure this is an actor. Facial recognition and actor ID are practically my superpower, which is why this is really bugging me. I did try to think of clothing, scenarios, etc., but I couldn't think of anything specific, and I didn't want to influence answers b/c he could've been dressed very differently in something I haven't seen.

Thank you for all your suggestions!
posted by paperback version at 2:34 PM on November 3, 2016

Bob Balaban?

Some other pics.
posted by Constant Reader at 2:49 PM on November 3, 2016

Response by poster: Not Balaban or Rifkin (but thanks, good guesses); I'd say less prolific.

He wasn't on that 21-page list and also wasn't on either of these lists of character actors: 1, 2.

He lacks colour in his face. If I were a caricaturist I'd draw him with his eyes beady and close together. Perhaps a pointy nose.
posted by paperback version at 3:01 PM on November 3, 2016

I once had this celebrity sighting, and had a similarly frustrating time finding him. Is it Neal McDonough? Or Eric Dane?
posted by politikitty at 3:15 PM on November 3, 2016

Response by poster: No... he's older and has a thinner face.

There's also some facial similarity to John Slattery, but not so "dashing," and with shorter hair and a touch more evil. The similarities to Slattery are more on paper than in reality, if that makes any sense.
posted by paperback version at 3:34 PM on November 3, 2016

James Cromwell?
Bill Nighy?
Bruce Greenwood?
posted by cardboard at 4:01 PM on November 3, 2016

Zeljko Ivanek?
posted by jindc at 5:37 PM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Max von Sydow? Internet says he's relatively tall though.

I used to work at a video store so I feel a ghost of responsibility for the answer...people (myself included) ask these all the time, it is understandably frustrating and funny, and it helps, like Jon Mitchell said, to have any details of your personal experience watching the show you saw him in. Why have you suddenly started wondering who he is --what else reminded you of the show? Do you remember any words the character said? Other actors/actresses? Were you at a theatre or at home? Where was it set? What did you do around the time the episode aired - you don't have to say, but it helps place the show - was it a rerun, a DVD? Could it be a famous person you don't know? (This happens all the time.) Many people love Christopher Lee, but maybe you've never heard of him?
posted by aralymn at 6:04 PM on November 3, 2016

Ray Wise?
posted by Bromius at 6:29 PM on November 3, 2016

Response by poster: Probably not creepy guy. Not well-known like Cromwell, Nighy and Greenwood (and he's shorter). Not as prolific as Ivanek. Younger/spryer/less famous than von Sydow. I'd classify Wise as a wide-face, but this guy is more of a narrow face; also, he's paler. I don't think he's had any iconic roles like Lee has.

Thanks for all your questions, aralymn. I'd mention any details if I could but, unfortunately, I'm just drawing a blank when it comes to this person! Those are the kinds of things I usually draw on when trying to remember other people, myself. I'll just repeat that I can see him in something like "Rubicon," i.e. some kind of agency or office. I wish I could remember other actors with him, b/c then I could just look them up and search that way. I must've seen him in something watched at home, but that doesn't help, because that's where I watch all my movies, too. I really doubt he's famous unbeknownst to me -- he could be known to fans of one particular show that I don't watch, but there's no way he's a household name.

It's most likely some kind of drama in a contemporary (so, not "The Americans"), professional (but probably not medical), setting, with a "standard" American accent (so, not "Justified"). BUT, this only describes where *I* saw him. He could've been in a show unlike what I just described without my knowing. "Homeland" was another possibility but he's none of these headshots.

What prompted this? I saw him on the street one time and I knew he was an actor I'd watched but I couldn't place him. It bugged me then, too, but I forgot about it. It suddenly popped back in my head today for no apparent reason. Again, I am certain he's an actor.
posted by paperback version at 7:00 PM on November 3, 2016

Michael Kelly, who was on a recent episode of "Black Mirror?"
posted by Aquifer at 8:03 PM on November 3, 2016

Bill Irwin?
posted by Yorrick at 8:05 PM on November 3, 2016

If it's really bothering you, and no one can figure it out, you could try calling video stores across the country. There are dozens (dozens!) still in business! And/or libraries. It will take lots of time, but you will be asking people who have specific experience rather than just generally helpful people. *gives up but doesn't really give up and keeps wondering for years*
posted by aralymn at 8:08 PM on November 3, 2016

Stephen Lang? I love this game! I also worked in a video store and was VERY good at the, "Um, it's the one with that guy who was in that movie that came out last year" game.
posted by Aquifer at 8:16 PM on November 3, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks so much -- the guesses are getting better and better. Still searching, though!

Whatever I know this person from, I have not spent hours & hours watching him. What I mean by this is that he may have been in a movie (so that's screentime counted in minutes, as I'm sure he would not have had a starring role, over a 2-hour period) or whatever show I know him from, he's not a high-profile regular (so, not like Michael Kelly in "House of Cards," who I would have seen a lot of over a long period of time). I know this is not helpful because you don't know what I've seen! (That's another reason I suspected "Rubicon," as I'd only watched a few eps of it.) Also, Michael Kelly is too bald; this guy may be thinning, but still has white/grey hair on top.

Smallish stature, beady eyes, air of evil, grey hair. More likely to play someone clever than dumb, and more authoritative than meek.

Perhaps he's just too obscure... If I ever do figure this out, I guarantee I'll post it here, so long as I'm still allowed to post.
posted by paperback version at 8:45 PM on November 3, 2016

I did a few more imdb searches (call and ask video store clerks). Suggestions, but older similar(?) men who seem as though they played a role like this in the five years surrounding your question, but I didn't get too into details.

Fred Ward

Robert Joy

John Glover

Joel Grey

If I'm overwhelming your post let me know.
posted by aralymn at 9:02 PM on November 3, 2016

James Rebhorn? Carrie's dad on Homeland? He's had more hair in other roles.
posted by Aquifer at 9:05 PM on November 3, 2016

Last one I've got: Callum Keith Rennie?
posted by Aquifer at 9:14 PM on November 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Not overwhelming -- I appreciate it very much!! The guesses are so good, I feel awful that none of them is him.

Barry, Ward and Rennie are a little too rough, like they'd be comfortable in a barroom brawl. This guy is more "boardroom." He's less comical-looking than Robert Joy or Joel Grey; this guy is more the cold, stoic type. To the best of my knowledge, way less facial hair than John Glover usually has. Less well-known than James Rebhorn. Argh, so sorry.
posted by paperback version at 9:20 PM on November 3, 2016

Weird suggestion: the guy you're describing sounds, to me, like he might have been on "24." There was a lot of that gray-haired, professional, besuited, semi-evil white guys lurking in the background. Even if you didn't watch the show, maybe look at some of those past cast members?
posted by Aquifer at 9:28 PM on November 3, 2016

Xander Berkeley?
posted by furtive_jackanapes at 9:40 PM on November 3, 2016

Zach Grenier?
Harris Yulin?
Ned Eisenberg?
Larry Pine?
posted by brookeb at 9:54 PM on November 3, 2016

Response by poster: No, sorry. Thanks for the "24" idea -- the bad news is, his headshot isn't there. The good news is, this eliminates 87% of Hollywood.

This photo of Arliss Howard is the closest approximation I've seen, I think.
posted by paperback version at 10:05 PM on November 3, 2016

Alan Dale?
posted by Kris10_b at 11:11 PM on November 3, 2016

I'm terrible at these, but my head saw Malcolm McDowell.
posted by quinndexter at 11:15 PM on November 3, 2016

That Arliss Howard pic kinda looks like Alan Cumming. (Too famous, I'm sure).
posted by artdrectr at 12:25 AM on November 4, 2016

Response by poster: Yes, Alan Cumming and Malcolm McDowell are both far too famous. Alan Dale is better-known, too. I'm also pretty sure he's American. Appearance-wise, Cumming is the closest of those three, though.
posted by paperback version at 1:21 AM on November 4, 2016

Phil Austin? John Terry? Kevin McCorkle?
posted by bcwinters at 5:33 AM on November 4, 2016

Eddie Marsan?
posted by Ginesthoi at 6:16 AM on November 4, 2016

Robert John Burke?
posted by Defying Gravity at 6:27 AM on November 4, 2016

I'm so invested in this. I was also going to suggest Michael Kelly and for a brief moment considered Leslie Jordan, but he has more of a Southern accent.
posted by Constant Reader at 6:38 AM on November 4, 2016

Ċ½eljko Ivanek?
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:05 AM on November 4, 2016

Did you see the Kevin Spacey movie, The Negotiator? Do you remember the scene early on where one of the policemen was trying to negotiate with Samuel Jackson over the phone and two Feds came in and tried to take over? One of them had that silver hair/narrow eye look but he was more of a suit, blandly attractive. I can't even tell who he was from the credits at IMDb, he only had one or two lines.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:40 AM on November 4, 2016

Colm Feore?

Stephen Spinella (who's American, despite having been born in Italy)?

Long shot: David Paymer?
posted by holborne at 9:37 AM on November 4, 2016

You mention Rubicon, but don't describe his character at all, from what I've read above. Can you remedy that, or is that information lost? I loved that when I found it on Amazon and was profoundly disappointed to know that there was no second season.

I was also disappointed to see that it wasn't Michael Cristofer, who seems to specialize portraying creepy, literate plutocrats given both "Rubicon" and "Mr Robot".
posted by hwestiii at 10:10 AM on November 4, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks for your efforts, everyone, but I'm afraid he's still a mystery. Props to bcwinters for really getting the type and likely level of "fame" (or lack thereof), though. I wish I had more details to offer.
posted by paperback version at 10:53 AM on November 4, 2016

Dennis O'Hare?

Rubicon was shot in NYC, so was Law & Order. There's probably a lot of overlap between the guests on both shows. You might go on IMDB and look through Law & Order cast listings (though with 21 seasons that's a lot).
posted by brookeb at 11:09 AM on November 4, 2016

No suggestions I'm afraid, but now that I'm equally disturbed by this puzzle I wanted to second that bcwinters' suggestions are all fantastic. aaarrrgghh.
posted by Bretley at 9:17 PM on November 4, 2016

Response by poster: brookeb, thank you for the Law & Order idea. What a list. Took me a while but I went through it and he's not there. I'm starting to think maybe he's just one of those without a headshot (I did notice several people with a decent amount of credits are still photo-less) and I can't be googling every single one.

St Esprit and Pierson were good tries; I'd say this person does not have downward-drooping eyes like they do.

I think I give up! Thank you so much, everyone, for your time and effort!
posted by paperback version at 12:03 PM on November 5, 2016

Ran through a few more lists and culled these, just in case -

Sal Landi
Robert Miano
Jim Abele
Peter Gray Lewis
Michael Bryan French
Michael Chieffo
Stephen Bogardus
Timothy Bottoms
Michael Wincott
Ted Levine
William Sanderson
Andrew Divoff
John O'Hurley
Tobin Bell
Jeffrey DeMunn

There are a bunch more possible candidates on this list (along with tons of too-famous people): silver foxes
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:32 AM on November 6, 2016

Response by poster: Thank you, LobsterMitten. Some great ones there but I think it's a lost cause!
posted by paperback version at 9:50 AM on November 7, 2016

Best answer: Yesssssssssssss I figured it out. It turns out he's been in a lot more things than I'd thought (in guest spots) but -- weirdly, considering the length of his resume -- virtually nothing I've actually seen (stuff like "JAG"). I have to apologize -- it turns out he was on "Justified," just not in a season I'd watched... but I think (hope!) my other descriptors were ok! I really hope I didn't waste people's time.

Anyway, the guy is David Andrews and this is how he looked in my head. I saw him in two episodes of "House of Cards," where he played Tim Corbet.
posted by paperback version at 9:04 PM on June 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, and I may have been getting those "Rubicon" vibes from "Fair Game."
posted by paperback version at 9:07 PM on June 6, 2017

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