5 Christian Bale
Sure most people know him as Batman, and he's no stranger to the viewing public, but has done exceptional work throughout his long career. After starring in Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun at age 13, Bale went unnoticed for quite some time for his roles in movies such as Swing Kids and Velvet Goldmine. Although he gained critical praise for his role as a serial killer in American Psycho, Bale was still relatively unnoticed by the general public. He displays his immense acting ability in films such as The Machinist and The Fighter.
4 Gary Oldman
At this point you're probably thinking, "Gary Oldman? What's this nutter on about?" Don’t worry, there’s a method to my madness. has become well known, even very well praised in recent years for his high profile roles in the Harry Potter series and the Batman series, but had his most brilliant work been acknowledged, he would have skyrocketed into super stardom much earlier. He was not unknown, but after displaying his incredible versatility in films such as Sid and Nancy, JFK, and Immortal Beloved, Oldman should have been in the same boat as Clooney, Hanks, and Nicholson. He did receive praise in the past, but it wasn't nearly as much as was deserved.
3 Norman Reedus
A relative unknown before his work as Daryl Dixon in The Walking Dead, was never recognized widely for his exceptional work in 8mm, Deuces Wild, The Boondock Saints, and its sequel. Aside from also being one of the best TV actors for his work on TWD, he has shown that he can hold his own among acting greats such as Sean Patrick Flanery and Willem Dafoe.
2 Willem Dafoe
's career began and sort of looked like it ended with the movie Heaven’s Gate. After months of hard work as a supporting character, Dafoe was simply cut from the movie. However he managed to get cast as a villain in To Live and Die in L.A., The Loveless, and Streets of Fire. After an amazing display of emotional range in movies such as Platoon, Boondock Saints, and American Psycho, Dafoe was still a relatively small presence. He gained publicity for his role as the Green Goblin in Spider Man, but he deserves much more appreciation for his legendary work in the past.
1 Steve Buscemi
Since he appeared in several indie films early in his career, had also gone unnoticed until his roles on mainstream Television. However, his performances in Reservoir Dogs, Armageddon, and Con Air should have earned him much more recognition. He has displayed his ability by acting in very versatile roles and taking his roles onto a personal level. After his performance in Ghost World, he should have been cemented into big Hollywood roles, but alas he turned to television and finally gained more limelight for his role in The Sopranos.