7 No-Name Actors Who Had Iconic Roles

By  · Published on October 2nd, 2013

by David Christopher Bell


Imagine if Edward Norton had made Primal Fear and decided to just bounce after that, or if Johnny Depp called it quits after Edward Scissorhands.

Even though he was in a few films before that (including Nightmare on Elm Street), had that happened, no one would have thought twice about the guy – not unlike how zero people really think twice about the following actors and actresses…

7. Bolaji Badejo – The Skinny Guy In The Alien Suit

Almost exactly two years ago I mentioned Badejo in my first ever list on this site. A 26 year old Nigerian-born graphic arts student with one credit to his name, Badejo was found when the casting agent Peter Archer saw him at a bar. And just like that, he became one of the most iconic costumed villains ever without anyone learning his name.

Since then, Badejo has become practically legend, as word of his death is unconfirmed. Perhaps he’s not dead, but just under your bed right now as we speak.

While we’re all sweaty about Alien films…

6. Carrie Henn aka Newt From Aliens

Newt pulled a Chunk after her appearance in Aliens – a “Chunk” being what Goonies actor Jeff Cohen did when he moved on to a totally acceptable life outside of film that didn’t involve mug shots of any kind. She’s actually a school teacher now – having never blown her money thanks to her parents not being total assholes.

Despite having the one role, overall that’s a pretty excellent career to say the least – as previously noted on this site – her “mostly” line is so iconic it still haunts her today.

5. Harvey Stephens, Spawn Of The Devil

I’m trying and failing to refrain from using every damn child actor who went on to a normal life, but they tend to make the best forgotten-but-iconic roles. You can’t get much more iconic than Damien Thorn himself – a role that Stephens got after he punched Richard Donner in the balls. After that it was kind of downhill for his childhood career, as you could literally act a lifetime without getting a role as truly creepy as Damien. He was also in the remake, if you give a shit about the remake which you don’t.

4. Danny Lloyd, and Lisa & Louise Burns in The Shining

Hand to God, last creepy little kid entry. For some reason or another, these kids keep growing up to be teachers. Lloyd is currently a professor of biology for a community college in Kentucky, which is probably the last place you’d expect to find someone from what could be the most famous Kubrick film out there. At the age of six, the little walking mop was selected because of his ability to concentrate for long amounts of time. While that apparently worked good for a creepy little psychic boy, it turned out to not be enough to carry a career. It didn’t really matter at that point, however, because the little shit had already been in a Kubrick film – so it’s pretty hard to feel bad for him.

The twins – Lisa and Louise Burns – also moved on and went to school to become a literature major and a microbiologist respectfully. This is good news, because after this role it’s kind of hard to want them to keep making nightmare-inducing horror movies.

And to think some people want this remade (again).


3. Roger Will, Cyrus From The Warriors

This is the only film that could get away with some guy screaming, “Can you dig it?” in front of a cheering crowd – mostly because it’s not quite as weird as watching people fight Manson baseball players in a park. It’s amazing that his role, considering its length, is one of the most iconic parts of this film. It’s even more amazing when you consider that the actor’s next-biggest role is an episode of One Life To Live.

He also got the part by accident after the original actor didn’t show up for the role, making this extremely iconic performance done totally on the fly.

2. Slavitza Jovan – This Chick Is Toast

Oddly enough, the role of Gozer was originally supposed to go to none other than Paul Reubens playing the part in the style of a much calmer entity dressed in a business suit. After Reubens passed on it, they went… in a different direction and hired a 30-year-old Serbian model named Slavitza Jovan.

How did she get the part? According to an interview with the model, she pretty much just walked in and auditioned. The role was then, for the most part, left up to her imagination. So basically what you see is the machinations of some weird lady from Serbia with blinding red contacts and caked on makeup. And somehow that worked out.


1. Ilene Woods Is The Original Cinderella

Disney voice actors tend to be no-names to the general public, aside from a few choice stars. Adriana Caselotti, for example, hardly had a career before or after Snow White. But I think it’s Woods who really set the bar high, as she managed to audition for the part of Cinderella without even realize she had done it.

Back in 1948, two of her friends asked her – simply as a favor – to sing a couple of songs they wrote. Her friends were Mack David and Jerry Livingston, otherwise known as future legends of Disney songwriting. The two songs they wanted her to sing were “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” and “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes.” See where this one is heading?

They showed the demo to Walt Disney and she instantly beat out 400 other pissed off actresses who were actually auditioning for the main role. Then she pretty much retired because she’s freaking Cinderella and Cinderella doesn’t need to do shit for anyone anymore.


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