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Feb 6, 2008

Familiar Face, Unknown Name #2 - Bruce McGill

Call them what you want - character actors, "That Guy(s)," scene stealers - I don't care. Not long ago, I did a feature on some of my favorite current iterations of these people, but I wanted to create a regular feature where I spotlight one performer, whether they be longtime veterans (like J.K. Simmons or Barry Corbin) or a fresher face just making their way up the stardom ranks. Now, I'm doing my part to help the rest of the world get to know them as well.

Today's Familiar Face-Unknown Name:

Bruce McGill

Where You've Seen Him (high profile): His second-ever role was as D-Day in 1978's Animal House; had a recurring role on MacGyver; is featured in this month's Vantage Point.

Where You've Seen Him (not-so-high profile): was one of the villains in Cliffhanger; Jean Claude Van Damme's best friend in Timecop; Ralph Houk in 61*; parts in Ali, The Last Boy Scout, Matchstick Men, Elizabethtown and nearly a hundred other movies over the past 30 years.

Character Specialties: McGill seems to mostly play one of two roles - the best friend or the guy who appears to be the best friend, but ends up being evil.

Little Known Facts: Via Wikipedia: He is a favorite of director Michael Mann, who has cast him in almost every one of his films. Via IMDb: Has appeared in three different productions in which he played the supervisor (of one kind or another) of a time travel project: Quantum Leap, Timecop and Star Trek: Voyager.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_McGill
On IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0569226/


7 people have chosen wisely: on "Familiar Face, Unknown Name #2 - Bruce McGill"

Jason Soto said...

As a Quantum Leap geek, I notice a littler error in that IMDB quote.

Bruce McGill did appear in two episodes of "Quantum Leap", the first and the last, but he wasn't a supervisor of Quantum Leap. In the first, he was an admiral of the air force and in the final, he may or may not have been God in disguise as a bartender in a small town. That's all up for debate. Anyway, anytime I see him I'm like "Hey it's the guy from Quantum Leap." And I agree, he's quite good.
-Jason

WaywardJam said...

@jason - nice catch on the QL misquote. I like to think of Bruce McGill as the God of 'That Guys'.

One of my fav McGill roles is from The Last Boy Scout when Bruce Willis comes home to find best-friend McGill boffing his wife across the couch. Great moment.

Even after years of my saying "Hey, it's Bruce McGill!" my wife still doesn't recognize him, shameful I tell you! At least he is loved by some of us.

Piper said...

Daddy likey this feature.

I also like Bruce McGill. He had a wonderful part as an angry lawyer in The Insider.

And man, I keep forgetting he played D-Day. That might still be his finest work.

Didn't know that Mann loved him so much but it makes sense. I don't recall him being in Miami Vice, though.

Jess said...

Personally I keep thinking of him from "Legally Blonde 2" where he plays the senator with a gay dog. It's been on TV too many times and I keep getting sucked in. He's funny and it's a slightly different role for him. He does play a southern conservative well.

soundtrackgeek said...

Spot on! I recognized the face immediately, but the name was unknown to me. I remember him most from MacGyver.

Daniel G. said...

Love this feature. Big Time. Keep them coming...

Karl Hungus said...

He's a good actor, I remember watching him most recently in Matchstick Men.