While watching fierce maternal matriarch, Gemma, last Tuesday night on the FX hit drama series, “Sons of Anarchy,” my friend Mady said, “Where do I know her from?” After searching IMDb, we were shocked to discover that the hardcore, fist throwing “mama bear” from Sons was the same actress that played the obnoxious red headed wife on sitcom, “Married With Children.”
Great actors can completely reinvent themselves based on their role. Check out these actors before they were TV’s darkest characters.
1) Katey Sagal
Donned with tattoos, a huge scar down her chest, and a tight leather wardrobe, Gemma Teller Morrow will go to any length to protect SAMCO. This is certainly no grandma you’d want to mess with! Gemma is an expert in psychological manipulation and if she doesn’t crush her target with her words she’ll crush them with her fist. And before Gemma, Sagal was known for the character Peggy Bundy. Peggy is the obnoxious mother of a dysfunctional family who spends most of her time nagging her husband, watching TV, and spending money on clothes. Sagal’s roles transform her from a judgmental housewife to an unapologetic “old lady.”
2) Michael C Hall
Returning to Showtime this fall, watch Miami’s favorite serial killer, Dexter Morgan, now that his sister knows his secret. Between faking normal emotions and working as a blood spatter analysis for the Miami police department, Dexter moonlights as a murderer. And before Hall was a serial killer on “Dexter” he played a funeral home director on the HBO series “Six Feet Under.” The character, David James Fisher, inherits his father’s funeral and home runs it with his brother. David holds back his emotions and is morally conflicted about his homosexuality because of his conservative beliefs. Hall’s roles transform him from a conflicted gay man to an emotionless serial killer.
3) Bryan Cranston
Walter White lives a double life as a high school chemist and meth cooker, in the AMC television drama, “Breaking Bad.” Walter, who goes by the alias “Heisenberg,” is the largest meth manufacture in New Mexico and becomes more devious and dangerous as the show progresses. And before Walter, Cranston was known for his role as Hal on “Malcolm in the Middle.” Hal is a caring, goofy, and good-hearted father to five, who often gets outsmarted by his genius son Malcolm. When his hotheaded wife Lois gets upset, Hal often becomes hysterical. Cranston’s roles have transformed him from a silly dad to a seriously criminal chemist.
Did you remember these actors from the roles they had before they were TV’s most ruthless characters? Which one is your favorite character?