Steve BuscemiS

Buscemi is the ubiquitous, award-winning, bug-eyed actor whom directors love to kill off midway through movies and TV shows.

The half-Italian, half-Irish Brooklyn native spent time after high school working the stand-up comedy circuit and taking classes at the Lee Strasberg Institute. He soon landed his first film role, playing a 20-something living with AIDS in the 1986 drama, Parting Glances. Though his not-exactly-comely visage suggested he wouldn't become a leading man, Buscemi has managed to parlay his peculiar look into a successful career, playing a series of petty criminals, endearing losers, and depressive creeps. Among the directors who have sought out his services again and again are Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers. But for every cred-building part he's taken (Ghost World, for example) he's accepted a supporting role in a piece of sheer garbage like Con Air, Armageddon, with cameos in any number of abominable Adam Sandler movies. The writer/director of a handful of films (his first was the 1996 indie Trees Lounge), Buscemi directed several episodes of The Sopranos, including the much-beloved "Pine Barrens," and joined the cast for the 2004 season as Tony's (what else?) doomed cousin Tony Blundetto. These days he's back at HBO on the critical darling, Boardwalk Empire.

Buscemi's wife is Jo Andres, a filmmaker and choreographer. The couple has a son. [Image via Getty]