From Carol Kane to Kristen Wiig to Joan Rivers to Jackee
Next gallery »10 ludicrous 'villains' that had no business being horror movie monsters
« Previous gallery8 of the best 'Rejected Peanuts Specials' from Twitter
47. Joan Cusack
Perhaps the definitive comedic character actress of the '80s and '90s, Cusack practically set the template for the thankless "best friend" role that came to permeate the rom-com genre but nevertheless made the most of even the most thinly-drawn characters (and in many cases surpassed her more glamourous leading ladies in impact).
A singular cinematic presence, Cusack's outsized delivery and deft character work resulted in Oscar nominations for her performances in both "Working Girl" (as straight-shooting secretary Cynthia) and "In & Out" (as the fiancee of Kevin Kline's closeted teacher), but her list of impeccable screen performances is long, from frazzled assistant news director Blair Litton in "Broadcast News" to murderous gold-digger Debbie Jelinksy in "Addams Family Values" to uptight private school principal Rosalie Mullins in "School of Rock."
To mention that she's under-appreciated is a cliche at this point, which doesn't make it any less true - then again, her sexy, invigorating, hysterical output is difficult to praise adequately.
- Chris Eggertsen