Pop Rocks: 10 Actors Whose Former Creepiness We Can't Get Over

Categories: Art

So I'm being forced to watch The Good Wife last Sunday, and I see that Colin Sweeney, a semi-recurring character Alicia once defended for murdering his wife, was apparently involved in testifying for Alicia's firm for one reason or other (give me a break, the entire hour was me wrestling the remote from my wife and trying to click over to Game 4 of the World Series).

Anyway, the character of Sweeney is played by Dylan Baker. Baker is one of those many actors you've seen in dozens of things and probably never knew his name (that, or you mistakenly called him "William H. Macy). He's played Dr. Curt Connors in the second and third Spider-Man movies, Robert McNamara in Thirteen Days and has probably been on every iteration of Law & Order or C.S.I at one time or another.

But Baker is forever ruined for me because of one of his earlier roles. The character of Sweeney is fairly unsympathetic, it's true, but he could be Santa Claus crossed with Buddha and it wouldn't matter. Because Baker is one of those actors who was so effective as a villain in a former role, I can never see him as anything else. It's such a pervasive phenomenon I've dubbed it "The Pollute of Happiness" (for the movie that started it all), though Baker is far from the only actor involved.

Dylan Baker
Recently Seen In: Spider-Man 2 and 3, Secretariat
Sinister Former Role Tainting All That's Come Since: Pedophile next door Bill Maplewood in Happiness

I think anyone who's ever seen any of his movies would agree Todd Solondz has some issues. Having said that, I admire anybody capable of writing a character as chillingly repugnant as Maplewood. And while I couldn't embed the scene that really brings Bill together, here's something a bit...milder.

Glenn Close
Recently Seen In: Damages. The Shield
Sinister Former Role Tainting All That's Come Since: Bunny boiler Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction

Thanks for driving that last nail in the coffin of the free love generation, Adrian Lyne.

David Patrick Kelly
Recently Seen In: Flags of Our Fathers, Louie
Sinister Former Role Tainting All That's Come Since: Bottle clanging gang leader Luther in The Warriors

Admittedly, until recently Kelly rarely played anything but crazy-eyed psychopaths ("I saw Enter the Dragon 87 times!"). The menacing, deranged and ultimately wheedling Luther will always be the best, though.

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Thank you!  I will NEVER get over Dylan Baker in "Happiness."  He so gives me the creeps.  In fact, when an old friend told me how much she loved "Happiness," and "Deliverance" during a happy hour conversation about creepy (non-horror) movies, I realized she was semi-crazy and had to pull away.  Sad.

Jim C
Jim C

The thing I find most frightening about Angela Lansbury?  Every time she shows up somewhere, someone ends up dead.


Excellent list!  While I would add Mr. Oldman's turn as Sid Vicious to the list and Clancy Brown was fun, the stand out here is Kurtwood Smith's Clarence Boddicker. Staring down a shotgun barrel, in the middle of a stand off, he says, "Come on, the Tigers are playing tonight. I never miss a game."

Of course every guy I've met named Clarence has been a true-to-life goon like this.

Mr Tunacan
Mr Tunacan

While I loved Highlander as a kid, Clancy Brown's creepiest role is the preacher he played in Carnivale, what with the occasional all black eyes, freaky tattoos, incestuous relationship with his sister and breaking than one girl's mind. He was easily the creepiest thing on the show, which is impressive considering the sideshow freaks, the boss in the trailer, and the pickled baby in a jar that kept showing up.


Empire Magazine did there top 10 list of movies NOT to take a first date to, such as "Antichrist" or "Shame." I've never seen "Happiness," but I'm thinking this is a mood killer to be sure. I took a young lady (her pick) to see the "The Truman Show," she talked about how great it was and the most polite response I could come up with was "hey, look at the time."


Clancy no longer listens to boom-boxes after what happened to him in Bad Boys (the Sean Penn early 80s movie).


And Amy Madigan as his sister was pitch-perfect casting, too. Mr. Brown is one of the most criminally underused talents in Hollywood.

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