Comedic acting is often viewed as a lesser form of acting. The most prestigious awards are always for dramatic performances, but sometimes comedy is much harder to portray and many comedic actors or performers talents are not fully recognized until they try their hand at drama. In no particular order (though feel free to guess) here is the top Ten
Bryan Cranston who played Hal from Malcolm in the middle, now brilliantly plays Walter White in Breaking Bad winning three consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy Awards. Branston’s portrayal of Walter White is brilliant as are many of the other characters and actors (I actually cannot think of a bad actor in the show). The combination of his expressive face, voice and well-timed delivery make Walter White one of if not the best television characters.
Katey Sagal the voice of Leela from Futurama, know to many as Peggy Bundy in Married with Children, went on to win a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series – Drama for her fantastic role in Sons of Anarchy. Her character Gemma Teller Morrow the sons of anarchy matriarch is very hard to dislike partly because of how well Sagal plays the role.
Hugh Laurie the highest payed actor on television began in a double act with Stephen Fry in Blackadder (A British sitcom) and a bit of Fry and Laurie (a double act sketch show), who now plays the titular role in House. The portrayal of the drug addicted and genius house has earned Laurie 2 Golden Gloves along with a score of other awards and nominations
Simon Pegg who began as a comedian and comedic actor in British shows such as spaced, has gone onto roles in Band of Brothers, Mission Impossible and Star Trek. He now regularly chooses between comedic and dramatic roles mostly in film.
Jim Carrey star of so many comedies my favorite being Liar Liar, he has had some very good dramatic turns in The Truman show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Bill Murray well-known for comedic roles in Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, has flexed his acting muscles in Lost in Translation.
Robin Williams, one of the funniest men alive, who has recently branched out into dramatic roles such as Good Will Hunting, Insomniac and One Hour Photo part of what makes his villain roles as so chilling is when it is in juxtaposition with his usual way of behaving.
Will Ferrell may often plays the buffoon but he has so far had one dramatic role that should not be overlooked and that is the character of Harold Crick in Stranger than Fiction I would recommend this film as I think many overlooked it when it first came out but remember that this is not a comedy which I think may have led to it being less successful than it should have been.
Tom Hanks what can I say so many great films and roles, stand outs being Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Philadelphia and Green mile but as most will remember he began as a mostly comedic actor with the notable example being the movie Big he is now arguably the best Film actor on the planet
Will Smith beginning on the Prince of Bel-Air, he moved rapidly into film roles like Bad Boys and Independence Day but at least to my mind it was not until films The Pursuit of Happyness and 7 Pounds that he really showed how good a dramatic actor he was.
With this precedent I will not be surprised if many current comedic actors or performers at the moment turn out to be extremely talented dramatic actors perhaps you could recommend a few and where they displayed this talent. Or maybe I missed someone you feel deserves a place in the Top Ten. Finally maybe I am wrong (I'm not) and there is someone on the list who does not deserve to be there.