The first film actors whose best roles on television


Though his presence in movies has waned in recent years, Jeff Daniels has consistently excelled in all of his projects, from the stellar dramas Pleasantville and Steve Jobs to, ah, the lesser acclaimed films Dumb and Dumber and Dumb. and Dumb To.

During his four-year career, Daniels proved he could handle roles in any genre, first appearing on the big screen in Milos Forman’s 1981 historical drama Ragtime in a supporting role as a police officer. Two years later, Daniels’ career began to decline after the release of his love interest, James L. Brooks. Academy Award Winner hit family drama “Tender Words” in which he played the financially inexperienced Flap, a young impulsive college professor who marries the cheerful Emma (Debra Winger).

As Flap, Daniels tapped into his strong ability as a performer to embrace the confusion inherent in his characters’ lives. He perfected this approach in his most impressive role in Noah Baumbach’s 2005 dark comedy The Squid and the Whale as a pretentious, jealous English professor who denies his family is falling apart. These roles prepared Daniels to showcase his career in an Aaron Sorkin film. Like it or not HBO drama series The News. There, Daniels played the infamous troublesome TV presenter Will McAvoy, delivering Sorkin’s monologues with hair-raising intensity, part Shakespearean performer, part carnival barker. Daniels plays the fiery, provocative McAvoy with the perfect amount of empathy to make him human, earning three Emmy nominations and one win for his bravado.