Billy Crudup

Though he always had the potential to be one of the bigger movie stars of his day, actor Billy Crudup eschewed the limelight for focus on playing complex characters in moody independent films. In fact, Crudup's intensity and his ability to disappear into character marked him as a highly gifted actor, though this same ability often played against the conventional wisdom for his becoming a movie star. He turned in strong and potentially star-making turns in more conventional features like "Without Limits" (1998) and "The Hi-Lo Country" (1998). Even when success eluded him when he was rock guitarist Russell Hammond in Cameron Crowe's well-received "Almost Famous" (2000), Crudup seemed to relish the freedom of not being a household name. That started to change with higher profile turns in "Big Fish" (2003), "Mission: Impossible 3" (2006), the highly anticipated "Watchmen" (2009) and the acclaimed made-for-cable television movie "Too Big to Fail" (HBO, 2011), all of which threatened to turn Crudup into a star, whether he wanted to be or not.