5 celluloid slobs you should know by name

The careers of these five men have gone unsung for far too long, and it’s time we all showed a little appreciation toward film’s under-appreciated schlubs. Here are their finest performances, accompanied by kind words and links to their IMDb pages. Study up!

1. Robert Costanzo, City Slickers

Film historian Leonard Maltin emailed me about Costanzo in 2011. “He’s one of those reliable character actors without whom movies couldn’t exist,” Maltin said. “Guys like this are the backbone of moviemaking, but they don’t get much credit, let alone recognition.” (Costanzo’s IMDb page)

2. Jacques Sandulescu, Trading Places

Sandulescu’s wife of 38 years, Annie Gottlieb, recalls the day this scene was filmed in a Bronx, New York, police precinct. “The sleeping bag lady J physically removes before sitting down on the bench is director John Landis’s mother,” she told me in 2010. “The actress playing Penelope [Kristin Holby] could not keep a straight face. She lost it repeatedly and required several takes. If you look closely at the scene, you will see the corners of her lips quivering as she fights for control.”

Jacques died on Friday, November 19, 2010, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and accomplished far more than just the classic “nice purse” bit. Here’s some sort of obituary I wrote that weekend. (Sandulescu’s IMDb page)

3. Tab Thacker, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol

Before his acting career, Thacker won the NCAA heavyweight wrestling championship in 1984. After Hollywood, he became a bail bondsman back in his North Carolina hometown. “I made some people wet their pants before,” Thacker told me in 2007, months before he died (RIP). “I had a guy whose girl turned him back in. She gave me the key to his house, and I got into the house, unlocked the door, and was standing over the bed. He woke up and wet his pants … We laughed about it on the way back to the jailhouse.” (Thacker’s IMDb page)

4. Gailard Sartain, The Jerk

The scene between Sartain and Steve Martin was actually not included in the theatrical release, nor can you find it on Netflix. It was a deleted scene used in edited-for-TV versions of the film to replace the not-so-FCC-friendly sequences. (Sartain’s IMDb page)

5. Roger Perkovich, Summer Rental

A commenter on YouTube recalls Perkovich’s rise to fame. “My uncle managed a Hardee’s in Florida,” says gaitkeeper. “This guy was an employee of his. One day he comes in and says, “I quit. I’m going to be in a movie with John Candy.” My uncle was like “whatever.” A year or so later he’s watching this movie and there’s his old employee, belching on the big screen. He was floored.” (Perkovich’s IMDb page)