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I am having a surprisingly difficult time trying to find the last name of an actor.

He was a large, muscular white actor who was frequently bald (the kind who might play a scary inmate). I am more than 90% certain his name was Bryan something, though it may have been spelled Brian. I know for a fact that he died sometime in the 90’s of a heart-attack because I remember being surprised by the news.

Unfortunately I can’t seem to think of any movies he was in at the moment (though I used to know some). The closest I can think of is Shocker, but that was Mitch Pileggi, not this guy.

I tried IMDB’s advanced search as well as Google and Google Images, but did not find him which is somewhat surprising because he was not a nobody; he was perhaps a C to B-list action star like Dolph Lundgren or Rutger Hauer.

Does anyone know his last name or a site that can (more) effectively find him?

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I note the 'too localized' flag .... but I don't see 'identify this actor' as being any less on topic than 'identify this movie'. Neither is an ideal category of question but we have decided to keep them. –  iandotkelly Aug 4 '12 at 15:02
    
The answer is never going to change. Moreover, I specifically asked for help on finding it myself, and a more effective search engine than IMDB’s limited “advanced” search, or some sort of effective search query pattern would be generic and universally applicable. Maybe I’ll edit the question to be more general. Besides, of all SE sites, identify-this questions make the most sense here. –  Synetech Aug 4 '12 at 15:35
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I finally found it.

What I did was to go to Wikipedia and search using the following queries:

  • actor bryan
  • actor brian
  • actor bryan -199
  • actor bryan death
  • actor brian death

Not surprisingly, they all had plenty of hits, so I used the 500-results-per-page option and scanned down looking for key terms like death, -199, and actor (and of course his last name which I was certain I would immediately recognize).

Eventually, when I got towards the bottom of the last page of results, I saw Brian James (actor). That looked familiar, so I checked the Google Images page to verify. Unfortunately it wasn’t him, but the name seemed very familiar, so I “hypothesis-ily” tried some variations including bryan james actor (not it), and (randomly?), brion james. Bingo! It’s him.

It is surprising and frustrating that searching for what is arguably a relatively noteworthy public person would be so difficult just because the name was spelled a little bit differently. I guess search-engines still have a ways to go. (I can’t believe I forgot he was in on of my favorite movies, Fifth Element.)

Hopefully the tactics I used are helpful for others in similar situations.

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heh. if you had just followed the rudger howard line you would have found him in blade runner. –  DForck42 Aug 6 '12 at 7:13
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Possibly Brian Glover .... well known in the UK. Probably best known worldwide as one of the inmates in Alien3.

He matches on:

  • Bald
  • Muscular white actor (was a professional wrestler at one point)
  • Scary inmate
  • Brian/Bryan
  • Died 1997
  • B to C list (certainly well known in the UK)
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No, I already saw Glover in the list, but this one is American. I’m pretty sure this one also has a slightly pointer head than Glover. –  Synetech Aug 4 '12 at 15:02
    
Why the (much later) downvote - just because I was wrong does not make it a suitable guess. –  iandotkelly Nov 2 '12 at 19:35
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Brian Jackson?

He often plays tough bad guys, I think he was in Alien Nation, X-Files and so on.

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I already found him. It was Brion James. –  Synetech Aug 8 '12 at 18:37
    
Oh him! Yes, he is an actor I like too. –  Stefan Aug 9 '12 at 7:27
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