By Lois Kennedy
Tales from the Crypt was wonderful for many reasons, but one way in particular is that it helped a few careers get off the ground in the acting world, like the following.
- Jeffrey Tambor
Known for: Saturday the 14th, Hellboy, Hellboy 2: The Golden Army
But Before That: In “Dead Right” a secretary (Demi Moore) looking for a rich husband is convinced by a fortune teller that a smelly, repugnant man (Tambor, wearing a fat suit) is her ideal match. Given the track record that shrill gold-diggers have on TFTC, she is less than pleased with the results.
- Patricia Clarkson
Known for: The Green Mile, Wendigo, Carrie (2002), The Woods, Shutter Island
But Before That: In “Mute Witness to Murder” Clarkson plays Suzy, a woman who sees a doctor kill his wife. She is stricken mute, and comes under his care.
- Jonathan Banks
Known for: Breaking Bad mostly, also Gremlins, PIN, Dexter, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
But Before That: In “The Assassin” a housewife (Shelley Hack) is accosted by a trio of assassins (including Banks and Corey Feldman) who hold her hostage, saying they were hired to kill her husband.
- Daniel Craig
Known for: James Bond, The Invasion, Cowboys & Aliens, Dream House
But Before That: In “Smoke Wrings” Barry (Craig) is a con artist bluffing his way into the advertising business with the help of a mad scientist who wants revenge on the CEO.
- Tim Roth
Known for: Reservoir Dogs, Dark Water, Funny Games
But Before That: In “Easel Kill Ya” a grumpy artist (Roth) finds his muse after he begins killing people.
- Benicio del Toro
Known for: Sin City, The Wolfman
But Before That: A fire marshal (Terry O’Quinn) takes a bribe from a crooked strip club owner to keep his daughter in college, a decision he comes to regret. Del Toro is said club owner’s right hand man.
- Doug Jones
Known for: Pan’s Labyrinth, John Dies at the End, The Bye Bye Man
But Before That: In “Food for Thought” a husband-and-wife mind-reading circus act (Ernie Hudson and Joan Chen) is complicated by the husband’s cruelty and the wife’s wandering eye. Jones is a contortionist, natch.
- Dylan McDermott
Known for: American Horror Story, Hardware, The Messengers, Mercy
But Before That: In “This’ll Kill Ya” three bickering scientists (McDermott, Cleavon Little, and Sonia Braga) set off a devastating chain of events when one is injected with a dangerous experimental drug.
- Ewan McGregor
Known for: Star Wars, Shallow Grave
But Before That: In “Cold War” Ford (McGregor) and Cammy are professional thieves. Cammy gets tired of Ford’s shenanigans and seeks out a new boyfriend—with deadly results.
1, Brad Pitt
Known for: Ever so many things, including Interview with the Vampire, Se7en, World War Z
But Before That: In “King of the Road” a police officer’s daughter dates an ornery thug (Pitt), who challenges him to a road race.
That’s the countdown. Go ahead and re-watch every episode; even the crappy ones are still pretty great.