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A supporting actor is an actor who performs roles in a play or film other than that of the leads.
These roles range from bit parts to secondary leads. They are sometimes but not necessarily character roles. A supporting actor must also use restraint not to upstage the main actor/actress in the play/movie. In earlier times these were often ethnic stereotypes. The title is usually specific to the performance, that is, a person may be a supporting actor in one film and the leading actor in the next. An individual who typically plays supporting roles is considered a character actor.
In television, a day player refers to most performers with supporting speaking roles hired on a daily basis without long-term contracts.
Supporting roles may be pivotal or vital to the story. In recognition of important nature of this work, the theater and film industries give separate awards to the Best Supporting Actor and actress. A supporting actor/actress can also be known as a 'sidekick' or 'the antagonist'.
See also 
- Supernumerary actor
- Extra (actor)
- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
- Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor
- Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
- Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor - Comedy Series
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor - Drama Series
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor - Miniseries or a Movie
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Drama Series
- Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Miniseries or a Movie
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the extra agency who supplies the people to film TV companies are numerous . they range from reputable to the rip off scam —asking for payments to be included on a list. the unions seem unable to have negotiated any registration or control of the unscrupulous tactic of late or non payment for the days work. any character player will avoid the extra work and focus on better paid and regular engagements. . many drama schools tell the aspiring actor to avoid also.