Bit part

Bit part

A bit part is a supporting acting role with at least one line of dialogue. In British television, bit parts are referred to as under sixes (fewer than six spoken lines). Unlike extras, who do not speak any lines at all, actors in bit parts are typically listed in the credits. An exception to this practice is the cameo appearance, wherein a well-known actor (or other celebrity) appears in a bit part; it is not uncommon for such appearances to be uncredited. Another exception occurred in MGM's 1951 screen version of the famed musical "Show Boat", in which the role of the cook Queenie (Frances Williams) has been reduced from a significant supporting role in the stage version to literally a bit part in the film. Ms. Williams, whose appearance was not intended as a cameo, was not listed at all in the credits. On the other hand, William Warfield, whose role as Joe, Queenie's husband, was also drastically shortened in the film from the stage original, did receive screen credit because he sang "Ol' Man River".

Bit parts are often significant in the story line, sometimes pivotal, as in Jack Albertson's role as a postal worker in the 1947 feature film "Miracle on 34th Street". Some characters with bit parts become well remembered. A good example is Boba Fett, with very few lines in "The Empire Strikes Back" and none (except a scream) in "Return of the Jedi".

Constantin Stanislavski famously remarked that "there are no small parts, only small actors."

ee also

* Extra
* Character actor
* Supporting actor

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • bit part — bit parts also bit part N COUNT A bit part is a small and unimportant role for an actor in a film or play …   English dictionary

  • bit part — If someone has a small or unimportant role in something, they have a bit part …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • bit-part — bitˈ part noun A small part in acting • • • Main Entry: ↑bit …   Useful english dictionary

  • bit part — n a small and unimportant acting job in a play or film ▪ He s had bit parts in a couple of soaps …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • bit part — bit′ part n. sbz bit II, 4) • Etymology: 1925–30 …   From formal English to slang

  • bit part — bit ,part noun count a job as a minor actor in a play or movie …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • bit part — ► NOUN ▪ a small acting role in a play or a film …   English terms dictionary

  • bit part — noun a small role (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑minor role • Hypernyms: ↑character, ↑role, ↑theatrical role, ↑part, ↑persona • Hyponyms …   Useful english dictionary

  • bit part — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms bit part : singular bit part plural bit parts theatre, cinema a job as a minor actor in a play or film …   English dictionary

  • bit-part — adj. Bit part is used with these nouns: ↑actor, actress …   Collocations dictionary

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