Actor

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An actor or actress (see terminology) is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity.[1] The ancient Greek word for an "actor," ὑποκριτής (hypokrites), means literally "one who interprets";[2] in this sense, an actor is one who interprets a dramatic character or personality.[3]

Contents

Terminology

The word actor refers to a person who acts regardless of gender, while actress refers specifically to a female person who acts; therefore a female can be referred to by either term. The Oxford English Dictionary states that originally "actor" was used for both sexes. The English word actress does not derive from the Latin actrix, probably not even by way of French actrice; according to the Oxford English Dictionary, actress was "probably formed independently" in English. As actress is a specifically feminine word, some groups assert that the word is sexist. Gender-neutral usage of actor has re-emerged in modern English,[4][5] especially when referring to male and female performers collectively, but actress remains the common term used in major acting awards given to female recipients and is common in general usage.

The gender-neutral term "player" was common in film in the early days of the Motion Picture Production Code with regards to the cinema of the United States, but is now generally deemed archaic. However, it remains in use in the theatre, often incorporated into the name of a theatre group or company (such as the East West Players).

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