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Actors rehearsing on stage
Hill Street Studios / Blend Images / Getty Images

An actor is a performing artist who portrays characters on stage, in television shows, on commercials and in movies. While it is not a gender-specific term—both males and females in this occupation are called "actors"— the word "actor" is often used when talking about a male, while "actress" is used to describe a female.

Also Known As: actress, performer, thespian

Common Misspellings: acter

Examples: She attended drama school in hopes of becoming an actor someday.

Read Careers in the Performing Arts to learn more about this and related occupations.

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