This manic, chain-smoking actor made his first big impression as a hilariously angry stand-up comic in the early ’90s with his one-man show No Cure for Cancer. Screen parts followed, and Denis Leary quickly proved that he could be funny and threatening simultaneously (see The Ref). Unfortunately, most of his movies were flops, including the lackluster romantic comedy Two if by Sea, cocreated by his wife Ann Lembeck. In 2001 he turned to the small screen in the critically acclaimed but short-lived cop dramedy The Job. He finally tapped into his Irish luck with his next show, Rescue Me, an edgy hit drama set in a firehouse.