Most actors are remembered for their unique personae. Clark Gable was a man’s man. The humorous gleam in his eye sent daggers to the knees of women everywhere. Bette Davis practically cornered the market on the deeply neurotic woman clawing at the boundaries of love with baroque fury. Gary Cooper was the classic taciturn American, a solid, self-confident Yankee who spoke eloquently through his silences. Marilyn Monroe is the paradigm of the woman as vulnerable child waiting to be rescued by a knight in shining armor.
Of course Fay Wray, who played in over eighty motion pictures, is only remembered for her role in King Kong. Thus, for better or worse, Wray is the eternally shrieking woman.
Less common is the actor who is identified and remembered for a single brief scene.