Let's take a quick look at Ned Beatty (b. 1937) who is a supporting actor, Bit Actor, and almost a star.
Beatty got his movie start in Deliverance (1972) and he now has 159 titles on IMDb in movies and on TV. That was the beginning of seven films with his friend, Burt Reynolds (b. 1936).
He made quite a few decent movies in the 1970s, working with some important actors, actresses and directors. He has a series of big movies in the later half of that decade.
All the President's Men (1976) with Dustin Hoffman (b. 1937), Robert Redford (b. 1936), and an all star cast
Network (1976) with Faye Dunaway (b. 1941) and William Holden (1918 - 1981)
Silver Streak (1976) with Gene Wilder (b. 1933)
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) with Richard Burton (1925 - 1984)
Gray Lady Down (1978) with Charlton Heston (1923 - 2008)
Superman (1978) and also Superman II in 1980
1941 (1979) directed by Steven Spielberg (1946)
So that must have been his finest work.
In 1982 he is in The Toy with Jackie Gleason (1916 - 1987) and Richard Pryor (1940 - 2005). Not all of his movies were big hits. Purple People Eater (1988), Chattahoochee (1989) and Big Bad John (1990) come to mind...or rather don't come to mind.
In 1993 he plays the father of Rudy, in a very good film by the same name, and then he takes a role the same year in Ed and His Dead Mother! Maybe Beatty got caught up in taking anything to make a buck, but in 2002 he was in Thunderpants, which is obviously a movie for young kids. Here is the description from IMDb. ""
During all of those movie contracts, Ned also was in quite a few TV shows and TV movies. I am sure his best work is divided evenly between the large and small screens.
Ned Beatty was only nominated once for an Oscar, as Best Supporting Actor in Network. So I will classify him as a great Bit Actor, and continue to enjoy his work.