Ian Ogilvy has said he will never be as respected as Sir Ian McKellen or Sir Derek Jacobi.
The 71-year-old actor, who is best known for his performance as Simon Templar in The Saint, admitted that while they were selective about their roles, he picked parts for the work.
"I was never the sort of Ian McKellen or Derek Jacobi kind of character, the ones who get the incredible respect and a career for the rest of their lives," he said.
"I became a commercial actor very early on, and when you're a commercial actor, you don't get quite the same respect, which is understandable - they spent years at the National Theatre or the Royal Shakespeare Company and paid their dues over and over. Whereas I was poncing about making stupid little movies."
Ian, who stars in British thriller We Still Kill The Old Way, joked about getting a role in a British soap to draw him back to the UK.
"My American wife said to me, 'Please don't come home without an English TV series under your belt'. So I'm hoping somebody will offer me one while I'm here," said the Californian-based actor, adding: "Now I'm playing hardmen, I could be in EastEnders!"
He also said he has few regrets in his career.
"The ambition's gone now. I just like to work. As you get older, the parts dry up. You can't expect to work as often as you did; I certainly don't," he said.
"Looking back on my career, there isn't much I regret, one or two things I suppose, but not many. Most of the things I did, I'm happy with. I made a lot of awfully cr***y movies and cr***y television as well, but that's the name of the game."
:: We Still Kill The Old Way is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.