Visual action recognition is an important problem in computer vision. In this paper, we propose a new method to probabilistically model and recognize actions of articulated objects, such as hand or body gestures, in image sequences. Our method consists of three levels of representation. At the low level, we first extract a feature vector invariant to scale and in-plane rotation by using the Fourier transform of a circular spatial histogram. Then, spectral partitioning  is utilized to obtain an initial clustering; this clustering is then refined using a temporal smoothness constraint. Gaussian mixturemodel (GMM) based clustering and density estimation in the subspace of linear discriminant analysis (LDA) are then applied to thousands of image feature vectors to obtain an intermediate level representation. Finally, at the high level we build a temporal multiresolution histogram model for each action by aggregating the clustering weights of sampled images belonging to that action. We discuss how this high level representation can be extended to achieve temporal scaling invariance and to include Bi-gram or Multi-gram transition information. Both image clustering and action recognition/segmentation results are given to show the validity of our three tiered representation.