Entertainment The Greatest Actor Characters in Film  

Ranker Characters
432 votes 108 voters 4.2k views

Actors seem to fascinate screenwriters. Not just the talented thespians who bring their creations to life on film, but the fictional figures that populate writers' screenplays as well. Movies feature multitudes of actor characters, some based on real people, some entirely made up. Several acclaimed stars have even been nominated for Academy Awards for their ability to play aspiring actors in films.

The roles included on this list of the greatest actor characters in film are shining showcases for the Hollywood elite. Take Robert Downey, Jr., for example, who has played actors on several occasions. He portrayed the legendary silent film star Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin and, later, he generated lots of laughs as the too-method method actor Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder. Norma Desmond, played by Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, is another one of the most memorable on-screen actresses. But few roles are memorable as Dustin Hoffman's award-winning turn in Tootsie. Hoffman played the struggling actor Michael Dorsey, who finally found success by pretending to be a woman named Dorothy Michaels.

Which actor character do you think should top this list? Vote your favorite roles up towards the number-one spot and add any great characters that are missing.
list ordered by
1
23 10
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Shanghai Knights, The Cat's Meow, Chaplin
2
16 6
Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
3
12 6
Ed Wood is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Ed Wood
4
12 9
Bob Harris is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Lost in Translation
5
11 8
Betty Elms is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Mulholland Drive
6
10 7
Neil Perry is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Dead Poets Society
7
12 10
Kirk Lazarus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Tropic Thunder
8
10 9
Margo Channing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
All About Eve
9
9 8
Don Lockwood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Singin' in the Rain
10
8 7
Kit Ramsey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Kit Ramsey Bowfinger
11
9 9
Norma Desmond is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Sunset Boulevard
12
8 8
Michael Dorsey is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Tootsie
13
3 3
Billy Kwan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Jocelyn added The Year of Living Dangerously
14
9 10
Riggan Thomson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Birdman
15
6 7
Anna Scott is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Notting Hill
16
6 7
Ann Darrow is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
King Kong, The Mighty Kong
17
5 6
Satine is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Moulin Rouge!
18
5 6
George Valentin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
The Artist
19
8 10
Sarah Marshall is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Get Him to the Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall
20
8 10
Baby Jane Hudson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Baby Jane?, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
21
7 9
Albert Goldman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
The Birdcage
22
4 7
Viola De Lesseps is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Shakespeare in Love
23
3 6
Maria Vargas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Maria Vargas The Barefoot Contessa
24
2 6
Neely O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Neely O'Hara Valley of the Dolls
25
2 6
Dusty Bottoms is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Dusty Bottoms ¡Three Amigos!