Entertainment The Greatest Actor Characters in Film  

Ranker Characters
417 votes 102 voters 4.1k 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
16 5
Roger Rabbit is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Who Framed Roger Rabbit

2
19 10
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Shanghai Knights, The Cat's Meow, Chaplin

3
11 6
Ed Wood is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Ed Wood

4
9 6
Neil Perry is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Dead Poets Society

5
11 9
Bob Harris is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Lost in Translation

6
10 8
Betty Elms is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Mulholland Drive

7
11 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
8 9
Sarah Marshall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Get Him to the Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall

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
8 10
Riggan Thomson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Birdman

18
8 10
Baby Jane Hudson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Baby Jane?, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

19
7 9
Albert Goldman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
The Birdcage

20
4 6
Satine is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
Moulin Rouge!

21
4 6
George Valentin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actor Characters in Film
The Artist

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!