Total Nerd

The Best TV and Movie Robots (and the Humans Who Play Them)  

mikekrumboltz
Originally by
3.1k votes 623 voters 16.5k views 25 items

When an actor hears that he or she is performing like a robot, that's usually not a compliment. But in these cases, the opposite proves true. 

From Anthony Daniels, the man inside C3PO's golden suit, to Yul Brenner, who played the robotic (and psychotic) gunslinger in Westworld, to Alicia Vikander, whose role in Ex Machina brings an entirely new aesthetic to cinematic artificial intelligence, these actors bring humanity to robotic roles.

How would you rank these robot performances? Does Ah-nold's role as The Terminator trump the Fembots of Austin Powers, as far as robot movie characters go?  What about the creepy Stepford Wives? And what of Tricia Helfer's Number Six from Battlestar Galactica? And let us not forget (never forget!) the role of Vicki, the unintentionally annoying TV android from "Small Wonder." Whether you think this list covers all the best robot movies, it's hard to deny that the talented actors named here breathe life into these bots.

Here we give you memorable movie robots and TV robots.  Now it's your turn to rank 'em.

1 319 VOTES
Number Six is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV and Movie Robots (and the Humans Who Play Them)
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Fair use

The stunning Tricia Helfer played Number Six, a robot who looked unlike any we've ever seen, in the acclaimed Battlestar Galactica reboot. Helfer played numerous versions of Six during the show's four-season run. Get rid of one, and another would show up. Helfer's role was unique in that for large portions of her screen time, she was supposedly invisible to all but one of the other cast mates. Because, you see, anybody can play a robot. But an invisible robot that might only be in somebody's imagination? That's a whole other ball game, kids.

More Number Six

#68 of 351 on The Greatest Female Villains #4 of 64 on The Best Blonde Villains in Entertainment History #13 of 101 on The Greatest Robots of All Time #2 of 120 on The Best Fictional Spies, Ranked

Agree or disagree?
see more on Number Six
2 254 VOTES
Lisa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV and Movie Robots (and the Humans Who Play Them)
Photo: via Wikimedia Commons

If two horny teenage boys could create their idea of the perfect woman then Lisa, played by Kelly LeBrock, would surely be the result. In Weird Science, written and directed by John Hughes, Lisa isn't exactly a robot. She's more like Frankenstein's Monster... only with a better vocabulary and less clothing. Don't overthink it.

Agree or disagree?
see more on Lisa
3 248 VOTES
Terminator is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV and Movie Robots (and the Humans Who Play Them)
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Fair use
OK, so Arnold Schwarzenegger will never be considered one of the finest actors of his generation. So what? In The Terminator and its sequels, the robotic thespian found the role he was born to play. Fun fact: Arnold almost ruined the original film's most iconic line ("I'll be back."). In 2012, he told "Good Morning America" he had trouble pronouncing "I'll" and wanted to change the line to "I will be back."

More Terminator

#12 of 3822 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time #9 of 144 on The Most Hardcore Big Screen Action Heroes #12 of 198 on The Greatest Immortal Characters in Fiction #18 of 20 on The Most Horrifying Special Effects Makeup From Non-Horror Movies

Agree or disagree?
see more on Terminator
4 188 VOTES
The Gunslinger is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV and Movie Robots (and the Humans Who Play Them)
Photo: via Wikimedia
The late great Yul Brenner played a gunslinging robot in Westworld, a film about a futuristic amusement park filled with android cowboys. Brenner, with his gloriously bald head and steely silver gaze, stole the show from costars Richard Benjamin and James Brolin. Director Michael Crichton praised Brenner's performance. "It's very hard to give the impression that you are a robot with no personality while at the same time having some sense of presence and personality. Brenner has this."
Agree or disagree?
see more on The Gunslinger