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16 Actors Who Have Played Macbeth

Updated May 5, 2019 85.6k views16 items

Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare's darkest tragedies. It tackles political themes and the lengths that men will go to in order to achieve power. Several famous actors have taken on the role of Macbeth. One famous actor is appearing in a 2015 film adaption of the classic play. This list of actors who have played Macbeth is loosely ranked by fame and popularity. 

Written sometime between 1599 and 1606, Macbeth reflects Shakespeare's relationship with the royal family and the ruling class, specifically James I, who was a patron of Shakespeare's acting company. Macbeth is the shortest of Shakespeare's tragedies, telling the story of a Scottish general (Macbeth) who receives a prophecy that he will one day become King of Scotland.

Who is the most famous actor who has played Macbeth? Michael Fassbender tops our list. Fassbender is playing Macbeth in a 2015 film directed by Justin Kurzel. Michael Fassbender isn't the only X-Men actor to take on Macbeth. Patrick Stewart played Macbeth in a 2010 TV movie for the BBC and James McAvoy played Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studio in 2013.

Which actor do you think did that best job portraying Macbeth? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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  • Michael Fassbender is playing Macbeth in a 2015 film directed by Justin Kurzel.
    • Age: 43
    • Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
    • Gender: Male

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  • Ian McKellen played Macbeth in a 1978 production for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
    • Age: 81
    • Birthplace: Burnley, Lancashire, England, UK
    • Gender: Male
    • Alternative Name: Ian McKellen

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  • Peter O'Toole played Macbeth at the Old Vic Theatre in 1980.
    • Age: Dec. at 81 (1932-2013)
    • Birthplace: Connemara, Galway, Ireland
    • Gender: Male

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  • James McAvoy played Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studio in 2013.
    • Age: 41
    • Birthplace: Port Glasgow, Scotland, UK
    • Gender: Male

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