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20 Actors Who Have Played Othello 

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Updated May 6, 2019 54.6k views 20 items

Othello is one of William Shakespeare's most notable tragedies. It addresses themes of racism, love and betrayal that are as relevant today as they were when the work was first published in 1565. Several famous actors have played Othello on the stage and on the silver screen. This list of actors who have played Othello is loosely ranked by fame and popularity. 

Who is the most famous actor who has played Othello? Anthony Hopkins tops our list. Anthony Hopkins played Othello in a 1981 TV movie directed by Jonathan Miller. James Earl Jones was originally cast in the production, but British Equity refused to issue Jones an acting permit because they wanted someone British to play the iconic role. Jones has portrayed Othello on several occasions, the first being in 1955 at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan.

Laurence Fishburne played Othello in the 1995 film directed by Oliver Parker. This movie marked the first time that Othello was played by an African American actor on film.

Who do you think did the best job portraying Othello? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Actors Who Have Played Othello
Photo:  Elena Torre/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0
Anthony Hopkins played Othello in a 1981 TV movie directed by Jonathan Miller.

Age: 81

Birthplace: Margam, United Kingdom

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James Earl Jones is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Actors Who Have Played Othello
Photo: Stuart Crawford/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0
James Earl Jones has portrayed Othello on several occasions, the first being in 1955 at the Ramsdell Theatre in Manistee, Michigan.

Age: 88

Birthplace: Arkabutla, Mississippi, United States of America

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Orson Welles is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Actors Who Have Played Othello
Photo: Carl Van Vechten/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Orson Welles played Othello in a 1952 film which he directed and produced.

Age: Dec. at 70 (1915-1985)

Birthplace: Kenosha, Wisconsin, United States of America

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