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The Best Actors Who Played Hercules, Ranked

It takes big shoes to fill the role of Hercules, but the best actors to ever play Hercules were definitely up to the task. Whether that’s by showcasing their acting chops, displaying their bulging pecs, or both, the best Hercules actors have done the mythological Greek hero justice.

As one of the biggest heroes from ancient Greece, Hercules is the son of Zeus and a mortal. From the 12 Labours to numerous side adventures, there are plenty of stories for modern writers and directors to pull from to make the Greek god relevant in today's world. And of course, such an epic character requires epic actors to portray him. All of the best actors who played Hercules have been collected here for you to rank. 

Ever wondered which actor was the first Hercules? That distinction goes to Tiny Sandford who played the character in the 1933 film The Warrior's Husband. This Pre-Code film actually goes against popular mythos because Hercules is portrayed as a coward. However, there have been plenty of reputable actors who have taken on the Hercules mantle over the years, including Dwayne Johnson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Sorbo, Tate Donovan, and Ryan Gosling. 

The best Hercules actors are here to duke it out. So vote up all the actors who you thought did Herc justice. 

Photo:
  • Photo: Warner Bros.

    Hercules (1958)

    Hercules and the Queen of Lydia (1959)

    Stephen Lester Reeves (January 21, 1926 – May 1, 2000) was an American professional bodybuilder, actor, and philanthropist. He was famous in the mid-1950s as a movie star in Italian-made peplum films, playing the protagonist as muscular characters such as Hercules, Goliath, and Sandokan. At the peak of his career, he was the highest-paid actor in Europe.From 1959 through 1964, Reeves went on to appear in a string of sword and sandal movies shot on relatively small budgets and, although he is best known for his portrayal of Hercules, he played the character only twice: in the 1957 film (released in the US in 1959) and its 1959 sequel Hercules Unchained (released in the US in 1960). By 1960,  ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 74 (1926-2000)
    • Birthplace: Glasgow, Montana, United States of America
    136
    26
    A worthy Hercules?
  • Hercules at the Center of the Earth (1961)

    Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis (1961)

    Hercules, Prisoner of Evil (1963)

    Hercules the Avenger (1964)

    Roy "Reg" Park (7 June 1928 – 22 November 2007) was an English bodybuilder, businessman, and actor. His first title was Mr Britain in 1946. He then won the Mr Universe in 1951, 1958 and 1965. He also starred in five films, four featured as Hercules and in one, Hercules in the Haunted World (1961), he co-starred with Christopher Lee. Besides his own career and titles, he is probably best known as an idol and mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger.  ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 79 (1928-2007)
    • Birthplace: Leeds, United Kingdom
    91
    28
    A worthy Hercules?
  • Photo: user uploaded image
    3

    Mark Forest

    Goliath and the Dragon (1960)

    Hercules Against the Mongols (1963)

    Hercules Against the Barbarians (1964)

    Hercules Against the Sons of the Sun (1964)

    Mark Forest is an American actor and body builder best known for playing the lead in a series of peplum movies in the 1960s, including the role of Maciste several times.  ...more
    • Age: 88
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
    69
    27
    A worthy Hercules?
  • 4

    Alan Steel

    Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas (1960)

    Hercules and the Masked Rider (1960)

    Hercules Against the Moon Men (1964)

    Hercules Against Rome (1964)

    Hercules, Samson, Maciste, and Ursus: the Invincibles (1964)

    Sergio Ciani is an actor.  ...more
    • Age: 86
    • Birthplace: Rome, Italy
    64
    28
    A worthy Hercules?