All the Actors Who Have Played Jesus, Ranked  

Ranker Film
4.3k votes 1k voters 19.6k views 13 items

List Rules Actors who played Jesus in films, on television, or in a play. Vote up the actors who handled the role the best.

Stories from the bible are among the most popular tales ever told. But how does a director go about casting Jesus? An actor certainly must have that divine and holy look, plus they must have a certain presence about them that is both kind and grand. There have been several actors who portrayed Jesus, this list features some of the best Jesus performances ever.

This list has actors who played Jesus on the silver screen and on television. Some of the films are among the most controversial movies in the history of cinema. In fact, The Last Temptation of Christ is still banned in some countries, while other films on this list are hilarious romps that aim to be tongue-in-cheek rather than overtly dramatic. The list also features an array of actors from Will Ferrell to Christian Bale.

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Robert Powell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list All the Actors Who Have Played Jesus, Ranked
Photo: Rai 1 (Italy)

TV Mini-Series portrayed in: Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Robert Powell takes on the role of Jesus in the British-Italian mini-series Jesus of Nazareth. The rest of the cast is also quite impressive: Anne Bancroft, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger, and Ernest Borgnine. Nominated for two Primetime Emmy's, the mini-series is still listed on IMDB's top rated TV shows. 


Characters: Fantomcat, Dr. Livesey, Mark Williams, Dave Briggs, Tobias Wren

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Jim Caviezel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list All the Actors Who Have Played Jesus, Ranked
Photo: Newmarket Films

Film portrayed in: The Passion of the Christ (2004)

There are few films in the history of cinema that were more controversial than the Mel Gibson-directed The Passion of the Christ, a film about the last 12 hours of Jesus's life before he was crucified. Despite the controversy and outrage, the film raked in about $612 million at the world wide box office


Characters: Darryl Harding, Bobby Riddle, John Reese

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Diogo Morgado is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list All the Actors Who Have Played Jesus, Ranked
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Film portrayed in: Son of God (2014)

Handsome Portugese actor Diogo Morgado was cast as Jesus in the epic biblical film Son of God, which was an adaptation of the ten-hour mini-series The Bible. Morgado won for Best Actor in a Feature Film at the Imagan Foundation Awards in 2014.


Characters: Joseph

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Max von Sydow is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list All the Actors Who Have Played Jesus, Ranked
Photo: United Artists

Film portrayed in: The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)

Swedish actor Max von Sydow portrayed a medieval knight playing a game of chess with Death in the Ingmar Bergman classic The Seventh Seal in 1957. Then, he played Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told, a film about the life of Christ, which was nominated for five Academy Awards.


Characters: Sigmund Freud

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