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All the Actors Who Have Played Jesus, Ranked

Updated June 14, 2019 6.8k votes 1.6k voters 33.9k views13 items

List RulesActors 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.

Make your voice heard. Be sure to vote up all of your favorite Jesus actors.
Photo:
  • 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. 

     

    • Nationality: United Kingdom, England
    • Characters: Fantomcat, Dr. Livesey, Mark Williams, Dave Briggs, Tobias Wren
    756
    126
    Was this portrayal the best?
  • 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

     

    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Characters: Darryl Harding, Bobby Riddle, John Reese
    875
    192
    Was this portrayal the best?

    #163 of 264 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today#166 of 243 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World#137 of 170 The Best Living American Actors

  • 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.

     

    • Nationality: Portugal
    • Characters: Joseph
    423
    238
    Was this portrayal the best?
  • 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.

     

    • Nationality: Sweden, France
    • Characters: Sigmund Freud
    276
    257
    Was this portrayal the best?

    #125 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History#141 of 289 The Coolest Actors Ever#60 of 219 The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Oscar (For Acting)