Fictional Characters The Greatest Black Characters in Film History  

Ranker Film
Originally by
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Virgil Tibbs, "Red" Redding, Jules Winnfield... This is a list of the all time greatest black characters in film, ranked as the best in film history by movie lovers everywhere. This list has the best black characters in film, portrayed by award-winning actors and featured in some of the greatest films ever made. Who are the all time best black characters in film?

From classic films like Hotel Rwanda, The Color Purple, and Jerry Maguire, the characters on this list are also some of the best characters in film history. Many of the actors who portrayed these classic black film characters received numerous awards for their notable performances. This includes some of the best black actors of all time, such as Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier.

Cast your votes for the black characters listed here that you believe are the best of all time. And, if the black characters you think are the greatest are missing, add them below to complete the list.

list ordered by

1
191 46
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Shawshank Redemption

2
191 50
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Pulp Fiction

3
145 44
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Green Mile

4
126 32
Lando Calrissian is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

5
146 48
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Malcolm X

6
113 31
Django is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
tc11 added Django Unchained, Django, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!

7
133 40
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II

8
132 47
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sex and the Matrix, The Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions

9
98 28
Axel Foley is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
RobLein added Beverly Hills Cop III, Beverly Hills Cop

10
105 38
Virgil Tibbs is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
In the Heat of the Night

11
92 28
Detective Lt. William Somerset is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

12
79 23
Benjamin Buford
RobLein added Forrest Gump

13
67 11
Agent J is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Men in Black, Men in Black II

14
82 24
Storm is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2

15
97 33
Frozone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Incredibles

16
44 5
Prince Akeem is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Coming to America

17
123 42
Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Training Day

18
91 32
Minny Jackson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Help

19
93 34
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

20
61 15
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

21
104 35
Blade is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Blade: Trinity, Blade II, Blade

22
97 38
Captain Steven
Independence Day

23
104 37
Paul Rusesabagina is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Hotel Rwanda

24
87 34
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Lethal Weapon 4, Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2

25
59 16
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added What's Love Got to Do with It

26
50 10
Solomon Northup is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Twelve Years a Slave

27
82 36
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley An Officer and a Gentleman

28
71 28
Idi Amin Dada is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Last King of Scotland

29
88 44
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Shaft

30
60 24
Nick Fury is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Ultimate Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers

31
80 29
Sheriff Bart is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sheriff Bart Blazing Saddles

32
63 25
Tiana is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added The Princess and the Frog

33
50 20
Winston Zeddemore is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Marina Figueroa added Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II

34
42 12
Oda Mae Brown is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Ghost

35
36 9
Sofia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Gimme the Loot, The Color Purple, The Lovers of the Arctic Circle

36
55 23
Kunta Kinte is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
slaft added Roots: The Gift

37
70 31
Sister Mary Clarence is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sister Mary Clarence Sister Act

38
59 25
Eli is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Eli The Book of Eli

39
40 19
Jackie Brown is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Jackie Brown

40
44 23
Marsellus Wallace is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Pulp Fiction

41
52 22
Pvt. Trip is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Glory

42
35 9
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Ultimate Avengers 2

43
52 23
Coffy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Coffy

44
65 33
Detective Del Spooner is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History

45
58 28
Celie Harris Johnson is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Celie Harris Johnson The Color Purple

46
29 11
Patsey is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added 12 Years a Slave

47
47 21
Mr. Mertle is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Sandlot

48
27 10
Billie Holiday is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Lady Sings the Blues

49
31 13
Broomhilda von Shaft is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Django Unchained

50
32 15
Precious is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire