Entertainment 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
211 54
Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Shawshank Redemption
2
221 60
Jules Winnfield is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Pulp Fiction
3
147 57
Morpheus is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Sex and the Matrix, The Matrix, The Matrix Revolutions
4
163 54
Malcolm X is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Malcolm X
5
117 42
Virgil Tibbs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
In the Heat of the Night
6
158 53
John Coffey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Green Mile
7
131 41
Django is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
tc11 added Django Unchained, Django, One Damned Day at Dawn… Django Meets Sartana!
8
147 39
Lando Calrissian is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
158 46
Apollo Creed is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Rocky IV, Rocky, Rocky II
10
109 34
Axel Foley is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
RobLein added Beverly Hills Cop III, Beverly Hills Cop
11
88 31
Benjamin Buford
RobLein added Forrest Gump
12
96 29
Storm is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2
13
115 40
Frozone is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Incredibles
14
101 34
Detective Lt. William Somerset is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
15
102 37
Minny Jackson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
The Help
16
101 38
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
109 43
Captain Steven
Independence Day
18
62 22
Tina Turner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
FranciscodeSouza added What's Love Got to Do with It
19
86 41
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley An Officer and a Gentleman
20
80 16
Agent J is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Men in Black, Men in Black II
21
94 49
John Shaft is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Shaft
22
94 38
Roger Murtaugh is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Lethal Weapon 4, Lethal Weapon, Lethal Weapon 2
23
66 20
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
24
134 47
Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Training Day
25
71 31
Nick Fury is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Black Characters in Film History
Tom Islava added Ultimate Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers