film The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film  

Ranker Characters
845 votes 207 voters 8.5k views 33 items

As the saying goes, age is just a number. That's definitely the case for these fictional old men from the movies. The best old man characters in films display wit, guts, and heart that may seem at odds with their advanced phase of life. Some of these characters are optimistic about the future while others are downright grumpy. Many of these old man movie characters are played by the greatest actors of all time – performers who have only gotten better with age themselves.

Which role should top this list of the best old man characters in film? Clint Eastwood has brought many iconic figures to life, thanks to his distinctive growling voice and imposing presence. But perhaps his best old man movie character was Walt Kowalski in Gran Torino. Woody Grant, played by Bruce Dern in the 2013 film Nebraska, is another one of the best fictional old man characters.

Jack Nicholson appears on this list several times. He's played captivating old men like Warren Schmidt in About Schmidt and Melvin Udall in As Good As It Gets. Other memorable roles that appear on this top old man characters in film list include Joe Cabot from Reservoir Dogs and Bob Harris from Lost in Translation.

Which old man character is your favorite? Vote your picks up the list and add any great roles that are missing.
list ordered by

1
65 21
Carl Fredricksen is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film

2
39 12
Alfred Pennyworth is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Alfred Pennyworth Batman series

3
32 8
Professor Albus Dumbledore is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Professor Albus Dumbledore Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

4
27 6
Obi-Wan Kenobi is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars universe

5
38 17
Walt Kowalski is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Walt Kowalski Gran Torino

6
19 4
Emmett Brown is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Emmett Brown Back to the Future Part III, Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II

7
21 6
Mr. Kesuke Miyagi is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Mr. Miyagi The Karate Kid, Part II, The Next Karate Kid

8
21 8
Gandalf is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Gandalf The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

9
24 12
Ebenezer Scrooge is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Ebenezer Scrooge A Christmas Carol

10
25 14
Lucius Fox is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Lucius Fox Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises

11
15 7
Professor X is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Professor X X-Men universe

12
20 16
John Gustafson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
John Gustafson Grumpy Old Men

13
20 17
Max Goldman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Max Goldman Grumpy Old Men, Grumpier Old Men

14
18 17
Mickey Goldmill is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Mickey Goldmill Rocky II, Rocky, Rocky III

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15
18 17
Melvin Udall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Melvin Udall As Good as It Gets

16
3 1
Palpatine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added Palpatine Once Upon a Jedi, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Clone Wars

17
2 1
Yoda is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added Yoda Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

18
2 1
Count Dooku is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
starwarssuperfan added Count Dooku Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

19
6 7
Bill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Bill Kill Bill Volume 1, Kill Bill Volume 2

20
10 12
Sheriff Ed Tom Bell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Sheriff Ed Tom Bell No Country for Old Men

21
4 6
Miracle Max is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Miracle Max The Princess Bride

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22
8 11
Woody Grant is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Woody Grant Nebraska

23
4 8
Al Czervik is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Al Czervik Caddyshack

24
3 7
Hoke Colburn is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Hoke Colburn Driving Miss Daisy

25
7 12
Curly Washburn is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Curly Washburn City Slickers

26
5 11
Warren Schmidt is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Warren Schmidt About Schmidt

27
3 9
Grandpa Edwin Hoover is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Grandpa Edwin Hoover Little Miss Sunshine

28
7 15
William Forrester is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
William Forrester Finding Forrester

29
6 15
Joe Cabot is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Joe Cabot Reservoir Dogs

30
3 12
John Rooney is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
John Rooney Road to Perdition

31
6 16
Bob Harris is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Bob Harris Lost in Translation

32
5 15
Edwin Hoover is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Edwin Hoover Little Miss Sunshine

33
4 14
Danny Collins is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film
Danny Collins Danny Collins