The Greatest Old Man Characters in Film

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.
Ranked by
  • Yoda
    207 votes
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Gandalf
    247 votes
    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
  • Professor Albus Dumbledore
    267 votes
    Harry Potter Universe
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi
    220 votes
    Star Wars universe
  • Carl Fredricksen
    291 votes
  • Emmett Brown
    177 votes
    Back to the Future Part III, Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II