Things You Didn't Know About On-Screen Jokers

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Vote up the details you never knew before.

The only thing more fascinating than the Joker is the wide variety of ways that he's been portrayed on-screen. Every actor has brought something distinct to the character, making him one of the most diverse supervillains in screen history.

Given that each portrayal is unique, each comes with scores of tidbits and stories. Here are 15 of them, most of which you probably haven't heard before. 


  • 1
    59 VOTES

    Arthur Fleck Was Dressed Like Cesar Romero's Joker

    Arthur Fleck Was Dressed Like Cesar Romero's Joker
    Photo: Joker / Warner Bros. Pictures

    Joker's costume designer Mark Bridges drew from the Joker of his childhood in dressing Arthur Fleck.

    Romero's influence can be seen in Fleck's green outfits, including the broccoli-like clown wig.

    59 votes
  • 2
    101 VOTES

    Jack Nicholson's Joker Has The Highest Body Count (At Least Of The Live-Action Jokers)

    Jack Nicholson's Joker Has The Highest Body Count (At Least Of The Live-Action Jokers)
    Photo: Batman / Warner Bros.

    According to Screen Rant's Philip Etemesi, Nicholson's Joker kills 50 people, Ledger's Joker kills 38, Phoenix's Joker kills six, and Romero's Joker kills zero.

    He didn't list the stats for Leto's Joker or Hamill's Joker, but the former has presumably a smaller count and the latter a countless count.

    101 votes
  • 3
    85 VOTES

    Heath Ledger's Joker Dons A Similar Mask To The One Worn By Cesar Romero's Joker

    The clown mask that Ledger's Joker wears during the bank robbery in The Dark Knight resembles the one worn by Romero's Joker in the Batman episode "The Joker Is Wild."

    Many people believe that this is an Easter egg.

    85 votes
  • 4
    73 VOTES

    The Facial Scarring On Heath Ledger's Joker Is Called A Glasgow Smile And Was Inspired By A Random Delivery Man

    The Facial Scarring On Heath Ledger's Joker Is Called A Glasgow Smile And Was Inspired By A Random Delivery Man
    Photo: The Dark Knight / Warner Bros. Pictures

    A Glasgow smile is when the corners of one's mouth are sliced as far up as the ears, creating a permanent "smile." The practice is thought to have started with gangs in Glasgow, Scotland, in the '20s and '30s.

    The Joker's Glasgow smile was modeled after a delivery man who would visit an estate near the workshop of Conor O'Sullivan, the prosthetics supervisor on The Dark Knight.

    73 votes
  • 5
    73 VOTES

    Heath Ledger's Joker Was Inspired By The Paintings Of Francis Bacon

    Heath Ledger's Joker Was Inspired By The Paintings Of Francis Bacon
    Photo: Two Studies for a Self-Portrait / Sotheby’s

    Francis Bacon was a 20th-century Irish painter known for his gruesome style, particularly in the twisting of prominent people's faces. The above painting is a distortion of Bacon himself. According to a blog post from Art History Abroad, which summarizes an interview with The Dark Knight's director Christopher Nolan, Bacon's artwork was the missing piece of the Joker aesthetic: 

    Previous depictions had put the character’s white skin, green hair and bright red mouth down to falling into an open vat of unspecified chemicals. Clearly this would not do for the grittier, more realistic universe of Nolan’s Batman films. The problem was solved when the director brought a book of Francis Bacon’s art to the set. A concerted effort was made to incorporate Bacon’s distortions and mixtures of colour into the Joker’s make-up, "letting it have a kind of slightly worn-through quality."

    Amazingly, that wasn't the first time that an on-screen Joker was connected to Bacon. In Batman, when Nicholson's Joker is trashing the museum, the only painting he spares is Bacon's Figure with Meat

    73 votes
  • 6
    63 VOTES

    Jack Nicholson's Joker Is The Only One Who Killed Batman's Parents

    Jack Nicholson's Joker Is The Only One Who Killed Batman's Parents
    Photo: Batman / Warner Bros.

    Although Joker's Arthur Fleck is partly responsible for the deaths of Thomas and Martha WayneBatman's Joker personally kills them.

    He remains the only Joker to have done so. 

    63 votes