A great villain is required for a great story. Good guys come and go, but we remember evil guys and girls forever. Here are the top 17 Movie & T.V. Villains of all time.
Bruce Dern as “Longhair” in the 1972 film The Cowboys This character is cruel, evil and a coward. In a scene that completely shocked moviegoers at the time, Bruce Dern kills the hero of the film, John Wayne. Longhair and Wayne have a dispute which is settled by a fistfight. John Wayne wins the fight fair and square. As John Wayne is walking away, Longhair pulls out a gun and shoots John Wayne in the back.
Nancy Marchand as Livia Soprano. This celebrated actress had previously been know for playing wealthy aristocrats. However, her best known role will always be as Tony Soprano’s psychopathic mother. For reasons that are never exactly clear, Livia hates her only son Tony and is far more dangerous to him than any FBI agent could ever be.
Clancy Brown as Captain Hadley in The Shawshank Redemption. Hadley is perpetually angry and his anger often turns violent; with deadly consequences for the prisoners. Even the other guards are petrified of him. The is no such thing as making Captain Hadley happy. The best you can do is to pray he does not notice you.
Mike Meyers as Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies. OK we know you are thinking, “this guy’s not a real villain. He is an idiot.” Well, it’s true that Dr. Evil is incompetent, but he is the key to the whole movie. Without Dr. Evil there is no film. Austin Powers is funny, but it is Dr. Evil that makes these movies hilarious.
Heath Ledger as The Joker in Batman. This will undoubtedly be known as the greatest portrayal of comic book bad guy ever put on film. The Joker came across as 100 times more complex and interesting than Batman. Like Batman, he plays by a strict set of rules. He seems to be trying to teach the world the lesson that good and evil are in all people at all times. Health Ledger left us far too soon.
Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Louise Fletcher won an Academy Award for playing the psychiatric nurse who systematically left the patients more damaged than they were before they met her. Nurse Ratched has no interest in helping the mentally ill. Her only pleasure in life appears to be in demonstrating her absolute power over every aspect of the lives of the patients.
Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in the 2007 film No Country for old men.This bad guy kills his victims using an air compressor and a device designed to use on cattle. If you have not seen the movie it is difficult to explain. He will ruthlessly kill anyone who he feels has disrespected him. He almost kills a gentle old man at a gas station who made the mistake of simply asking Chigurh where he was from. After you see this film you will never look at an air compressor the same way again.
James Earl Jones & David Prowse as Darth Vader in the original Star Wars.Most people don’t recognize the name David Prowse. He was the body builder inside the costume, while James Earl Jones provided the voice. Darth Vader could be the most famous villain of all times. People who have no idea who is on the Supreme Court and who cannot name the Vice President of the U.S. can definitely tell you the life story of Darth Vader.
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey in Game of Thrones. Jack Gleeson played this character perfectly. King Joffrey used his power and viciousness to cover the fact that he was actually personally a coward. He would have people killed or tortured just for fun. It was as if the nastiest kid you ever knew from middle school suddenly obtained the power of life or death over everyone. The ironic part is that everyone who has ever worked with Jack Gleeson describes him as one of the nicest, kindest and most intelligent people they have ever met. In real life, this Irish actor is most interested in pursuing academic studies and doing philanthropic work. He claims King Joffrey will be his last acting gig. We certainly hope he changes his mind. He is a fantastic talent.
Donald Sutherland as President Snow in the Hunger Games movies. Unlike many movie bad guys, President Snow never loses his temper or acts out of anger. He is the coolest of the cool bad guys. He bombs cities, has people executed and poisons his enemies. However, he does these things out of a logical and well planned motive to stay in power at all costs. Like many real killers throughout history he has the ability to compartmentalize his life. He is kind and attentive to his granddaughter, while at the the same time he is ordering people to be rounded up and killed. It his very lack of anger that makes him so frightening.
Bill Raisch as the one-armed man in the T.V. show The Fugitive Although most people now remember the movie, the one-armed guy in the T.V. show was much scarier than in the movie. In the movie, the one-armed killer had a motive having to do with a cover up by drug companies. In the T.V. show the one-armed man was just a killer. He was a pure bad guy who had no redeeming characteristics and just like hurting people wherever he could.
Douglas Lawrence Ososwki as Plankton in the T.V. Show Spongebob. This is undoubtedly the smallest bad guy in history. However, he creates more havoc than creatures thousands of times his size. Like all true villains he is essential to the entire story. He also has the classic bad guy trait that personality his shaped by the fact that he is essentially a loser in life. Unable to run his own successful restaurant, his whole life is obsessed with stealing the secret Crabby Patty formula fro his rival.
Peter Stormare as Garear (the blond guy) in the 1996 movie Fargo. He will always be remembered as the guy who disposed of the body of his partner by putting it through a wood chipper. This character can kill people in the most gruesome ways with no emotion whatsoever.
Gert Frobe as Goldfinger in the 1964 James Bond movie of the same name.Unlike many of the other bad guys on the list, Goldfinger really knows how to enjoy his life. He eats the best food, goes to the best resorts and is surrounded by the most beautiful women. He has no real hatred in his life. His crimes are due to an obsessive love. A love of gold. Although already possesses more gold than anyone could ever use in a lifetime, he wants more. In fact, he wants all the gold in the world, which is, of course, his downfall.
Rutger Hauer as the Replicant Roy in the 1982 film Blade Runner. Blade Runner is considered by many the best science fiction movie ever made. Roy is a Replicant who is superior to humans in every aspect except one. He only has a 4 year life span. Roy returns to Earth to find his “maker” and “get more life”. Harrison Ford is the Blade Runner whose job is to “retire” (that is- kill) Replicants. In the end, we are left wondering just who is really more human; the artificial Replicant who just wants to live, or the supposedly human Blade Runner assigned to kill him.
Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator in the original 1984 movie. His body, his accent and even the stilted way Arnold moved and acted made him perfect to play this killer robot from the future. The movie also had a huge body count. In the later Terminator sequels they toned this down and there would be a lot of actions scenes with explosions and bullets, but somehow no injuries. In the original movie, The Terminator was a pure killing machine. There is one scene in a bar where he mows down people with an Uzi just because they are blocking his shot at Sarah Connor.
Well, that’s our list of the best villains of all time. Let us know if you think we left anyone off.