The Most Iconic Movie Characters

The Most Iconic Movie CharactersMovies are a global pastime, regardless of age, culture, or ethnicity and new releases result in crowded movie theaters. Movie fans are always excited to witness the latest advances in filmmaking, special effects, animation and of course to follow preferred actors in their latest adventures.


Of course, it is only the most talented actors that create iconic movie characters and these are generally portrayed by actors that are dedicated to the art of acting, often living the role during filming. Such actors are known as method actors and notable examples include Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Nicolas Cage, Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Anthony Hopkins, and Steve McQueen.

De Niro and Pacino

Robert De Niro is probably the most famous actors in the world and has been responsible for many iconic movie characters such as Max Cady in Cape Fear, and Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (where he refused to wear a fat suit and gained weight for later scenes in the movie, losing it all again for his next project). Al Pacino has played Michael Corleone in the Godfather Trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface and Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman where he played a blind man. Attention to detail allowed both De Niro and Pacino to portray roles in a way that will never be equaled.

Other Iconic Personas

Anthony Hopkins’s chilling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter only added to a famous career but showed audiences just how good an actor he is. Nicolas Cage played an alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas and lost a considerable amount of weight to play the role effectively. In Papillion, Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman both played prisoners subject to harsh conditions that were evident from the gaunt condition of both actors at the end of the movie. Similar, in Castaway, Philadelphia, and Saving Private Ryan, Hanks lived his movie characters. In addition, his portrayal of Forrest Gump is one of the most memorable on film.

There are many other examples of accomplished actors playing roles in a manner that will never be surpassed, Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger as the Joker in various Batman movies and many others but they all have one thing in common. They are responsible for creating characters that will never be forgotten by movie audiences.

PIC: Ferenc Szelepcsenyi – Fotolia