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Which Actor Played the Best Joker?

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Which Actor Played the Best Joker?

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The Joker is comics most iconic villain and so it's fitting it has been played so well by so many different actors. 


Cesar Romero was the first joker I recall.  He portrayed the Joker in the 1966 live action Batman.  While he refused to shave his signature mustache, he brought an amazing level of energy to the character and was already a huge star before taking on the role.  No one in the cast had the acting credentials of Romero and he seemingly took the role seriously.  Don't sleep on the original.  

After Romero we had to wait until 1989 for the character to return to live action.  Hall of Fame and generational talent, Jack Nicholson took his turn at the helm.  It's hard to separate Nicholson's performance from how amazing Batman was.  There was a dearth in the comic book movie genre at the time and when Nicholson burst onto the screen with a surprisingly perfectly cast Michael Keaton as Batman and a Prince soundtrack ... Gotham got cool again.  

It took almost 20 more years for a new live action Joker with fan favorite Heath Ledger.  Oscar winner - The Dark Knight. There's not much to say that hasn't already been said about Ledgers incredible performance.  While Heath wasn't an unknown in Hollywood he certainly wasn't expected to give the gripping psychotics performance he ended up unleashing on audiences across the cinemascape.  It should be noted that while fans want to think of Ledgers performance as so dark that it help lead to his untimely death, many actors that interacted with Heath during filming have come out to say that simply isn't true.  Ledger was not, in fact, a method actor.  He did not stay in character after scenes cut and he was described as a joy to work with.  The actor was said to be in amazingly good spirits and having a lot of fun with the part.  He was said to interact with not only the cast, but would ask the crew and minor day players how they felt his performance was going.  

Jared Leto - what to say about Jared Leto? I don't share the opinion that Leto was terrible.  I like his take.  Yes, I did feel that he seemed a bit more like a  mumble rapper than any other incarnation of the Joker, but ... I believe, meth addicts are some of the scariest people in the world and I thought he kind of captured that.  No, I didn't think that character would be capable of pulling off a well planned, strategic ... anything, but I did think he looked like someone who would push you in front of a subway car because he thought it would be funny. 

Joaquin Phoenix - The other Oscar winner while playing the Joker.  Phoenix's dark and gritty turn at The Crown Prince of Crime was closer to home than any other portrayal.  You've probably seen this Joker on the subway yourself.  

I simply cannot choose a favorite, but I would like to point out that among these few men there are three Oscar winners and one Academy Award winner.  The Joker is a character that draws talent.  

Edited by FrenchBOB
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Jack Nicholson was Jack Nicholson playing Joker. Joaquin Phoenix followed that path, even if with different methods.

Heath Ledger was Joker, and Joker was Heath Ledger. He totally vanished into the character.

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3 hours ago, deepdigger said:

The animated series Joker beats them all.

Zack Galifianakis - The LEGO Batman Movie

Troy Baker Arkham: Origins Video Game

Michael Emerson - Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 

Brent Spiner - Young Justice

John DiMaggio Batman: Under The Red Hood

Steve Blum - LEGO Batman Video Game

Jeff Bennett - Batman: The Brave And The Bold

Kevin Michael Richardson - The Batman

Mark Hamill - Batman the Animated Series 

Alan Tudyk - Harley Quinn

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Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix tie fo me

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