Ranking Joker Actors


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Article written by Dylan Devine (1/26/21)

The Joker is one of the most popular and beloved movie villain’s ever. We have seen multiple different portrayals and versions of this character in video games, comics, TV Shows, and films. Today I am going to rank all three of the live action Joker actors that appeared in movies.

*DISCLAIMER* I love both Cesar Romero and Cameron Monaghan’s portrayals of The Joker but will not be including them on this list as they were not portrayed in movies.

1) Heath Ledger : Batman The Dark Knight (2008)

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The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies of all time and a big reason for that is because of Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker. Ledger played the role PERFECTLY. This version of the Joker represented terrorism. One of everyone’s biggest fear. Ledger really made you fear him as The Joker while also displaying some of The Joker’s other characteristics perfectly. His sick and twisted sense of humor being one of them. He is pure chaos and charisma throughout the whole film. It is crazy how you can see and feel how calm he is while doing all of the insane things he does throughout the entire movie. I personally think Ledger’s performance as The Joker is not only the best live action version of The Joker, but is one of the greatest performances ever in film. RIP Heath Ledger. His performance as The Joker will live on forever.

2) Joaquin Phoenix : Joker (2019)

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Seeing The Joker in his own rated R stand alone film was so awesome. It is a phenomenal film and is one of my favorites ever. Joaquin Phoenix did a fantastic job as his version of The Joker and his dedication to the role really showed in the film. A lot of people were skeptical about Phoenix being casted as The Joker, but he proved everyone wrong. Phoenix nails the evolution of The Joker from start to finish. Seeing him go from sad, to angry, to then becoming absolutely psychotic and just losing it. Joker was very successful in the box office and with fans alike. It also is the first ever rated R film to gross over a billion dollars.

3) Jack Nicholson : Batman (1989)

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Jack Nicholson’s performance as The Joker was the first portrayal we got of The Joker in movies. He was the main villain in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film. Nicholson’s performance gave a new look at the character compared to the past portrayals of Joker. Nicholson did a phenomenal job as The Joker. His ability to portray a madman better then anybody is remarkable. He kept the same silliness that Cesar Romero had with his version of the character, but Nicholson was much darker and edgier in his version. This was the most sadistic and psychotic version of The Joker fans had seen at the time. Nicholson’s performance as The Joker truly paved the way for all future performances of the beloved character.

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