Top 20 Villain Actors

the best (in my opinion) performances given as villains/ best actors to play vilains. The list is composed of actors that have proven themselves as worthy vilains either more than once or with a single stunning performance
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1.
Anthony Hopkins
Actor, Hannibal
Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, he moved to London and joined the National Theatre...
“ For Both Silence of the Lambs (and his subsequent roles as Hannibal Lector) and The Wolfman ” - spa-noble
 
2.
Ben Foster
Ben Foster was born October 29, 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Gillian Kirwan and Steven Foster, restaurant owners. His younger brother is actor Jon Foster. His paternal grandparents were from Russian Jewish families that immigrated to Massachusetts (his grandfather became a prominent judge in Boston), while his mother's family is from Maryland...
“ Hostage, Pandorum, and his nasty role in 3:10 to Yuma ” - spa-noble
 
3.
William Forsythe
Actor, The Rock
Dynamically entertaining heavyset US actor with piercing eyes, William Forsythe has a superb talent for playing some truly unlikeable and downright nasty characters that dominate the films in which he appears! If you're cast as the "hero" against Forsythe's "villain", then you have your work cut out for you...
“ The Devil's Rejects, anyone who has seen this masterpiece can't forget him. ” - spa-noble
 
4.
Crispin Glover
While he's never been a typical leading man, Crispin Glover has distinguished himself as one of the most intriguing personalities in the movie business. His unusual characters and personal projects have inspired a cult-like following that has dubbed him both madman and genius. The son of actor Bruce Glover...
“ For his performance as Stayne in Alice in Wonderland and Grendel in Beowolf ” - spa-noble
 
5.
Sam Neill
Sam Neill was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to army parents, an English-born mother, Priscilla Beatrice (Ingham), and a New Zealand-born father, Dermot Neill. His family moved to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. He went to boarding schools and then attended the universities at Canterbury and Victoria...
“ Daybreakers, enough said ” - spa-noble
 
6.
John Malkovich
John Gavin Malkovich was born in Christopher, Illinois, to Joe Anne (Choisser), who owned a local newspaper, and Daniel Leon Malkovich, a state conservation director. His paternal grandparents were Croatian. In 1976, Malkovich joined Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, newly founded by his friend Gary Sinise...
“ For Cyrus the Virus in Con Air ” - spa-noble
 
7.
Danny Huston
Danny Huston is an American actor and director who has worked with Academy award-nominated actors from the very start of his career. No surprise for a man who was born into a legendary Hollywood family whose most noted members included his half-sister, his father, his grandfather, his nephew, and of course, himself...
“ He has played many villains but he deserves to be on the list for 30 Days of Night. Even when he's just standing there he is beyond creepy ” - spa-noble
 
8.
Steven Seagal
Producer, Under Siege
Steven Seagal is a striking and somewhat boyishly handsome (often with ponytail) action star who burst onto the martial arts film scene in 1988 in the fast-paced Warner Bros. film Above the Law. Steven Frederic Seagal was born in Lansing, Michigan, to Patricia Anne (Fisher), a medical technician...
“ Machete, switching from hero to villain is pretty hard but not for Seagal. ” - spa-noble
 
9.
Vinnie Jones
Actor, Snatch
Vincent Peter Jones was born on January 5, 1965 in Watford, England. He first came to public notice as a professional footballer, playing in the English Football League. Noted as one of soccer's hard men, he leaped to fame when a photographer, at a match, snapped him "marking" Newcastle United's Paul Gascoigne...
“ His "tough guy" roles in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch would have been enough but Midnight Meat Train really takes the cake ” - spa-noble
 
10.
Bill Nighy
Bill Nighy is an award-winning British character actor. He was born William Francis Nighy on December 12, 1949 in Caterham, Surrey, England, to Catherine Josephine (Whittaker), a psychiatric nurse from Glasgow, and Alfred Martin Nighy, who was English-born and managed a garage in Croydon. At school...
“ the man is one of the most prominent british actors of all time. And he plays bad guys. ” - spa-noble
 
11.
Christopher Lee
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it be Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film...
“ No thinking necessary, hes Dracula and Count Dooku ” - spa-noble
 
12.
“ He's gets the spot for his performance as Moco in El Mariachi ” - spa-noble
 
13.
Peter Stormare
Actor, Fargo
Peter Stormare was born in Arbrå, Gävleborgs län, Sweden, to Gunhild (Holm) and Karl Ingvar Storm. He began his acting career at the Royal National Theatre of Sweden, performing for eleven years. In 1990 he became the Associate Artistic Director at the Tokyo Globe Theatre and directed productions of many Shakespeare plays...
“ Constantine, my favorite depiction of Satan to date ” - spa-noble
 
14.
Joseph Pilato
Born in the Italian section of East Boston to a hardworking Italian family (his father was professional trombonist with the Les Brown Orchestra), Pilato admits that his flair for performing was discovered quite by accident, when he became an alter boy. Still, it wasn't until his college years that he took the big step towards honing his love for performance into a craft...
“ Who could forget Cpt. Rhodes from Day of the Dead. You better do what he says, or he'll have you shot. ” - spa-noble
 
15.
Jeff Fahey
Jeff Fahey was born in Olean, New York, one of 13 children of Jane (Gallagher) and Francis Thomas Fahey, who worked in a clothing store. He is of Irish descent. His family moved to Buffalo when he was 10, where he attended Father Baker's High School. After graduation in 1972 he traveled around the world doing odd jobs...
“ His most grueling performance by far is that in Machete. His raspy voice and dead aim welcome him on the list. ” - spa-noble
 
16.
“ Rorschach from Watchmen, simply wonderful ” - spa-noble
 
17.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Actor, Watchmen
Jeffrey Dean Morgan endeared himself to audiences with his recurring role on ABC's smash hit series, Grey's Anatomy. His dramatic arc as heart patient "Denny Duquette", who wins the heart of intern "Izzie Stevens" (Katherine Heigl) in a star-crossed romance, made him a universal fan favorite. He also had recurring roles on The CW and Warner Bros...
“ The Comedian from Watchmen, very contorted role, he fits it well. ” - spa-noble
 
18.
John Hurt
This transatlantic talent was born John Vincent Hurt on January 22, 1940 in Shirebrook, a coal mining village near the busy market town of Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, England. He is the son of Phyllis (Massey), an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnould Herbert Hurt, an Anglican clergyman and mathematician...
“ V for Vendetta and his role as High Chancellor ” - spa-noble
 
19.
Mark Strong
British actor Mark Strong, who played Jim Prideaux in the 2011 remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, is often cast as cold, calculating villains. But before he became a famous actor, he intended to pursue a career in law. Strong was born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia in London, England, to an Austrian mother and an Italian father...
“ His stern gaze in both Sherlock Holmes and Kick-Ass award him a place on my list ” - spa-noble
 
20.
Jared Leto
In the vein of musicians-turned-actors, Jared Leto is a very familiar face in recent film history. Although he has always been the lead vocals, rhythm guitar, and songwriter for American band 30 Seconds to Mars, Leto will always be remembered as an accomplished actor for the numerous, challenging projects he has taken in his life. He is known to be selective about his film roles...
“ American Psycho. I chose him over Christian Bale because he's the one guy that manages to get under the skin of the psychotic killer ” - spa-noble