Best Superhero Portrayals

by HawkHerald | created - 16 Sep 2013 | updated - 16 Oct 2013 | Public

Best Actor Portrayals of Superheroes

1. Jet Li

Actor | The One

Jet Li born Li Lian Jie in Beijing, China. He started training at the Beijing wushu academy (wushu is China's national sport, largely a performance version of various martial art styles) at age eight. He won five gold medals in the Chinese championships, his first when he was only 11. In his teens,...

as Black Mask

2. Robert Downey Jr.

Actor | Iron Man

Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business.

Downey was born April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, the son of writer, director and ...

as Iron Man

3. Michael Keaton

Actor | Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Quirky, inventive and handsome American actor Michael Keaton first achieved major fame with his door-busting performance as fast-talking ideas man Bill Blazejowski, alongside a nerdish morgue attendant (Henry Winkler), in Night Shift (1982). He played further comedic roles in Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny...

as Batman

4. Chris Evans

Actor | The Avengers

Christopher Robert Evans began his acting career in typical fashion: performing in school productions and community theater.

He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Lisa (Capuano), who worked at the Concord Youth Theater, and G. Robert Evans III, a dentist. His uncle is congressman Mike ...

as Captain America

5. Christopher Reeve

Actor | Superman

Christopher D'Olier Reeve was born September 25, 1952, in New York City, to journalist Barbara Johnson (née Barbara Pitney Lamb) and writer/professor F.D. Reeve (Franklin D'Olier Reeve). He came from an upper-class family; his paternal grandfather was CEO of Prudential Financial, and one of his ...

as Superman

6. Michael Fassbender

Actor | Shame

Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. ...

as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto

7. Alec Baldwin

Actor | The Departed

Raven-haired, suavely handsome and prolific actor Alec Baldwin was born on April 3, 1958 in Massapequa, New York, and is the oldest, and easily the best-known, of the four Baldwin brothers in the acting business (the others are Stephen Baldwin, William Baldwin and Daniel Baldwin).

Alexander Rae ...

as The Shadow

8. Kevin Conroy

Actor | Batman: The Killing Joke

Kevin Conroy was born on November 30, 1955 in Westbury, New York. At age 17, Kevin earned a full scholarship to attend Juilliard's drama division, where he studied under actor John Houseman. In 1978, after graduating from Juilliard, he toured with "The Acting Company", Houseman's acting group, and ...

as Batman in DC Animated Universe

9. Wesley Snipes

Actor | Blade

Wesley Trent Snipes was born in Orlando, Florida, to Maryann (Long), a teacher's assistant, and Wesley Rudolph Snipes, an aircraft engineer. He grew up on the streets of the South Bronx in New York City, where he very early decided that the theater was to be his career. He attended the High School ...

as Blade

10. Patrick Stewart

Actor | Logan

Sir Patrick Stewart was born in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England, to Gladys (Barrowclough), a textile worker and weaver, and Alfred Stewart, who was in the army. He was a member of various local drama groups from about age 12. He left school at age 15 to work as a junior reporter on a local paper; he ...

Professor Charles Xavier

11. Ian McKellen

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors, both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (...

as Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto

12. Scarlett Johansson

Actress | Her

Scarlett Johansson was born in New York City. Her mother, Melanie Sloan, is from a Jewish family from the Bronx, and her father, Karsten Johansson, is a Danish-born architect, from Copenhagen. She has a sister, Vanessa Johansson, who is also an actress, a brother, Adrian, a twin brother, Hunter ...

as Black Widow

13. James McAvoy

Actor | Filth

McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a nurse, and James McAvoy senior, a bus driver. He was raised on a housing estate in Drumchapel, Glasgow by his maternal grandparents (James, a butcher, and Mary), after his parents divorced when James was 7. He ...

Professor Charles Xavier

14. Hugh Jackman

Actor | Les Misérables

Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film ...

Wolverine

15. Alan Cumming

Actor | The Anniversary Party

Alan Cumming was born on January 27, 1965, in Aberfeldy, Scotland, to Mary (Darling), an insurance company secretary, and Alex Cumming. His family lived nearby in Dunkeld, where his father was a forester for Atholl Estate. The family (including his brother, Tom) moved to Fassfern near Fort William,...

Nightcrawler

16. Shawn Ashmore

Actor | X2

Shawn Robert Ashmore was born one minute after his twin brother Aaron in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, on October 7, 1979. He is the son of Linda, a homemaker, and Rick Ashmore, a manufacturing engineer. By the age of seven, when their mother became a part of the Multiple Births Association ...

Not the greatest actor but still pretty good as Iceman in X-Men through X-2.

17. Eric Bana

Actor | Munich

Eric Bana was born Eric Banadinovic on August 9, 1968, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is the younger of two brothers. His father, named Ivan Banadinovic, came from Zagreb, Croatia, and worked as a manager for Caterpillar Inc. His mother, named Eleanor Banadinovic, came from a German family ...

The Hulk, there was a lot of stuff wrong with the Ang Lee Hulk film but he still gave a terrific performance and he's a seriously underrated actor.

18. Edward Norton

Actor | Primal Fear

American actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Columbia, Maryland.

His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (Rouse), was a foundation executive and teacher of English, and a daughter of famed real estate developer ...

Hulk, he was very good in The Hulk reboot and I wish he'd been in The Avengers as well.

19. Anna Paquin

Actress | The Piano

Anna Paquin is the first millennial to have received an Academy Award nomination for acting, and the first to win.

She was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, in 1982, to Mary (Brophy), an English teacher from Wellington, New Zealand, and Brian Paquin, a Canadian phys-ed teacher. Anna moved to her ...

Rogue, glad she's back for Days of Future Past.

20. Christian Bale

Actor | The Dark Knight

Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Charles Howard Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different ...

Batman, people make fun of the voice he used for Batman but overall he got the whole dual Bruce Wayne and Batman identities down on screen better than anyone except maybe Kevin Conroy.

21. Henry Cavill

Actor | Man of Steel

Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill was born on the Bailiwick of Jersey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands. His mother, Marianne (Dalgliesh), a housewife, was also born on Jersey, and is of Irish, Scottish and English ancestry. Henry's father, Colin Richard Cavill, a stockbroker, is of ...

Superman, he gave a pretty good performance in Man of Steel and definitely looked the part even though the movie was a little disappointing. I hope he continues to do well as an actor

22. Bruce Lee

Actor | Meng long guo jiang

Bruce Lee remains the greatest icon of martial arts cinema and a key figure of modern popular media. Had it not been for Bruce Lee and his movies in the early 1970s, it's arguable whether or not the martial arts film genre would have ever penetrated and influenced mainstream North American and ...

as Kato in 1960's Green Hornet.

23. Chris Hemsworth

Actor | The Avengers

Chris Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Leonie (van Os), a teacher of English, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counselor. His brothers are actors Liam Hemsworth and Luke Hemsworth. He is of Dutch (from his immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, Scottish, and German ...

as Thor

24. Jeremy Renner

Actor | The Hurt Locker

Jeremy Lee Renner was born in Modesto, California, the son of Valerie (Tague) and Lee Renner, who managed a bowling alley. After a tumultuous yet happy childhood with his four younger siblings, Renner graduated from Beyer High School and attended Modesto Junior College. He explored several areas of...

as Hawkeye

25. Tobey Maguire

Actor | Brothers

Tobias Vincent Maguire was born in Santa Monica, California. His parents were 18 and 20, and not yet married, when he was born. His mother, Wendy (Brown), did advertising, publicity, and acting in Hollywood for years as she coached and managed Tobey. His father, Vincent Maguire, was a cook and ...

as Spider-Man in 2002 Spider-Man.

26. George Newbern

Actor | Scandal

George Newbern was born on December 30, 1964 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA as George Young Newbern. He is an actor, known for Scandal (2012), Father of the Bride (1991) and Father of the Bride Part II (1995). He has been married to Marietta DePrima since 1990. They have three children.

as Superman in DC Animated Universe

27. Michael Rosenbaum

Actor | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Michael Rosenbaum was born on July 11, 1972 in Oceanside, New York, USA as Michael Owen Rosenbaum. He is an actor and producer, known for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Smallville (2001) and Sweet November (2001).

as The Flash III/Wally West in DC Animated Universe

28. Phil LaMarr

Actor | Pulp Fiction

A Los Angeles native, Phil is a graduate of Harvard-Westlake School, Yale University and The Groundlings Theater and is perhaps best known as one of the original cast members of MADtv (1995) and as Marvin in Pulp Fiction (1994).

In addition to numerous appearances on stages across the country, in ...

as John Stewart/Green Lantern in DC Animated Universe

29. Susan Eisenberg

Actress | Injustice 2

Susan Eisenberg was born on August 21, 1964 in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. She is an actress, known for Injustice 2 (2017).

as Wonder Woman in DC Animated Universe

30. Carl Lumbly

Actor | Men of Honor

From stage to screen, Carl Lumbly is an actor respected for his steadfast talent, versatility and class. His prolific career includes over 50 credits in television, film and the theatre and extensive critical acclaim.

He portrayed CIA agent 'Marcus Dixon,' the gentle, mild-mannered field partner to ...

as J'onn J'onzz/Martian Manhunter in DC Animated Universe

31. Serinda Swan

Actress | Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Serinda Swan was born on July 11, 1984 in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to an actress mother and theatre director father. She always had her eye on acting. Her mother would frequently take her on set, when she was little. When she was three years old, she starred in her first motion ...

as Zatanna on Smallville

32. Lou Ferrigno

Actor | The Incredible Hulk

An internationally famous and well respected bodybuilder / actor, Lou Ferrigno first appeared on TV screens in 1977 as the musclebound The Incredible Hulk (1978), the alter ego of meek scientist Bruce Banner. Ferrigno was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1951 and as a child suffered from an ear ...

as The Incredible Hulk

33. Bill Bixby

Actor | The Incredible Hulk

The son of a sales clerk and a department store owner, Bill Bixby was the sixth-generation Californian born as Wilfred Bailey Bixby, on January 22, 1934, in San Francisco, California. An only child growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, he attended schools in the same area, took ballroom dance lessons,...

as Dr. David Banner in 1970's and 1980's Incredible Hulk series and TV movies.

34. Rainn Wilson

Actor | The Office

Rainn Wilson lives in Los Angeles with his wife, fiction writer Holiday Reinhorn (Big Cats), and his son, Walter McKenzie Wilson who was born in 2004. He grew up in Seattle, Washington but graduated from New Trier H.S. in Winnetka, Illinois. After attending both Tufts University and the University ...

as The Crimson Bolt

35. Lee Majors

Actor | The Six Million Dollar Man

Lee Majors was born on April 23, 1939 in Wyandotte, Michigan, USA as Harvey Lee Yeary. He is known for his work on The Six Million Dollar Man (1974), Scrooged (1988) and The Fall Guy (1981). He has been married to Faith Majors since November 9, 2002. He was previously married to Karen Velez, Farrah...

as Col. Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man

36. Lindsay Wagner

Actress | The Bionic Woman

Lindsay Wagner makes little distinction between her life as an actress, advocate, mother or author. What unites these various parts is a commitment through her work and her personal life to exploring and advancing human potential.

Lindsay first came to prominence in the critically-acclaimed role of ...

as The Bionic Woman

37. Samuel L. Jackson

Actor | Pulp Fiction

Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), ...

as Col. Nick Fury in Iron Man films and The Avengers.

38. Famke Janssen

Actress | X-Men: The Last Stand

Famke was born in Holland, where she began her professional career as a model. She later moved to the United States, where she has made her home since 1984. Initially settling in New York, she majored in writing and literature at Columbia University and studied acting with Harold Guskin. She then ...

as Dr. Jean Grey/Pheonix

39. Kris Kristofferson

Actor | Blade

Kris Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, to Mary Ann (Ashbrook) and Lars Henry Kristofferson. His paternal grandparents were Swedish, and his father was a United States Air Force general who pushed his son to a military career. Kris was a Golden Gloves boxer and went to Pomona College in ...

as Abraham Whistler, not exactly a superhero but he's still awesome in Blade.

40. Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Actor | Kick-Ass

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is an English stage, television, and film actor.

He was born Aaron Perry Johnson in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, to Sarah and Robert Johnson, a civil engineer. He has a sister, Gemma Johnson, who had a small role in his movie Tom & Thomas (2002). Aaron is of ...

as Kick-Ass and soon to appear as Quicksilver in The Avengers: Age of Ultron.

41. Nicolas Cage

Actor | Face/Off

Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola in Long Beach, California, the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (whose brother is director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang. He is of Italian (father) and Polish, German, and English (mother) descent. Cage ...

Normally I don't care for his acting and Ghost Rider was mediocre at best but when he calms down he can give a balanced, pretty good performance like his role as Big Daddy in Kick-Ass.

42. Ben Stiller

Producer | Zoolander

Benjamin Edward Meara Stiller was born on November 30, 1965, in New York City, New York, to legendary comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. His father is of Austrian Jewish and Polish Jewish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry (she converted to Judaism).

It's not surprising that Ben has ...

Mr. Furious, not a fan of him either but he was good in Mystery Men.

43. Wes Studi

Actor | The Last of the Mohicans

From small-town Oklahoma native to internationally acclaimed actor and musician, Wes Studi credits his passion and multi-faceted background for his powerful character portrayals that forever changed a Hollywood stereotype. Within a few years of his arrival in Hollywood, Studi caught the attention ...

As The Sphinx in Mystery Men.

44. Hank Azaria

Actor | The Simpsons

Hank Azaria was born on April 25, 1964 in Queens, New York City, New York, USA as Henry Albert Azaria. He is an actor, known for The Simpsons (1989), Free Agents (2011) and The Birdcage (1996). He was previously married to Helen Hunt.

as The Blue Rajah in Mystery Men.

45. Janeane Garofalo

Actress | Ratatouille

Janeane, the petite woman with the acerbic wit, was born in Newton, New Jersey, in 1964, to Joan, a secretary, and Carmine Garofalo, an Exxon executive. She is of Italian and Irish descent. Janeane had many jobs before breaking into show biz. She worked as a bike messenger, a shoe salesperson, ...

as The Bowler in Mystery Men.

46. Greg Kinnear

Actor | As Good as It Gets

Greg Kinnear was born on June 17, 1963, in Logansport, Indiana, USA to Edward Kinnear, a career diplomat with the US State Department, and Suzanne (Buck) Kinnear, a homemaker. Greg has two brothers--James, vice president-investments at Wachovia Securities in Arizona who was born in 1957, and Steve,...

Not in the movie very long but still hilarious in a cameo as Capt. Amazing in Mystery Men.

47. Paul Reubens

Actor | Pee-wee's Playhouse

Paul Reubens was born Paul Rubenfeld on August 27, 1952 in Peekskill, New York, to Judy (Rosen), a teacher, and Milton Rubenfeld, a car salesman who had flown for the air forces of the U.S., U.K., and Israel, becoming one of the latter country's pioneering pilots. Paul grew up in Sarasota, Florida,...

as The Spleen in Mystery Men, a superhero with flatulence as his (surprisingly effective) superpower.

48. Geoffrey Rush

Actor | Shakespeare in Love

Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. ...

as Baron Casanova Frankenstein, technically a supervillain but still great in Mystery Men.

49. Jennifer Lawrence

Actress | The Hunger Games

Was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2015 and 2016. With her films grossing over $5.5 billion worldwide, Jennifer Lawrence is often cited as the most successful actor of her generation. She is also thus far the only person born in the 1990s to have won an acting Oscar.

Jennifer Shrader ...

Mystique