AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains is a list of the one-hundred greatest screen characters (fifty each in the hero and villain categories) as chosen by the American Film Institute in June 2003. It is part of the AFI 100 Years... series. The list was first presented in a CBS special hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The presentation programme was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special.[1]

AFI 100 Years... series
1998100 Movies
1999100 Stars
2000100 Laughs
2001100 Thrills
2002100 Passions
2003100 Heroes & Villains
2004100 Songs
2005100 Movie Quotes
200525 Scores
2006100 Cheers
200625 Musicals
2007100 Movies (Updated)
2008AFI's 10 Top 10

The list


Rank Hero Actor Film Year Notes
1. Atticus Finch Gregory Peck To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 Loosely based upon the father of Harper Lee
2. Indiana Jones Harrison Ford Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981
3. James Bond Sean Connery Dr. No 1962
4. Rick Blaine Humphrey Bogart Casablanca 1942
5. Will Kane Gary Cooper High Noon 1952
6. Clarice Starling Jodie Foster The Silence of the Lambs 1991
7. Rocky Balboa Sylvester Stallone Rocky 1976
8. Ellen Ripley Sigourney Weaver Aliens 1986
9. George Bailey James Stewart It's a Wonderful Life 1946
10. T. E. Lawrence Peter O'Toole Lawrence of Arabia 1962 Historical figure
11. Jefferson Smith James Stewart Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939
12. Tom Joad Henry Fonda The Grapes of Wrath 1940
13. Oskar Schindler Liam Neeson Schindler's List 1993 Historical figure
14. Han Solo Harrison Ford Star Wars 1977
15. Norma Rae Webster Sally Field Norma Rae 1979 Based upon southern mill worker Crystal Lee Sutton
16. Shane Alan Ladd Shane 1953
17. Harry Callahan Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry 1971
18. Robin Hood Errol Flynn The Adventures of Robin Hood 1938
19. Virgil Tibbs Sidney Poitier In the Heat of the Night 1967
20. Butch Cassidy
and the Sundance Kid
Paul Newman
and Robert Redford
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969 Historical figures
21. Mahatma Gandhi Ben Kingsley Gandhi 1982 Historical figure
22. Spartacus Kirk Douglas Spartacus 1960 Historical figure
23. Terry Malloy Marlon Brando On the Waterfront 1954
24. Thelma Dickinson and Louise Sawyer Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon Thelma & Louise 1991
25. Lou Gehrig Gary Cooper The Pride of the Yankees 1942 Historical figure
26. Superman Christopher Reeve Superman 1978
27. Bob Woodward
and Carl Bernstein
Robert Redford
and Dustin Hoffman
All the President's Men 1976 Historical figures
28. Juror #8 Henry Fonda 12 Angry Men 1957
29. General George Patton George C. Scott Patton 1970 Historical figure
30. Lucas (Luke) Jackson Paul Newman Cool Hand Luke 1967
31. Erin Brockovich Julia Roberts Erin Brockovich 2000 Historical figure
32. Philip Marlowe Humphrey Bogart The Big Sleep 1946
33. Marge Gunderson Frances McDormand Fargo 1996
34. Tarzan Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan the Ape Man 1932
35. Alvin York Gary Cooper Sergeant York 1941 Historical figure
36. Rooster Cogburn John Wayne True Grit 1969
37. Obi-Wan Kenobi Alec Guinness Star Wars 1977
38. The Tramp Charlie Chaplin City Lights 1931
39. Lassie Pal Lassie Come Home 1943
40. Frank Serpico Al Pacino Serpico 1973 Historical figure
41. Arthur Chipping Robert Donat Goodbye, Mr. Chips 1939
42. Father Edward Spencer Tracy Boys Town 1938 Historical figure
43. Moses Charlton Heston The Ten Commandments 1956 Biblical figure
44. Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle Gene Hackman The French Connection 1971 Based upon New York City Police Detective Eddie Egan
45. Zorro Tyrone Power The Mark of Zorro 1940
46. Batman Michael Keaton Batman 1989
47. Karen Silkwood Meryl Streep Silkwood 1983 Historical figure
48. Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991
49. Andrew Beckett Tom Hanks Philadelphia 1993 Loosely based upon Geoffrey Bowers
50. General Maximus Decimus Meridius Russell Crowe Gladiator 2000


Rank Villain Actor Film Year Notes
1. Dr. Hannibal Lecter Anthony Hopkins The Silence of the Lambs 1991
2. Norman Bates Anthony Perkins Psycho 1960 Loosely based upon killer Ed Gein
3. Darth Vader David Prowse (voiced by James Earl Jones) The Empire Strikes Back 1980
4. The Wicked Witch of the West Margaret Hamilton The Wizard of Oz 1939
5. Nurse Ratched Louise Fletcher One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975
6. Mr. Potter Lionel Barrymore It's a Wonderful Life 1946
7. Alex Forrest Glenn Close Fatal Attraction 1987
8. Phyllis Dietrichson Barbara Stanwyck Double Indemnity 1944
9. Regan MacNeil (as possessed by demon "Pazuzu") Linda Blair (voiced by Mercedes McCambridge) The Exorcist 1973
10. The Evil Queen Voice of Lucille La Verne Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1937
11. Michael Corleone Al Pacino The Godfather Part II 1974
12. Alex DeLarge Malcolm McDowell A Clockwork Orange 1971
13. HAL 9000 Voice of Douglas Rain 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
14. The Alien Bolaji Badejo Alien 1979
15. Amon Goeth Ralph Fiennes Schindler's List 1993 Historical figure
16. Noah Cross John Huston Chinatown 1974
17. Annie Wilkes Kathy Bates Misery 1990
18. The Shark "Bruce"[2] Jaws 1975
19. Captain Bligh Charles Laughton Mutiny on the Bounty 1935 Historical figure
20. "Man" N/A (the character is offscreen only) Bambi 1942
21. Mrs. Eleanor Iselin Angela Lansbury The Manchurian Candidate 1962
22. Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger The Terminator 1984
23. Eve Harrington Anne Baxter All About Eve 1950
24. Gordon Gekko Michael Douglas Wall Street 1987
25. Jack Torrance Jack Nicholson The Shining 1980
26. Cody Jarrett James Cagney White Heat 1949
27. Martians Various The War of the Worlds 1953
28. Max Cady Robert Mitchum Cape Fear 1962
29. Reverend Harry Powell Robert Mitchum The Night of the Hunter 1955 Loosely based upon Harry Powers
30. Travis Bickle Robert De Niro Taxi Driver 1976 Loosely based upon Arthur Bremer and Lee Harvey Oswald
31. Mrs. Danvers Judith Anderson Rebecca 1940
32. Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway Bonnie and Clyde 1967 Historical figures
33. Count Dracula Bela Lugosi Dracula 1931
34. Dr. Szell Laurence Olivier Marathon Man 1976
35. J.J. Hunsecker Burt Lancaster Sweet Smell of Success 1957 Based upon columnist Walter Winchell
36. Frank Booth Dennis Hopper Blue Velvet 1986
37. Harry Lime Orson Welles The Third Man 1949
38. Caesar Enrico Bandello Edward G. Robinson Little Caesar 1931
39. Cruella De Vil Voice by Betty Lou Gerson One Hundred and One Dalmatians 1961
40. Freddy Krueger Robert Englund A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984
41. Joan Crawford Faye Dunaway Mommie Dearest 1981 Historical figure
42. Tom Powers James Cagney The Public Enemy 1931
43. Regina Giddens Bette Davis The Little Foxes 1941
44. Baby Jane Hudson Bette Davis What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 1962
45. The Joker Jack Nicholson Batman 1989
46. Hans Gruber Alan Rickman Die Hard 1988
47. Tony Camonte Paul Muni Scarface 1932 Loosely based upon Al Capone
48. Roger "Verbal" Kint (Keyser Söze) Kevin Spacey The Usual Suspects 1995
49. Auric Goldfinger Gert Fröbe (voiced by Michael Collins) Goldfinger 1964
50. Detective Alonzo Harris Denzel Washington Training Day 2001

The characters

The actors


  1. ^ The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
  2. ^ Jackson, Nicholas. "Shark Week: Remembering Bruce, the Mechanical Shark in 'Jaws'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 August 2012.

External links

Clarice Starling

Clarice M. Starling is a fictional character who appears in the novels The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal by Thomas Harris.

In the film adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, she was played by Jodie Foster, while in the film adaptation of Hannibal, she was played by Julianne Moore.

Clarice Starling, as portrayed by Foster, was ranked the sixth greatest protagonist in film history on AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains, making her the highest-ranking heroine. In 1991, for her portrayal of Starling she also received the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Geronimo (1939 film)

Geronimo is a 1939 western and adventure film released in the United States starring Chief Thundercloud as Geronimo, the famous leader of Apache warriors who fought against American colonizers. It was directed by western director Paul Sloane. This is the first film depiction of Geronimo's life.

Hop-Along Cassidy

Hop-Along Cassidy (reissued as Hopalong Cassidy Enters) is a 1935 American Western film that features the character Hop-Along Cassidy created by writer Clarence E. Mulford. This is the first of 66 Hopalong Cassidy films produced between 1935 and 1948 and all starring William Boyd in the title role. William Boyd was originally offered the role of Buck Peters, the ranch foreman, but he decided to take the role of Hop-Along instead.

In the Company of Men

In the Company of Men is a 1997 Canadian/American black comedy written and directed by Neil LaBute and starring Aaron Eckhart, Matt Malloy, and Stacy Edwards. The film, which was adapted from a play written by LaBute, and served as his feature film debut, won him the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.The film revolves around two male coworkers, Chad and Howard, who, angry and frustrated with women in general, plot to toy maliciously with the emotions of a deaf female subordinate. It was first written as a play, which debuted at Brigham Young University in December 1992, and received a 1993 Drama AML Award from the Association for Mormon Letters.

Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle

Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle is a fictional character portrayed by actor Gene Hackman in the films The French Connection (1971) and its sequel, French Connection II (1975), and by Ed O'Neill in the 1986 television film Popeye Doyle. Hackman won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in The French Connection. The character is based on a real-life New York City police detective, Eddie Egan, who also appeared in the film as Walt Simonson, Doyle's supervisor. Doyle, as played by Hackman in The French Connection, is ranked number 44 as a hero on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains list.

Keyser Söze

Keyser Söze ( KY-zər SOH-zay) is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the 1995 film The Usual Suspects, written by Christopher McQuarrie and directed by Bryan Singer. According to petty con artist Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), Söze is a crime lord whose ruthlessness and influence have acquired a legendary, even mythical, status among police and criminals alike. Further events in the story make these accounts unreliable, and, in a twist ending, a police sketch identifies Kint and Söze as one and the same. The character was inspired by real life murderer John List and the spy thriller No Way Out, which featured a shadowy KGB mole.

The character has placed in numerous "best villain" lists over the years, including AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains. Spacey won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, turning him from a character actor into a star. Since the release of the film, the character has become synonymous with infamous criminals. Analysis of the character has focused on the ambiguity of his true identity and whether he even exists inside the story's reality. Though the filmmakers have preferred to leave the character's nature to viewer interpretation, Singer has said he believes Kint and Söze are the same person.

Marquis St. Evrémonde

The Marquis St. Evrémonde is a fictional character in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.

Mr. Potter

Henry F. Potter (commonly referred to as "Mr. Potter" or just "Potter") is a fictional character and the main antagonist in the 1946 Frank Capra film It's a Wonderful Life. He occupies slot #6 on the American Film Institute's list of the 50 Greatest Villains in American film history (in its 2003 list entitled AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains). Mr. Potter was portrayed by veteran actor Lionel Barrymore.

Phyllis Dietrichson

Phyllis Dietrichson (Phyllis Nirdlinger, in the book) is a fictional character in the book and two film adaptations of James M. Cain's novella Double Indemnity. In the 1944 production, she was played by Barbara Stanwyck.

Stanwyck was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film version. Stanwyck's portrayal of Dietrichson is considered one of the best Femme fatale roles in Film noir history.The character was ranked as the #8 film villain of the first 100 years of American cinema by the American Film Institute in the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains.

Randle McMurphy

Randle Patrick "Mac" McMurphy (also known as R.P. McMurphy) is the protagonist of Ken Kesey's novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962). He appears in the stage and film adaptations of the novel as well. Jack Nicholson portrayed Randle Patrick McMurphy in the film adaption, earning him an Academy Award for Best Actor. He was nominated on the "Heroes" list of AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains, but did not make the final list. He was ranked by film magazine Empire as the 61st Greatest Movie Character of All Time.


Serpico is a 1973 American neo-noir biographical crime film directed by Sidney Lumet, and starring Al Pacino. Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler wrote the screenplay, adapting Peter Maas's biography of NYPD officer Frank Serpico, who went undercover to expose corruption in the police force. Both Maas's book and the film cover 12 years, 1960 to 1972.The film and principals were nominated for numerous awards, earning recognition for its score, direction, screenplay, and Pacino's performance. The film was also a commercial success.

Stella Dallas (1937 film)

Stella Dallas is a 1937 American drama film based on the Olive Higgins Prouty novel of the same name. It was directed by King Vidor, and stars Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, and Anne Shirley. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role.A 1925 silent film version is Stella Dallas, starring Ronald Colman and Belle Bennett. A 1990 version is Stella, with Bette Midler and Stephen Collins.

Swimming with Sharks

Swimming with Sharks (also known as The Boss and Buddy Factor) is a 1994 American comedy-drama film written and directed by George Huang and starring Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley and Michelle Forbes.

The Black Camel (film)

The Black Camel is a 1931 American pre-Code mystery film directed by Hamilton MacFadden based on the novel of the same name by Earl Derr Biggers. It is the second film to star Warner Oland as detective Charlie Chan, and the sole surviving title of the first five Chan films starring Oland. The Black Camel marked the film debut of Robert Young.

The Lone Ranger (1956 film)

The Lone Ranger is a 1956 Western film based on The Lone Ranger television series, starring Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels. The Lone Ranger was the first of two theatrical features based on the popular TV series of the same name; the other one being The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958), which was Bonita Granville's last film appearance. She retired from the screen to marry Jack Wrather.

The Return of Rin Tin Tin

The Return of Rin Tin Tin is a 1947 American drama film directed by Max Nosseck and written by Jack DeWitt. The film stars Rin Tin Tin III, Donald Woods, Robert Blake, Claudia Drake, Steve Pendleton and Earle Hodgins. The film was released on November 1, 1947, by Eagle-Lion Films.

The Scarlet Letter (1926 film)

The Scarlet Letter is a 1926 American drama film, based on the book by the same name, and directed by Victor Sjöström. Louis B. Mayer was reluctant on using Miss Gish, fearing opposition from church groups. The film was announced as "It's a real 'A' picture", taking advantage of the 'A' for Adultery. Prints of the film survive in the MGM/United Artists film archives and the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Walking Tall (1973 film)

Walking Tall is a 1973 American action semi-biopic film of Sheriff Buford Pusser, a professional wrestler-turned-lawman in McNairy County, Tennessee. It stars Joe Don Baker as Pusser. The film was directed by Phil Karlson. Based on Pusser's life, it has become a cult classic with two direct sequels of its own, a TV movie, a brief TV series and a remake that had its own two sequels.

Young Tom Edison

Young Tom Edison is a 1940 biographical film about the early life of inventor Thomas Edison, with Mickey Rooney in the title role. The film was the first of a complementary pair of Edison biopics that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer released in 1940. Edison, the Man starring Spencer Tracy soon followed to complete the two-part story of Edison's life.The film had a special preview on February 10, 1940 in Port Huron, Michigan, the place where Thomas Edison spent his childhood.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.