Sometimes an actor becomes so associated with a particular role that it’s hard to imagine anyone else ever played the same part. Yet even some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood history were played by someone else before and/or after the role became famous. (Read about actors who turned down iconic roles.)
FTo determine a list of different actors who who have played the same character, 24/7 Tempo drew on information from the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) as well as rankings from other sources and media sites such as The New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, Hollywood Reporter, and Variety. This does not purport to be a definitive list. TV movies and series as well as Broadway musicals were excluded. Only movies with the same or very similar plot were considered, which is why movies from the James Bond, Star Trek, or X-Men franchises, among others, were excluded.
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Anthony Perkins portraying Norman Bates in “Psycho.” However, Vince Vaughn picked up the gauntlet in a reboot 38 years after the original. Rosalind Russell made many memorable film appearances, but the one she might be most famous for is her portrayal of the indomitable libertine socialite “Mame.” TV megastar Lucille Ball tried her hand at the motion-picture role 16 years later in 1974. (These are actors who are always typecast.)
Charlton Heston was the most famous Judah Ben-Hur in the epic “Ben-Hur,” yet he was the second actor to play that role in a full-length movie after Raymond Novarro in 1925. Heston wouldn’t be the last. as Jack Huston slipped on the sandals for the role in 2016. Humphrey Bogart embodied the cynical, gumshoe Sam Spade in “The Maltese Falcon” in 1941, but Ricardo Cortez played the hardboiled detective on the screen 10 years prior.
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