All 8 Joker Actors, Ranked From Clown Show to Timeless Icon
Batman's number one enemy has been played by a lot of famous actors, but who has done the best job?
The Joker is one of Batman's main enemies, a thunderstorm of Gotham, a serial killer and a madman. The character first appeared in comic books in 1940. Since then, famous actors have often embodied his image on the screen: bright makeup, an unusual costume and the opportunity to play such an original psychopath attract the most charismatic actors.
8. Nathan Dashwood
Nathan Dashwood portrayed the Joker in flashback episodes of The CW's Batwoman. There’s not much known about this iteration of the character, as he appeared briefly in two episodes and did not play a significant role in the series.
7. Jared Leto
Leto was supposed to play the Joker in Batman v Superman, but his role was cut from the plot. As a result, Leto’s Joker first appeared in Suicide Squad.
His Joker was very different from the past versions: he was more of a weird gangster fashionista than a crazy clown and fans were divided on his performance.
Leto did not appear as the Joker in James Gunn ’s The Suicide Squad, but returned to the role in the director's cut of Justice League.
6. Barry Keoghan
Keoghan's Joker appeared in the Batman movie with Robert Pattinson, but only in a small scene at the end of the movie. More specifically, the viewers saw him in the cut scene – Batman comes to Arkham, where the Joker is being held.
From the conversation, the fans learn that the characters are already familiar and that there is an unresolved conflict between them – presumably the Joker went to prison because of Batman.
5. Cameron Monaghan
Monaghan is not the most famous performer of the role of the Joker – he played him in the TV series Gotham. He portrayed two new versions of the character – the twins Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska.
At first, they were supposed to be the Joker's spiritual predecessors, but the show's ending suggests that one of the two brothers eventually became the famous villain.
4. Cesar Romero
There were several Batman series in the 40s, but they became especially popular in the 60s, when Bruce Wayne's main enemy appeared, played by Cesar Romero.
The actor focused on the clown image of the villain. And this is the only Joker in history who had a mustache – Romero did not want to shave it off for the role. Romero played the Joker in three seasons of the series, as well as in the 1966’s Batman: The Movie.
3. Jack Nicholson
This actor changed the usual image of the villain when he starred in Tim Burton’s Batman. Nicholson was even nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award for this role. His Joker was truly cruel and insane, not just an annoying clown.
Joaquin’s the Joker is part of the DC Extended Universe with the R-rated standalone movie. Joaquin Phoenix's Joker is a broken man with mental disabilities who turns to violence because of injustice in society. Fans loved his unexpected take on the character so much that a sequel was announced almost immediately.
1. Heath Ledger
The Joker returned to the big screen when Christopher Nolan directed The Dark Knight. Heath Ledger won an Oscar for his portrayal of the Joker, which proved to be more realistic, ruthless, and frighteningly insane.
His image set the bar high for everyone who has played the villain since, and it seems that no one has been able to top Heath's image yet.