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

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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

AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes & 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 program was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special.[1]


The jurors were limited to feature-length (at least 60 minutes), narrative, English-language films with significant financial and/or creative backing from the United States. All characters, whether hero or villain, were to "have made a mark on American society in matters of style and substance" and "elicit strong reactions across time, enriching America’s film heritage while continuing to inspire contemporary artists and audiences".[2]

The list[edit]


The AFI defines a hero as "a character(s) who prevails in extreme circumstances and dramatizes a sense of morality, courage and purpose. Though they may be ambiguous or flawed, they often sacrifice themselves to show humanity at its best."[2]

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

Meryl Streep

Silkwood 1983 Historical figure; nominated for Academy Award
48 The Terminator Und. Arnold Schwarzenegger (1) Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 Character also appears on Villains list.[a]
49 Andrew Beckett Male Tom Hanks Philadelphia 1993 Loosely based upon Geoffrey Bowers; received Academy Award for performance
50 General Maximus Decimus Meridius Male Russell Crowe Gladiator 2000 Received Academy Award


The AFI defines a Villain as "a character(s) whose wickedness of mind, selfishness of character and will to power are sometimes masked by beauty and nobility, while others may rage unmasked. They can be horribly evil or grandiosely funny but are ultimately tragic."[2]

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


  1. ^ a b Within the films, these are different but physically identical characters, both played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  2. ^ Specifically, the hunter who shot and killed Bambi's mother.
  3. ^ The character does not speak or appear on screen.


  1. ^ The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards
  2. ^ a b c "AFI's 100 YEARS…100 HEROES & VILLAINS". American Film Institute. Retrieved 2021-05-09.
  3. ^ Jackson, Nicholas (3 August 2011). "Shark Week: Remembering Bruce, the Mechanical Shark in 'Jaws'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  4. ^ Razzie Awards: The Movies That Won The Most Razzies - The Delite

External links[edit]