So, in my last article, I wrote out a ranking of the actors to have played Batman. This time, I decided to rank the Jokers. Yes, I know that this list is smaller, the Joker is the most known of the Batman villains and is arguably the most criticized villain when a new actor gets selected to play the role. Unlike the Batman article, Cesar Romero, but the late 1960s Batman will be included in my ranking. Of course, a HUGE shoutout goes out to Mark Hamill, who was the voice of the prince of Crime on the Batman: The Animated Series. Another missing actor to dawn the paint of the Joker, Cameron Monaghan. Played the joker on Fox’s Gotham, and honestly would love for him to portray the prince of crime. Now, when I wrote the article about Batman, the start of the list was the easy part, while in this article, the top of the list was much more difficult to decide on. Anyways……
Please note, I will discuss each actor in which they appeared, not my ranking until the end.Embed from Getty Images
Cesar Romero – In late 1960, Cesar Romero dawned the paint of the Joker both on the small and big screen. Not really known by me of course, a lot of people including my grandfather and other people I’ve spoken with have said, this is their joker. People absolutely loved Romero, and honestly, I have watched a bunch of the late 1960 Batman’s, including the movie, and he was absolutely amazing, from his laugh to his jokes, he was a true jokester.Embed from Getty Images
Jack Nicholson– In 1989, Batman would return to the big screen with a new actor rocking the clown makeup. Jack Nicholson was selected to play the Crime Prince. With director Tim Burton in charge, he did a GREAT job selecting Nicholson for the role. Bringing Batman back to the big screen in 1989, it was a big deal for Burton to get the actor perfect. As previously stated in my “RANKING BATMAN” article, Burton had a lot of pressure to bring Batman to the big screen. Especially when casting Batman and his biggest nemesis Joker. Nicholson wasn’t just great, there was absolutely ZERO issues. Between his laugh and his crime style. After Jack, it was not going to be easy to be the next Joker.
Heath Ledger – One of the best and saddest stories of them all, Heath Ledger was selected by Christopher Nolan in 2008 to play the jokester. Ledger was known for spending months turning into the role and it showed on the screen. From the very start of The Dark Knight, you knew exactly how great his role was going to be. For those who don’t know, the first time we see Ledger in the movie, he is actually honoring Cesar Romero.
From that point forward in the movie, he was hands down, the best performer on the screen. Sadly, after his role as Joker, 8 months before Dark Night was released, Ledger was found dead in an NYC apartment. Some people claim that he overdosed on drugs he used to get ready for the Joker role. Of course, I am not one to comment on it, but his joker point of view needed at least another movie or two.
Jared Leto – Woof, what can I say. The hype leading the suicide squad movie was pretty high on the DC list. Especially when David Ayer, selected Leto for the role of the Joker. Now, during the lead up for the movie, Leto made his role known as the joker. Posting on social media didn’t moments of his preparation such as cutting his well-known long hair. He also even died his new look with green for his hair. He even posted a famous Joker image holding an old camera from Batman: The Killing Joke.
The hope was super high, unfortunately, the role just wasn’t a fit. NOW, don’t get me wrong, a lot of me people including Ayers and Leto, has said there is a lot of unseen footage of Leto in the role. Hopefully, with HBO Max releasing the Snyder cut of Justice League, they will allow Ayer to release the longer cut of suicide squad.
Joaquin Phoenix – WOW, all I can say is WOW. What a performance by Joaquin Phoenix. This list was pretty simple to make before Joker was released in the fall of 2019. From the moment. Joaquin Phoenix is one of my absolute favorite actors and for him to take on a difficult role, he was amazing. From the start of the finish of the film, he was a perfect fit for the role. My absolute favorite part of the movie, despite knowing that he would eventually become the Joker, he didn’t portray the prince of darkness until just about the end of the movie. This was the absolute perfect backstory first movie. With the fact that they have already started writing Joker 2, I can’t wait to see what Phillips and Phoenix come up with.
So now the moment of truth, the hardest part of the article. Ranking the 5 actors who have portrayed the prince of darkness. Just like in my Ranking Batman Actors article, I will tell you my least 2 first, Leto is my 5th best while Romero is number 4. With that being said, Phoenix is number 3 on my list. Like I said, I’m very much looking forward to seeing the 2nd film and can’t wait to see where it goes. For the longest time, Nicholson was known as the Joker, even when Ledger played the Joker, Nicholson was my own on-screen Joker. However, I can watch Dark Knight at least 1st a week every week. Ledger gave an absolute legendary performance and will be the best Joker!
- Heath Ledger
- Jack Nicholson
- Joaquin Phoenix
- Cesar Romero
- Jared Leto