10 actors who played serial killers

Chances are you may have seen an actor who “broke in” as a serial killer and went on to have a nice career. Some actors like Charlize Theron had a very successful career then played the serial killer. Which is cool too. The video pictured below sparked this topic. Enjoy!

Michael Rooker– You might know him as Merle from the Walking Dead, but before that he played in various roles, including the killer in The Sea of Love.

Jeremy Davies– This bad guy is known for antagonizing law dog Raylan Givens in Justified. He also played Charles Manson.

Tom Noonan– Played the serial Killer in Michael Mann’s version of Red Dragon, Manhunter. He also worked with Mann in the epic crime drama Heat.

Ted Levine– Is most known for being the captain in the hit cable series, Monk. Back in the 80s he played “Buffalo Bill” in the movie The Silence of the Lambs. Pretty chilling performance to.

Mark Harmon– Had a lot of success in the 80s and 90s on hit shows such as St. Elsewhere and NCIS. In the middle there somewhere he played Ted Bundy.

Brian Dennehy– Has had an illustrious career, mostly playing cops. He then took on the role of John Wayne Gacy.

Brian Cox/Anthony Hopkins- Both had successful careers before taking on the role of Hannibal Lecktor. While Cox did a nice job in Manhunter, Hopkins took it to a whole ‘nother level in The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon.

Ralph Fiennes– Played the part of the “tooth fairy” in Red Dragon. Personally, I like Tom Noonan’s job in Manhunter a little better.

Brad Pitt– Had a budding career before taking on the role of a serial killing “bonnie and clyde” type deal in Kalifornia. Juliette Lewis was the other half of the team.

Woody Harrelson– Was well known from Cheers and movies like White Men Can’t Jump before he took on the role of a serial Killer (alongside Juliette Lewis) in Natural Born Killers.

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3 Responses to 10 actors who played serial killers

  1. Bugboy says:

    Very interesting topic, and I have only one bone to pick here. It’s your first selection…I could be very snarky here, but because you’re good people, I won’t. πŸ™‚ If you’re talking about Michael Rooker and serial killer movies, you talk about the first movie he ever made: “Henry: Portait of a Serial Killer”. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099763/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_111 (my apologies, I don’t know how to insert the link into the text). About that movie, well, forget every other serial killer movie you’ve ever seen, and everything you’ve learned about serial killers. One of the most under-appreciated movies of all time.
    Lacking classic leading man looks and voice, but possessed of tremendous acting skill, Rooker did the best that he could with what he has: fashioned one of the great character actor careers of all time. His role in “Guardians of the Galaxy” this past summer was typical of the kind of roles he usually plays, and he brought much appreciated spice to a movie which was already very good. Like M. Emmett Walsh did, he’s become one of those actors who you’re glad to see show up in a movie, because no movie that he’s in is ever all that bad. One of my favorite actors, and “Henry” is a classic.

    • oxxo910 says:

      Very interesting. I will have to check that out. I love Michael Rooker. Ever since Tombstone. When I first started watching The Walking Dead I was like “aw, yeah”. Thanks for the insight!

  2. Bugboy says:

    A few other notes:
    Jeremy Davies. To this day, the only thing I’ve seen him in (that I can remember at least) is Saving Private Ryan. I went back and forth between having some sympathy for him and despising him as Cpl. Upham.

    Ah, “Manhunter”. To this day, just as there are still people who use updated open versions of IBM’s O/S2 operating system, so too are there people who will swear up and down that Mann’s version of “Red Dragon” is superior to all of Anthony Hopkins Lecktor vehicles. This is true movie geekism at its finest. I personally know two people in this camp, and they feel this way even while acknowledging how great the Hopkins movies were. Always a fun movie debate.

    Finally, while Ted Levine was great as Buffalo Bill, Mark Harmon as Ted Bundy was…well, let’s just say I feel much better about the two of them when my mental image of them is as Alan Shepard and Wally Schirra, respectively, in “From the Earth to the Moon.” πŸ™‚

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