DVD Release Date11 Best Joker Performances: Iconic Characters in 2023

11 Best Joker Performances: Iconic Characters in 2023

11 Best Joker Performances: Iconic Characters in 2023

Who do you think rocked the role of Joker in the Batman films, animated series, and video games? The character of Joker is known for its ever-changing portrayals and wild costumes. Throughout the years, talented actors have stepped into this iconic character’s shoes, bringing their own unique twist and breathing life into the role. This has resulted in some of the most epic Batman movies and a variety of beloved versions of Batman and his villains among fans.

Some unforgettable actors who have nailed the live-action portrayal of Joker include Heath Ledger, who blew us away with his mind-blowing performance in The Dark Knight, Jared Leto’s creepy and chilling take in Suicide Squad, and the legendary Jack Nicholson in Batman. And let’s not forget Cesar Romero, who was the first Joker in Batman: The Movie.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! Joker has also been brought to life through the voices of talented actors in animated series and video games. Mark Hamill, the iconic Luke Skywalker, lent his incredible voice to the character in Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Action. Meanwhile, Jeff Bennett brought his own unique spin to Joker’s voice in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Even in the Lego movies, Joker made a splash!

With such a diverse range of actors and voice actors taking on the role of Joker across different mediums, we’ve witnessed some truly brilliant performances and a few that missed the mark. Now, it’s your turn to be the judge and decide who played Joker like a boss. Take a look at the list of Joker actors below and vote for the ones you think aced the role or had you entertained to the max. And if you believe a certain actor didn’t quite hit the mark, feel free to give them a thumbs down.

1. Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger gave an amazing performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight, completely redefining the character. Fans and critics were blown away by his hauntingly brilliant portrayal, which went beyond all expectations. Ledger’s scenes in the movie, like the pencil trick and his dark sense of humor, showcased his unwavering commitment to getting into the twisted mind of the Joker. His version of the character had a huge impact on the Batman franchise, influencing how future versions of the Joker would be approached. It’s incredibly sad that Ledger passed away before the film was released, but his immense talent was recognized when he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor posthumously. His chilling take on the iconic villain will be forever remembered.

2. Mark Hamill

Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill’s portrayal of the Joker in animated series, movies, and video games is legendary. His voice acting has turned him into a fan-favorite version of the Clown Prince of Crime. Hamill’s Joker is known for his sinister laugh and whimsical tone, making him the ultimate embodiment of the character. He effortlessly captures the Joker’s madcap humor and unhinged psychopathic tendencies. His performances in Batman: The Animated Series and the Arkham video games have had a lasting impact on the Batman universe. Hamill’s exceptional talent as a voice actor has received widespread acclaim and adoration from both fans and critics, establishing him as one of the most iconic Jokers of all time.

3. Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of the Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman really set the bar high for future portrayals of this iconic villain. He brought so much charisma to the character, blending a wicked sense of humor with the Joker’s murderous nature, and the result was absolutely captivating and entertaining. Even today, people still love his performance. And let’s not forget about his flamboyantly twisted appearance! His Joker had a look that was truly unforgettable.

There were some scenes in particular that really stood out. The art gallery sequence, for example, was just incredible. And who could forget the deadly parade? Those moments really contributed to the success of the film and solidified the Joker as Batman’s ultimate nemesis.

It’s worth noting that Nicholson’s performance was groundbreaking. It even earned him a Golden Globe nomination! And beyond that, it left a lasting impact on the character’s legacy. His portrayal of the Joker has influenced future interpretations of the character for years to come.

4. Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Joker offers a truly disturbing and empathetic portrayal of the iconic character. It goes beyond the usual comic book movie fare, providing a fresh perspective on the Joker’s origins. Phoenix’s gritty and intense exploration of the character’s descent into madness is highlighted by his haunting laughter, unpredictable nature, and raw vulnerability. This culminates in a stunning transformation that captures the essence of the Joker. One of the standout moments is his chilling dance on the stairs, which has become an iconic scene in Batman franchise history. Phoenix’s heartfelt portrayal has received critical acclaim and earned him the prestigious Academy Award for Best Actor. Not only did his Joker redefine the character for a new generation, but it also set a high standard for future iterations.

5. Cesar Romero

Cesar Romero
Cesar Romero’s portrayal of the Joker in the 1960s Batman series and movie is truly unforgettable. He perfectly captured the campy and light-hearted essence of that era’s Batman franchise. Romero’s energetic and flamboyant performance, along with his iconic painted mustache, showcased the Joker’s unique charm and mischievous behavior, and it set the standard for future live-action renditions of the character.

The Joker’s colorful and devilish pranks, like turning the United Nations to dust and attempting to dehydrate the citizens of Gotham City, left a lasting impact on the Batman universe. These antics, combined with Romero’s delightful and sinister portrayal, have endeared him to fans of this iconic villain. Even though his interpretation differs significantly from the darker versions we see today, Romero’s Joker is cherished as a beloved and groundbreaking performance that paved the way for future portrayals.

6. Cameron Monaghan

Cameron Monaghan
Cameron Monaghan truly brought something special to the role of Jerome and Jeremiah Valeska in the hit TV show Gotham. His portrayal of the Joker character was both captivating and unique, offering a fresh perspective on this iconic villain. Monaghan skillfully delved into the minds of these two closely related yet distinct figures, effectively showcasing the chaos and madness that defines the Joker.

What made Monaghan’s performances so immersive was his ability to seamlessly transition between deranged humor and menacing brutality. As an actor, he displayed remarkable versatility, leaving fans eagerly anticipating each new twist and turn in the storyline. His chilling laughter, unforgettable carnival massacre, and twisted obsession with Bruce Wayne added new layers to the Batman universe, ultimately shaping the show’s distinct identity.

Monaghan’s take on the Joker stands out as a fascinating and refreshing interpretation of the character. His portrayal has garnered considerable praise and has cultivated a loyal fan base. It’s clear that his contributions have been instrumental in making Gotham a must-watch show for fans of the Batman franchise.

7. Zach Galifianakis

Zach Galifianakis
In The LEGO Batman Movie, Zach Galifianakis delivered a side-splitting and surprisingly heartfelt portrayal of the Joker. With his trademark comedic flair, Galifianakis injected the role with witty comebacks, playful exchanges, and an unexpectedly touching exploration of the Joker’s deep reliance on Batman. This fresh interpretation breathed new life into the character, blending humor and pathos in a way that infused the Batman franchise with a much-needed sense of levity. Galifianakis’ performance helped create an animated adventure that was both entertaining and unforgettable. While his version of the Joker may be less menacing than others, it has certainly won a special place in fans’ hearts for its clever and humorous approach to this iconic villain.

8. John DiMaggio

John DiMaggio
John DiMaggio’s voice acting as the Joker in Batman: Under the Red Hood was a fresh and menacing take on the character. He delved into the Joker’s brutal and calculating nature, giving us a chilling performance with his gravelly and sinister voice. DiMaggio effectively portrayed the Joker’s sadistic tendencies while still keeping a hint of his dark humor.

There were some memorable moments in the film, like the brutal crowbar scene and the chilling confrontation between the Joker, Batman, and the Red Hood. These scenes left a lasting impact on fans and showcased DiMaggio’s ability to embody the character’s malevolent essence.

Although he may not be as well-known as other voice actors, DiMaggio’s Joker has received praise for its powerful portrayal of the villain’s more fearsome qualities.

9. Troy Baker

Troy Baker
Troy Baker’s voice acting as the Joker in the Arkham Origins video game and Batman: Assault on Arkham animated film really showed off his impressive ability to capture the essence of the character. His performance was reminiscent of Mark Hamill’s iconic portrayal, which fans absolutely loved.

Baker’s voice had this chillingly whimsical quality that added to the Joker’s insanity. He delivered dark humor with such skill and his gleeful laugh was just eerie. It truly immersed players in the Joker’s madness.

In Arkham Origins, the storyline explored the early days of the Joker’s relationship with Batman. Baker’s performance provided a fascinating glimpse into the character’s complex psyche. It was a captivating exploration of the Joker’s twisted mind.

Many have recognized Baker’s Joker for its skillful execution and remarkable similarity to Hamill’s fan-favorite rendition. He has definitely made a name for himself as a noteworthy voice actor in the Batman universe.

10. Anthony Ingruber

Anthony Ingruber
Anthony Ingruber’s voice acting as the Joker in the video game Batman: The Telltale Series offered fans a truly unique and immersive experience. His performance allowed players to directly influence the development of the character, making it all the more engaging. Ingruber perfectly captured the whimsical, menacing, and unpredictable essence of the Joker, drawing players into the story and leaving a lasting impression.

What sets Ingruber’s portrayal apart is how he brought the Joker’s fascinating transformation to life. Depending on the choices made by players, the character could take different paths, adding a whole new level of depth. This showcased Ingruber’s versatility as a voice actor and made his rendition of the Joker truly captivating.

Although Ingruber may not be as widely known as other actors who have portrayed the Joker, his approach to the iconic villain stands out for its interactive nature. By allowing players to directly influence the character’s development, Ingruber’s performance takes fan engagement to a whole new level.

11. Jason Spisak

Jason Spisak
Jason Spisak’s portrayal of the Joker in the Young Justice: Outsiders animated series brought a new perspective to the character. His voice acting skillfully captured the villain’s dark humor and chaotic nature. Spisak’s lively and playful performance added an element of unpredictability to the character, contributing to the show’s distinct atmosphere. Notable scenes, like Joker’s face-off with the Injustice League, solidified his position alongside other iconic interpretations. Despite being a more recent addition to the Joker legacy, Spisak’s performance has garnered praise from both fans and critics for its captivating and enjoyable portrayal of the character.