Poll: Cheesiest Villain as Portrayed by an A-List Actor, Round One!

Cheesiest Villian as Portrayed by an A-List Actor, Round One!
  • “King Koopa” - Dennis Hopper, Super Mario Bros. (1983)
  • “Lord Voldemort” - Ralph Fiennes, the Harry Potter saga (2005- )
  • “Emperor Ming ‘the Merciless’” - Max von Sydow, Flash Gordon (1980)
  • “Professor Fate” - Jack Lemmon, The Great Race (1965)

0 voters


Typo in the poll. Super Mario Bros was 1993, not 1983.

But, speaking of the 90s, you seem to have overlooked the Batman movies. Or are we not counting Arnold Schwarzenegger as an a-lister? Tommy Lee Jones? Uma Thurman? Danny DeVito? Christopher Walken?

I’d disagree with putting Voldemort on this list, personally. I thought that was well done.

Ming… That whole film was gloriously campy. I think Ming was one of the more subtle characters in it, really…


Kenneth Branagh as Dr. Loveless in Wild Wild West. An insult to both himself and the late, great Michael Dunn.


Robert DE Niro as Fearless Leader, in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.


People may hate me for saying so, but: Gary Oldman in Leon.
Hear me out! He’s probably the best living actor. Maybe the best ever? But talk about over the top. His cartoony performance didn’t fit with the quiet tone between Jean Reno and Natalie Portman.

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I spotted the typo for Super Mario Bros. (1993) too late to fix it. Discourse will only let one edit a poll for up to five minutes after posting it. Unless I delete the post and restart the poll, we’re stuck with it. :disappointed:

And I have not forgotten the Batman movies! I already had the actors you mentioned lined up for future rounds.

To be (slightly) fair to the producers(?), Branagh played “Dr. Arliss Loveless,” while Dunn played “Dr. Miguelito Loveless.” And don’t forget, Paul Williams as “Dr. Miguelito Loveless, Jr.” invented humanoid robots and the atomic bomb decades ahead of their time inThe Wild Wild West Revisited (1979). But onto the list Branagh goes!


Keep the suggestions coming! I have a list for future poll rounds!

Hmmm…I liked Oldman’s performance as Stansfield especially the whole Beethoven spiel. I would submit his role as the villain in The Fifth Element as one that I didn’t like, but I didn’t care for most of that flick aside from Milla Jovavich and the opera diva.


Are we counting Geoffrey Rush as Cassinova Frankenstein in Mystery Men? Or is that disqualified for being a deliberate parody? I suppose he might have chewed more scenery in Pirates of the Caribbean, anyway.


I don’t see why “Casanova Frankenstein” wouldn’t count. “Professor Fate” in The Great Race was a deliberately stereotypical, mustache-twirling (something lampshaded during the Alaskan blizzard scene) villian of the silent film era, complete with black outfit, cape (at times), and beaver top hat. If you’ve never seen Jack Lemmon enjoyably chewing the scenery in that role, you’re missing something. “Push the button, Max!”

Jack Lemmon as "Professor Fate”

And multiple nominations of the same actor/actress in different roles are perfectly acceptable. My only real criteria are that the actor/actress be:

  • Well-known
  • Have acting abilities (reasonably) well-regarded by their peers and critics, i.e., cheesy by choice, not by limits of acting talent or skill.

For example, I’m personally unsure whether James Hong qualifies as an A-list actor. He has a filmography a mile long (over 600 credits and counting!), has an instantly identifiable face and voice, and had a spectacularly cheesy turn as “David Lo Pan” in Big Trouble in Little China (1986), but he tends to be a character actor playing side roles rather than the leads. He’s high up on the B-list at the very least, but does he qualify as A-list material?

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Is it a parody or an homage? Discuss.

My money is Raul Julia in Street Fighter, if I could add it.


James Earl Jones in Conan.


I’m going to agree with Arnie in Batman & Robin.

I would also like to mention Jim Backus and Peter Lawford were plenty cheesy in our own beloved Angel’s Revenge. I am tempted to add Jack Palance to that pile but I think that’s just his thing and not an act. Like that’s how he is ordering from a drive through or asking how your day was.

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Noted. A role so cringeworthy, it has its own entry on Peter Anspach’s Evil Overlord List!

Rule #34

I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.

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Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham, maybe?


Too bad you can’t do a cheesy villain bracket.

Think of this as the first qualifying round, for now. My list is at three dozen and growing already!

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I honestly don’t want to know how you remember that detail from that horrible movie.

Don’t forget Donald Pleasence in The Pumaman.


To be honest, I didn’t, though I did remember that someone who sounded like Paul Williams (it was) played “Dr. Loveless" in The Wild Wild West Revisited (TV movie 1979). Your remark got me to pull up The Wild Wild West (TV series 1965-1969) and all three subsequent movies to compare the entries. There was also this little gem I’d forgotten about, with none other than Jonathan Winters as the villian!