25 Coolest Bald Movie Characters
By Shane Rivers
Crank: High Voltage opens in theaters on April 17th, 2009, and its hero is the shiny-headed Chev Chelios. Since he’s both cool and bald, I started thinking about other badass chrome domes throughout film history. While bald may be beautiful, this list of the 25 coolest bald movie characters also proves that it can be pretty damned deadly.
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Archer J. Maggott (Telly Savalas)
Where You’ve Seen Them: The Dirty Dozen, the prototypical men-on-a-suicide-mission movie.
Why They’re Cool: Maggott, a bible-thumping lunatic, quickly derails the mission when he decides to kill a female hostage and fire on his own allies. But what did they expect from someone with his surname? If crazy is cool, then Maggott’s at the top of the list.
General George S. Patton (George C. Scott)
Where You’ve Seen Them: Patton, the big-screen bio of the legendary World War II general.
Why They’re Cool: After giving his famous opening speech in front of a gigantic American flag, Patton proceeds to pimp slap his own men, wax nostalgic about his previous life as a Roman soldier, and fire at a strafing plane with his pearl-handled revolvers. Somewhere in the middle of all this, he also found time to open a can of whoop-ass on the Germans. Scott won a 1971 Best Actor Oscar for his role as Patton, but he became the first to refuse it (on the grounds that he didn’t believe in competition between actors).
The Gunslinger (Yul Brynner)
Why They’re Cool: An android programmed to start (and lose) gunfights for the amusement of paying customers, The Gunslinger was a top attraction at Westworld…until he malfunctioned and started gunning down the patrons. Like an early version of The Terminator, even hydrochloric acid to the face couldn’t stop this killing machine.
Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando)
Where You’ve Seen Them: Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola’s nightmarish vision of the Vietnam War.
Why They’re Cool: A member of the U.S. Special Forces, Kurtz goes native and sets himself up as a god deep inside the jungles of Cambodia. Brando’s portrayal is fat, sweaty, and all-around mad. Whether he’s making rambling recordings about philosophy and war atrocities, or cutting off the head of chefs-turned-soldiers, Kurtz has the ability to keep the audience mesmerized. “The horror…the horror.”
Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo)
Where You’ve Seen Them: 1999’s The Mummy and 2001’s The Mummy Returns.
Why They’re Cool: Not only did he posses the power to resurrect old lovers, but this Egyptian priest could also summon up armies of the dead and create massive sandstorms. The only thing he couldn’t seem to do was defeat Encino Man (Brendan Fraser), which drops him down a couple of spots.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence and Telly Savalas)
Why They’re Cool: The inspiration for Mike Myers’s Dr. Evil, Blofeld was fond of stroking his cat and leading the international crime cartel known as SPECTRE. When Telly Savalas took over the role, Blofeld became more action-oriented, engaging in bobsled chases with Bond and even killing 007’s new bride in a drive-by shooting.
Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart)
Where You’ve Seen Them: All three X-Men films.
Why They’re Cool: C’mon, man, it’s Captain Picard for crying out loud. When he’s not rolling around in his totally slick wheelchair, Professor X is teaching mutant schoolchildren, matching wits with Magneto, and dispensing bits of wisdom to anyone who’ll listen. He’s also one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet, so he knows just what to say to the ladies. And speaking of professors….
Professor Henry Jones, Sr. (Sean Connery)
Where You’ve Seen Them: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the last decent film in the franchise.
Why They’re Cool: While he’s really old and sports a dorky hat and glasses, the father of Indiana is still spry enough to get it on with a sexy German agent. He’s also the only person on this list to defeat an attacking German fighter plane with nothing more than an umbrella.
Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames)
Why They’re Cool: With his deep voice and tendency to get medieval on anyone who gives his wife a foot massage, Marcellus is the baddest cat to ever run a crime ring in the Los Angeles area. During the course of the film, he’s run over, punched out, and even raped in the back of a pawn shop by a couple of rednecks. To his credit, however, the big man takes it all in stride.
Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey)
Where You’ve Seen Them: Reign of Fire, the action/sci-fi film starring Christian Bale.
Why They’re Cool: Looking like a man possessed, Van Zan smokes cigars, rides on a tank, and generally chews the scenery as an American soldier-turned-dragon slayer. Not only does he beat the hell out of the future Batman, but he also attacks the world’s only male dragon with nothing more than a battleaxe (guess who wins that one?).
Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig)
Where You’ve Seen Them: House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects, Ron Zombie’s two films about the murderous Firefly family.
Why They’re Cool: Besides being a clown with a murderous streak, Captain Spaulding makes some of the best fried chicken you’ll ever put in your mouth. He owns a wicked cool small business packed with oddities such as his “Murder Ride” (a wax dummy tribute to various serial killers), and he’s all the rage with the local fat chicks of Ruggsville. He’s also the only character on this list to die in a shootout with the cops to the tune of Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.”
John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson)
Where You’ve Seen Them: Shaft, the violent 2000 sequel to the original franchise.
Why They’re Cool: Nobody wears a trench coat like John Shaft, and nobody wears a bald head like Samuel L. Jackson. As the nephew of the original title character, Shaft blows away bad guys like it’s nothing, and he demonstrates his pugilistic skills by decking wealthy racist Walter Wade Jr. (Christian Bale). When he resigns from the police force, he throws his badge with enough force to stick it into the wall. Now that’s cool.
Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver)
Where You’ve Seen Them: The entire Alien franchise, although she was only bald in Alien 3.
Why They’re Cool: While Ripley only had a shaved head for one movie, I wanted to get at least one woman on the list. And what other choices did I have besides the chick from the original Star Trek movie? Besides, it doesn’t hurt that Ripley has been a badass movie character for three decades, fighting the xenomorph menace in a variety of locations. When it comes to action movie heroines, only Sarah Connor even comes close.
Don Logan (Ben Kingsley)
Where You’ve Seen Them: Sexy Beast, the 2000 British crime film co-starring Ian McShane and Ray Winstone.
Why They’re Cool: Man, nobody does just-under-the-surface rage like Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast. Despite his stature, Don Logan manages to frighten everyone around him, and his psychotic outbursts are truly a sight to behold. He’s also got a pretty interesting strategy when it comes to seducing the ladies.
The Kurgan (Clancy Brown)
Why They’re Cool: Not someone you would want as an enemy, the gigantic warrior known only as The Kurgan spends the movie beheading a variety of sword-wielding immortals–coming one step closer to “The Prize” with each victory. A complete sociopath, he seems entirely comfortable terrorizing nuns or anyone else who strays across his path, and check out that bitchin’ scar from where he nearly had his head removed.
Chev Chelios (Jason Statham)
Where You’ve Seen Them: The over-the-top Crank and its equally over-the-top sequel, Crank: High Voltage.
Why They’re Cool: After being injected with a poisonous “Beijing Cocktail,” hitman Chev Chelios must keep his adrenaline pumping in order to survive. This leads him to engage in public shootouts, sex with Amy Smart in front of a shocked Chinatown crowd, and even a massive jolt of electricity from a hospital defibrillator. Perhaps coolest of all: Chev falls out of a helicopter over Los Angeles and plummets 3,000 feet to the concrete…but his heart just keeps right on beating.
The Beast (Leung Siu Lung)
Where You’ve Seen Them: Kung Fu Hustle, the brilliant 2004 martial arts comedy from director/star Stephen Chow.
Why They’re Cool: Being the top contract killer in the world, all The Beast wants is to find someone who can defeat him in a martial arts battle. When he can’t locate such a person, he gets bored and has himself committed to an insane asylum. This guy doesn’t look like much in his flip-flops and tank top, but we’re talking about someone who can stop a bullet with his fingers. And don’t even get me started about his mastery of the Toad Technique.
Frank Martin (Jason Statham)
Where You’ve Seen Them: The Transporter 1, 2, and 3.
Why They’re Cool: Frank’s got the clothes, the car, and an amazing set of fighting abilities. He’s also got a way with the ladies, making whoopee with the daughters of both an Asian crime boss and an Ukrainian official. He’s also got his famous set of rules (even though he breaks them from time to time).
Lord Humungus (Kjell Nilsson)
Where You’ve Seen Them: The Road Warrior, the action-packed sequel to Mad Max.
Why They’re Cool: The possible son of a Nazi officer, Lord Humungus leads a vast collection of marauding scum across the ruined landscape of post-apocalyptic Australia. He’s got massive pecs, an even bigger gun, and is known to his enemies as “the warrior of the wasteland… the ayatollah of rock-and-rollah.” Ever the fashion plate, he was wearing a hockey mask at least a year before Jason Voorhees.
Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis)
Where You’ve Seen Them: The hero of the Pulp Fiction chapter entitled “The Gold Watch.”
Why They’re Cool: Butch is one tough cookie. First, he screws over the mob after they pay him to take a dive in a prizefight; then he kills one of their hitmen and runs down the mob boss (Marcellus Wallace – #17 on this list) with his car. Later, he punches out a gimp, kills a redneck rapist with a samurai sword, and manages to save Marcellus from a fate worse than death…and he knows the difference between a bike and a chopper.
Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel)
Why They’re Cool: The last member of a warrior race known as the Furyans, Riddick has been the resident of over 100 maximum security prisons (escaping from most, if not all). When not incarcerated, he can be found frustrating bounty hunters, killing leaders of semi-undead empires, and breaking the necks of Bioraptors with his bare hands. And who wouldn’t want to have night vision?
Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund)
Where You’ve Seen Them: The Nightmare on Elm Street series, one of the most popular slasher franchises ever.
Why They’re Cool: Not only does Freddy have a handful of butcher knives, but he’s got a nasty habit of killing teens in their dreams. Horribly disfigured, he performs his murders dressed in his trademark sweater and fedora hat. Never one to pass up the opportunity for a corny one-liner, Freddy has even battled Jason Voorhees and lived to tell the tale (well, sort of).
John Doe (Kevin Spacey)
Why They’re Cool: Refusing to turn a blind eye to the crimes of humanity, John Doe goes on a killing spree patterned after the Seven Deadly Sins. Intelligent, methodical, and absolutely vicious, Doe forces an obese man to eat himself to death, makes a lawyer cut off a pound of his own flesh, and holds a gun to a trick’s head while they bang a prostitute to death with the most lethal strap-on in movie history. And then there’s the box. “What’s in the box? What’s in the box?!”
Jason Voorhees (numerous actors, but most famously Kane Hodder)
Why They’re Cool: From his early days as a mongoloid hanging out in lakes to eventually wearing a potato sack on his head, there’s always been something a little strange about the kid known as Jason Voorhees. But when he finally donned his trademark hockey mask, things really started to pick up. Since that time, he’s escaped Hell, murdered teens in outer space, battled a telekinetic and Freddy Krueger, and even taken a trip to Manhattan. When it comes to staying power, no horror icon can compete with the bald-headed fury that is Jason Voorhees.
Darth Vader (played by David Prowse and voiced by James Earl Jones)
Where You’ve Seen Them: Episodes four through six of the sprawling Star Wars franchise.
Why They’re Cool: There’s the voice, the armor, the breathing, and the red lightsaber. There’s also his tendency to use the Force to choke incompetent henchmen to death. Add a big ‘ol dash of tragedy to his backstory, and Darth Vader easily becomes the coolest bald character in the history of cinema.