Beloved Classic Movie Characters

Posted on 1 Feb 00:00


There are some movie characters that audiences have fallen completely and forever in love with.  Here are just a few:

  1. George Bailey (It's A Wonderful Life 1946) - James Stewart

Portrayed by James Stewart, George Bailey is the protagonist in the 1946 classic movie "It's A Wonderful Life". Bailey is a loan banker who gives up his dream to help those in his community. While he manages to do this, it gotten to a point where he feels as if life had passed by him and his life has been meaningless. It takes the help of a guardian angel, Clarence, to change Bailey's perspective on life and he begins to appreciate the relationships and people in has in his life.

James Stewart, on the other hand, was an American military officer and actor. Born on May 20, 1908, Stewart grew to become one of the most loved movie actors of his time. His down to earth personality, style of acting, and distinctive drawl endeared him to people. Stewart's movie career started from 1932 right until 1991. Stewart's acting career began in 1932 when he moved to New York. As an upcoming actor, Stewart was given minor roles in theater films. His breakthrough came in 1936 when he was given the lead role in the romantic comedy "Next Time We Love". His boyish charm and style of acting endeared him to many.

In his over 40 years of acting, Stewart appeared in certain notable films which include;

James Stewart died on July 2, 1997.

  1. Celie Johnson (The Color Purple, 1985) - Whoopi Goldberg

Celie Johnson (Whoopi Goldberg) is an African American teen in the 20th century. Abused by her father, whom she later bore 2 kids for before being sent to live with Albert (Danny Glover) a widower. While with Albert, she suffers abuse too but can't stand up to him. Her teenage meekness and inability to stand up to her abusers turns her into a meek adult who doesn't have an opinion of her own. Her life changes when she meets Shug Avery (Margaret Avery), who is strong willed and stands up to Albert, Celie's husband. Celie develops a romantic relationship with Shug and the two made plans to leave Albert.

Born November 3, 1955, Whoopi Goldberg is an American comedian, actress, and TV personality. She's one of most decorated entertainers in the world and one of the very few to have won a Grammy, an Emmy, a Tony Award, and an Academy Award. Whoopi kick-started her acting career in 1982 and it was not until 1985 that she gained a breakthrough when she starred in the aforementioned movie (The Color Purple). Whoopi's stance on black and women rights endeared her to most people and she is currently one of the most beloved actresses in the world. Her acting style and her personality played a major part in her success as well. With over 13 Emmy nominations, Whoopi could be counted as one of the best actresses of her generation.

Having starred in quite a number of movies, some of the most notable ones include;

  • Golden Dreams (2001)
  • For Colored Girl (2010)
  • Nobody's Fool (2018)
  • Sister Act (1992)
  • Ghost (1990)

Whoopi Goldberg is still alive and has continued to grace our TV screens.

  1. Harry Potter (Harry Potter Series 2001 -2007) - Daniel Radcliffe

In the Harry Potter series, Radcliffe (Harry) had gathered a number of fans worldwide who were glued to the movie. His naive and calm demeanor throughout the movie endeared him to many. After the Harry Potter series came to an end, Radcliffe played major and minor roles in quite a number of movies.

Born July 23, 1989, Daniel Jacob Radcliffe is a British actor and producer who is known worldwide for playing Harry Potter in the famous Harry Potter series which ran from 2001 to 2007. Born to English parents in London England, Daniel didn't have to spend time before getting his big break. In 2000, Daniel was asked by David Heyman who as at the time a producer to audition to be the main cast for the Harry Potter series. He eventually got the role from 2001 right until 2007.

Some of the notable films he has appeared on include;

  • Now You See Me II (2016)
  • Victor Frankenstein (2015)
  • Kill Your Darlings (2013)
  1. Holly Golightly (Breakfast At Tiffany's, 1961) - Audrey Hepburn

The irresistible, irrepressible icon that is Hepburn’s Holly Golightly signifies glamour, alluring idiosyncrasy, and nonconformity. 

Born on May 4, 1929, Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian who was also recognized as a fashion icon. According to the American Film Institute, Audrey was named the third female greatest screen legend.

Her acting career which started from 1948 to 1989 and in that period of time, she starred in quite a number of movies. Five years after she made her debut in the movie industry, she finally got the big break she needed when she has made the lead role in the 1953 movie "Roman Holiday". Her performance in that movie saw her become the first female actress to win the Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, and a Golden Globe Award.

Some of the other films she appeared in include;

  • The Nun's Story (1959)
  • Ondine (1938)
  • My Fair Lady (1964)

Audrey Hepburn died on January 20, 1993.

  1. Ralphie Parker (A Christmas Story, 1983) - Peter Billingsley

The movie was made in vignettes and was narrated by an adult Ralphie Parker who remembers one Christmas when he was nine years old. Ralphie had let his parents know that he wanted a Ryder Gun as his Christmas present. His parents knowing how dangerous that would be declined. On Christmas day, Ralphie's father somehow manages to get the Ryder Gun for him. He referred to it as the time of his life.

Ralphie Parker is portrayed by Peter Billingsley who himself is an American actor who was born on April 6, 1971. Peter has appeared in quite a number of movies since then but 'A Christmas Story' happens to be the most notable of them.

  1. The Tramp - Charlie Chaplin

Born April 6, 1889, Chaplin was a British actor, composer, and filmmaker who rose to fame in the silent film era. He was considered one of the most respected movie actors of all time. His acting career which ran for over 76 years and saw him appear in many films. Later in his life, Charlie ventured into comedy. He made his first appearance as " the Tramp" in Kid Auto Races in Venice (1914)

Some of his notable works include;

  • Modern Times (1936)
  • The Great Dictator (1940)
  • The Kid (1921)
  • City Lights (1931)
  • The Tramp (1921)

Chaplin died on December 25, 1977.

  1. Shirley Temple

Born April 23, 1928, Shirley Temple was an American actress, businesswoman, diplomat, singer, dancer. Her first movie was Bright Eyes (1932). While she started as a child actress, Shirley made her way to the top. She is currently referred to as one of the best classic female actresses of her generation.

From 1935 to 1928, Shirley was the Hollywood box office number one draw. Shirley also served in various positions aside from acting. She was appointed the United States ambassador to Czechoslovakia and Ghana. She was also named the CPO (Chief Protocol Officer) of the United States.

Shirley Temple died on February 10, 2014, at 85 years of age.


These are just a few of Hollywood's most beloved movie characters. The best characters in film are those unforgettable, magnetic people (or aliens, or self-aware machines) who command the screen. They have spoken some of the most memorable quotes in movie history in ways fans have been trying to emulate ever since. They are famous movie characters that have inspired fan fiction and fan art; iconic movie characters who have inspired fashion and pop culture; popular movie characters that kids and adults alike aspire to be like. Simply put, they are the best characters ever. 

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