Actors Who Made Their Roles Iconic

An icon symbolizes something of great significance as to have the capability to have far-reaching effects and retention in the public’s mind. In the movies, actors are said to have achieved elevating their roles to iconic status when these roles are assured of a place in history that will perhaps be forever associated with them. It will be such that the association between the actor and the role is automatic. The actor’s performance of the role also serves as the standard or basis of comparison if and when a similar role is portrayed in the future.

Without meaning to, actors can perpetuate themselves in the minds of the audience through their iconic roles. It is possible that there may be better interpretations of the same role in the future but there will always be the first that will most be remembered. These are just some of the actors who accomplished this feat.

1. Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry

There can never be any other Homicide Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan than Clint Eastwood. Because of its critical and commercial success, four sequels followed the original movie further establishing the connection between the actor and the role. The old-fashioned check jacket the character wore signified Callahan’s strong values in the pursuance of criminals.

2. Mel Gibson as William Wallace (Braveheart

Perhaps the most obvious depiction that Mel Gibson has indeed elevated William Wallace to an iconic role for him is the 12-ton sandstone statue of his placed in the Wallace Monument in Scotland. However, its installation into the said place created some controversy and necessitated its return to its sculptor. Never the less the movie was able to revive Scottish nationalism.

3. Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature role is the Terminator. The role consolidated his career especially with the three sequels that followed. The movie itself has been recognized by the US National Film Registry as significant. There is reportedly a fifth installment in the offing with Arnold Schwarzenegger again reprising his iconic role.

4. Sylvester Stallone as Rambo

Not to be outdone is Sylvester Stallone who is also gearing up for the fifth and last (?) installment of the Rambo series. This role established Stallone’s place in the movie world along with his Rocky role. After several years of waiting, Stallone is now ready to don his jungle gear again.

5. Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs)

Anthony Hopkins’s role as a cannibalistic serial killer will never be the same if played by another actor. This is quite unfortunate since Hopkins is no longer interested in reprising the role for the fifth time. His four performances however have assured him of perpetual association with the role. About the guest author: Sheena is a teacher aide who simply loves watching movies online. She is currently enrolled in a film and media studies course.