It is without question that The Joker is one of the greatest comic book supervillains ever. The clown prince of crime constantly at odds with Batman. Riley just put out an article about Michael Keaton reprising his role as Batman. This made me start thinking, who is the best Joker of all time? Spoiler alert, it won’t be Cesar Romero. If you ask why I will tell you to check what year we are in. We will be focusing on the main movie screen Jokers.
#4. Jared Leto – Suicide Squad
I will be the first to say that the Jared Leto version of the Joker was the worst, but I don’t think it was his fault. Personally I think Leto is an incredible actor. The plot of Suicide Squad just wasn’t fantastic, I think Leto gets a bad rap for his performance as the Joker and deserves another shot.
#3. Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
I watched this movie in theaters, I though the performance of Joaquin Phoenix was great. The only knock I had was that we didn’t get to see him actually as The Joker all that much. I personally had a different idea of what this movie would be like before seeing it. The main focus was clearly on raising awareness on mental health, which is great. I just walked out feeling like there could have been more on his actual origin story, but that could just be me.
#2. Jack Nicholson – Batman
Jack Nicholson’s Joker was the gold standard. Every Joker before or after would be compared to this legendary performance. This was the typical storyline I was accustomed to, a crime boss who falls into the chemical tank getting his skin bleached. The ruthless character who will shoot his own henchman on a whim. The scene in the museum where he is going crazy while Prince’s music is blaring is iconic.
#1. Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger takes the cake. The best Joker performance of all time and in my opinion, it isn’t even close. To me, this was the perfect Joker. This is one of the most iconic acting performances that will stand the test of time. It was the perfect mixture of ruthless and clown, chaotic and clever. Christoper Nolan said that Ledger would give him “hints” about what he was going to do on screen. Extremely unpredictable, this is what makes Heath Ledger’s performance even that more impressive. Sadly, Heath Ledger passed away on January 22nd, 2008. The Dark Knight was in post-production, Ledger didn’t get the chance to see his best work.