Most actors and actresses in Hollywood are changing their look so often that even the bearded are never bearded for long, and, likewise, the clean-shaven are even bearded at some point or another. The appearances of people in this profession are often transitory, almost as if they’re physically schizophrenic, but the characters that these actors embody, it is they who live on in time, and in beard, permanently. These are some of the best beards in cinema.
Tom Hanks – Cast Away
We aren’t sure how strict Hanks’ method acting was for this role, but we’re pretty sure it’s safe to say that he didn’t actually strand himself on a deserted island for several years. He did manage to steer clear of the barber’s for about that long, though, and, for that, we grant him a spot on our best beards in cinema list. Be warned, we aren’t terribly sure how red-carpet-friendly this look is.
Gerard Butler – 300
Even though it’s arguably only the third or fourth coolest thing about this highly overrated movie, we have to acknowledge Gerard Butler’s pretty stellar and almost perfectly conical beard. Again, it’s made all the more epically awesome by virtue of the Adonis-esque physiques, the gratuitous gore and the characteristic Zack Snyder stylistic effects. Hats go off – and shirts, and also pants – to Butler for his royal beard.
Laurence Tureaud a.k.a. Mr. T – Rocky III
Perhaps the only individual on this list who really always looks like the character who he played, Laurence Tureaud a.k.a. Mr. T is the adversary in Rocky III who has that quintessentially Mr. T combination of Mohawk and beard-with-uncomfortably-high-sideburns that makes you wet yourself just a little bit. Oh, that didn’t happen to anybody else? Well, never mind…
Clint Eastwood – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
Not quite as much beard as some of the others on this list, but what Eastwood’s beard lacks in this classic western, it more than makes up for in absolute, undistilled machismo. Maybe it’s the meanness of that squint, or maybe it’s the way that jaw looks like it’s been etched from granite, but you simply cannot deny this timeless beard a place among the best beards in cinema.
Bill Murray – The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
Trying not to allow our bias for this actor, his role, and the movie that captures it to cloud our judgment is like trying not to breath for an extended period. You can’t help but love Bill Murray, nor can you (or at least we) help but love the eccentricities and idiosyncrasies of Wes Anderson’s cinematic vision. Case in point is how perfectly that little red cap suits Murray’s cropped grey beard.
Jeff Bridges – The Big Lebowski
Bridges as Jeffery Lebowski a.k.a. “The Dude” is perhaps one of the most iconic characters in all of cult cinema, and, likewise, The Big Lebowski has got to be the premier cult classic of modern times. Though John Goodman’s beard is no crying shame, The Dude’s goatee is like something out of a Rembrandt. Are we surprised, though? After all, The Dude abides.
Brendan Gleeson – Braveheart
Finally, we must pay homage to a beard that could only have been grown in medieval Scotland, and by someone with a real bone to pick with imperialist English cowards, at that. Or at least that’s how this beard made Gleeson look for his part in one of the finest period pieces in all of cinema. And that situates him pretty firmly on the list of best beards in cinema.
As mentioned in our other Best Beards Of… lists, this is simply a sampling of what is a great, great many excellent beards in cinema. These, however, we thought that you might appreciate, as an enthusiast of beards and a patron of the arts.
*All beards mentioned in this blog post were grown organically by the talent and not applied artificially by a makeup crew.
– Jacob Smith