Special Report

50 Most Popular Villains Of All Time

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

Nurse Ratched
> Portrayed by: Louise Fletcher
> Appears in: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

Newcomer Louise Fletcher received an Academy Award for her performance as domineering Nurse Ratched who controls the patients in a mental ward with an iron fist, driving one to suicide. Patient Randle Patrick McMurphy pretends to be crazy to escape a prison sentence, but soon finds himself in a war of wits with authoritarian Nurse Ratched.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

The Wicked Witch of the West
> Portrayed by: Margaret Hamilton
> Appears in: The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Wicked Witch of the West (Hamilton) fights innocent Dorothy for a pair of ruby red slippers in the fantasy land of Oz. Aided by the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Man, Dorothy throws water on the evil witch’s plan.

Source: Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.

Darth Vader
> Portrayed by: David Prowse (voiced by James Earl Jones)
> Appears in: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

In this sequel to the enormously successful Star Wars, we learn who Luke Skywalker’s father is — the Sith Lord Darth Vader who controls the evil Galactic Empire and the man Luke and Princess Leia have been battling for years. Rather than bonding with his long-lost Dad, Luke decides not to join the Dark Side.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Norman Bates
> Portrayed by: Anthony Perkins
> Appears in: Psycho (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock revitalized his directing career with this thriller based loosely on murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. Perkins, meanwhile, made a career out of portraying conflicted protagonists, but his was never better as unhinged Norman Bates who had an unhealthy relationship with his mother. The movie is best remembered for one scene — yes, that scene — that so unnerved leading lady Janet Leigh she reportedly rarely took a shower again.

Source: Courtesy of Orion Pictures

Hannibal Lecter
> Portrayed by: Anthony Hopkins
> Appears in: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Former psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter helps FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) in her pursuit of another serial killer, “Buffalo Bill,” who murders and skins young women. Both leads won Academy Awards for their performances in this psychological thriller that shouldn’t be accompanied by a meal of fava beans and liver.