What if there really was an Oscar for the best beard in movies or TV… Who would you give it to? How do you even judge a beard? Is it by length, thickness or maybe how good it looks? We thought that the right way would be to rank them by memorability. Seems only fair that the best movie beards are the ones you remember most.
One beard to rule them all
There are so many beards in these films that you could probably cover the whole of Mordor by weaving them all together. There is no doubt most magical beard award goes to the wizard Gandalf. Not only does his silky and smooth beard constantly flow in the wind and glisten in the sunlight, but he literally drops to the center of earth where trades in his silver fox look and returns as the stunning Gandalf the White.
There are plenty of runners up as well, like Gimli, the dwarf, with his thick braided beard, which probably also acts as a neck guard should anyone want to set apart Gimli from his head. Saruman the Great’s long beard, which frames his face perfectly by the way, gives him that ominous look of an arch villain.
And then, of course, there is Aragorn, whose facial hair is nowhere near as long, thick or crazy as the others on this list, but he still manages to pull off possibly the best-looking beard (by modern standards) in entire film series.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the baddest mofo of them all?
Samuel L. Jackson is someone who deserves his own paragraph in this or any other movie article. The man just has a unique way of making all of his characters sound and look cool often with the help of meticulously arranged facial hair that ranges from all kind of beards to sideburns and mustaches.
Let’s start with Jules Winnfield, the ruthless killer in Pulp Fiction. Funky sideburns and handlebar mustaches never looked cooler than in the scene where Jules quotes the bible and sends someone to meet their maker with furious anger.
While we are riding the cool train, we have to mention Shaft, a character as bald as a bowling ball and a minimalistic goatee that is shaped so well, it almost looks like the beard was drawn on his face rather than grown. Samuel also wears a similar beard in Avengers as the comic-book character Nick Fury.
Next up is major Marquis Warren, a character Mr. Jackson plays in Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight. A cold-cold full-bearded bounty hunter that won’t stop at anything to cash in his bounties, dead or alive.
Last and also the least is the braided rattail beard of Ordell Robbie, whom he plays in Jackie Brown. Ordell’s beard looks like something you’d see on the face of a kung-fu movie villain; you just wanna grab it and yank it off his face in one strong pull. Not a good-looking beard by any means, but amazingly well-suited for Jackson’s villainous role in the movie, proving he can look cool even with a beard like that.
Beards for all except for one
The original slogan was familiarized by Alexandre Dumas in his novel “The Three Musketeers”, which has been the basis for countless films and TV series. Not nearly as hairy as the characters of LOTR, the musketeers represent a different aspect of facial hair and grooming. There is a definite focus on mustaches and thin goatees, which the musketeers kept as sharp as their swords.
We are not sure about the history behind their grooming habits, so we can only assume they used copious amounts of beard oil to keep them shaped and shiny as well as some bees wax to shape their mustaches just right.
The young D’Artagnan was the only clean-cut member of the group, while the ladies’ favorite Aramis sported a smooth goatee look and the older more rugged members of the crew, Porthos and Athos, wore a full beard. The arch enemy of the musketeers, the evil Cardinal Richelieu, had a memorable goatee of course with accentuated beard and mustache, to give him that extra evil and ominous look.
The looks of the “Three Musketeers” and their friend D’Artagnan change quite a bit in various TV-adaptations, but their iconic facial hair is ever present and impeccable.
Vibranium razors never rust
Somewhere on the African continent lies a secret country of Wakanda that unites several Sub-Saharan tribes into a mysterious technologically advanced society that thrives under the protection and leadership of the Black Panther. Besides a captivating story and elaborate action sequences it is worth mentioning the stunning visuals. Everything from the background to the costumes and personal style of every character added something unique to the scene that made the movie that much more captivating as a whole.
A large portion of the male characters had well-groomed beards that made their appearance more authentic. This is especially true for tribe leaders as well as the heroes and villains. Ulysses Klaue has made several appearances in Marvel movies prior to Black Panther made memorable thanks to the brilliant portrayal by Andy Serkis who always grows a full rough-looking beard that makes his character that much more sinister.
The impressive M’Baku of the Jabari tribe went for the high-boxed beard – a strong statement for a tough tribe leader. Erik Killmonger’s hair style was more remarkable than his beard, especially compared to king T’Challa’s heroic extended goatee or his father’s, T’Chaka’s, sensible circle beard.
The beard abides
The ultimate chill beard in cinema history is undoubtedly attached to the chin of The Dude. If you have to ask “What dude?”, you need to go and watch “The Big Lebowski” right away before returning to this article.
Jeff Bridges stars in the film as a charming former activist and master procrastinator whose beard reflects the life choices of his character perfectly. Soaked in “White Russian” cocktails and filled with crumbs of weed, Lebowski’s beard just sits there nonchalantly in the middle of his face, doing absolutely nothing while looking cool as hell just like its owner.
The Dude just has that hypnotic effect on people, where everyone but the nihilists love him. Nobody can make pajama pants look as good as they do on him, so you don’t even question it when he goes bowling in them.
Speaking of bowling, there is another honorable mention in this movie and it goes to a character, who is the complete opposite of The Dude and his name is Jesus Quintana. His meticulously trimmed goatee and nervous aggression brilliantly portrayed by John Turturro makes him one of the most memorable episodic film characters ever.
While the famous boy wizard Harry Potter is unable to grow any kind of beard without some serious magical intervention, some of his friends have truly amazing beards that are definitely worth a mention in our article.
Like almost all wizards, the headmaster of Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore, wears a beard that says “I am smart, dignified and experienced in life”, or in other words don’t mess with me, or I will set you on fire with a spell!
Another magnificent beard belongs to the giant Hagrid, whose beard is so big and thick that a small creature could probably make a nest in there and survive the Battle of Hogwarts. Muggles, or common people, have to treat their beard with jojoba oil for 40 years to grow a beard like Hagrid, but those of us that don’t have the time might want to look into wizardry.
What do we say to the god of shave? Not today!
If beardology was a real discipline at universities, beard scholars would have to work for years to study the different beard styles in the TV series Game of Thrones. Everyone from commoners and royals to giants and even the icy dead White Walkers have a beard.
The hairiest tribe title is closely contested by two groups: first, there are the Wildlings who live in the cold north beyond the great wall and use their rugged beards for protection from the harsh climate and also probably don’t care about shaving or grooming at all. The best example would be Tormund Giantsbane, who proudly wears a bushy ginger beard.
The second group are the tribe of southern horse riders called the Dothraki. A lot of time and imagination went into styling the beard of their fearless leader Khal Drogo, adding to the coolness of one of the most badass characters of all time.
We must mention the viewer’s favorite Tyrion Lannister, whose beard, much like the scar on his face, is a mark of a matured character that evolved throughout the series. The Clegane brothers had full beards, which was a necessity for two of the toughest characters in the show. Ned Stark had a nice beard that Sean Bean grows for every role and, of course, there is Jon Snow, who slowly but surely grew a beard worthy of a King in the North.
I find your lack of beard disturbing
At last, let’s dive into the Star Wars universe where the Force is always strong. This is great saga, jumping back and forth in time and Universe. Characters appear as babies, teenagers, warriors in their prime and masterful elders passing on their final bit of great knowledge to their successor. We will look at some of the most memorable beards of Star Wars, but first, a little riddle from Yoda. Does Chewbacca have a beard?
Let’s keep things simple and familiar by only reviewing human beards, putting alien species like Wookies, Ewoks and Jawas aside. Understand they will. Let us begin with young Obi Wan Kenobi, who is portrayed by Ewan McGregor. With his long hair, full beard and white robe, it’s no wonder these similarities have spawned so many memes. In the first movies, or last if you prefer, Obi Wan appears as an older man played by Alec Guinness and his full white beard that exudes wisdom.
The opposite happens to Luke Skywalker, who is beardless in his youth, but grows a rugged full beard in recent movies that might be an homage to his master or a just a result of living as a hermit on a secluded planet. Another worthy mention is Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan’s bearded mentor, which is Liam Neeson’s specialty. Surprisingly, the Dark Side doesn’t really have any bearded villains, except for Count Dooku with his short boxed beard, which was probably the result of Christopher Lee refusing to shave.
Present-day movie beards
When it comes to facial hair in cinema, we tend to think about films that involve a bunch of magnificently hairy wizards, barely groomed axe-and-sword-wielding warriors or any one of a million villains with a cliché goatee or even worse a mustache if we go back all the way to black and white films or silent cinema. In modern-day cinema, the beard regardless of style is no longer just the trait of a bad guy, the prerequisite for an old man or the exclusive attribute of Santa Clause.
Nowadays it can both amplify a variety of qualities already present in a character as well as act as a false flag that plays on the outdated prejudices of the audience and helps hide the true essence of its owner. Considering that cinema, as all art, is a reflection of the real world we live in, we could say it has become closer to real life than ever before seeing how the beard has transcended the familiar borders that constrained it.