[Top 10] All-Time Best Batman Actors (And Worst)

Many Batman Actors
The many Bruce Waynes!

Batman is definitely one of the most recognized and venerated icons in popular culture history. Few comic book characters have had the same level of success in cinema and television as Batman. His exposure to the general public dates back to 1943, when Lewis Wilson starred in a 15-episode Batman serial. Now that Robert Pattinson is donning the costume in the critically praised new picture The Batman, let's take a deep dive into every actor who has portrayed Batman, highlighting the good and the terrible.


10. Robert Lowery

Lowery was a regular of B-movies throughout his decades-long film and television career, a journeyman actor whose résumé implies he was more at ease portraying a straight-shootin cowboy than a playboy turned masked crimefighter. Nevertheless, he was a notable improvement than Lewis Wilson in the second Columbia Pictures 15-episode Batman serial, if only because he didn't seem to require more time on the Bat Treadmill in the Bat Cave. Also in his favor was the fact that he was a very successful smooth talker whenever Bruce Wayne joked with the ace photographer Vicki Valki.


9. George Clooney

In "Batman & Robin" only flaunting Bat-nipples was his main concern (1997). Clooney's portrayal of Batman was surrounded by bad portrayals of Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman), Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone), and the film itself. Nevertheless, if we're being honest, his hero was much too sincere – like Doug Ross in the emergency room for Halloween – and he'd probably be a better Bruce Wayne today. It's all right, however; his career worked out well.


8. Val Kilmer

Similar to Clooney, he should be awarded an "incomplete" grade after just one film: 1995's "Batman Forever," a bright frolic that entirely departed from Burton's darker tone, but may be likened to Clooney's Batman film as "Citizen Kane." Kilmer had the perfect chin for the Batman mask, and he carried the Wayne tuxedo brilliantly. However, anybody would have seemed passable in the presence of Jim Carrey's over-the-top Riddler and Tommy Lee Jones' insane Two-Face.


7. Kevin Conroy

Conroy was Batman for a generation of fans, portraying the Caped Crusader in the groundbreaking 1990s animated series and then bringing his sincere tones to the big screen with "Batman: Mask of the Phantasm." in 1993. The film, which retells Batman's origin tale and sets him against a vigilante who eliminates Gotham's mafia lords, exemplifies Conroy's versatility by showcasing his ability to go from soft-spoken Bruce to gravelly superhero.


6. Lewis Wilson

Wilson deserves at least a mention in the annals of popular culture for playing the first Batman on the big screen in the Columbia Pictures serial released barely four years after the Caped Crusader's debut in Detective Comics. However, there is nothing more to say about his performance, and even less that is good. Wilson managed to out-camp Adam West's high-camp Batman when the 1943 serial was revived in cinemas around the time that the 1966-68 "Batman" television series began on ABC. Nonetheless, the serial itself has some curiosity value, since it exposes how Batman, like Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, and other imaginary heroes, was conscripted during World War II. Batman and Robin (Douglas Croft) are government operatives faced against the Japanese superspy Dr. Daka in this film.


5. Adam West

For many casual fans, Adam West was, is, and will always be Batman, despite the reluctance of many comic book purists to recognize it; in fact, some get downright belligerent if you bring it up. And this is mostly due to the fact that, unlike the majority of previous actors who have worn the costume, he portrayed the older member of the Dynamic Duo as someone who embraced the paradox of being a sophisticated billionaire who moonlights as a masked vigilante. 

Never mind that the 1960s ``Batman" television series had minimal novelty value at the time (it aired on ABC for less than two years) and was on its final legs long before it was canceled. Thanks to repeated repeats of the series and the easy availability of the 1966 film, Adam West's straight-faced but self-mocking interpretation of the Caped Crusader — The Light Knight, if you will — is the Batman who looms biggest in the minds of most people. Even Rachel Maddow maintains that she will return at the same Bat Time on the same Bat Channel.


4. Ben Affleck

As an unshaven and probably disturbed Batman, Ben Affleck pushed a little too hard to create a snarling, snarling disposition. And it didn't help that in some scenes in both versions of "Justice League," his enormous Batsuit reminded him of the Michelin Tire Man. Nonetheless, he received credit for elucidating the physical and psychological strain of being a superhero. In "Batman v Superman," he portrayed a neurotic, success-obsessed fanatic dangerously near to madness as Batman sought to control Superman beforehand. 

And in "Justice League," even at his most Batman-like, he came off as exhausted and suicidal. In the underrated 2003 film "Daredevil," Ben Affleck's Man Without Fear ransacked his well-stocked medical cabinet for some strong painkillers after a particularly grueling encounter with villains. His Batman in "Justice League" did not succumb to such self-medication, but after revealing the terrible bruises he took from a reborn Superman, you can't help but assume he might have benefited from a Percodan or two along with a stiff drink.


3. Michael Keaton

Tim Burton's decision to cast Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader, despite his well-received dramatic portrayal in 1988's "Clean and Sober," may be difficult, if not impossible, for current and future generations of Batman fans to comprehend. Keaton lifted to flood tide the wrath that had simmered under the surface of many of his earlier performances in order to portray Batman as equal parts Zorro, Dracula, and the Phantom of the Opera, with a dash of unsettling paranoid schizophrenia for good measure. Yes, he was overshadowed by Jack Nicholson's Joker in "Batman" (1989). However, only just barely.


2. Robert Pattinson

As the most recent cinematic incarnation of the Caped Crusader, Robert Pattinson alternates between inconsolably glum and preternaturally angry, a psychologically valid but dramatically limited approach to portraying the reclusive Bruce Wayne and the crime-fighting Dark Knight as morally and physically exhausted. So why is he ranked so highly? Because despite these constraints — or maybe because of them — Pattinson's rendition, which is exactly in line with filmmaker Matt Reeves' gloomy vision, is possibly the most audacious on this list. For starters, his Batman relishes in delivering devastating blows to little and important villains.


1. Christian Bale

Bale had a distinct advantage over the other Batmen on our list in that he got to experience an emotionally fulfilling character development throughout Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy, transitioning from rookie vigilante to living legend to contentedly unburdened retiree. In addition, he enjoyed the support of two outstanding crime-fighting partners:

The characters of Morgan Freeman's Lucius Fox, a wise weapons expert and sometimes conscience, and Michael Caine's Alfred Pennyworth, a surrogate father with a warrior history, are portrayed by Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine, respectively. However, Bale earns the top rank largely (but not only) due to his ability to convincingly represent the normal-sized man behind the supersized Batman. At first glance, it may seem preposterous to define any part of the over-the-top, operatic "Dark Knight" flicks as realistic. But Bale imbued Batman with just enough vulnerability to make every conflict with every adversary — not just Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises," but every adversary — seem like a matter of life and death.



With the release of yet another Batman film, it is certain that the adaptations will continue indefinitely. The quick pace of Batman reboots may sometimes lead people to roll their eyes, and it may be a little excessive.

However, it provides us plenty to discuss and argue, which is really what we want from entertainment. In this spirit, and with Pattinson's interpretation in mind, we will examine the most significant and notable depictions of Batman from the 1940s to the current day. Here is our ranking of the Batman actors from worst to finest, according to our opinion.

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From the highest peak of the Throat of the World to the deepest pits of Underworld, Ali has explored it all! A regular joe during the day, an insomniac gamer by night. No game shall be left untouched.
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