Great film characters are often remembered not only for their personality and actions, but also for their unique appearance.
Consequently, if we are talking about a male character, a beard is likely to form a big part of his appearance because, let's face it, beards are awesome! It doesn't matter if your facial hair is King Leonidas personified or more of a baby face, here are 13 of cinema's most iconic beards, worthy of your admiration:
1. Brian Blessed In Flash Gordon (1980)
What makes it iconic: Ming's beard is a worthy candidate, but Prince Vultan's grizzly (and perhaps grisly) facial hair just beat him to it. Moreover, it is hardly a surprise that he would fit well in today's lumberjack culture style.
2. Tom Hanks In Cast Away (2000)
What makes it iconic: You don't need to be stranded on a deserted island to get this type of Robinson Crusoe facial hair, as Tom Hanks proved (yep, the beard isn't fake).
Befriending a volleyball and dying your hair blonde are optional.
3. Clint Eastwood In The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966)
What makes it iconic: One of the most stylized looks on this list, The Man With No Name's (or Blondie's) beard sure looks badass, despite its short length.
That's understandable. If you want to survive in a western you better have the right facial hair, cowboy boots, poncho and hat to stand your own.
4. Alan Rickman In Die Hard (1988)
What makes it iconic: Undoubtedly, Hans Gruber is one of cinema's greatest villains. Unpredictable and unremorseful, he shows pinpoint German efficiency in his work affairs, as well as styling his facial hair. His slick and neat look is the perfect reflection of his cold and calculated personality.
5. Al Pacino In Serpico (1973)
What makes it iconic: Serpico (1973) tells the tale of a straight-laced rookie cop who realizes how shockingly corrupt the New York police force is.
Nevertheless, Frank Serpico doesn't change his principles throughout the film. What changes however, is Al Pacino's beard. He begins the movie clean shaven and grows some magnificent facial hair as the film goes on. This reflects the character's growing disillusionment with the lack of integrity and honesty in the force.
6. Kurt Russell In The Thing (1982)
What makes it iconic: "Man is the warmest place to hide." More like R.J. MacReady's beard is the warmest place to hide, even in the Antarctic.
Many of the members of The Thing cast's beards represent a dreamland for facial hair, a true representation of manliness. However, R.J. MacReady's beard is definitely the one that stands out.
7. Jeff Bridges In The Big Lebowski (1998)
What makes it iconic: No list is complete without the Dude. His beard is a complete reflection of him— messy and lazy— yet there is something majestic and incredibly badass about it.
8. Chuck Norris Movie In Almost Every Movie He's Ever Been In (1968–Present)
What makes it iconic: Sure, Norris's first big role was as the merciless Colt opposite Bruce Lee in Way of the Dragon (1972), which featured him having no facial hair (but plenty of chest hair).
Since the '80s, Norris has been known for his trademark scruff look, which along with his martial arts skills, further enhances his "don't you dare mess with me" persona.
9. Robbie Coltrane In The Harry Potter Series (2001–2011)
What makes it iconic: I realize that some people might vouch for Dumbledore being the Harry Potter film series representer on this list. However, albeit long, Dumbledore's facial hair has a great deal of order put into it. On the other hand, Hagrid's beard looks like an entirely different ecosystem, a true fest of scruffiness. Hipsters better take note of this.
10. Johnny Depp In The Pirates Of The Caribbean Franchise (2003–present)
What makes it iconic: There was a time when Johnny Depp was not only known for his questionable choice of roles and turmoil in his personal life.
10–15 years ago, he was still on top of his game and Captain Jack Sparrow was a big part of it with his charming, treacherous and witty persona, as well as uniquely-styled beard.
11. Mr. T In Rocky III (1982)
What makes it iconic: Mr. T brings a new meaning to the word "muttonchops" and has the mohawk to top it off.
Yet, this unconventional style is perfect for Clubber Lang, a character known for quotes such as: "No, I don't hate Balboa. I pity the fool, and I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got!" "I'm the baddest man in the world," and " What did you say, Paper Champion? I'll beat you like a dog, a dog, you fool!"
12. Wes Bentley In The Hunger Games (2012)
What makes it iconic: Undeniably, the most stylized beard on this list, Seneca Crane's devilish beard looks like it would take ages to attain.
However badass it looks, it still couldn't save the head Gamemaker in the 74th Hunger Games from a miserable demise.
13. Ian Mckellen In The Lord of The Rings (2001–2003) And The Hobbit Trilogy (2012–2014)
What makes it iconic: Saving the best one for last. Similar to Hagrid (albeit fake), Gandalf's beard has that gravitas about it, combining glorious length with messiness.
After all Gandalf is not only one of the last wizards to appear in Middle-earth, but also a maia — "spirits whose being also began before the world, of the same order as the Valar, but of less degree." In all this time even the beardless of men would develop some serious scruff.
Check out, the video below for some seriously well manicured gunslingers and the looks that made them famous:
So, there you have it folks, I hope you've enjoyed reading! What is your favorite movie beard?