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Who’s the Best Worst Actor of All-Time?

Over the course of history, some actors have been just so terrible that it actually becomes entertaining.  The ability of some humans to look anything but on screen has made for countless cult favorites, leading to an ever-growing ironic group of film lovers.  But who holds the lofty distinction of being the best worst actor of all-time?  There’s been many who are just the worst, but who is so bad that it’s unbelievably entertaining?  To figure this out, we’ll need to create some parameters:

  1. Can’t have won an Oscar for his or her work at some point in their career
  2. Known for some sort of signature quirk or calling
  3. Needs to have some body of work in place to display their “greatness”
  4. Need to be very entertaining in their suckage

With those rules in mind, let’s break it down:

The “Too Good to Be True” Group

This group certainly has some worthy candidates, there’s just one problem: these actors have put in great performances in the past or have proved themselves to be better than once thought.  Some have won Oscars; others have reinvented themselves in the indie circuit.  The point is that these actors just have too good of work to be considered the best worst actor ever.

Nicolas Cage

John Travolta

Adam Sandler

Eddie Murphy

Kristen Stewart

Keanu Reeves

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Gerard Butler

Sylvester Stallone

The “Too Boring to Be Enjoyed” Group

Other times, actors are just too boring to be entertaining.  They may not be the best actors ever, but they also don’t have the personality or the charisma for their performances to be entertaining.  People like Vin Diesel are too self-serious without giving off an edge of hilarity.  Sometimes, these actors just don’t care enough to put in a committed performance.  However, we can all agree that watching everyone on this list just isn’t consistently fun.

Vin Diesel

Lindsay Lohan

Kevin James

Ashton Kutcher

Jennifer Lopez

Katherine Heigl

Taylor Lautner

Rob Schneider

Megan Fox

Hayden Christensen

Cameron Mitchell

Nick Swardson

The Rookies

This group of individuals has put in a truly noteworthy performance.  However, that’s precisely their problem.  Each of the members in this group can be described as almost universally as one-hit wonders.  They may have had multiple starring roles, but they just don’t have the ironic resume to be described as the best worst actor ever.

Tommy Wiseau

McKenzie Grimmet

Matt Hannon

Shaquille O’Neal

Whitney Moore

The Action Men

These gentlemen have reigned over the B-movie action genre for decades.  They’ve been included in countless incomprehensible plots that are just excuses for men to get oiled up and slap each other around.  These steroid lovers are great, there’s just one problem: they have some amount of dignity.  In order to be the best worst actor ever, there’s needs to be a level of desperation and sadness to their movements.  Although his acting might be hammy, you’d be lying if you said that you weren’t a tad intimidated by Van Damme’s muscles.

Chuck Norris

Steven Seagal

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Ted Pryor

Dolph Lundgren

Hulk Hogan

Steve Austin

Jet Li

Arnold Schwarzenegger

And the Winner Is…

Ahh Neil Breen, you wonderful human.

Breen always seems to know how to do everything in his films, making it funnier when you see that he’s about fifteen pounds soaking wet.  The amount of incomprehensible plots and situations he puts himself into are far too hilarious to be ignored.  Breen can cure cancer, hack into any security system, and make any actress feel very uncomfortable with the grossest of kisses.  He is most definitely deserving of the best worst actor of all-time.

Mr. Breen, I salute you!

If you haven’t seen Double Down, you are in for quite the treat.

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Thanks for reading!  Who do you think is the best worst actor of all-time?  Comment down below!

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Nick Kush

A current young professional, Nick founded MovieBabble in October of 2016 in order to provide insightful film analysis that is meant to educate and entertain. Nick is also a member of the Internet Film Critics Society. You can follow Nick at the official MovieBabble Twitter account @MovieBabble_

23 Responses

  1. Patricia says:

    I’m torn. Immediately, I want to say Jesse Eisenberg. He is so awful that it’s humorous. I find him cringeworthy, rather than entertaining, but I suppose mocking his “performances” IS pretty fun.

  2. jimbelton says:

    I have to disagree, since I’ve never heard of Neil Breen. My worst offender: Ben Stiller.

    • Nick Kush says:

      But is he necessarily hilarious when he’s bad? I know a lot of people don’t like him (I happen to like him just fine) but I’ve never seen people say his acting is so bad it’s good

      • jimbelton says:

        I wouldn’t say hilarious. More like awe inspiringly bad. I’d say the same about Chuck Norris, for example. I didn’t laugh at Invasion USA (possibly the worst film ever made); I was dumbstruck by its thundering stupidity.

      • Nick Kush says:

        Lol well to each his own I guess!

  3. Steve says:

    Neil Breen! Neil Breen! Neil Breen! Yes Neil! You suck! lmao Good call. Have you seen Fateful Findings? The scene where his wife accuses him of cheating on her? His reaction??? Best Worst Actor EVER!

  4. Debbi says:

    Speaking of really bad movies, ever see Billy Jack? That one reeks! 🙂

  5. i’m going to have to go with lindsay lohan!
    i think we’re lindsay lohan until we find out that we have a twin!

  6. A great and entertaining post, Nick! Keanu Reeves is one of those actors I’ve long been conflicted about. He has put out a few decent performances, most notably in “My Own Private Idaho,” and I honestly liked him in the Diane Keaton-Jack Nicholson comedy “Something’s Gotta Give,” in which he played a sympathetic and believable character. But sadly, in most of his films his emotions run the gamut from A to B – almost like he’s an automaton.

  7. floatinggold says:

    I agree with most of your rankings, but who in their right minds would consider Shaquille O’Neal anything close to an actor? Also, kind of surprised you did not list Tom Cruise in any of the categories.

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