With Joaquin Pheonix bagging the Oscar for ‘Joker’, we take a look at different portrayals over the years

Recently Joaquin Phoenix on Sunday bagged the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Joker, becoming the second person to win an Oscar for portraying the Batman villain. The first was Heath Ledger, who in 2009 posthumously won Best Supporting Actor for Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Let’s look at the notable depictions in movies over the years.


Joker; there is something oddly appealing about the archvillain that has managed to captivate audiences of all ages. Purple vests, green hairdo and scarlet smiles have dominated the cosplay events and comic book scene for years. Its evident that this character has far surpassed the popularity of the caped crusader.

It’s not a surprise that the four DC movies that have won the golden statuette, Joker is in all of them.

Movie Portrayals (Non-fiction)

Joker was previously depicted as a rather campy light-hearted prankster who carts a toy gun and tries to electrocute Batman live on television and creates an army of gun-toting commandos along with a string of other shenanigans that were diluted to make it appropriate for the younger audience. Over the years, the portrayal attained a darker shade when he was seen to commit violent crimes like shooting down anyone who crossed his way with a long shotgun and casually slammed heads of his targets onto vertically placed knives in pretext of a magic trick. Joker was brought to the screen by Ceasar Romera in the first non-comic adaptation, whose portrayal captured the comic book character perfectly in spirit with his accentuated appearance and catchy puns.  Almost after a decade, Joker played by Jack Nicholson appeared with Tim Burton’s magnum opus Batman in the year 1989. His iconic portrayal drew the attention of the discerning audience who already had watched the impeccably played Joker previously. Nicholson’s work is revolutionary since it elevated the character from a campy trickster to an edgy and menacing villain.
Actors that played Joker over the years
Heath Ledger’s Joker was acclaimed as one of the legendary depictions we have ever seen. Ledger carved out a unique take by studying the previous portrayals and subject matter which brought out a cruel side to joker that hadn’t been explored before. He was also posthumously awarded an Oscar for his masterful depiction that set a benchmark with a truly original spin he brought to the character. Jared Leto’s Joker showed a modern outlook but he couldn’t make a mark owing to the shortcomings in the script of the movie. While some were simply bemused by the modernised touch to the character, many also liked the novelty factor introduced by him.
We are thrilled to learn that most recent portrayal by Joaquin Phoenix bagged the Oscar like we had predicted in the review.

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