List of best actors who have played Jesus Christ in film & TV


Over the years, numerous Hollywood luminaries have taken on this monumental task, each leaving their mark on the portrayal of this historical figure.

As audience preferences have evolved, there’s been a shift away from conventional depictions of a blond, blue-eyed Jesus, with many seeking a more authentic representation.

Despite the varying responses to these portrayals, a select few actors have managed to capture the essence of Jesus with unparalleled brilliance, earning widespread acclaim for their performances in both television and film.

Here is a list of some of the most notable actors who have brought Jesus Christ to life on screen.

In the 2008 BBC miniseries ‘The Passion,’ Joseph Mawle took on the challenging role of portraying Jesus Christ.

The series focused on the final week of Jesus’s life and the events leading up to his crucifixion.

Writer Frank Deasy aimed to present Jesus as a more relatable figure, drawing from the Gospels of Mark and Matthew.

To prepare for the role, Mawle extensively researched Jerusalem, the lifestyle of the first century, and the Gospels. Reflecting on his experience, he described the role as both fearful and wonderful, with immense pressure and pleasure in equal measure.

John Hurt portrayed Jesus in Mel Brooks’ 1981 parody film ‘History of the World, Part I.’ In a comedic twist, the film humorously depicts the Last Supper scene, with Brooks’s character Comicus interrupting Jesus.

Despite the comedic treatment, Hurt’s performance was well-received by audiences and remains a memorable portrayal.

Jeffrey Hunter starred as Jesus in the 1961 epic drama ‘King of Kings,’ directed by Nicholas Ray.

Despite mixed reviews for the film, Hunter’s portrayal earned praise for his arresting performance.

Hunter expressed gratitude for the opportunity to portray such a significant figure, acknowledging the profound impact of the role.

Brian Deacon played Jesus in the 1979 film ‘Jesus,’ which remains one of the most-watched films ever.

Deacon’s portrayal focused on authenticity, with meticulous attention to detail in capturing the teachings of Christ.

His performance resonated with audiences worldwide, making “Jesus” the most translated film in history.

Ted Neeley delivered an extraordinary performance as Jesus in the 1973 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’

Neeley’s portrayal earned him a Golden Globe nomination and accolades for his compelling interpretation of the iconic role.

In Martin Scorsese’s 1988 film ‘The Last Temptation of Christ,’ Willem Dafoe portrayed Jesus with depth and complexity.

Despite controversy surrounding the film’s depiction of Jesus, Dafoe’s performance was praised for its emotional resonance and nuanced portrayal.

Max von Sydow delivered a memorable performance as Jesus in the 1965 epic ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told.’

Von Sydow’s portrayal showcased his talent and versatility as an actor, earning him international recognition and acclaim.

Jim Caviezel took on the challenging role of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s 2004 film ‘The Passion of the Christ.’

Despite the film’s controversial reception, Caviezel’s performance received widespread praise for its emotional intensity and authenticity.

Robert Powell’s portrayal of Jesus in the 1977 miniseries ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ is often regarded as one of the best in cinematic history.

Powell’s commitment to the role and captivating performance left a lasting impression on audiences, cementing his place as one of the most iconic portrayals of Jesus Christ.



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