Possibly the hardest working actors on the silver screen are those who play more than one role in a film. It isn’t very often that this happens although there are some very famous examples. Here are a couple of my favourites.
King Hearts and Coronets – in this classic Guinness plays a total of 8 characters. He really was a legend when it comes to character acting and comedy. He is often overlooked by the common man purely because they get blinded by his role as Obi Wan, even though it was in a film he didn’t even like.
Perhaps the modern day king of multiple roles is Murphy, not always to good effect (Norbit & Nutty Professor). At the start of his career he was both brilliant and hilarious playing some really memorable roles at the height of the 80s blockbuster boom. Even then he had an opportunity to play the multi-character card in Coming to America where he played 4 people including the awesome Randy Watson “Sexual Chocolate”. Arsenio Hall also gets a special mention alongside Murphy as they both helped to reduce the wage bill… It all went down hill in the 90s, but we loved it while it lasted.
In Raiders of the Lost Ark Vic plays 2 roles, firstly as Barranca, one of Jones’ double crossing companions in the opening sequence and secondly as the unforgettable Monkey Man, who helps the Nazis capture Marion in Cairo.
Pat is my personal favourite. He was definitely the hardest working actor in Hollywood if only for his role in the Indiana Jones series. He would have been in all of the films if he hadn’t died before Crystal Skull was made (not a real Jones movie anyway), where he would have taken the role of Antonin Dovchenko. In total is managed 5 roles across 3 films. The other interesting bit of trivia is that he manages to get killed by Indy in each of the roles. Not bad for a wrestler from Birmingham.
- Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark: as a Sherpa and Nazi mechanic in the desert;
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: as a Thuggee assassin and Thuggee Overseer
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: as a massive Gestapo officer that tries to stop Jones in the blimp