Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History

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You know what really makes a man? A beard. Beards have been featured in films throughout the history of cinema, some great, some good, and some not so great or good. But over the years a few beards have stood the test of time and deserve a little attention. So without further ado …

The Buz presents:


10: Laurence Fishburne as Max in A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3: Dream Warriors
Max had one of those beards that just looked like it belonged there. It was a part of his face. While it wasn’t the fullest or longest beard, it makes an impression. And if I’m not mistaken, it’s the only film in which Larry Fishburne had a beard, making it both unique and stylish. Let us hope he brings it back soon.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
Unique and Stylish, for the people, by the people.

9: John Getz as Dr. Strathis Borans in David Cronenberg’s The Fly
I don’t know about you, but when I thought of this list, this character popped in my head immediately. I couldn’t remember his name in the film, or even the actor’s name, but dammit if I didn’t remember that fantastic beard. Full and dark, but not resilient to arm wrestling contests.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
He has a PhD in beard growth.

8: Bill Moseley as Otis in The Devil’s Rejects
That is an impressive beard. The fact that he was able to get it to replicate The Charlie Manson™ style of beard is both disturbing and respectable. Hat’s off to Moseley for such an amazing beard feat.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
No animals were harmed in the making of this beard.

7: Patrick Wayne as Sinbad in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
Perfect form, neatly trimmed. Not too long, not too short. If his beard was a fairytale, it’d be motherfuckin’ Goldielocks and The Three Little Bears. Just right.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
His porridge is not too hot.

6: James Brolin as George Lutz in The Amityville Horror
I had to include Mr. Brolin on this list for his hair work in The Amityville Horror. He had one of those fantastic Van Dyke beards that narrows down into a point. A sight to behold for sure. It was more terrifying than the ax he was lugging around. If it wasn’t for the awful remake, I’d have put Lutz higher on the list, but nonetheless, gotta give credit where credit is due. That was a rocking beard.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror HistoryTop Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
Righteous. / Not righteous.

Make sure to continue to the NEXT Page for the rest of the list!


5: Pierce Brosnan as Jean Charles Pommier in Nomads
I’ll admit I’ve only seen this movie once, but that’s just a testament to how utterly badass Pierce Brosnan’s beard is in this movie. This beard was so impressive it ended up on the Box in full form. It’s literally the first thing my eyes go to when I see the poster. It left an impression on me, and if you’ve seen the movie, you know what I speak of. You have to love scientist smart beards. The kind where you look at them and you just assume that person is a genius. This is one of those beards, and Brosnan is indeed a genius for growing it for the role. Now if only there had been a bearded Bond…

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
“Nomads” — Featuring Pierce Brosnan’s beard.

4: Tom Skerritt as Dallas in Alien
When you see the cast of Ridley Scott’s Alien, it doesn’t take long to guess which one is the captain. It’s Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas. Why is he captain? His motherfucking beard. Dallas had one of those rugged cheek and neck beards that could theoretically grow up to his forehead and down to his tits if he willed it. Fortunately he trimmed it up and earned himself a Number Four spot on the beard list of greatness. While his chances for survival may have been low, his beard will live on forever as one of the greatest bits of facial hair the galaxy has ever seen.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
In space, a few people will probably hear you shave.

3: A.J. Bowen as Lewis/Victor in The Signal and The House of the Devil
More than any other actor on this list, when you hear the name A.J. Bowen, you can’t think of him without the beard. I credit Bowen and his roles in The Signal and The House of the Devil for bringing the beard back in style. The featured beard in The Signal was so manly and badass that I saw Lewis, rather than Ben, as the hero of the film. Bowen’s beard in The House of the Devil was a different beast altogether. When I first saw the film (and the beard), I had a mini Jaws moment where my girlfriend turned to me and said, “That looks like a three-monther” to which I responded with, “Three and a half, two pounds on him.” I may be one of five people that finds that hilarious, but regardless, it’s a beard that should be praised.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
His beard could have been the babysitter.

2: Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper in Jaws
Speaking of Jaws, it should come as no surprise that Matt Hooper is on this list. If my memory is correct, his was the very first beard I ever saw captured on screen, and to this day it is a thing of much envy for me. Richard Dreyfuss not only was able to memorialize himself as one of the greatest characters in cinema history, but his beard acted as its own character. It should have been in the credits, before Richard Dreyfuss. Without that beard, I don’t think I’d buy Mr. Hooper as a marine biologist. Which I’m sure is why his character grew the beard in the first place: to get more respect from his elders. Or maybe it was just to keep his face warm in time of scuba diving/finding stray heads in boat hulls.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
“I ain’t talking about trimmin’ goatees or sideburns here, Mr. Hooper. I’m talking about workin’ for a living, I’m talkin’ about shavin’.”

“Yeah, well, I ain’t talking about no patchy mess or chin hair either. I’m talking about a great beard.”


1: Kurt Russell as R.J. MacReady in The Thing
I almost nominated the entire film for the Number One spot of list- o-beard awesome because nearly the entire cast has amazing beards. Windows, Clark, Fuchs, Bennings, and even the Norwegians. Also it’s poignant to note that nearly all of the bad guys in the film are facially hairless. But in the end, the crown deservedly goes to R.J. MacReady, the master of all things beards. You should not be asking yourself why I chose Mac’s beard as Number One, but more so why wouldn’t I choose his chops for the Numero Uno spot. All beards should aspire to be half as good as MacReady’s. It was so good that it felt as if the beard kept you warm in certain scenes, thus drawing us closer to MacReady, as if for protection … A flawless victory on Kurt Russell’s part.

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
I looked up “beard” in the dictionary and found this picture.

Now of course there are some other great beards out there that didn’t make the list, so here are some honorable mentions:

Jeff Bridges in King Kong, Chuck from Friday the 13th Part 3, Vincent Price in House of Wax, Joe Seneca as Dr. Meddows in The Blob remake, Robert Englund in 2001 Maniacs, Donald Pleasence in Prince of Darkness, and Richard Attenborough as John Hammond in Jurassic Park.

Dishonorable Mentions: Josh Hartnett in 30 Days of Night. I mean really, what the fuck was that?

Top Ten Greatest Beards in Horror History
Beard Fail™.

The Buz

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Buz Wallick


  1. Great list! Anyone who can’t give props to the contributions of a great beard to horror should switch to watching euro-drams and leave genre alone. Kurt Russell’s beard is one the seven world wonders of cinema.

    Nice work Buz, although can we sneak an honorable mention in to Alan Moore. Genre comics need love too!

  2. I will never understand why the shit I do for this site causes such an uproar sometimes.

    And I’m surprised at the amount of response! Thanks for all the comments guys! I was under the impression the five people who usually read The Buz would read my insane sick induced ramblings and that’d be that, but apparently not.

    Guess beards really are making a comeback.

    Who wants to see a top five or top ten mustaches in film? More than likely 80% of the list would go to Tom Atkins.

  3. I dunno, that pseudo-perm look on James Brolin is kind of detracting from the awesomeness of the beard. I am glad to see that Kurt Russell takes the number one spot and also I would like to agree with LifeMi that as soon as I saw the title I knew I was in for some Getz beard.

  4. I’m growing a beard for the first time right now. Don’t know how it’s gonna come out but I aspire for it to be as great as one of these. I’d like to go for the Dallas beard. It’s all in the hands of mother nature now.

  5. I love this list so much, I’m going to start growing a beard right… now. Thanks for keeping things light and fun around Dread Central, guys. That’s why I like it here.

  6. OF NOTE:
    George Miller directing MAD MAX – BEARD
    George Miller directing HAPPY FEET – NO BEARD

    You need a BEARD to do GENRE WORK.

  7. I think it’s awesome and I can’t argue with the list at all. The top 4 is fantastic. Must have been tough to bring Hooper in at #2. Now everything has become clear. Except for the babies.

  8. Many years ago I looked at what the academics have called the GENRE BEARD from the angle of the creators. Seemed genre cinema could not get done in the 70s/80s without a beard attached. The more beards the better film (eg. Empire Strikes Back). I am glad that Buz has carried on what I call God’s work.

    My studies below for those unfamiliar:

    Proto Beard:

    The Great 70s/80s Genre Beard:

    Future Beards:

  9. Buz, you are one of my good friends, but the lack of Hugo Stiglitz on this list disappoints me terribly. It vexes me. I am terribly vexed!

    You broke my heart, Fredo.

  10. The minute I saw the headline, I knew right away John Getz would be on the list. Great list; hope to see more off-the-wall lists like this in the future.

  11. I’m down with the beard list.

    Next I want to see a continuation of the basic idea, but this time centered around cinemas greatest cases of female arm hair.

    Maybe Raygun can try to top himself (figuratively now people, nooooot literally!) and come up with an even cooler word than vapid to cut it down with! :)

    • I already used a cooler word immediately afterward. That word was “braindead.”

      Seriously, look up the word “braindead” in Webster’s, and you’ll see this poorly written list printed right next to it.

      But hey, if you choose to praise stupidity of this caliber, then feel free. I’ll just use it as one more bit of proof that Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy” wasn’t really a work of fiction.

        • Uh, okay, whatever that means. If you’re the writer of this article, you might want to choose topics that are relevant and maybe take some writing classes. Just a thought. Like I said, this isn’t funny. It’s just stupid and pointless. People give Fangoria a lot of shit these days, but you would never catch them running a “list” like this.

          • I think someone needs to ask Santa to bring him a sense of humor for Christmas. Sheesh. The purpose of this list was to entertain and do something a little different. Buz has a great, slightly off-center approach to everything he does, which is exactly why we love him and look forward to his contributions to the site. Like the inclusion of Hartnett — Priceless!

          • Wow. Someone would really criticize the writer of this as needing lessons? People can’t comprehend things like irony or intelligent people reveling in stoopid humor? Shit, if you’re looking at horror, that latter statement about intellectuals slumming sums up the horror genre pretty well. There are great, intellectually stimulating horror movies but the vast majority revolve around blood and tits. And horror fans’ love for the genre goes right back to that — blood and tits.

            So really, you’re castigating the guy for poking fun at a genre that itself tends to scrape the bottom of the barrel. If he was doing this with Godard films or the German expressionists, I could maybe understand the criticism as some of those movies warrant serious discussion. But he’s taking a piss out of something that’s already pretty goofy. Then again, I guess the horror movie is serious business so carry on.

  12. Wow, I have to come out of lurk mode to say that this pathetic list may possibly be the single most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen on this or any other horror-related website. This is the sort of vapid, braindead tripe that even toilet rags like US Weekly would be ashamed to run (but hey, at least they’d bother to check for spelling errors and typos).

    Looking at articles like these, along with a plethora of news and reviews for films that have nothing to do with the horror genre (Terminator: Salvation, Shutter Island, District 9, etc.) it’s no wonder that Dread Central has devolved into irrelevancy.

    To the writer of this piece: Whatever you do, don’t quit your dayjob. Writing clearly isn’t your thing, dude. This isn’t clever or funny. It’s just lame.

    • Just having a little fun, dude. Sorry if you don’t approve, Mr. Scrooge! If we’re not your thing there are plenty of other sites out there that can maybe serve you a bit better.

      Careful though … every film you mentioned above has also been covered by each one of them as well. Can’t please everyone, but we can try.

      • It’s funny, but a quick check of Fanogoria and Shock Till You Drop shows very little in the way of coverage for the abovementioned films (and no reviews) … most likely because they are NOT horror films.

        Maybe it’s just me, but I thought that a site that proclaimed itself to be dedicated to horror wouldn’t be covering science-fiction, action and mystery-thrillers. Isn’t it a little disingenuous to refer to yourself as a horror site when you cover mainstream non-horror films?

        As for the list, glad you found it fun. I thought it came off like the scribblings of a functionally retarded fifth grader — the sort of thing that even Harry Knowles would turn down. The “writer” should focus on a career that doesn’t involve any sort of written communication.

        And thanks for showing me the door. I’ve noticed you have a habit of defensively responding to just about every negative comment that pops up on this site. I figured it would only be minutes until you showed up, and guess what, I was right!

        • If you are going to have issue with the writing, why not take it offline and write to BUZ and be constructive? Why send your vibes out onto the message board like this? Elevating horror (and this piece is not about that, but endearment to it), starts with the correct kind of criticism and not THIS WRITING SUX (throw up devil horns).

        • Damn I just have to agree with Raygun on this. You guys covered The Incredible Hulk for Christ sake. I mean if you’re going to claim to review only horror, then follow up on it. Don’t look for loopholes.

          • When have we claimed that? We’ve acknowledged numerous times that sometimes we stray outside the boundaries of “pure” horror. If it’s genre-ish, we figure our readers want to know about it. It’s easy to skip over something that’s of no interest.

            As for The Hulk, I don’t get why it’s questioned. He’s a monster. That seems pretty horror-related to me.

          • As for VARIETY — Hell, I have even pushed to cover more exploitation and cult films (Ninth Configuration much?).

            I would have not been the first fright fan on my block to see Reservoir Dogs if GORZEZONE did not cover it. Violent and bloody and cool — the same things I look for in a horror film.

            Genre fans and artists DO need exposure to different things. Speaking of comics and horror, NEAL ADAMS did the production design for Stuart Gordon films (note: Gordon does have a beard). So there, superhero comics/horror people getting together and making you Re-Animator.

          • Not to mention the fact that it’s pretty damned obvious we’re all big horror fans. I think it’s pretty cool to cover things that are a bit fringy to give other fans a little insight as to what someone such as themselves would think about it.

          • Your fear is mission creep? Then maybe we need a sounding board somewhere else for your concern. My dream mag. will always be TOXIC HORROR, which covered the nature of the insane, the horror, and things that were disturbing, sometimes even cross genre. Again you have an issue, take it offline, where it can be CONSTRUCTIVE.

      • So it’s “Like everything we do or go somewhere else”? Because I have to admit, it is a pretty dumb list. And not dumb fun, but just dumb. It’s like you guys are competing for the same originality Cracked supply with their lists.

        Nothing against Buz, I mean I have to credit him not using the word “amazing” once in the article, but best beards? There must be something more interesting or funny relating to horror to make in to a list.

        • “So it’s “Like everything we do or go somewhere else”?”

          Not at all. Never said that. My point was that if ANY user is unhappy with our content and the way that we do things right now there are other options. I respect the other sites a lot and if they’re more suited to what a user wants I’m happy to point them that way. We try to make everyone happy — even though that’s impossible — and hopefully if someone isn’t diggin’ on something here now maybe the will be later. Judging from the two pages of mostly positive response I’d say this list has been a hit.

          We’re a bunch of loonies, just like the rest of you. We don’t always have to take things so very seriously. If this ever stops being fun, then why bother?

  13. I love this list. As a bearded horror fan, how can I not?

    However, I do feel the need to point out that “Dreams Warriors” is not the only Laurence Fishburne film where he sports a beard.

    In fact, two other films that immediately come to mind are “Deep Cover” and “Boyz In the Hood.” I know they aren’t horror (they’re in the “urban cinema” section), but Fishburne’s got great beards in both of them (an undercover beard in “Deep Cover” and a ghetto beard in “Boyz”).

    Bring the beards back, Larry!

      • You’re welcome!

        And I’d also like to commend you for your choice of naming Kurt Russell’s beard as number one. Every time I watch “The Thing,” I am in complete awe of that beard.

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