Hollywood loves a good risk taker, whether its secret agents, con artists or plain old bad guys, we all love the danger and the charisma. Some of the most charismatic characters in film history have found their way to the poker table over the years, so let’s take a look at the coolest players to ever take up the art of sport betting on the silver screen.
James Bond is a secret agent for the British Secret Service. He was created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, and has featured in over 26 films, being portrayed by seven different actors. The glitz and glamour of casinos play perfectly into the overall setting of Bond films, seeing him at the tables in films such as Dr. No, Thunderball and Diamonds Are Forever.
Daniel “Danny” Ocean is both the namesake and central protagonist in the original Ocean’s 11, and its 2001 remake, and the two sequels that followed. Initially portrayed by Frank Sinatra in the original film and by George Clooney in the remake, Ocean is the only character that appears in all four Ocean’s films.
Played by Dustin Hoffman in the 1988 film road movie Rain Man, Raymond “Ray” Babbitt is a Savant with an eidetic memory, who is left his father’s millions in his will. His brother Charlie, played by Tom Cruise learns of his estranged brother’s existence and heads to meet him, eventually breaking him out of the mental institution he’s in.
Eric Stoner is the lead character in the 1965 American drama film The Cincinnati Kid, portrayed by Steve McQueen. It tells the story of a young Depression-era poker player as he seeks to establish his reputation at the top. His quest leads him to take on Lancey Howard, an experienced player widely considered to be the best, ending in a climactic final poker match between the two.
Le’Chiffre is a Bond villain appearing in the 1967 film Casino Royale and its subsequent 2006 remake, starring Mads Mikkelsen in the role. Little is known about the character besides his alias, which is the French translation of “The Number”. A mathematical genius and a chess prodigy, his abilities enable him to earn large sums of money on games of chance and probabilities.
Played by Matt Damon in the 1998 film Rounders, Mike McDermott is a law student and talented poker player who dreams of hitting the big leagues. The film also starred Edward Norton as his childhood friend, John Malkovich as KGB, a Russian mobster and John Turturro as Joey Knish, his mentor and fellow poker player.