Some actors were born to play the bad guy. They may very well be a darling in real life, but when the camera finds their face, they are able to create some of the best, most evil and certainly most memorable moments on TV which stay with us long after the credits.

If an actor plays a really great bad guy, it is often these characters we recall most easily when a show has finished, or can sometimes end up secretly routing for in the show. Not every actor is able to make an audience feel this way, and so when one comes along, they deserve celebrating.

Here are our pick of the best on-screen bad guys and an appreciation of the talented actors who brought them to life.

Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon

An international success, one of the reasons Game of Thrones is so popular comes from the fact that no one character is purely good or purely evil. You never know when or if your favourite character could bite the dust, and the character that you once hated suddenly becomes your new favourite.

Joffrey is perhaps the only character in the show who has been continuously deplorable, and he is perfectly playing by Jack Gleeson who, according to an interview with GQ, named Joaquin Phoenix as a major inspiration for the role.

The Irish actor has shown us over time how spoiled, obnoxious, egotistical and downright evil King Joff can be, making him, of course, one of the true highlights of the entire show.

Breaking Bad TV Bad Guys

Bryan Cranston as Walter White

Breaking Bad has gone from perfect obscurity to mainstream success over its five year run, and its success lays largely in the hands of the star of the show, Bryan Cranston. Once famous as the haphazard father in Malcolm in the Middle, Cranston has proven himself to be a formidable talent.

Starting as a weak, cancer-riddled and law-abiding chemistry teacher, Cranston transformed the character into pure evil. The actor hails the writing as the greatest part of the show, according to Home Wet Bar: “What’s great about well-written material is, if you can shock with justifiable actions, that’s the best.”

Walking Dead Governor TV Bad Guys

David Morrissey as The Governor

In a world filled with zombies, you have to be a pretty standout bad guy to really make an impact. The Governor, first seen in the comic books which inspired the show, is considered to be one of the most evil characters of all time, and this role is played perfectly by David Morrissey.

Cruel and brutal, Morrissey is able to play intense, evil scenes with realism and a certain level of calm, which makes this character so believable. While talking to Collider, Morrissey said of the ‘badness’ of his character:

“I think he would see himself as doing everyone the can in order to secure his town and his people, and make sure they are safe. And that calls for some very tough decisions.”

With the anti-hero genre being so popular right now, I’m sure we left off some favorites. Share your favorite bad guys in the comments!