With the Oscars just weeks away, we look at some of the actors who have won Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Oscars for characters that epitomize on- screen cool.
Marlon Brando: On The Waterfront
Charisma, heart, acting chops, a distinctive voice… Marlon Brando had it all. His role on both stage and screen as the brooding, brutish Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire lit a fire in screen acting, but it was for his portrayal of Terry Malloy, a dockworker who "could have been a contender" and finds himself trying to break free of the organized crime endemic among longshoremen that landed him his first Oscar. Brando's slow- burning presence is electrifying.
Gene Hackman: French Connection
"You ever picked your feet in Poughkipsie?" Gene Hackman's performance as Popeye Doyle is still the yardstick by which all on- screen cops are measured. Striding the streets of New York city in search of elusive drug traffickers, Hackman's rough and ready ragamuffin is as memorable a crime character as Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot.
Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
With Jack Nicholson, you could take your pick with any of his performances, but the one to land Jack his first ever Oscar was his performance as R.P. McMurphy. Playing an anti- authoritarian figure who finds himself referred to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation. Nicholson's McMurphy is about as mischievous and mesmerizing as one could have imagined from Ken Kesey's seminal novel from which the film was adapted.
Benicio Del Toro: Javier Rodriguez
Playing the one good cop in a landscape polluted with crooked cops, shady dealers and back- stabbers, Benicio Del Toro's bi-lingual turn in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic is nothing short of riveting. Del Toro's Rodriguez is as calm, cool and collected as one could be at the coal-face of the murky underworld in which his character finds himself.
Kevin Spacey: The Usual Suspects
Spacey had earned his reputation playing ruthless characters in films such as Glengarry Glen Ross and Se7en, but it was only in The Usual Suspects in which Spacey's stellar reputation for playing chilling, ice- cool characters was truly made. Playing Verbal Kint, Spacey's Kint isn't as charismatic and cool on the surface as you think; if you don't know what I'm talking about, stop reading this and go watch the movie. Now.