Growing out a beard for a role is often an arduous process for some actors, not the least of which being the fact that an actor's face is primarily obscured by it.

Harrison Ford, whilst growing out his beard for 'The Fugitive', had to wait close to three months for it to come in fully - just for him to shave it off. Robert Redford, meanwhile, grew his in for 'Jeremiah Johnson' and then lost it just as quick for 'The Sting'.

But which of these movies have gone on to become iconic? Here's a few suggestions of our own in honour of International Beard Day.


10th - Wes Bentley / Seneca Crane in 'The Hunger Games'

For sheer ornateness alone, Wes Bentley's tapestry of facial hair in 'The Hunger Games' is worthy of mention. Granted, it must be an absolute pain in the face to keep it that maintained.


9th - Harrison Ford / Dr. Richard Kimble in 'The Fugitive'

Harrison Ford's facial hair had absolutely no bearing on the plot of the movie whatsoever, beyond him shaving it and dying his hair in order to change his appearance. Still, there's a scene at the start when he's fleeing through the woods in shackles from the incredible train wreck that gives the whole thing a certain gothic and operatic feel to it that really elevates the movie as a whole - he's gone from this distinguished doctor to a hunted dog.


8th - Mr. T / Clubber Lang in 'Rocky III'



7th - Keanu Reeves / John Wick in 'John Wick'

If ever there was a beard that could murder you with a pencil, it's this one.



6th - Sean Connery / Capt. Marko Ramius in 'The Hunt For Red October'

Only Sean Connery could manage to make a Lithuanian submarine captain sound like he was from the deepest valley of Scotland and for it not to be an issue for anyone. The beard, however, complimented the look entirely. That's a proud socialist beard that could quote from 'Das Kapital' with ease and sing the anthem of the Soviet Union in full volume. One ping only, pleash.


Joint 5th - Will Ferrell / Ron Burgundy in 'Anchorman'




Joint 5th - Kurt Russell / RJ MacReady in 'The Thing'

While it's not as intricate as his facial hair on, say, 'The Hateful Eight' or 'Tombstone', Russell's rug on 'The Thing' is by far his most iconic and well-known. Like so much of 'The Thing', it's a case of the movie saying more with visuals than anything else - and from that beard, it's clear that MacReady isn't the kind of guy who messes around easily or at all.


4th - Keala Settle / Lettie Lutz in 'The Greatest Showman'

While almost all of the beards in this list have been real and grown by their respective owners, Keala Settle's incredible performance in 'The Greatest Showman' and the defining song from it - 'This Is Me' - just has to get a mention. It's a decent tuft, too.


3rd - Robert Redford / Jeremiah Johnson in 'Jeremiah Johnson'

While there's obviously the .gif of Robert Redford nodding with a smile, his beard in 'Jeremiah Johnson' is as authentic and lived-in as anything he's done in his career and just completely transforms him from a fresh-faced explorer into the rugged woodsman who's probably still up in the mountains.



2nd - Gordon Liu / Pai Mei in 'Kill Bill Vol.2'

It's all in the flick, but Sonny Chiba's clearly fake whispers of white hair in 'Kill Bill Vol.2' spoke more to the heritage that Quentin Tarantino was trying to evoke in the character. Pai Mei was a character featured in Hong Kong kung fu movies going back to the '70s. What's more fascinating is that Pai Mei is based in part on a real-life figure from Chinese history. Bak Mei, literally translated as White Eyebrow, was one of the legendary Five Elders of Shaolin and is also the name of a form of martial art that is practiced to this.



1st - Ian McKellen / Gandalf in 'Lord Of The Rings'

As much as Ian McKellen's calm demeanour and quieting tones spoke of Gandalf's gentle but authoritative presence, that beard of his did just as much work as any of these. In fact, giant beards and wizards now go so hand in hand that you can't even imagine someone having that size of a beard and not drawing comparisons or accusations of theft to it. Looking squarely at you, Dumbledore from 'Harry Potter'.