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Our 10 Favorite Patrick Stewart Performances

July 13, 2012  |  10:15am

Today Sir Patrick Stewart turns 72, and before wishing him a very happy birthday, we reminisced a little on his long-running career. Whether it’s in a film, TV show, or voice appearance, Stewart never disappoints. We chose our favorite appearances by one of today’s most talented actors.

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10.Sejanus I, Claudius
Debut: 1976
I, Claudius was a mini-series on the history of the Roman Empire, full of intrigue, murder, plotting and yes, even incest. It also featured a young Mr. Stewart (with hair, no less) as the imperial bodyguard Sejanus. But the real highlight, as we all know, is seeing Patrick Stewart in a proper Roman helmet.
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9. Narrator, Ted
Debut: 2012
Although it was a small role, Stewart’s narration of Ted’s prologue was a treat for moviegoers. With the exception of Morgan Freeman, would you want anyone else narrating your life?
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8. Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol
Debut: 1999
A Christmas Carol is a Charles Dickens classic and a must-watch for many around the holidays. It’s been recreated time after time with a different cast and a few tweaks, but few can compare to the 1999 version. Stewart delivers a performance that recasts Scrooge as a believable character rather than a over-the-top caricature.
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7. King Claudius, Hamlet
Debut: 1980
Shakespeare’s classic tale of murder and revenge has seen many lives, but few have been as great as the BBC’s version. Stewart nailed the role of Claudius, Hamlet’s treacherous uncle who murders his father and marries his mother.
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6. King Richard, Robin Hood: Men in Tights
Debut: 1993
Another small but memorable role for Stewart, King Richard appears at the end of Men in Tights, just in time to put an end to Prince John’s foul doings in humorous and original ways. Stewart flexes his comedic muscle, proving that he’s more than an elegant speaker with a knack for Shakespeare.
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5. Avery Bullock, American Dad!, Family Guy
Debut: 2005
Avery Bullock is the kind of boss we’d like to—well, not have, but definitely hear about from our friends. His strict, teacher/parent punishment of his CIA employees, crazy antics and excellent one-liners make him a must-love on the show.
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4. Emperor Uriel Septim, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion
Debut: 2006
Certain game titles have a certain majesty about them, and The Elder Scrolls have always been right at the top of that list. Stewart’s many roles as royalty show, and though his role is brief, its as well-delivered and impressive as any play or movie.
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3. Number One, The Simpsons: “Homer the Great”
Debut: 1995
In season six, Homer joins a secret society called the Stonecutters, a group that loves ass-paddle hazing and singing. Stewart lends his voice as the group’s leader, Number One, and delivers one of the show’s best guest performances to date. Attach the stone of triumph to this one.
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2. Professor X, X-Men Series
Debut: 2000
Bald guys have never looked so cool. Stewart brings class and style to the role of the wheelchair-bound, telepathic professor. Even with the goofy brain helmet, Patrick Stewart as Professor X is a character you can’t help but love and respect.
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1. Jean-Luc Picard Stark Trek: The Next Generation (multiple episodes/films)
Debut: 1987
Perhaps the role he’s most famous for, Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard quickly stole the hearts of fans everywhere. Thanks to his Shakespearean background, Stewart brings dignity and elegance to the role, crafting a character that’s intense, likable and very human. And who else could make “engage” sound so damn cool?

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