Top 10 Scrooges on Stage and Screen
10. Kelsey Grammer
After nearly two decades as crotchety psychiatrist Frasier Crane on ‘Cheers’ and the eponymous sitcom ‘Frasier’, Kelsey Grammer knew a few things about playing flawed characters. In this 2004 television musical, he plays Scrooge alongside a veritable ‘who’s who’ of TV stars including Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander as Marley, Ally McBeal’s Jane Krakowski as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Scrooge’s childhood sweetheart, Emily.
9. Seymour Hicks
Before Tommy Steele became one of London’s longest-running Scrooges, Seymour Hicks beat him to the title by performing the role thousands of times, beginning on stage in 1901 and creating the first onscreen appearance of the role in the silent 1913 film Scrooge. He played the role yet again on film, this time in a talkie in 1935. In between he played the role more or less annually for thirty years on London stages.
8. Bill Murray
In the 1988 film ‘Scrooged’, Bill Murray plays a modern-day version of Ebenezer – a soulless TV executive who has put money above everything else. The three ghosts arrive in the form of a New York taxicab driver, a pixie fairy, and a monster with a television screen for a face to teach him the true meaning of Christmas.
7. George C. Scott
After famously turning down two Academy Award nominations and even the Oscar itself, George C. Scott had firmly established himself as Hollywood’s biggest curmudgeon when he took on the role of Scrooge in a made-for-television adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ in 1984. It is generally considered to be one of the best screen adaptations of Dickens’ beloved novel.
6. Jim Carrey
One of the most recent takes on the classic role came from funnyman Jim Carrey, who also voiced the three ghosts in the 2009 animated film ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was directed by Robert Zemeckis who used his performance capture animation techniques to create the fantastic 3D effects.
5. Scrooge McDuck
After being created in 1947, Scrooge McDuck finally got to take on the role of his namesake in ‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol’ in 1983. With Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit, Goofy as Jacob Marley, and Jiminy Cricket as the Ghost of Christmas Past, this adaptation offers an all-star cast of an entirely different kind.
4. Albert Finney
The first actor to take on the role in Leslie Bricusse’s Scrooge was Albert Finney. Though more known for his dramatic work, he managed to sing and dance his way into a Golden Globe Award for his performance.
3. Tommy Steele
The Palladium’s most beloved star, Tommy Steele first played the role of Scrooge in 2003. In the past decade, he has performed the role in Bricusse’s version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ more times than any other actor in the world. His enthusiasm knows no bounds as he leads a full cast in this year’s holiday celebration.
2. Patrick Stewart
After playing the role several times on stage in London and on Broadway, Patrick Stewart immortalised his performance as Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1999 film adaptation of A Christmas Carol. This version also starred Richard E. Grant as Bob Cratchit, Joel Grey as the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Dominic West as Scrooge’s nephew Fred.
1. Michael Caine
Topping our list of famous Scrooges is Michael Caine, who played the role in the wonderful ‘Muppet Christmas Carol’. He manages to turn in a surprisingly moving performance even opposite Rizzo the Rat as Charles Dickens, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy as the Cratchits, and Statler and Waldorf as Jacob and “Robert” Marley.