8 Of The Coolest Characters In TV And Film
"Cool" can be a difficult concept to define. Your perception of what's cool is probably different from your neighbor's, or your brother's, or some guy who waxes his mustache. Luckily we have a pretty concrete standard-bearer when it comes to cool: TV and movies. Here are eight of the coolest characters to come from those media, and almost anybody can agree that these people are cool.
He played essentially the same character in all of his silent comedies, and one of his defining characteristics his staying cool under pressure. Whether he's getting rejected by his dream girl or plunging down a dangerous waterfall, his famous "Stone Face" remains intact.
Jim Stark, "Rebel Without A Cause"
The leather jacket. The drag racing. The knife-fighting. Shouting at your parents. So many of what people think of as "cool" was perfected by James Dean in "Rebel Without A Cause," a 1950s melodrama about rampant teen coolness at the time. The red leather jacket and white t-shirt are probably what stuck out the most, but pretty much everything James Dean is cool, so why split hairs?
Fonzie, "Happy Days"
OK, so Arthur Fonzarelli (played by Henry Winkler) is more of a parody of "cool" than the genuine article, but how can you argue with the classic TV character The Fonz? He can turn a jukebox on just by smacking it, his office is in the bathroom, and we're pretty sure he used to be in a gang. If you don't think that's cool, you might as well get fitted for a skinny tie right now, square.
Frank Bullitt, "Bullitt"
Steve McQueen specialized in playing cool characters, and this was probably his coolest. He drives a cool car (and we don't mean he drives it to work, we mean he DRIVES it, in one of the most famous car chase sequences in movie history), and he can say more with a glance and a single word than most, less-cool individuals can say in paragraphs of dialog.
Phyllis Dietrichson, "Double Indemnity"
Film noir is full of cool, seductive women who can talk their prey into a murder plot just as easily as they can into a bed. Barbara Stanwyck plays probably the definitive femme fatale here, trapping the dopey Fred MacMurray (who only THINKS he's cool) in her spider's web. And no one can argue that she cuts a mighty cool figure in that ankle bracelet.
Han Solo, "Star Wars"
One of the great instances of movie magic is how Dorkiest Person in the United States George Lucas managed to create one of the coolest characters in movies, space cowboy Han Solo. He had the help of actor Harrison Ford, so maybe it wasn't that difficult after all. Solo manages to seem cool and hip even when surrounded by giant sci fi space puppets, laser swords, and metal bikinis. Now THAT'S cool.
Jack Bauer, "24"
Espionage thrillers need a cool hero, and the FOX series got one of the best in Kiefer Sutherland's Jack. Even when he's been up fighting terrorists and spies for almost 24 hours straight, he still manages to look good and keep his composure. He also has a pretty cool fashion accessory: His shoulder bag which seems to always have any gadgets he needs to get the job at hand done. Cool AND functional!
Omar Little, "The Wire"
One of the best "cool" indicators is when a person follows is own path, regardless of what the world around him expects or demands. That's definitely true of the legendary stickup man and folk hero of the streets of Baltimore Omar, who makes a living ripping off drug dealers at gunpoint, all without ever uttering any profanity. He's also gay, which in the homophobic world of the Baltimore drug trade, is about as ballsy and cool as you can be.