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How Well Do You Know: Same Role, Different Actor
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1. This legendary character has been played by actors as diverse as Bela Lugosi and Glenn Strange. Name this horror icon.
Frankenstein’s Monster
Professor Van Helsing
Dr Frank N Furter
Count Dracula
2. Agatha Christie’s famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, has been played by a wide range of actors. Which of the following have employed his “little grey cells” on-screen?
Tony Randall
Albert Finney
Austin Trevor
All of the above
3. William Shakespeare is a favorite source for directors and studios, and many of his plays have been made into films. Which oft-seen Shakespearean role has been played by the likes of Tim Roth and Reece Dinsdale?
Don Pedro
4. Every hero must have his nemesis, his arch-enemy, and perhaps none is better-known than the villain who has been portrayed over the years by George Zucco, Lionel Atwill, Laurence Olivier and Leo McKern. Who is this dastardly character?
The Sheriff of Nottingham
Snidely Whiplash
Professor James Moriarty
Sir Guy of Gisbourne
5. Literary classics are always a safe bet when Hollywood is looking around for solid box-office numbers, and Alexandre Dumas père’s story The Three Musketeers has been a favorite property. Which of the following sets of actors have played the hero, and putative Fourth Musketeer, D’Artagnan?
Richard Chamberlain, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons
Oliver Reed, Gérard Depardieu, John Malkovich
Tim Curry, Charlton Heston, Stephen Rea
Michael York, Chris O’Donnell, Don Ameche
By way of explanation.....
All the actors in the answer must have played D'Artagnan.
6. You just can’t keep a good monster down, especially this one that has been played by Boris Karloff and Arnold Vosloo.
Frankenstein’s Monster
Larry Talbot
High Priest Imhotep
Count Dracula
7. Detectives are also well-represented in the multiple-appearance category, and none is more well-known than the master detective, Sherlock Holmes. Which of the following sets of actors have portrayed the World’s First Consulting Detective?
Warner Oland, Sidney Toler, Peter Ustinov
William Powell, Basil Rathbone, Wilfrid Hyde-White
Dick Powell, Elliot Gould, James Garner
Michael Caine, Peter Cushing, Nicol Williamson
By way of explanation.....
All the actors in the answer must have played Sherlock Holmes.
8. This story of royal intrigue and the popular theory that everyone has a doppelgänger has seen such disparate actors as Ronald Colman and Peter Sellers in the lead role.
The Corsican Brothers
The Prisoner of Zenda
Start the Revolution Without Me
The Return of the Musketeers
9. The distaff side of the literary detecting business is a well that Hollywood enjoys returning to again and again. Which lady sleuth has been played by Margaret Rutherford and Angela Lansbury?
Jane Dennison
Jessica Fletcher
Miss Jane Marple
Nora Charles
10. We mustn't forget about the supporting characters in the tales Hollywood turns to time and again. Certainly one of the more familiar in the horror genre is Professor Van Helsing, Count Dracula’s sworn foe. Which of these actors has played the wise vampire hunter?
Peter Cushing
Chris Sarandon
Anthony Hopkins
A and C but not B
11. Historical figures are also a staple of the movie industry. One of the most compelling is the deformed scion of the House of York, who has fascinated writers since Shakespeare’s time. Played by actors as diverse as Ian McKellen and Basil Rathbone, who is this controversial royal?
Richard III
Henry VIII
Richard II
Henry II
12. British production company Hammer Films made its first foray into the horror genre with an adaptation of a popular TV character, a rather obnoxious scientific genius who saves the Commonwealth from extraterrestrial threats. Played by Brian Donlevy and Andrew Keir, who is this UK science-fiction icon?
Doctor Who
Professor Quatermass
Professor Challenger
Doctor Zhivago
13. Charles Dickens is another literary icon whose works are made and remade again and again by studios. In the running for one of the Victorian scribe’s most memorable characters would surely be Madame Defarge, the tricoteuse who does her best to see that the Reign of Terror lives up to its name. Which of these pairs of actresses have played this vengeful old woman?
Cloris Leachman and Agnes Moorehead
Blanche Yurka and Rosalie Crutchley
Carol Cleveland and Alice Krige
A and B but not C
14. There are certain roles in Shakespeare’s canon that it seems many of the top actors find it necessary to take on during their careers. Among his tragedies, this tale of the aging king whose human frailty ultimately leads him to ruin and madness is a staple. Played by such luminaries as Orson Welles and Paul Scofield, who is this miserable monarch?
King Lear
Henry VI
Richard III
15. Another author whose works have seen favor with Hollywood is Victor Hugo. The Hugo novel that has seen the most film incarnations is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the tale of crippled bell-ringer Quasimodo who comes to the rescue of the wrongly-accused Gypsy beauty Esmeralda, who has shown him kindness. The make-up-heavy role has been filled by which of the following actors?
Lon Chaney
Anthony Quinn
Charles Laughton
All of the above
16. Hollywood’s love of biographies necessitates that more than one actor will play the same historical figure. Since US presidents lead the pack in bio-pics, you might find it relatively easy to name the president portrayed by both Aidan Quinn and Kevin Kline.
Theodore Roosevelt
Harry Truman
Ulysses S Grant
Thomas Jefferson
17. The horror genre perhaps holds the most characters that Hollywood features again and again and again. And again. A favorite is the tale of the man cursed through no fault of his own to become a beast at the full moon. Portrayed most famously by Benicio del Toro and Lon Chaney, Jr, what is the name of the unfortunate man?
Jack Seward
Lawrence Talbot
Death Bredon
Turhan Bey
18. England’s rich folklore history has provided a number of ripping tales for the movie studios. One of the earliest, and best-known, concerns the nobleman who gives up his lands and riches to help wrest his beloved country from the hands of a usurper and the strongman tax collector keeping him on the throne. Played by thespians as diverse as John Cleese, Cary Elwes, and Richard Green, name this outlaw hero of the people.
Black Adder
Sir Guy of Gisbourne
Robin Hood
19. No story is complete without supporting players, and we would be remiss not to honor one John H Watson, MD, arguably the most famous supporting player/sidekick/partner in literature and on film. Which of the following sets of actors have assayed the Master Detective’s Boswell?
Leo G Carroll, Roddy McDowall, Roland Young
James Mason, Dudley Moore, Ben Kingsley
Hugh Laurie, Nigel Bruce, Walter Slezak
Alan Rickman, Christopher Lloyd, Lionel Barrymore
By way of explanation.....
All the actors in the answer must have played Dr Watson.
20. Another rich source of Hollywood material is the Bible, which provides characters and stories with which the moviegoing public is familiar, making greenlighting such projects a safer bet for studios. The story of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection has been retold several times, with one character in particular having his role expanded in film. Name the supporting player who was portrayed variously by Anthony Quinn, Harry Guardino and Richard Conte.
21. When it comes to swashbuckling novels, one can always count on Alexandre Dumas père. One of his lesser-known tales is the saga of a man betrayed by rivals and falsely imprisoned who later gains his freedom, along with a treasure and a title, thanks to a sympathetic abbot. Assayed by such notables as Robert Donat and James Caviezel, who is this wronged nobleman?
Edmond Dantès
Percy Blakeney
Peter Wimsey
Diego Vega
22. Lest anyone get the impression that there are no American authors whose works have provided Hollywood with countless film projects, allow me to introduce into the proceedings Robert Louis Stevenson. A particular favorite of his works is The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, a cautionary tale of a scientist who goes too far in his attempts to separate his good and evil sides in order to enhance the former. Which of the following sets of actors have played the twin protagonists?
Errol Flynn, Michael York, Kevin Kline
Armand Assante, Peter Finch, Dan O’Herlihy
Wallace Beery, Claude Rains, John Rhys-Davies
Tony Todd, Spencer Tracy, Boris Karloff
By way of explanation.....
All the actors in the answer must have played Dr Henry Jekyll.
23. When it comes to horror, nobody does it better than Edgar Allan Poe, but surprisingly, Hollywood hasn’t often mined this rich territory. One story that regularly sees the big-screen treatment, however, is Fall of the House of Usher, the eerie tale of Roderick, last scion of a family with a bloody history; his delicate sister, Madeline; and the horror witnessed by the boyhood friend of the ill-fated master of the house. Which of the following actors have portrayed the doomed Master Usher?
Oliver Reed
Vincent Price
Martin Landau
All of the above
24. Another rich mine of material for Hollywood is the Old West, which offers a fascinating variety of characters ranging from the fictional to the factual. One enduring studio favorite has been portrayed by such thespians as Leslie Nielsen and Richard Mulligan. What is this Western role?
Buffalo Bill Cody
Wild Bill Hickok
George Armstrong Custer
Doc Holliday
25. We return to the horror genre for our final question, and to arguably the most popular tale. Since Bram Stoker released Dracula in 1897, there have been many, many film adaptations of the novel, bringing to life the mysterious Count and a variety of vivid characters. The oddest of these was Dracula’s human servant, played by such a diverse group as Dwight Frye, Arte Johnson and Tom Waits., name the loony.
Elwood P Dowd
R M Renfield
George William Frederick Hanover
Michael Myers

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