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Woody Harrelson’s 10 Best Movie and TV Roles, Ranked

From comedy to crime, Woody has proven he can do it all!

There’s something about Woody Harrelson that pulls you in — whether it be his stellar repertoire of movies he’s starred in or the TV shows he’s left an indelible mark on, the actor is sure to have impressed you at least once or twice.

Maybe it’s the southern drawl, maybe it’s the sense of humor — or maybe it’s just pure talent. Either way, he’s given some of the most memorable performances of the last two decades on both the big and small screen.

Woody Harrelson, 2018, actor in movies and TV shows
Woody Harrelson, 2018Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

While the 62-year-old got his rise to fame thanks to his role of Woody Boyd on the beloved sitcom Cheers, his career certainly didn’t stop there. Here, take a look at our favorite Woody Harrelson movies and TV shows, ranked.

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Woody Harrelson best movies and TV shows, ranked

10. The Hunger Games (2012)

What was once North America has been divided in 12 districts. Each year, a boy and girl between 12 and 18 are are chosen to compete in the Hunger Games, an organized event in which participants fight to the death until there is one remaining victor.

When Katniss Everdeen is chosen, she has to rely on her skills to make it to the end, as well as the insights of those assigned to help her, one of whom is Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), a previous victor of the games.

His crass approach to mentoring, although unorthodox, proves to be helpful in the long run.

9. White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

Woody Harrelson plays Billy, a talented street basketball player, who makes money off of his opponents when they inevitably underestimate his skills on the court due to him being white.

Eventually, he joins forces with another talented player named Sidney (Wesley Snipes) to orchestrate a con throughout the courts they play on to earn big money.

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8. Natural Born Killers (1994)

Natural Born Killers tells the story of a pair of young serial killers (played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis), whose killing spree gets sensationalized by the media, specifically, one reporter by the name of Wayne Gale, played by Robert Downey Jr.

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7. Zombieland (2009) Woody Harrelson movies and TV shows

When the world as we know it becomes overrun with zombies, an unlikely crew of characters come together to journey toward what is rumored to be a safe-haven from the undead.

This bunch includes Wichita (Emma Stone), Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) and Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg).

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6. The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)

Harrelson brings to life real-life pornographer Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler magazine, in The People vs. Larry Flynt.

The film chronicles the public backlash he faced with the publishing of the magazine for its graphic and lewd material, one instance resulting in his paralysis, as well as the legal battles he endured as he ultimately influenced free speech in America.

5. The Messenger (2009) Woody Harrelson movies and TV shows

Woody Harrelson stars as Captain Tony Stone, who takes under his wing Will Montgomery (Ben Foster). Because he was injured in Iraq, Will is sent home, finishing his tour apart of the Army’s Casualty Notification service, notifying families of their fallen loved ones.

Despite Stone teaching Will what to expect and how to tackle the tough responsibility, Will breaks protocol for a widow named Olivia.

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

A woman’s (Frances McDormand) daughter is murdered, and when the police department fails to make any arrests in the seven months after her death, the mother takes matters into her own hands, putting up three billboards outside of her town urging the chief of police (Woody Harrelson) to take action.

3. No Country for Old Men (2007)

Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) discovers a large sum of cash while out hunting. Despite realizing the risk, he takes it. However, it isn’t long before he has a major threat, hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), on his trail. All the while, Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is on his own search for Llewelyn.

Harrelson plays Carson Wells, a bounty hunter.

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2. Cheers (1985 — 1993) Woody Harrelson movies and TV shows

In the series that launched him into mainstream fame, Harrelson plays bartender Woody Boyd. The actor joined in the beginning of the fourth season and brought to life the less-than-bright yet well-intentioned character we love.

1. True Detective — Season 1 (2014)

In the haunting debut season of HBO’s True Detective, Woody Harrelson led the cast as Detective Marty Hart alongside Matthew McConaughey‘s Detective Rustin Cole.

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The series plays out events recalled by the two main characters as they occurred 17 years prior while they investigated the murder of a Louisiana woman. The series expertly portrays a sense of eeriness with the two leads shining brightly.

For his role in the series, Harrelson received an Emmy nod for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

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