Historically, redheads -- or "gingers," as they are called pejoratively in England -- have been persecuted, ridiculed and even feared. But we here at Moviefone have decided to take a stand against such blatant gingerism (which actually still occurs today in Europe) by paying tribute to our favorite titian-haired actors.

Who better to kick off our celebration than Rupert Grint, the actor responsible for playing Ron Weasley, one of literature's most famous redheads, in all eight 'Harry Potter' films? After all, in an interview with 'Empire' magazine last year, the 22-year-old Englishman said, "I'm so proud to be part of 'Harry Potter' -- and even prouder to be representing the gingers."

Without further ado, here are 12 redheads -- plus a handful of honorable mentions** -- that we totally love.
Rupert Grint
Why We Love Him: Despite being credited directly after Daniel Radcliffe, Grint is often overshadowed by the bespectacled hero and the brainy, beautiful Hermione (Emma Watson). But as those of us who've read the books know, Grint will do far more than offer comic relief in the upcoming 'Deathly Hallows Part 1': He'll ultimately save Harry's life, capture Hermione's heart and prove that he's way more than just a red-headed sidekick.

Nicole Kidman
Why We Love Her: With her long locks worthy of a Renaissance painting, Kidman first grabbed our attention as Sam Neill's doomed wife in 'Dead Calm' and her ex Tom Cruise's love interest in 'Days of Thunder.' Ever since, Kidman has been the kind of actress who wins awards and fans alike. Her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in 'The Hours' may have earned her an Oscar, but it's her role as the fiery-haired Satine in Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge' that remains our favorite.

Julianne Moore
Why We Love Her: Kidman's co-star in 'The Hours' is yet another beautiful, red-maned actress. Anyone who has seen the late, great Robert Altman's 'Short Cuts' knows, without a doubt, that Moore is a natural redhead. But her famous bottomless scene is just one of dozens and dozens that Moore made perfect with extraordinary performances, from playing a seasoned porn star in 'Boogie Nights' to a frustrated housewife in 'Far From Heaven' to her latest award-worthy film, 'The Kids Are All Right.'

Eric Stoltz
Why We Love Him: If you grew up in the '80s, it's hard not to love Stoltz simply for his trifecta of roles in the stoner comedy 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High,' the high-school love-triangle drama 'Some Kind of Wonderful' and the unforgettable true story, 'Mask.' Two decades later, he continues to debunk the myth that redheaded men aren't sexy, racking up more than 100 film and TV roles on his resume. If you remain unconvinced, check out his heartbreaking role in the Edith Wharton adaptation, 'The House of Mirth.'

Susan Sarandon
Why We Love Her: How could we not love an actress who has done everything from star in the cult classic 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' to win an Oscar for playing a nun devoted to fighting the death penalty in 'Dead Man Walking'? Even at 64, Sarandon is still one sexy mama who lends a certain amount of class to every role she takes on -- stealing scenes in 'The Lovely Bones,' 'Wall Street 2' and pretty much everything she's in these days.

Seth Green
Why We Love Him: It's easy to dismiss the funnyman as one of those jokesters who just pops up in movies like 'Austin Powers' to make wisecracks and lift his auburn eyebrows, but Green has proven himself one of the hardest working comedians in Hollywood. He writes, produces and directs the Emmy-winning stop-animated series 'Robot Chicken' for the Cartoon Network, voices dim bulb Chris Griffin on Fox's 'The Family Guy,' and has appeared in more than 50 movies.

Patricia Clarkson
Why We Love Her:
Whether she's playing a Marlene Dietrich-accented drug addict ('High Art'), a cancer-stricken mother ('Pieces of April') or a patient psychiatrist ('Lars and the Real Girl'), Clarkson can pull any role off with a subtlety and elegance that makes her one of the go-to actresses in the indie circuit. It's seems like just a matter of time until the one-time Oscar nominee nabs an Academy Award, which will please anyone who has been her fan since 'The Untouchables.'

Damian Lewis
Why We Love Him: He's not as much of a household name in the U.S., but in his native England, Lewis is a Big Deal Actor. Stateside, he's probably best known for his portrayal of Major Dick Winters in HBO's landmark miniseries 'Band of Brothers,' having appeared on the big screen in mostly smaller indie dramas. That will change early next year when Lewis stars opposite Natalie Portman and James Franco in the fantasy comedy 'Your Highness.'

Kevin McKidd
Why We Love Him: If you don't recognize the rugged Scotsman McKidd as one of the M.D. McHotties on 'Grey's Anatomy,' picture him with shaggy blond hair and a heroin habit in 'Trainspotting,' or in costume as Poseidon ('Percy Jackson'), a Crusader ('Kingdom of Heaven') or the protagonist of HBO's 'Rome.' When he's not donning period garb, he's the kind of charming, handsome actor that can believably rival his primetime costar Patrick Dempsey ('Made of Honor').

Lauren Ambrose
Why We Love Her: A veteran theater, TV and film actress, Ambrose started her career in adolescent fare (such as 'Can't Hardly Wait,' in which she hooks up with fellow redhead Seth Green) only to move to the small screen, where she played the rebellious younger sister in 'Six Feet Under.' Her most recent role was disguised as one of Maurice Sendak's creatures in Spike Jonze's 'Where the Wild Things Are,' but she'll appear in four films in 2011.

David Wenham
Why We Love Him: 'The Lord of the Rings' fans know him as brave and loyal Faramir; '300' fans know him as the sage, blind storyteller Dilios; and Baz Luhrmann fans know him for his supporting roles in 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Australia.' The Aussie ginger is that rare breed of actor who can swing both ways -- as a hero or villain, that is. With the looks of a leading man and the acting chops of a character actor, Wenham is a red-hot redhead.

Lindsay Lohan
Why We Love Her: Lindsay fancies herself a blonde now, and that might be part of her problem. She needs to return to her natural, redheaded state, which is how we will always choose to remember her -- circa her winning turn as the adorable freckle-faced wunderkind in 'The Parent Trap.' Her other signature roles as a redhead -- 'Mean Girls,''A Prairie Home Companion' and 'Freaky Friday' -- were all gems. And so we say, paint it red, Lindsay! Reclaim your ginger powers! And then, you know, sober up and pair up with a director who will champion your talent (like this one).

Dearly Departed Gingers:
-- Katharine Hepburn
-- Spencer Tracy
-- Red Buttons
-- Rita Hayworth
-- Bette Davis
-- Joan Crawford
-- Greer Garson

More Redheads (Natural and Honorary):
-- Gillian Anderson
-- Amy Adams
-- Geena Davis
-- Isla Fisher
-- Alyson Hannigan
-- Ann-Margret
-- Shirley MacLaine
-- Debra Messing
-- Bette Midler
-- Cynthia Nixon
-- Maureen O'Hara
-- Miranda Otto
-- Molly Ringwald

**We tried to spread the love equally among men and women, since redheaded men often get overlooked in favor of their female counterparts. Also, we know you're wondering where Christina Hendricks is, but the 'Mad Men' actress is not yet known for her work in the movies -- and she's a natural blonde, to boot.
categories Features