Happy birthday to Jason Isaacs! The British actor, who's played some of the villains we love to hate most, turns 56 on June 6.
He doesn't always play bad guys -- exceptions include his short-lived TV show "Awake," his terrific British mystery series "Case Histories," and his brief appearance in "The Tuxedo" as a stylish Bond-esque spy.
But there's a reason he's played villains so often: He's damn good at being bad.
Here's the rogue's gallery of his best bad guys:
7. Roman Castevet, "Rosemary's Baby" (2014)
Isaacs as an elegant Satan worshiper is great casting -- except this wan remake of the horror classic doesn't make enough use of his brand of menace. He's certainly sexier than the elderly Castavet in the 1968 film, but that's about the only improvement here.
6. Dr. Heinrich Volmer, "A Cure for Wellness" (2016)
A doctor who's both charismatic and sinister? Check and check! Isaacs gets to chew some scenery as the head of a remote "wellness center" in the Swiss Alps, that's about anything but wellness in this creepy thriller. In another age this part would have been played by Vincent Price, for sure.
5. Dr. Hunter Aloysius 'Hap’ Percy, "The OA" (2016 - )
Yes, this character -- who kidnaps people with near-death experiences to study them -- is bad. But then again, the "Angel Hunter" is working for the greater good. Or at least he thinks he is. Here, enjoy this Reddit thread on whether he's really evil or not.
4. Captain Gabriel Lorca, "Star Trek: Discovery" (2017 - 2018)
Our reaction when it was first announced that Isaacs would be playing the new captain in this CBS All Access series: "Hurrah, finally he gets to play a good guy." And then ... well, things took a turn. A very dark turn.
3. Captain Hook, "Peter Pan" (2003)
Wait, is Captain Hook supposed to be this hot? It's kind of criminal, actually. (FWIW, Vanity Fair named him the Sexiest Captain Hook ever. Sorry, Dustin Hoffman and Colin O'Donoghue from "Once Upon a Time.")
2. Lucius Malfoy, "Harry Potter" franchise (2001 - 2011)
For any other actor, this level of magnificent malevolence would be their finest hour as a villain. But despite the splendid smugness Isaac brings to the role, he's not even the most evil character in the franchise. But he is the one with the most style. And the best hair.
1. Col. William Tavington, "The Patriot" (2000)
Probably most people's first introduction to Isaacs was as the supremely villainous British officer who murders not one but two of Mel Gibson's sons in this Revolutionary War drama. He's the perfect blend of brutality and sophistication you need in a truly epic villain. And when he lets his hair down... mercy!