Any list made concerning the ten best disaster movie characters will obviously be up for individual interpretation. But most will agree that all of the following should at the very least be considered.
- Belle Rosen. Artfully played by Shelley Winters, this matriarchal character helped keep “The Poseidon Adventure” afloat with more than just visual effects.
- Reverend Frank Scott. Also appearing in “The Poseidon Adventure,” this character would have normally been considered corny by most, but was instead made real by cinema icon Gene Hackman.
- Doug Roberts. This well-meaning architect caught in the middle of controversy and “The Towering Inferno” made it hard to not like him. And since Paul Newman played the role it would be hard not to include him within a list ten best disaster movie characters.
- Fire Chief Michael O’Hallorhan. Also featured in “The Towering Inferno,” this character avoided his bureaucratic position by instead literally “running into the fire” believably, thanks to a fine portrayal of him by Steve McQueen.
- Rosa Amici. As compared to most others on this list, Rosa Amici exists as a two-dimensional character in the film “Earthquake.” But thanks to an adequate performance (along with ample physical form displayed in tight clothing) by Victoria Principal, this character made an otherwise disastrous film nearly watchable.
- Dr. Clayton Forrester. This protagonist from "The War of the Worlds” was skillfully played by Gene Barry.
- Captain Vernon Demerest. Arguably one of the first many modern-day disaster films, 1970’s “Airport” featuring Dean Martin's acting ability, and the skilful writing of the screenplay, made this character an easy pick to include as one of the ten best disaster movie characters.
- David Randall. This typical voice of reason character in “When Worlds Collide” was played well beyond the quality of writing in this sci-fi classic by actor Richard Derr. And further, the aforementioned performance dwarfed the cheesy special effects in a way that kept viewers on the edge of their seats while making this lead yet another of the ten best disaster movie characters.
- Dan Truman. This NASA geek was made cool by skilful writing and the performance of Billy Bob Thornton in the film "Armageddon."
- Harry Stamper. This primary protagonist in “Armageddon” would have been listed as the top pick on the ten best disaster movie characters if not for the fact that special effects overwhelmed a fine performance by Bruce Willis.
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