15 Classic On-Screen Bullies In Cinema: Then & Now



While the protagonist is the one that every person cheers for in the theaters or in their own homes, there’s nothing more satisfying than a good on-screen bully. Whether they’re trying to steal the love of the good guy’s life or trying to screw up everything for their own amusement, a strong bully is sometimes more memorable than the hero of the story. Since bullying has been going on since the dawn of time, it’s a lot easier to feel sympathy for the good guy. We take a look at 15 of the best on-screen bullies in cinema and find out what they’ve been up to since their famous roles.


15. John Bender


Judd Nelson played criminal John Bender in the iconic film “The Breakfast Club.” Behind the scenes, Nelson stayed in character and bullied his co-star Molly Ringwald. Director John Hughes wanted to fire him because of his behavior, but the actors, including Ringwald herself, made him change his mind. In 1987, he gained a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Joe Hunt in the TV movie “The Billionaire Boys Club.” He is currently working on the big screen version of the film, but this time, he’s playing Ryan Hunt.

14. Ricky Danforth


Seth Rogen played the role of school bully Ricky Danforth in the film “Donnie Darko.” Since the film, Rogen has seen success in films such as “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “This Is the End,” and “Pineapple Express.” He is currently working on the 2017 film “The Masterpiece” and the 2021 film “The Something.”

13. Regina George


Rachel McAdams broke onto the scene with her portrayal of Plastics leader Regina George in the hit film “Mean Girls.” The Canadian actress has been seen in a plethora of successful films, including “The Notebook,” “Wedding Crashers,” and “Sherlock Holmes.” In 2016, she was nominated for an Oscar for her work in the film “Spotlight.”

12. Biff Tannen


In the entire “Back To The Future” franchise, Thomas F. Wilson played bully Biff Tannen. The Philadelphia native would find a ton of voice work in “Gargoyles,” “Max Steel,” and “Spongebob Squarepants.” Recently, he’s lent his voice to the shows “Pig Goat Banana Cricket” and “Dragons: Race to the Edge,” and he made an appearance in the 2016 Netflix series “The Ranch.”

11. Draco Malfoy


Harry Potter’s adversary Draco Malfoy was portrayed by Tom Felton in the popular “Harry Potter” films. After the final “Harry Potter” film in 2011, the English actor landed roles in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “In Secret,” and “Against the Sun.” Aside from acting, Felton is also a musician and record label owner. His last release was the 2011 “Hawaii” EP.

10. Fred O’Bannion


Ben Affleck played the role of high school senior Fred O’Bannion in the 1993 cult classic “Dazed and Confused.” The California native turned from acting to pursue a career in writing and directing. The end result is two Oscar wins for his work in “Good Will Hunting” and “Argo.” He recently took on the iconic role of Batman in the films “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad.”

9. Chuck Cranston

007--9-chuck-cranston-606997Jim Youngs landed the role of Ariel Moore’s abusive boyfriend Chuck Cranston in the 1984 film “Footloose.” After the film’s release, he found roles in the TV shows “Silk Stalkings,” “Babylon 5,” and “Private Eye.” His last role was in a 1995 episode of “NYPD Blue” titled “Large Mouth Bass.”

8. Tony Perkis

008-8-tony-perkis-9a1ef1b4ee04d78232c1e18e5b868d78Ben Stiller played fitness guru/bully named Tony Perkis in the 1995 film “Heavyweights.” The actor/comedian has continued to keep the world laughing with the films “There’s Something About Mary,” “Meet The Parents,” “Zoolander,” and “Tropic Thunder.” He is set to produce the upcoming sequel to the hit 2004 film “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story.”

7. Steff McKee

009-7-steff-mckee-607719One of James Spader’s early roles was the arrogant playboy Steff McKee in “Pretty In Pink.” The Boston actor would find a ton of success with the role of Alan Shore in “The Practice” and “Boston Legal,” which earned him three Emmys. Recently, he’s been praised for his portrayal of Raymond “Red” Reddington in “The Blacklist.”

6. Jim


In “Edward Scissorhands,” Kim’s maniacal boyfriend Jim was played by Anthony Michael Hall, who is best known for his work in “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club.” In 2002, the actor was the producer and star of the hit USA Network series “The Dead Zone,” which lasted six seasons. He is currently working on the films “Bodied” and “War Machine.”

5. Bob Sheldon


Leif Garrett played Socs member Bob Sheldon in the film “The Outsiders.” The Hollywood native has a history of drug abuse and legal woes, but he’s found work with the flicks “I Woke Up Early the Day I Died,” and “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.” His most noticeable role has been the commentator for the TV series “truTV Presents: World’s Dumbest…”

4. Albert Johnson

012-4-albert-johnson-086baac21fe6fbed642538f58dfc7537Danny Glover played the abusive Albert Johnson in the film “The Color Purple.” The San Francisco native went on to gain fame with the roles of Roger Murtaugh in the “Lethal Weapon” films and Detective David Tapp in the “Saw” films. He has a ton of movies in the works, including “Death Race 4” and “Come Sunday.”

3. Heather Duke

013-3-heather-duke-608411The bulimic Heather Duke in “Heathers” was portrayed by Shannen Doherty. The actress would land her most noticeable roles of Brenda Walsh in “Beverly Hills, 90210” and Prue Halliwell in “Charmed.” She is set to reprise the role of Rene Mosier in the TV series “MallBrats,” which is a continuation of the 1995 film “Mallrats.”

2. Stan Gable

014-2-stan-gable-608458In the 1984 film “Revenge of the Nerds,” Ted McGinley played the role of Stan Gable, who made it his goal to torment the nerds. The actor is best known for portraying scam artist Jefferson D’Arcy in the hit Fox series “Married… with Children.” Recently, he’s lent his voice to Denny Clay in the cartoon series “Transformers: Robots in Disguise.”

1. Chet Donnelly

015-1-chet-donnelly-608530Bill Paxton played bully Chet Donnelly in the 1985 film “Weird Science.” The actor has received Golden Globe nominations for his work in “Big Love” and “A Bright Shining Lie.” Recently, he had a recurring role of John Garrett in the ABC series “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” He is currently working on the 2017 TV series “Training Day.”

As you can see, a majority of these on-screen bullies have gone to achieve great things in their acting career, including several award wins. While these 15 iconic bullies will live on in cinema history, there are a plethora of current bullies making waves right now in films, including Ida Holmström in “The Circle,” Cat White in “Horror,” and basically anyone not named Tamara in the film “Tamara.” In the end, the bullies are there as another obstacle to go through if you want to find peace in life. They’ll soon understand that bullying is simply uncool in today’s world.