Oscar's Eight Most-Wicked Business Characters Ever

  1. Oscar Worthy Villains
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    Oscar Worthy Villains

    It's well-known that villains make for some of the best roles and that businessmen (and women) make for some the best villains. So it's a wonder there are so few Oscar-lauded performances as evil entrepreneurs or corporate types. (Perhaps Hollywood's Oscar voters find nothing particularly exotic about tyrannical, power-hungry one-percenters.) Nonetheless, the gallery assembled here---ranging from private-equity sharks to turn-of-the-century oil titans---should strike fear in the hearts of all law-abiding Oscar lovers as they look forward to Sunday's Academy Awards.

    Photographs by Everett Collection

  2. Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood)
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    Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood)

    Played by: Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Actor, 2007
    Occupation:
    Oilman
    Evilest Deed:
    Bludgeoning a minister to death with a bowling pin
    Memorable quote: "
    If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? You watching? And my straw reaches across the room, and starts to drink your milkshake ... I ... drink ... your ... milkshake! Sschhlllluuuuurrrrrrp. I drink it up!"
  3. Michael Corleone (The Godfather: Part II, Best Picture, 1974)
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    Michael Corleone (The Godfather: Part II, Best Picture, 1974)

    Played by: Al Pacino, Best Actor nominee, 1974
    Occupation: Olive oil importer (secondarily: casino owner, racketeer, drug kingpin, mob don, Cuban resort investor)
    Evilest Deed: Whacking his brother, Fredo
    Memorable quote: "If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone."
  4. Karen Crowder (Michael Clayton)
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    Karen Crowder (Michael Clayton)

    Played by: Tilda Swinton, Best Supporting Actress, 2007
    Occupation: Corporate attorney
    Evilest Deed: Screwing over George Clooney
    Memorable quote: "When you really are enjoying what it is you do, who needs balance? There's your balance!"
  5. Alex Goran (Up in the Air)
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    Alex Goran (Up in the Air)

    Played by: Vera Farmiga, Best Supporting Actress nominee, 2009
    Occupation: Mysterious business traveler; frequent flyer
    Evilest Deed: Breaking George Clooney's heart
    Memorable quote: "You're a parenthesis."

    Note: This slide has been updated.
  6. Noah Cross (Chinatown, Best Picture nominee, 1974)
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    Noah Cross (Chinatown, Best Picture nominee, 1974)

    Played by: John Huston (15-time Oscar nominee, two-time winner)
    Occupation: Real estate developer
    Evilest Deeds: Impregnating daughter, murdering her husband, lusting after granddaughter/daughter.
    Memorable quote: "I don't blame myself. You see, Mr. Gitts, most people don't have to face the fact that, at the right time and the right place, they are capable of anything."
  7. Arthur Jensen (Network)
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    Arthur Jensen (Network)

    Played by: Ned Beatty, Best Actor nominee, 1976
    Occupation: TV network chairman
    Evilest Deed: Silencing news anchor Howard Beale's righteous, populist anger in order to promote unbridled capitalism
    Memorable quote: "You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! ... There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today."
  8. Larry Flynt (The People vs. Larry Flynt)
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    Larry Flynt (The People vs. Larry Flynt)


    Played by: Woody Harrelson, Best Actor nominee, 1996
    Occupation: Pornographer
    Evilest Deed: Perverting American values
    Memorable quote: "If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, it will protect all of you."
  9. Gordon Gekko (Wall Street)
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    Gordon Gekko (Wall Street)

    Played by: Michael Douglas, Best Actor, 1987
    Occupation: Corporate raider, self-help guru
    Evilest Deed: (Tie) Insider trading; corrupting a young Charlie Sheen
    Memorable quote: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good"