Actor Alan Tudyk has made the jump from dependable character actor in movies like Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and Death at a Funeral (2007), to recognizable co-star in The Tick, Powerless, and Doom Patrol. With over 122 acting credits to his name in IMDb he’s been called upon to fill a diverse range of roles.

It’s surprising how many of the top animated films in the last 20 years Tuydk has lent his voice to, like Rick and Morty, Frozen, Zootopia, and Ralph Breaks the Internet; but here we’ll focus on his in-person, non-cameo acting roles. His hybrid part in I, Robot, which is both live (in-person) and animated (motion capture), didn’t make the top 10 anyway.

10 Tucker And Dale Vs. Evil – 7.5

A parody of the teenage slasher flick, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil showcases Tudyk in his usual position supporting the main characters in unusual circumstances.  Here Tucker (Tudyk) and his brother Dale (Tyler Labine) find themselves the victims of over-imaginative campers, who themselves think the brothers are out to kill them horror-movie style.

Fans of the movie enjoy the dissemination of slasher film tropes and the sympathetic portrayal of Tucker and Dale.  There’s even a heart-warming romance that helps conclude the story.

9 42 – 7.5

Before he was Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman played baseball great Jackie Robinson in the acclaimed 2013 movie 42.  Like other Robinson biopics, 42 focuses on the struggles on and off the field encountered by the first African American to play professional baseball.

Tudyk has a small part (as usual) as Ben Chapman, a prejudiced team manager based on the real person of the same name who managed the Philadelphia Phillies.

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8 Dollhouse – 7.7

Joss Whedon’s fourth effort at genre television, after Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its sequel Angel, and Firefly (below), Dollhouse was an intriguing premise about body-swapping stretched beyond its logical limit.  Although it lasted only 2 seasons (2009-2010) it was a genre favorite, and (briefly) made Eliza Dushku a star.

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Tudyk played a more dangerous part than he usually does as Alpha, a genius and murderer who escaped from the Dollhouse and tormented our heroine Echo (Dushku).

7 3:10 to Yuma (2007) – 7.7

Tudyk has another small but recognizable role in this underrated Western, about a rancher who looks for a reward, and the respect of his teenage son, by tracking down a violent outlaw.  Christian Bale is the trying-to-do-the-right thing rancher and Russell Crowe the enigmatic outlaw, and both are relishing the opportunity to play cowboys.

In 3:10 to Yuma Doc Potter (Tudyk) dispenses old-west medicine and helps the posse track down Crowe’s character, and Tudyk is entirely believable in the role.

6 Con Man – 7.8

Nothing sums up Tudyk’s career in genre films then the “meta” on-demand series Con Man.  Featuring several winking cameos from Firefly/Serenity stars like Nathan Fillion and Gina Torres, it’s a self-referential look at one actor’s struggle to embrace and/or escape the sci-fi convention circuit.

Con Man also features appearances from other “trapped” genre stars like Summer Glau, Eliza Dushku, Tricia Helfer, and Sean Astin.  But Con Man is Tudyk’s brainchild, as he also writes, directs, and produces (via crowdfunding site Indiegogo) the series, in addition to his Emmy-nominated portrayal.

5 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 7.8

Despite its troubled production, Rogue One turned into one of the best of the modern Star Wars movies.  Although unrecognizable in his motion-capture performance, Tudyk’s voice and mo-cap skills (honed in I, Robot) are on display in K2S0, who steals the scenes he’s in.

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Tudyk is scheduled to reprise the role in the untitled Disney+ series on the Cassian Andor series, the rebel pilot K2SO belongs to.

4 Santa Clarita Diet – 7.8

Lupine actor Timothy Olyphant and the effervescent, funny Drew Barrymore are the stars of the dark comedy series Santa Clarita Diet, where a happily married couple readjust to life in suburbia when one of them becomes a zombie (Barrymore).

In a moment of stunt casting, Tudyk took over the part of wise-cracking severed head Gary West from Fillion, his co-star from Con Man (above) and Firefly (below).  After 3 seasons, Santa Clarita Diet was canceled in April 2019.

3 Into the West – 8.0

Back in 2005, when mini-series were still the preferable method for mid-length productions, Tudyk had a small role as Nathan Wheeler in two episodes of Into the West. The series was produced by Steven Spielberg and starred Keri Russell, Skeet Ulrich, Rachael Leigh Cook, and many others.

Currently rated at 8.0 by IMDb, Into the West featured a large cast that tried to show the turmoil of the Old West from the viewpoint of settlers and indigenous people alike.

2 Doom Patrol – 8.0

The DC Universe’s bizarre and sarcastic ensemble features a misconfigured group of superheroes taking on a pan-dimensional malefactor, Nr. Nobody (Tudyk).  Although he doesn’t have much screen-time, in part because Mr. Nobody was decided 2-D in the Doom Patrol graphic novel, Tudyk has another opportunity to play an over-the-top villain.

Like the lead character in Deadpool, Nobody seems to know he’s in a comic book story, and breaks the fourth wall through various voiceovers.  Doom Patrol is a mix of over-the-top characters like Crazy Jane and Robotman, and thespians like Timothy Dalton, but Tudyk holds his own amidst the crazy stories.

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1 Firefly 9.0 / Serenity 7.8

Because Tudyk is playing the same character in the TV show Firefly and the underrated sequel movie, Serenity, unfettered spaceship pilot Hoban “Wash” Washburne, we’re averaging the score of both productions to merit its place at #1.  Both are the brainchild of writer/director Whedon, who would go on to helm the first two wildly successful Avengers movies (as well as Dollhouse).

Here, Wash is the semi-comical crew member of pirate-spaceship Serenity and a key part of an ensemble cast that underwhelmed audiences on both TV and silver screen.  Serenity in particular is praiseworthy, as a master class in screenwriting and characterization.  Its imprint on pop culture remains high and was the inspiration for Tudyk’s parody Con Man.

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