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As a tribute to all things beard, we decided to make a series of top 10 bearded characters.  This week we opted for fictional heroes and next week we are thinking villains, and maybe sporting personalities after that.  So without further adieu, here is our first top 10.
big lebowski beard
1.  The Dude - The Big Lebowski - played by Jeff Bridges
A case of mistaken identity gives The Dude a soiled rug and an adventure on his hands.  This is one of Jeff Bridges' best roles in a timeless comedy that still makes me laugh, even though its almost 20 years old.  

Jeff's beard is tailor made for the role.  It essentially looks like goatee that's been left to grow out and matches his untamed mop perfectly.  All I can say is, "The Dude abides".  
The movie itself gets extra points for casting 2 other brilliant actors sporting wonderful bearded locks John Goodman, who played one of The Dude's side kicks and Sam Elliot. who made a cameo appearance with his trademark moustache.
tom hanks beard
2.  Chuck Noland - Castaway - played by Tom Hanks
One of the best solo performances of all time. Who else could engage an audience with nothing more than a tropical island, a volley ball and a kick-ass vagabond beard other than the great Tom Hanks.

Extra bonus points go to Tom for authenticity as this beard was all his.  Apparently production was shut down for a whole year, to give him enough time to lose weight and grow out his beard.  During that time, director Robert Zemeckis used the same crew members to help film "What Lies Beneath.
3.  Alan - The Hangover - played by Zach Galifianakis
Can you call a guy who drugs you on a boy's night a hero?   Well if the end result is a missing friend, a room full of sexy sleeping women, a tiger in the bathroom and a baby to look after then I'd say hell yes. - who wouldn't want that?

Zach is hot property in Hollywood right now and it's hard to deny that his awesome beard doesn't play a huge part in his winning image.  Bearded comedians aren't terribly common but Zach pulls it off and he still manages some classic facial expressions despite having half of his face covered in hair. 
hugh jackman beard
4.  Wolverine - The Wolverine - played by Hugh Jackman
I understand that Wolverine can heal himself when injured but I still don't get why blood doesn't pour from his finger tips for a brief period every time he deploys those metal claws.  Maybe it's something to do with maintaining a PG rating.

Hugh's beard in this role is simply genius.  He somehow managed to find a way to style it so that he actually looks like a bit like a wolf.  The way his hair frames the mouth and chin, you could almost imagine that it's the outline of a wolf's snout.  Congratulations Hugh, not only are you a triple threat, but you also make our top 10.
samuel l jackson beard
5.  Jules Winnfield – Pulp Fiction
 - played by Samuel L. Jackson
The very definition of cool, Jules can say “I shall strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger” better than anyone who's ever lived.  

This is a dude you do not want to mess with and his "take no prisoners" attitude is only enhanced by his fu manchu inspired facial fuzz.  Samuel L. Jackson usually appears clean shaven in his roles so it was fantastic to see him ditch the razor for one of the greatest Tarantino movies of all time.
6.  Hagrid - Harry Potter - played by Robbie Coltrane
Hagrid was a loner, living far out the outside of town but would commute in to work each day as a teacher in Hogwart’s because he loved little children.  How could you not love him back?  

Hagrid's beard gets our vote because it shouts out "I'm not ever going to stop growing".  The fact that this beard is almost down to his solar plexus is just insane even though we had to overlook the fact that Robbie didn't grow this one himself.  We give him credit for the fact that he had to have it glued to his face before shooting every day.  When asked what he thought of it in an interview he said "It’s hell with that big beard and stuff. That’s the one bit I don’t like. Either you take out at lunch or you don’t eat. So I opted not to eat cause having to put it on twice is horrific."
7.  Gandalf - Lord of the Rings - played by Ian McKellan
If you were super old with a kick ass old grey beard, would you grow it out?  Hell yeah you would and you know it!  Unfortunately though, Gandalf had over 2000 years to grow his beard out and Ian didn't have that much time on his hands so although this beard was another fake, it is such a baller look for an old guy, we just had to include it in the top 10.

The look on Frodo’s face when he sees Gandalf in the first episode of Lord of the Rings is enough to promote Gandalf to instant “hero status”.  There is no other plausible explanation for Frodo’s somewhat effeminate greeting to the grey-breaded wizard.  He was just so manly he makes everyone else look like a girl.   
blackadder beard
8.  Blackadder the Second - played by Rowan Atkinson
When he's not dodging beheadings from Queeny and keeping the simpleton Baldrick in line, Blackadder is delivering razor sharp one-liners and making up words like "interferastically" and "pericombopulations." In our view, he's a stand out comedic hero of the medieval age. 

No one could have done a better job of this than Rowan, but how could he pull it off with a face that looks remarkably like Mr Bean?  A dashing beard was clearly the answer.  Even though he's been voted one of the most unattractive men in show biz, Rowan Atkinson looks rather statesman-like with his beard in the second (and clearly the best) instalment of the Blackadder series. 
johnny depp beard
9.  Captain Jack Sparrow - Pirates of the Carribean - played by Johnny Depp
In typical Hollywood style they flogged the Pirates of the Carribean franchise to death and should have stopped after the first movie.  Johnny Depp also seemed to take a while to shake the Captain Jack persona, using a very similar one in the Lone Ranger, but we'll overlook all of this because of the somewhat original use of "beard braids". 

To achieve this very err . . . unique look Johnny grew out a goatee and then got beard extensions which were braided to make at look as though his chin had 2 legs.  Initially wire was inserted into the braids to help them stay straight, but that was later abandoned because the extensions stuck up when Depp lay down.  Kinda took away from the realism of it I guess.
joel last of us beard
10  Joel - the Last of Us - voice acted by Troy E Baker
If you haven’t seen the Last of Us, check it out on Youtube.  Although it’s a computer game, the graphics, production value and storyline make it play out just like a movie.  And what a movie it is! If you get through the first chapter without getting a bit choked up, then I doubt even a sledge hammer to the knees would make you whimper.

The Last of Us is set in a post apocalyptic zombie world and Joel, having lost his daughter when she was shot by the military, spends his days scavenging and getting by as a mercenary until he meets Ellie, a young girl of a similar age to his baby girl.  It later becomes clear that Ellie has a natural resistance to zombie infections and could hold the key to saving the human race in a process that will certainly kill her.  Joel is ultimately faced with a touch choice, take Ellie to the scientists that will experiment on her, or hide her and forever treat her as his own blood.    

Joel makes our list as a bad-ass looking father figure, something we can all aspire to.
Who would you have added to the top 10?

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