One franchise that is far from going extinct is Universal’s Jurassic Park. Beginning with Steven Spielberg’s 1993 classic, a whole generation fell in love with paleontology and Pterodactyls, while Jurassic Park became the highest-grossing film ever at the time. Little did audiences know, the first trip to the park was only the beginning; after 24 years, four films, and a fifth one on the way, we have been introduced to a smorgasbord of memorable faces and A-list stars. Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, and Chris Pratt have all tooled up against the cloned chaos of dinosaur danger.

With fantastic action sequences and gory death scenes, the films became a legacy of sci-fi to be adored by a whole new generation. With casting for Jurassic World 2 well underway, including the likes of Toby  Jones and James Cromwell, let’s see who made Jurassic Park the franchise it is today – from clawed critters to sex symbol mathematicians, and even Santa himself, who are the 15 Greatest Jurassic Park Characters? (Yes, dinosaurs are included as well!)

15. Ray Arnold

Jurassic Park Sam Jackson Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Samuel L. Jackson

Appeared in: Jurassic Park

The cigarette-chomping, mustachioed chief engineer of 1955’s Jurassic Park, Samuel L. Jackson’s inclusion in the dino romp was an unexpected one. Though already known for Patriot Games and True Romance, the likes of Jurassic Park and Pulp Fiction undoubtedly made Jackson the household name he is today. Appearing in both the novel and the film, Ray Arnold was shown to be the short-tempered comedic foil to hacker Dennis Nedry. Sadly, the part was relatively short-lived thanks to those ravenous raptors, but he has one of the greatest off-screen deaths of all time.

As Laura Dern’s Ellie Sattler manages to escape her brush with the Raptor troop, she finds herself in the labyrinthine corridors of the maintenance shed. Why no one had assumed that Ray’s extended absence meant he was dead was ridiculous, but as a severed arm fell on Ellie’s shoulder, she thought it was a totally fine Ray.

Ironically, Arnold was meant to have much more screen time before his ill-fated mission, but with Hurricane Iniki destroying some of the sets, Jackson was unable to give Spielberg the time. R.I.P. Ray Arnold, we hardly knew ye. However, he will be remembered for the pure Jacksonism of Arnold’s one-liner: “Hold onto your butts.”

14. Mosasaurus

Jurassic World 2 Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Appeared in: Jurassic World

Colin Trevorrow’s very own SeaWorld commentary, the largest fish in the pond gave us more than a few frights in 2015’s Jurassic World. As well as eating seabirds, sharks, and large fish, the Mosasaurus also developed a taste for personal assistants and Indominus Rexes. Given some of the film’s best action scenes, it was certainly feeding time at the zoo for the park’s largest creation.

There was a non-too-subtle reference to Spielberg’s involvement with Jaws as the Mosasaurus dined on the giant shark to show its mighty size, but what makes this more than your standard aquatic dino was the Mosasaurus’s involvement with the Pteranodon attack on the park. As poor Zara was plunged into the tank, then plucked from the water, the Mosasaurus grabbed the flying dinosaur and Claire’s assistant in its mouth.

If one big scene wasn’t enough, the Mosasaurus returned for the film’s biggest jump-scare to make mincemeat of the Indominus. Jurassic Park had always steered away from water-dwelling dinos, but the inclusion of the Mosasaurus and her tank was a highlight of Jurassic World.

13.  Vivian and Lowery

Vivian and Lowery Jurassic World Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Jake Johnson and Lauren Lapkus

Appeared in: Jurassic World

It was quite literally been there, got the t-shirt, for Jurassic World’s star-crossed lovers. With an obsession for the original park, Lowery Cruthers has not only the best name of all the characters, but was shown to be the franchise’s biggest nerd. Claire may have seen it as insensitive for Lowery to wear a t-shirt from the original Jurassic Park, but it was a tongue-in-cheek tie to the original film. Jake Johnson’s Lowery played the closest thing to Ian Malcolm that Jurassic World could muster, visibly critical that InGen was creating hybrid dinos and offering a clever quip at every opportunity.

Away from his love of dinosaurs, Lowery had eyes for one special lady from the control room, so in stepped Lauren Lapkus as the hysterical flapper Vivian. Poor Lowery was never going to the get the girl, so giving an awkward spin on the romance kiss, Vivian informed Lowery that she already had a boyfriend. Sadly, Johnson has confirmed that Lowery won’t be back for Jurassic World 2, so it is doubtful that Vivian will either. Who knows, maybe they have run off into the sunset together.

12. Robert Muldoon

Robert Muldoon Jurassic Park Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Bob Peck

Appeared in: Jurassic Park

Described in the script for Spielberg’s original film as grim-faced, fortyish and British; someone whose voice commanded attention,Bob Peck certainly nailed the role as the doomed Robert Muldoon in 1993’s Jurassic Park.  The park’s gamekeeper had been shipped over from Hammond’s park in Kenya and was shown to be a skilled marksman and all-around good guy from a bygone era. 

The Muldoon of the novels was said to be a chronic alcoholic and described in appearance more like Jumanji’s Van Pelt, as well as a misogynistic pig. Thankfully, the film went for a more Action Man approach. Although Peck had all the makings of a stoic final character, even Muldoon’s years of hunter instinct couldn’t outwit those crafty raptors.

In all versions of the novel and the script (bar the final version of Jurassic Park) Muldoon survived Isla Nublar, but Spielberg jazzed up his fate with that infamous jungle demise. Peck became internet meme-famous thanks to his final line of “ i” which has gone on to be parodied across film, TV, and video games.

11. Tim and Lex

Tim and Lex Jurassic Park Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards

Appeared in: Jurassic Park/The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Managing to shake the usual snot-nosed-kids stereotype, Tim and Lex Murphy were the adventurous child duo from the first film. In the novels, Lex was shown to be the younger, and Tim the older, but it is hard to imagine them any other way than the Jurassic Park film depicted them.

Tim and Lex’s highlight include their growing bond with Sam Neill’s grizzly Alan Grant and Tim’s heart-racing electrocution scene, but the kids will be remembered for that frightening kitchen scene with the raptors – showing themselves to worthy survivors of dino danger. Tim and Lex’s inclusion was a welcome part of Jurassic Park, and then there was their unusual inclusion in the second film for all of about 30 seconds.

Nowadays, Richards creates oil paintings for a living, while Mazzello has been in the likes of Elementary, The Pacific, and The Social Network. We would’ve loved Tim and Lex to have returned to the islands, but we don’t blame them for steering well clear. With no other films on their upcoming slate, could Mazzello and Richards return in the “new” trilogy?

10. Dennis Nedry

Dennis Nedry Jurassic Park Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Wayne Knight

Appeared in: Jurassic Park

If anyone could pull off a jazzy Hawaiian shirt, it was Wayne Knight’s hacker from Jurassic Park. If escaping dinosaurs weren’t your bag, Dennis Nedry formed the greedy human antagonist of the first film, who will be remembered for his annoying finger-wagging gif and ticking off Samuel L. Jackson. Our spectacled friend got the fate he deserved at the hands of the dinosaurs; as Nedry tried to escape the park with his stolen DNA samples, he wasn’t taken out by the venom-spitting Dilophosaurus in both the novel and the film.

Although Nedry’s body was likely never discovered, he gets one of the franchise’s best death scenes and one instantly became a fan-favorite. Nedry’s death was originally supposed to be much more graphic when he was dragged into the undergrowth, but Spielberg PG’ed it up for the younger viewers. Although Nedry was clearly defeated by the ruffled Dilophosaurus, Knight joked that we hadn’t seen the last of him and that he should’ve returned in Jurassic World, complete with eyepatch and one arm. Knight said at Comic-Con in 2013, “It was a small dinosaur and a big meal.”

9. The Compsognathus

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Appeared in: The Lost World: Jurassic Park/Jurassic Park III

Almost as if butter wouldn’t melt, the minuscule Compsognathus dinosaurs were tiny terrors that caused big trouble for our cast of characters. First appearing in The Lost World’s opening scene, it didn’t take the Compies long to chow down on little Cathy Bowman. Although they were used to dining on lizards and insects, the attack on Cathy made it clear that the Compies could develop a taste for flesh. In a pack, they were seen to take on much larger prey – mainly Peter Stormare’s Dieter Stark.

Stark had been seen teasing a little Compy with a taser while on the hunt, but it was a decision that would come back to literally bite him in the ass. In one of The Lost World’s more chilling scenes, Stark rolled down a hill to come face-to-face with a pack of Compies. Like a smaller version of the Raptors, the Compsognathus pack made light work of Dieter as a small snack.

The critters returned in the third film, where a young Eric Kirby learns to use T-Rex urine to repel their attacks. There may be bigger (and fiercer) dinosaurs out there, but the Compies rightly deserve their place as memorable film additions.

8. Claire Dearing

jurassic world bryce dallas howard christ pratt Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Bryce Dallas Howard

Appeared in: Jurassic World

Stepping out in her heels, Bryce Dallas Howard was a welcome addition to the fourth film and certainly stood up against the franchise’s other bolshy women. She may have dressed impractically for a day of dinos at the office, but it didn’t stop her outwitting the ravenous reptiles or getting the guy. Howard described Claire as a workaholic with a Type A personality, and she certainly stuck to her portrayal as an originally prickly character.

Luckily, Claire became a worthy heroine, eventually letting her hair down (if it wasn’t in a bob), falling for Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady, racing raptors in an ambulance, and even coaxing a certain T-Rex from its pen. She even let her maternal side shine through, showing that she loved her nephews Zack and Gray and that they were more important to her than profits and spreadsheets. Bryce Dallas Howard will be back for Jurassic World 2 – hopefully, she will swap stilettos for sturdy boots if she plans on taking on Rexy again!

7. Owen Grady

jurassic world chris pratt owen grady Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Chris Pratt

Appeared in: Jurassic World

So, we’ve met the heroine, let’s meet the hunk. Holding women and dinos in his sway, Chris Pratt’s muscular Owen Grady became Jurassic World’s very own Indy. On paper, the idea of trained Raptors sounded ridiculous, but thankfully, Trevorrow’s script and Pratt’s performance pulled it off. As a likable rogue, Owen was an amalgamation of all the best male characters that had come to the series before him – the adventurous side of Alan Grant, the one-liners of Ian Malcolm, and the hunting skills of Robert Muldoon.

A bit of a movie stereotype, Grady was the former Navy Seal who turned his life around for the protection of his precious raptors. Rightly critical of InGen’s work, Owen was probably the smartest person on the island. Meanwhile, his comedic pairing with Claire made them the world’s most unlikely couple, but after she saved his life from a Pteranodon, the two sealed the deal with a kiss.

Shown to laugh in the face of danger, Owen survived to the end and will also return in the sequel. In between guarding the galaxy and flying into space with Jennifer Lawrence, Pratt has quite the busy schedule, but we can’t wait to see what scrapes he gets into during JW2.

6. Ellie Sattler

Ellie Sattler Jurassic Park Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Laura Dern

Appeared in: Jurassic Park/Jurassic Park III

Where Claire might not have been to everyone’s taste, Laura Dern became a ‘90s sweetheart thanks to her role as Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park. The highly-intelligent paleobotanist was the romantic interest for Dr. Grant, whose taste for adventure nearly got her killed. Between her witty repartee with Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm, Ellie was shown to be the perfect hero and humanitarian– trying to protect dinosaurs, doctors, and kids alike. 

Sattler may not quite have been Ellen Ripley, but she took on the raptors after Muldoon’s demise and then had to contend with the final T-Rex attack. Sattler was the perfect female lead, but sadly, Dern’s return for Joe Johnston’s third film wasn’t quite as spectacular. Brought back only as a plot point, Ellie did manage to save the day by sending the army to rescue Dr. Grant, but there was a sad sense of irony that she and Alan never made it together. Sattler was depicted with a new life, a new husband, and even a dino-obsessed kid.

5. John Hammond

John Hammond Jurassic Park Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Richard Attenborough

Appeared in: Jurassic Park/The Lost World: Jurassic Park/Jurassic World III (in tribute)

Forget playing Santa Claus, Richard Attenborough’s standout performance was as the grandfatherly John Hammond in the first two Jurassic Park films. While his book counterpart was depicted as a villain of the piece, Spielberg mellowed Hammond into a cheerful old man, so it is hard to imagine the first film without Attenborough’s cane-wielding performance. Like in the book, Hammond started as an arrogant showman, but his turning point in the film came when Dr. Sattler reminded him that he never had control.” From then on he tried to do everything in his power to rescue the park’s survivors.

However, unlike the books, Hammond survived the events of the first film, returning for another madcap adventure in The Lost World. Although he only appeared in one scene, it saw Hammond pass the baton to his sniveling nephew Peter Ludlow. Attenborough’s portrayal of Hammond was such an influential part of the films that, even after his death, you can see a fitting tribute to him in Jurassic World in the form of the Hammond Creation Lab and a large statue.

As the jolly mad scientist, Jurassic Park literally owes its entire creation to Hammond, and although the conception is a little farfetched (just ask Ross Geller from Friends), you can let it slide for the sake of pure childhood whimsy.

4. The T-Rex

Jurassic Park T Rex Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Appeared in: All films

Can you see the ripples in the water? Where would Jurassic Park be without the rumble of an approach and a chase by a formidable T-Rex? As probably the most famous dinosaur to grace the Earth – thanks in no small part to these films – the T-Rex quite literally stole the show back in Spielberg’s original and has sat top of the food chain ever since.

If the paddock scene from the first Jurassic Park wasn’t enough, (a different) T-Rex returned to cause havoc in the sequel for some mommy/daddy trailer trouble, followed by the ludicrous San Diego finale. Although T-Rexes played a smaller part in Jurassic Park III, the ferocious fiend was definitely there to take on the Spinosaurus, then was back with a vengeance for Jurassic World.

The most famous of all is Rexy, having appeared in both the first film and Jurassic World – that’s right uber-fans, the T-Rex seen in Jurassic World is the very same from 1993’s film. Away from those giant gates opening, the legacy of Jurassic Park is pretty much held up by the T-Rex, so we can only wait with anticipation to what she gets up to in Jurassic World 2.

3. Dr. Alan Grant

jurassic park58 Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Sam Neill

Appeared in: Jurassic Park/Jurassic Park III

Making digging up bones cool again, Dr. Alan Grant was the surly babysitter you would definitely want on hand if your vehicle gets tossed into a T-Rex enclosure. The first film pipped Grant as the fearless lead, and without him, it’s unlikely that anyone would’ve got off the island. With his Harrison Ford-esque chiseled jaw, Neill forged Grant as his very own Indiana Jones, but with an added layer of sass. Alan may have mellowed as Jurassic Park went on, but he was just as grumpy when he returned for the third film.

We can let the bizarre Raptor hallucination from Jurassic Park III slide because Alan was the kind of guy you just wanted to be your uncle – bringing back cool dino claws and amazing stories. Sadly, fFor those hoping for another return, it looks like the third film may have put Neill off. Speaking since his last appearance, Sam had the rather cheerful news that Alan is most likely an accountant or dead by now: “I think the problem is that no one knows where Alan Grant is anymore. He’s retired from paleontology. He’s sick to death of dinosaurs and running. He’s not quite as fleet of foot as he was, and he’s now retired to Dayton, Ohio, and has a very successful accountancy business… I think that’s what’s happened to Alan. Either that or he’s dead.”

Whoops, looks like JPIII really did a number on him!

2. Velociraptors

Jurassic Park kitchen raptors Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Appeared in: All films

Possibly the only thing on the planet that could scare Alan Grant is those uber-intelligent raptors, managing to outshine most of the human cast and all of the other dinos. All good sci-fi films need a monster to terrify; Alien has Xenomorphs, The Thing has… the Thing, and Star Wars has Jar Jar. Jurassic Park had the raptors, to force us behind the cushions and give us an excuse not to go into the kitchen since 1993. They may not be historically accurate at all, but does anyone really care about scientific plausibility in a film where a man gets eaten off the toilet?

From the moment that steer carcass vanished into the raptor enclosure in the first film, the cast of characters should’ve known there was prehistoric trouble ahead from these “clever girls.” However, after three films of the same old raptors, Jurassic World made the bold move to try and tame the clawed carnivores – an idea which went just about as well as you can imagine.

What truly makes the Raptors the best JP dinosaurs, is their DNA. inclusion in the formidable Indominus Rex– meaning even the scientists know how awesome they are. From bike chases to egg theft, long-grass chases, and kitchen nightmares, Velociraptors made Jurassic Park the franchise it is today. Let’s just hope that someone doesn’t try and stick lasers on their heads in Jurassic World 2.

1. Dr. Ian Malcolm

Jurassic World Jeff Goldblum Jurassic Parks 15 Greatest Characters Of All Time

Portrayed by: Jeff Goldblum

Appeared in: Jurassic Park/The Lost World: Jurassic Park

The franchise, er, finds a way, thanks mainly to Jeff Goldblum’s bare-chested appearance in Jurassic Park. If you thought Dr. Grant put the fun back into having a doctorate, Ian Malcolm was his hipper, more attractive, counterpart. Who else would lure a T-Rex away from a car full of innocent children, then spend the rest of the film seductively spreading their legs on a table next to Richard Attenborough?

Obviously, Malcolm returned for the sequel, this time taking on the Alan Grant role of grumpy dad syndrome. It is hard to pinpoint what it was about Malcolm that made him such a fan favorite: was it his brilliant mind, his awkward stumbling, or his witty one-liners? While Sam Neill has 100% confirmed his lack of involvement in the future of Jurassic, Goldblum has remained coy with his usual out-there response: “I’m nothing if not open. I’m like an open-faced sandwich. My door is not always open — I took the door off. I removed the hinges from the door. I’m too open. I’m like a chicken piccata. What was I about to say? Oh yes, the two [Jurassic] movies I did with them were plenty. If I never did anything more, I’d certainly be well satisfied.”

He may currently be tooling up to enter the MCU, but Goldblum’s return to any Jurassic World film would be a “dino-mite” addition to the history of Jurassic Park lore – better get flexing that chest, Jeff!

Who is your favorite character in the Jurassic Park franchise? Let us know in the comments!

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