Charles Manson is one of the most infamous men to have ever lived. The Manson Family and the crimes they committed in the 60s are known by all and are often referenced in songs, television shows, and films. Over the years, a variety of actors have portrayed Manson, and, by growing out their brown hair, getting that certain look in their eyes and playing guitar while surrounded by girls, they have pulled it off well.
Here are 10 different actors who have played this criminal on TV and in movies.
10 Steve Railsback
Steve Railsback is an actor who has been in films such as The Wind, Vanishing Point, The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting, and The Devil's Rejects. His most notable work, though, was playing Charles Manson in Helter Skelter. This television miniseries came out in 1976, and it was inspired by a book of the same name that was by writer Curt Gentry and by Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted Manson and others involved in the Tate–LaBianca murders.
This is probably the most famous Manson reference in pop culture, and it set the bar high for others who would go on to portray this man.
9 Jeremy Davies
Jeremy Davies has had some very notable roles over the years. He was in the movie Saving Private Ryan as Corporal Upham and the video game God of War as The Stranger/Baldur. He was on TV as Dr. John Deegan in The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl, as well as in Lost, Justified, Lucifer, Sleepy Hollow, and Twin Peaks.
In 2004, he was in the remake of Helter Skelter as Charles Manson. The original version, from 1976, focused on the investigation and trial, while this version focused on Linda Kasabian.
8 Ryan Kiser
Ryan Kiser is another actor who has played Charles Manson, and he must enjoy/be good at chilling roles, as his IMDb page lists several upcoming horror flicks, including The Dawn, Red to Black, Lilith, and Bad Candy.
The focus right here and right now, though, is a film that is from the year 2014: House of Manson. This story was all about Manson's life leading up to the infamous Tate-LaBianca murders, and Kiser’s portrayal in it and of this man was quite memorable.
7 Matt Smith
Matt Smith has been in films like Terminator Genisys and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and in television shows such as Doctor Who and The Crown. In 2018, he was in Charlie Says as Charles Manson. This movie premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, and it also starred some other notable actors and actresses, such as Hannah Murray (from Game of Thrones) as Leslie Van Houten, Sosie Bacon (from 13 Reasons Why) as Patricia Krenwinkel and Chace Crawford (from Gossip Girl) as Tex Watson.
6 Ben Mellish
Ben Mellish may only have a couple of acting credits under his belt, but one of those credits involved him also playing Charles Manson. In 2018, he was in a drama-romance movie called Elephants as a waiter, as well as in a short called The Freedom Procedure as a client. Then, in 2019, he was in The Haunting of Sharon Tate.
This story focused on actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant with director Roman Polanski's child and who was killed by the Manson Family, and it starred Hilary Duff, Jonathan Bennett, and Lydia Hearst.
5 Gethin Anthony
Gethin Anthony is an actor who has been in some very popular TV shows. From 2011 to 2012, he was in Game of Thrones as Renly Baratheon. This year, he was in The Magicians as Enyalius, and, from 2015 to 2016, he was in Aquarius as Charles Manson.
Aquarius was a crime show that came on NBC, and, even though it was an award-winning show and even though it starred David Duchovny as Detective Samson Benedictus "Sam" Hodiak, it was canceled after just two seasons. Yet, during its run, it showed Manson once again, as played by Anthony.
4 Marcelo Games
Marcelo Games is up next on the list as yet another person who has portrayed this man. In 1988’s Deadbeat at Dawn, he was credited with working in the sound department, with being an additional photographer and with playing a part in the movie.
In 1994, he directed a short called Doper, and, in 1997, he was Charles Manson in The Manson Family. This film gave the details of the crimes the Manson Family committed in the form of home movies, which was quite unique.
3 Damon Herriman
Damon Herriman is an Australian actor who has appeared in movies such as House of Wax and J. Edgar and in television shows such as Justified, Breaking Bad, and Wildred. What makes him really interesting, though, especially when it comes to this list, is that he has played Charles Manson twice!
Yes, he helped bring this character to the at-home screens via Mindhunter, a Netflix show about the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit interviewing serial killers, and to the big screen via Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a movie about Hollywood in the year 1969.
2 Trey Parker
Some of the people who have portrayed Charles Manson are voice actors or even singers, as seen with these last two entries… South Park has been on for years and years, and in 1998, there was an episode of this show called “Merry Christmas Charlie Manson”.
In it, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny went to Nebraska for the holidays, and Charlie Manson escaped from prison. Trey Parker, one of the show’s creators, voices regular characters such as Stan, Cartman, and Randy Marsh, as well as special characters like George Bailey, Grinchy-Poo Narrator, Cindy Lou, and, yes, even Charles Manson, too.
1 Billie Joe Armstrong
Live Freaky Die Freaky is a stop-motion-animated comedy musical that was released in 2006. It used the voices of celebs like Kelly Osbourne, Joel Madden, Benji Madden, and Travis Barker to tell is story, and the story took place in the year 3069, when the Earth was a desert and when Charles Manson returned to save the remaining humans. And, in this one-of-a-kind flick, Manson’s voice was provided by Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead vocalist and guitarist of Green Day.