[[quoteright:300:[[Film/HarryPotter http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/garyoldman.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300: "[[Film/TheDarkKnight Why]] [[Film/HarryPotter so]] [[{{Pun}} Sirius]][[MemeticMutation ?]]"]]

->"''The Book of Eli'' starring Gary Oldsmobile and Denzel Washingmachine!"
->- ''The Book of Eli (Abridged)'', Machinima.com

'''Gary Leonard Oldman''' is a British actor who found fame in roles such as Music/SidVicious in the 1986 biopic ''Sid & Nancy'' and the title character of the 1992 blockbuster ''Film/{{Dracula}}''. Often hailed as one of greatest chameleons of his time, it can be almost impossible to spot him from one role to the next. He is known for portraying real-life figures, like the aforementioned Sid Vicious, or [[WhoShotJFK Lee Harvey Oswald]]. Oldman is also known for playing the main villain, particularly [[EvilIsHammy hugely]] [[ObviouslyEvil obvious]] villains whom everyone trusts anyway, in movies (such as ''Film/TheProfessional'', ''Film/AirForceOne'' and ''Film/TheFifthElement'')... except for when he [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga hangs out with Batman]] or [[Film/HarryPotter Harry Potter]], or when he's Beethoven or [[Film/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead Guildenstern]]... We're pretty sure he was Guildenstern. (He's actually [[Film/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead Rosencrantz]], but [[ThoseTwoGuys who's keeping track]]?)

But besides these four, when Oldman isn't the villain, he's just plain crazy (ever seen [[LargeHam his guest spot]] on ''Series/{{Friends}}''?). [[ByronicHero And it's not like Sirius doesn't have his moments]]. Despite his obvious villain roles, he can play an excellent MagnificentBastard, though still usually with a patina of dark humour. However, as turkeys like ''WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheUnborn'' demonstrate, he also has an unfortunate tendency to [[MoneyDearBoy do anything for money]].

He has directed one film, ''Nil By Mouth'', a deeply grim film about a dysfunctional family (allegedly inspired by his own rough childhood). He also recently directed the live stream of a Music/JackWhite concert.

His career is seen as a good indicator of how actors have to ''actively pursue'' awards. It took him '''thirty''' years to receive an Oscar nomination (for ''Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy''), despite his undeniable talent, and [[DoingItForTheArt it's pretty clear that he just doesn't care about that sort of thing.]]

He ignited controversy in an interview with ''Magazine/{{Playboy}}'' wherein he [[http://time.com/2917097/gary-oldman-political-correctness-playboy/ railed against political correctness]] and defended Crreator/MelGibson and Alec Baldwin. He later issued an apology, although it has [[http://www.variety.com/2014/film/news/interview-adl-head-says-gary-oldmans-apology-reinforces-anti-semitism-1201246504/ not been well-received]].

Has a [[HoYay very special]] [[http://www.tim-roth.com/?id=penpal friendship]] with Creator/TimRoth.
!Notable for:

* ''Sid And Nancy'' (1986) - Music/SidVicious. His first starring role. Even Music/JohnLydon, (who was not consulted for the movie about his former friend and bandmate and had little good to say about the biopic) said Oldman was "quite good."
* ''Film/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'' (1990) - Rosencrantz ("What?" "...Guildenstern." "''What?"'')
* ''Film/{{JFK}}'' (1991) - Lee Harvey Oswald
* ''Film/BramStokersDracula'' (1992) - Count Dracula, an obvious villain whom everyone trusts.
* ''Film/TrueRomance'' (1992) - Drexl Spivey, the pimp who fancies himself a black rastafarian.
* ''Film/RomeoIsBleeding'' (1993) - Jack Grimaldi.
* ''Film/ImmortalBeloved'' (1994) - Music/LudwigVanBeethoven
* ''Leon'' (or) ''Film/TheProfessional'' (1994) - [[MagnificentBastard Norman Stansfield]] ("Bring me... everyone", "Whaddaya mean "everyone-", "[[MemeticMutation EEVVVERRYYYYONNNEEEE]]!"). Despite being a complete maniac, Stansfield is a chief inspector, making him another obvious villain whom everyone trusted.
* ''Film/TheFifthElement'' (1995) - Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg
* ''Film/AirForceOne'' (1997) - Ivan Korshunov
* ''Film/LostInSpace'' ([[TheMovie 1998]]) - Dr. Smith, one of his extremely obvious villain roles (whom everyone trusted).
* ''WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot'' (1998) - Sir Ruber, the other, even more blindingly obvious villain role who was so implicitly trusted he was a knight at the round table.
* ''The Contender'' (2000) - Rep. Sheldon Runyon
* ''[[Film/TheSilenceOfTheLambs Hannibal]]'' (2001) - The horribly disfigured Mason Verger (trusted by everyone). He was left uncredited in this role, which led a [[Creator/CleolindaJones Movies in 15 Minutes]] review to speculate:
--> '''[=M15M=]''': And in a role so disgusting even '' Gary Oldman'' [[EvenEvilHasStandards didn't want his name on it]]...
* ''Film/HarryPotter'' (from 2004 on) - Sirius Black
* ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' (2005) (2008) (2012) - Commissioner Gordon
* ''Film/TheUnborn'' (2009) - Rabbi Sendak
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Planet 51}}'' (2009) - General Grawl
* ''Film/TheBookOfEli'' (2010) - Carnegie, yet another MagnificentBastard.
* ''Film/RedRidingHood'' (2011) - Father Solomon. Trusted by absolutely nobody. Nah, just kidding, trusted by everyone.
* ''Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy'' (2011) - George Smiley
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'' (2011) - Lord Shen, another MagnificentBastard.
* ''Film/{{Lawless}}'' (2012) - Floyd Banner
* ''Film/RoboCop2014'' (2014) - Dr. Norton
* ''Film/DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes'' (2014) - Dreyfus

'''TV Series'''
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' - Richard Crosby

* ''[[VideoGame/MedalOfHonor Medal of Honor: Allied Assault: Spearhead]]'' - Sergeant Jack Barnes
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: World at War'' - Sergeant Reznov
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' - Dr. Clarke
* ''[[VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon The Legend of Spyro]]'' - Ignitus
* ''VideoGame/LegoDimensions'' - Lord Vortech

* ''WebVideo/TheHire: Beat The Devil'' - The Lord of Darkness, Satan himself.

!Tropes that apply to Gary Oldman as an actor:
* BigBad: Oldman is often casted as the antagonist in a lot of movies and he enjoys hamming it up.
* ChronicallyKilledActor: Comes with often being cast as the villain.
* FakeNationality: He plays a variety of nationalities apart from his native British.
** To the point where (according to an interview on Radio/WaitWaitDontTellMe ) he actually had to work with an accent coach in preparation for ''Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy'' .
*** It's become obvious that Gary's original accent has started to fade as a result of living in America for many years, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIaWo-BlBjs as indicated by his PSA against NBA players acting in film]].
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: Was rejected by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and told he should consider something other than acting. You can guess how much weight their advice ultimately had.
* LargeHam: It comes with being cast as the villain.
* PromotedFanboy: Did ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda2'' because he was a fan of the first one. It also applies to his roles in ''Film/RoboCop2014'' and ''Film/DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes''.
* PunnyName: Impolite to point out? Probably. Only getting truer? Yes.
* {{Typecasting}}: Often cast as villainous or, at the very least, antiheroic charactes. Though he also has notable heroic roles on his resume in the form of [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Jim Gordon]] and [[Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy George Smiley]].
** Christopher Nolan mentioned his casting of Oldman as Gordon was a deliberate [[PlayingAgainstType casting against type]].