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

->''"''Film/TheBookOfEli'' starring Gary Oldsmobile and Creator/{{Denzel Washing|ton}}machine!"''
-->-- ''The Book of Eli (Abridged)'', Machinima.com

Gary Leonard Oldman (born March 21, 1958) is an English 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/BramStokersDracula''. 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 [[{{Film/JFK}} 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 Creator/MelGibson and Creator/AlecBaldwin. 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 universally 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'' (1993) — 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/MurderInTheFirst'' (1995) — Warden Milton Glenn
* ''Literature/TheScarletLetter'' (1995) — Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale
* ''Film/TheFifthElement'' (1997) — 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.
* ''Film/TheContender'' (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/TinyTiptoes'' (2003) — Rolfe, a dwarf
* ''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/RoboCop|2014}}'' (2014) — Dr. Norton
* ''Film/DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes'' (2014) — Dreyfus
* ''Film/{{Criminal}}'' (2016) — Quaker Wells
* ''[[Film/TheHitmansBodyguard The Hitman's Bodyguard]]'' — Vladislav Dukhovich
* ''Film/DarkestHour'' (2017) — UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill

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

* ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonorAlliedAssault'' ''Spearhead'' — Sergeant Jack Barnes
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyWorldAtWar'' — Sergeant Reznov
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps'' — Viktor Reznov / Dr. Clarke
* ''[[VideoGame/SpyroTheDragon The Legend of Spyro]]'' — Ignitus
* ''VideoGame/LegoDimensions'' — Lord Vortech
* ''VideoGame/StarCitizen'' — Admiral Bishop

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

!Tropes that apply to Gary Oldman as an actor:
* BigBad: Oldman is often cast as the antagonist in a lot of movies and [[EvilIsHammy he enjoys hamming it up.]]
* ChronicallyKilledActor: It comes with often being cast as the villain, and [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix sometimes when not the villain.]]
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: He 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. Even the more heroic roles have him getting over-the-top - the sole exception is ''Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy'', where he barely emotes.
* PunnyName: Impolite to point out? Probably. Only getting truer? Yes.
* {{Typecasting}}: He's often cast as villainous or, at the very least, antiheroic characters. Many are insane or just peculiar. A third field is a ReasonableAuthorityFigure, such as [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Jim Gordon]] and [[Film/TinkerTailorSoldierSpy George Smiley]].
** Creator/ChristopherNolan mentioned his casting of Oldman as Gordon was a deliberate [[PlayingAgainstType casting against type]].