[[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/RoboCop2014'' (2014) - Dr. Norton
* ''Film/DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes'' (2014) - Dreyfus
* ''Film/{{Criminal}}'' (2016)

'''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
* ''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: Comes with often being cast as the villain, and [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix sometimes when not the villain.]]
* FakeNationality: He plays a variety of nationalities apart from his native English.
** 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: 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.
* 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 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]].
** PlayingWithCharacterType: When he was cast in ''Film/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban'' as Sirius Black, a mass-murderer after Harry, no one was surprised. By the end, it's revealed that Sirius never murdered or betrayed anyone, and in later movies he becomes the closest thing Harry has to family (naturally, this came as no surprise to viewers who'd already read the books).