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Top 12 Best Portrayals Of Elvis Presley, Ranked

Elvis, or Elvis Aaron Presley, was a singer and actor from the United States. He is acknowledged as one of the most influential cultural leaders of the 20th century and is known as the “King of Rock and Roll.” During a time of profound change in racial relations, his sexually provocative performance style, energizing song interpretations, and a particularly potent confluence of influences from all backgrounds brought him immense popularity and initial controversy.

Presley has thus been the subject to a wide range of interpretations. So, we decided to make a list of the top 12 performers who portrayed this rock and roll icon. Let’s scroll down to check our post out!

#12 Don Johnson, “Elvis and the Beauty Queen” (1981)

Source: NBC

Don Johnson portrayed Presley in this film, which was on air four years after Presley’s passing away. It’s hilarious to see Johnson dressed like Elvis, and it’s surprising that he made no attempt to imitate Presley’s voice. It’s just all his voice.

#11 David Keith, “Heartbreak Hotel” (1988)

Source: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

This comedy is about a boy who kidnaps Presley. Well, at least David Keith made an effort at mimicking Elvis Presley’s voice even though he does not look like the king of Rock and Roll at all.

#10 Harvey Keitel, “Finding Graceland” (1998)

Source: Warner Bros.

This late 90s drama is a bit of the road-trip genre. Harvey Keitel portrays a drifter who has a trip to Graceland and forms a bond with the man who picked him up in the process. And the thing is that Keitel makes no attempt to lend his performance any Elvis flair.

#9 Michael Shannon, “Elvis & Nixon” (2016)

Source: Bleecker Street Media

Michael Shannon took on the rock and roll legend role, and Kevin Spacey played the president in this “famous meeting.” With makeup and costume, Shannon did a good job portraying Presley. But he still needed some improvement in voicing.

#8 Bruce Campbell, “Bubba Ho-Tep” (2002)

Source: Vitagraph Films

In this creative story, Campbell got the role of an old man in a nursing home, claims himself, Presley. And he took on the mystique of Presley well!

#7 Jack White, “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (2007)

Source: Sony

White had an outstanding performance as an irate Presley who runs into Reilly’s Dewey Cox backstage at a concert in this comedy.

#6 Tyler Hilton, “Walk The Line” (2005)

Source: 20th Century Fox

Hilton has the appearance and voice to portray a young Presley, who was then a rock star having fun performing for screaming fans.

#5 Val Kilmer, “True Romance” (1993)

Source: Warner Bros.

Even though Kilmer was barely in the camera frame, his performance as Presley, a figment of Christian Slater’s Clarence character’s imagination, is still wonderful. That’s why he gets a high rank on this list.

#4 Kurt Russell, “Elvis” (1979)

Source: ABC

Did a great job in portraying the iconic musician, Russel received an Emmy nomination for the lead actor.

#3 Michael St. Gerard, “Elvis” (1990)

Source: ABC

Despite the fact that this TV show during Presley’s formative years failed (due to low ratings), Gerard’s appearance and voice in the part are excellent.

#2 Jonathan Rhys Meyers, “Elvis” (2005)

Source: CBS

The actor who gave us the best Presley performance up until recently was Meyers. In this CBS miniseries, the Irish actor, who nailed both the look and the dancing skills, plays the King of Rock and Roll. For the role, Meyers received a Golden Globe nomination and an Emmy one.

#1 Austin Butler, “Elvis” (2022)

Source: Warner Bros.

Butler’s raw acting is most striking as we follow Butler’s Presley on his journey to superstardom and watch as he deals with the weight that comes with it. He has the dancing down, the singing down, and the swagger.