Over the years, a fair number of actors have either voiced or portrayed the Joker in movies, television and video games. In fact, here's a list:

Joaquin Phoenix
Zach Galifianakis (Lego Movie)
Jared Leto
Troy Baker (Arkham Origins)
Michael Emerson (The Dark Knight Returns)
Brent Spiner(Young Justice)
John DiMaggio (Batman: Under the Red Hood)
Heath Ledger
Steve Blum (Lego Batman: the Video Game)
Jeff Bennett (Batman: The Brave and the Bold)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Batman)
Mark Hamill (Batman: The Animated Series)
Jack Nicholson
Cesar Romero

I thought it might be fun to rank them all in terms of quality of performance. Please get your own list ready.

For my list, first of all, I'm going to drop out any performances I'm unfamiliar with or haven't watched. That leaves me with this list:

Michael Emerson (The Dark Knight Returns)
Brent Spiner(Young Justice)
John DiMaggio (Batman: Under the Red Hood)
Heath Ledger
Jeff Bennett (Batman: The Brave and the Bold)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Batman)
Mark Hamill (Batman: The Animated Series)
Jack Nicholson
Cesar Romero

I will also have to say I've yet to see a poor performance of the character. The Joker is an actor's dream character, especially since you can disk up the energy well over eleven and not be accused of overacting or hamming it up. 

So in a tie for 6th:

Michael Emerson (The Dark Knight Returns) 

Brent Spiner(Young Justice)
John DiMaggio (Batman: Under the Red Hood)

No shade on any of these guys. However, I can't say any of their performances were particularly memorable. 

In a 5th place tie:

Jeff Bennett (Batman: The Brave and the Bold)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Batman)

I liked both of these vocal performances. Bennett's Joker had a lot in common with that if Cesar Romero's, albeit with a slightly different energy. Richardson's Joker was a pretty different take, less manic (for what it's worth, that entire show was a different take. If you haven't watched it, it hit its stride in seasons 4 and 5).

4. Jack Nicholson - Did I say this was a hole you couldn't overact? Nicholson came the closest. Still, it works for the character. I felt like his performance captured the unpredictability of the character well (although I know a lot of that had to do with the writing). 

3. Heath Ledger - I know, shocking he's not number one. It's not like he wasn't damned good, I think it's more a matter of me liking the other performances better. Since this is my list, I think this is fair. 

1. Cesar Romero/Mark Hamill - At the end of the day, I couldn't pick between the two of them. They both played different Jokers, but I feel like they both captured them very well. Romero was brilliant as the cartoonish buffoon that the Joker had been since the Silver Age had started, and really injected the character with a manic energy that matched the character from the comics. Hamill, on the other hand, was the embodiment of the Bronze Age Joker--menacing and scary, as homicidal as he could be for a kid's show, while still having the chilling charisma the Joker needs. 

Anyway, that's my list. I look forward to seeing yours and having you rip my ratings to shreds. 

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Eliminating those with whom I am unfamiliar, my pool of candidates would be...

Joaquin Phoenix
Heath Ledger
Mark Hamill 
Cesar Romero
Jack Nicholson

Hmm... that would pretty much be my ranking from best to worse, also.

Actually, those middle three might fluctuate depending on my mood, but Phoenix is definitely the best (my favorite) and Nicholson is definitely the worst (mu least favorite). 

I don't actually have an opinion on this.  But I do have an image that seems relevant to the discussion.

1) Mark Hamill

2) Heath Ledger

3) Cesar Romero

Last) Jared Leto - I never need to see this version again!!!

The rest can be sorted in any order

Of the few that I am familiar with, Cesar Romero ranks at the top. Powdered mustache notwithstanding, he really looked like the Joker. Mark Hamill is up there as well for his voice work on the animated version. Hamill should also get credit for his portrayal of the Joker wanna-be, the Trickster, on both of the Flash live action series.

Mark Hamill Meets the Joker and the Trickster

doc photo said:

Of the few that I am familiar with, Cesar Romero ranks at the top. Powdered mustache notwithstanding, he really looked like the Joker. Mark Hamill is up there as well for his voice work on the animated version. Hamill should also get credit for his portrayal of the Joker wanna-be, the Trickster, on both of the Flash live action series.

Cute. I hadn't seen that one before. 

The Baron said:

Mark Hamill Meets the Joker and the Trickster

doc photo said:

Of the few that I am familiar with, Cesar Romero ranks at the top. Powdered mustache notwithstanding, he really looked like the Joker. Mark Hamill is up there as well for his voice work on the animated version. Hamill should also get credit for his portrayal of the Joker wanna-be, the Trickster, on both of the Flash live action series.

"Mark Hamill Meets the Joker and the Trickster"

A scene from Corvette Summer was filmed in my hometown. It was a pretty big deal at the time. (I thought so, anyway.) 

To my mind, Cesar Romero's Joker not shaving his mustache and putting powdery makeup over it is a very Joker-like thing to do.

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