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Top 10 Movie and TV Characters Named Jack

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script Written by David MacIntyre. When you think about how many characters have the name, you can't really say you don't know Jack. Join WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the top 10 characters named Jack in movies and TV. For this list, we’ve narrowed it down to characters who predominantly go by the name of Jack in the movies or TV series they’re featured in, as opposed to the name John for which Jack can be a nickname. Special thanks to our users Rico Goldstar, Tim Seals and Castle for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Movie and TV Characters Named Jack


When you think about how many characters have the name, you can’t really say you don’t know Jack. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 characters named Jack in movies and TV.

For this list, we’ve narrowed it down to characters who predominantly go by the name of Jack in the movies or TV series they’re featured in, as opposed to the name John for which Jack can be a nickname.

#10: Jack Bristow
“Alias” (2001-06)

As the father of female protagonist Sydney, this character acts as an agent for the CIA who even becomes the federal agency’s senior officer at one point in the spy-action TV series. He might seem distant and unwelcoming, but his love for his daughter, willingness to protect her especially when her life is in danger – which is pretty often – as well as his ability to do almost anything to do so are undeniable. All of these make for a character that got Victor Garber nominated for three Emmys.

#9: Jack Torrance
“The Shining” (1980)

The results of the declining mental health and alcohol abuse of this hotel employee still make this movie, based on Stephen King’s novel, arguably one of the scariest of all time. With Jack Nicholson giving a spirited performance in a classic movie that was panned at the time of its release, his crazed facial expressions, manic laugh and equally manic behavior have all the makings of a great movie villain – and one that’s been repeatedly named on lists ranking the greatest movie characters of all time.

#8: Jack Traven
“Speed” (1994)

Not only is he a young agent who rises to the occasion when he needs to, he’s got the looks and the smooth demeanor to match. Portrayed by Keanu Reeves, this SWAT officer has to save a group of people held hostage in an elevator shaft and another group trapped onboard a bus with a bomb hidden inside it - all within the same day! He’s maybe not the smoothest talker in the world for someone with his day job, but he doesn’t really need to be.

#7: Captain Jack Harkness
“Torchwood” (2006-11)

The only character on this list to start off on an original series and continue through to a TV show spin-off, this Jack is an agent from all the way in the 51st century who is definitely more of a good old-fashioned action hero than the Doctor himself. Starting off as one of Doctor Who’s companions in that series, Captain Jack would get the chance to break out on his own in “Torchwood,” where he’s a former con man who’s also the leader of an institute fighting against and hunting aliens.

#6: Dr. Jack Shephard
“Lost” (2004-10)

Criticize him for his sometimes questionable habits and behavior if you will, but you can’t say he doesn’t know how to take charge when he needs to. Being the de facto leader of a group of people stranded on a desert island following the crash of Oceanic Airlines Flight 815, this spinal surgeon is a quick thinker and selfless when others need him to be. The character also landed actor Matthew Fox Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award nominations.

#5: Jack Skellington
“The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993)

He’s the only animated character on this list, but he’s only one of a select few that can be easily repeated in the form of a Halloween costume – which is pretty fitting considering this is the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town we’re talking about. But when Jack finds himself suddenly in the middle of Christmas Town, he tries unsuccessfully to take it over and eventually ends up saving Christmas instead. Although he might not be as frightening as Jack Torrance, this Jack is both scary and delightful all the same.

#4: Jack Dawson
“Titanic” (1997)

One of Leo DiCaprio’s breakout roles is also one of his most memorable ones. In this epic romantic disaster, he plays a poor man who gets on the Titanic and winds up falling for a richer woman. Unfortunately, his boarding of the ship ends with tragic consequences once it sinks. Given to DiCaprio after many other actors turned the role down, this performance helped make him the acting superstar he still is today – even if he still doesn’t have that Best Actor Oscar (yet!).

#3: Jack Bauer
“24” (2001-10; 2014)

He’s so committed to saving the United States from terrorist attacks every single day, it’s a wonder he manages to keep his energy up without eating or getting any sleep. Named one of the all-time coolest heroes in pop culture by Entertainment Weekly, this former Counter Terrorist Unit agent is one of a few guys on this list who will do anything to save his country and the people living in it, even if it means having to immediately electrocute you to do it.

#2: Jack Ryan
“Jack Ryan” franchise (1984-)

With résumé entries like marine for the U.S. navy, CIA agent, and eventually even President of the United States, this character truly is a Jack of all trades – pun intended. With several major movies in addition to multiple novels already published about him, he’s been portrayed by some of the most famous actors in Hollywood, among them Alec Baldwin, Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford. It’s hardly surprising either that his stories are being continued even after the death of author Tom Clancy in 2013.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Jack Burton
“Big Trouble in Little China” (1986)
- Jack Walsh
“Midnight Run” (1988)
- Jack Twist
“Brokeback Mountain” (2005)
- Jack Donaghy
“30 Rock” (2006-13)
- Jack Reacher
“Jack Reacher” (2012)

#1: Captain Jack Sparrow
“Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise (2003-)

The main man in command of the Black Pearl, and a character Johnny Depp modeled directly after Pepe Le Pew and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, this Jack has always been known for being more of a smooth talker than for getting what he wants through violence and action. All in all, this Jack is not only badass, but incredibly cool both in the way he dresses as well as his general demeanor – that is, as long as you don’t upset him by burning all his rum.

Do you agree with our list? Who do you think is the greatest ever character named Jack? With entertaining top10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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