Actors Who Have Played The Grinch On-Screen: Jim Carrey & More – Hollywood Life

Stars Who’ve Played The Grinch On-Screen: Jim Carrey, Benedict Cumberbatch, & More

You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch! Get into the Christmas spirit by revisiting all the actors who have taken on the role of the Grinch over the years.

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Image Credit: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock/Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

  • The Grinch is a fictional character created by Dr. Seuss who hates Christmas.
  • He’s the main character of the 1957 children’s book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
  • He’s been portrayed and voiced on screen by Jim Carrey, Benedict Cumberbatch, and more actors.

The Grinch has become a staple character during the Christmas season for all the wrong reasons. The fictional character created by Dr. Seuss hates Christmas and does everything he can to ruin the holiday joy. The Grinch made his on-screen debut in the 1966 TV special, where he was voiced by Boris Karloff. Since then, the Grinch has been played by some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including Jim Carrey. Here’s every actor who has played the Grinch over the years.

David Howard Thornton (The Mean One, 2022)

David Howard Thornton
David Howard Thornton in ‘The Mean One’ (Photo: Marion Curtis/StarPix/Shutterstock/Sleight of Hand Productions / Courtesy Everett Collection)

David Howard Thornton, 43, is the latest actor to play the Grinch. David starred in the 2022 slasher film The Mean One, where the Grinch is a homicidal creature who goes on a killing spree during the holiday season. A young girl named Cindy You-Know-Who, a spoof of Cindy Lou Who, tries to defend her town from the Grinch. The film received overwhelming negative reviews.

Matthew Morrison (Dr Suess’ The Grinch Musical Live!, 2020)

Glee alum Matthew Morrison, 44, took on the role of the Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical Live, which aired on NBC in December 2020. Matthew totally transformed for the role, but many fans criticized his performance. Matthew responded to his critics on Twitter, writing “To all the haters” with three kissy face emojis and a gif from the musical.

Benedict Cumberbatch (The Grinch, 2018)

Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘The Grinch’ (Photo: Kristin Callahan/Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)

Benedict Cumberbatch, 46, voiced the Grinch 2018 animated movie The Grinch. The film follows the Grinch and his pet dog Max as they played to ruin Whoville’s Christmas celebration. The voice cast also features Cameron Seely as Cindy Lou Who, Rashida Jones as Donna Who, Kenan Thompson as Bricklebaum, Angela Lansbury as Mayor McGerkle, and Pharrell Williams as the Narrator.

Stefan Karl Stefansson (Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, 2008 to 2015)

Icelandic actor Stefan Karl Stefanssonplayed the Grinch in the Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! musical from 2008 to 2015. Stefan performed on the North American tour at shows all across the U.S. Stefan sadly died in March 2018 at the age of 43, after battling cancer for several years. Gavin Lee, 51, replaced Stefan as the Grinch when the musical resumed shows for a week in December 2018 at Madison Square Garden.

Jim Carrey (How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 2000)

Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (Photo: Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock/Universal/courtesy Everett Collection)

Jim Carrey, 60, definitely has the most iconic performance as the Grinch. The actor/comedian starred in the 2000 live-action movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Jim’s co-stars included Taylor Momsen as Cindy Lou Who, Jeffrey Tambor as Mayor MayWho, Molly Shannon as Betty Lou Who, Christine Baranski as Martha May Whovier, and more. The film grossed $345 million worldwide and won the Academy Award for Best Makeup.

Fans have been wanting a sequel to Jim’s Grinch movie, but Jim has said that he doesn’t like doing follow-ups to his films. “I find sequels are a function of commerce for the most part. At least the two I’ve done, they were characters I enjoyed doing, but I did find myself almost parroting myself at that point,” he said back in 2017, via CinemaBlend.

Bob Holt (The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat, 1982)

Bob Holt
Bob Holt was the voice in ‘The Grinch Grinches in the Cat in the Hat (Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection)

Bob Holt, who died in voiced the Grinch in the 1982 animated TV special The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat. The special was a crossover with Cat in the Hat, voiced by Mason Adams. It won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. Bob died of a heart attack just three years after the special aired on ABC.

Boris Karloff (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, 1966)

Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff in ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (Photo: Courtesy Everett Collection )

British actor Boris Karloff was the first person to voice the Grinch in an animated project. He voiced the Grinch and the narrator in the 1966 animated TV special Dr Suess’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. which aired on CBS and became a classic holiday special. The special re-aired on TNT in 1994, over 20 years after Boris died.