Top 10 Best Robert Duvall Movie Roles of All Time

Robert Selden Duvall is an award-winning American actor who’s been on screen for over 60 years. And he’s been putting in work the whole time. From The Twilight Zone and To Kill a Mockingbird in the 1960s through today, Duvall appeared in some of your favorite projects. Check out these highlights from the classic filmography of Robert Duvall.

10. Secondhand Lions

Caine and Duval Secondhand Lions

Character: Hub McCann

This coming-of-age story has Haley Joel Osmond spending the summer with his wealthy, eccentric uncles (Michael Caine and Duvall) in Texas.

9. True Grit


Character: “Lucky” Ned Pepper

This John Wayne Classic was remade with Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges in 2010. When a hired hand kills her father, 14-year old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby/Hailee Steinfeld) enlists a drunken gunslinger for revenge. Duvall is the outlaw he’s holed up with.

8. Kicking and Screaming

Kicking and Screaming

Character: Buck Weston

Duvall plays the hard-nosed father Will Ferrell is competing against in a soccer match. This is one of the best sports comedies of all time.

7. Sling Blade

Character: Mr. Childers

Duvall has a supporting role in Billy Bob Thorton’s breakout,critically acclaimed hit.

6. Newsies

Robert Duvall Newsies

Character: Joseph Pulitzer

Duvall plays Joseph Pulitzer, the news publisher fighting William Randolph Hearst while the newspaper delivery boys in the streets sing and dance in povery.

5. Deep Impact

Deep Impact Space Crew

Character: Captain Spurgeon “Fish” Tanner

Duvall leads the space crew trying to divert the meteor heading toward Earth. It’s the story at the heart of this world-ending story.

4. Colors

COLORS, Robert Duvall, Sean Penn, 1988

Character: Officer Bob Hodges

Duvall and Sean Penn are police officers at different ends of their careers. They’re cleaning up the gang-ridden streets of Los Angeles and getting at each other’s throats in the process.

3. Apocalypse Now

Robert Duvall Vietnam War

Character: Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore

This Vietnam War film is unlike anything else, and Duvall manages to stick out among an all-star cast with a classic line, “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.”

2. The Godfather Series

Robert Duvall The Godfather

Character: Tom Hagen

Duvall plays the Corleone family’s consigliere and lawyer. He was informally adopted into the family by Don Vito, and his mild manners and soft-spoken nature makes him the voice of reason in the family.

1. The Apostle

Robert Duvall The Apostle

Character: Euliss “Sonny” Dewey/The Apostle E.F.

Duvall is an eccentric Pentacostal preacher who beats his wife’s lover into a coma and disappears into a small southern town to reinvent himself with a new church.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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