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The Real Inspiration for The Joker

Posted: March 26th, 2009 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
The Real Inspiration for The JokerSubmit Comment
Heath Ledger recently won an Oscar for his portrayal of The Joker in "The Dark Knight," but we have yet to find out who is responsible for creating the character to begin with.

Comic book artist Bob Kane, writer Bill Finger and artist Jerry Robinson have all claimed that they are the brains behind the evil villain. But very few dispute that the visual inspiration came from German actor Conrad Veidt's role in the 1928 film "The Man Who Laughs."

In the movie, Gwynplaine (Veidt), whose father offends King James II, is sentenced to have a permanent smile carved on his face. The idea is to condemn Gwynplaine "to laugh forever at his fool of a father."

Based on rumors, Bill Finger (co-creator of Batman) brought a picture to Bob Kane showing Veidt's creepy grin along with a Joker playing card. That meeting is said to be the creation of The Joker. [via LaughingSquid, Cinematical]

Veidt died of a heart attack in 1943 while playing golf in Los Angeles.

Conrad Veidt Photo: (click to enlarge)


Source: LaughingSquid, Cinematical


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Displaying 19 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
guitar_dudester91 writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 5:25:33 PM

That is a f*ckin creepy photo
Valis writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 5:28:01 PM

I could have sworn that when you guys posted the Joker concept art a few months back, The Man Who Laughs was referenced. It's an awesome movie anyway. "God blinded me so I would see only the real Gwynplaine."
Valis writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 5:33:51 PM

My mistake, it's not mentioned. I read that on Wikipedia.
The Skippy Spartan writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 5:53:34 PM

Bob Kane and co have alwaysed said there main inspiration for the Joker was Gwynplaine in "The Man who laughs"
synthetic1985 writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 6:46:53 PM

haha....now i see the funny side.....now...i'm always smiling lol....dark knight was great....and also jack nicholson did great too...'and as you can see...i'm much happier' haha...love em
Elvis Van Helsing writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 7:57:05 PM

So we're getting breaking news from the 40's now? Any word on these "talkies" I've been hearing about? I don't think they'll catch on, but I said that about women's suffrage and nobody listened. This is literally the oldest news I've ever seen reported on a movie site.
Milo writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 8:00:52 PM

This is old news WP- Wikipedia? Sounds like a interesting and the visuals/stills look mesmirising, have always meant to watch it but difficult to find.
Stringer Bell writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 8:08:45 PM

Everyone who knows anything about comics already knows this. Good reporting, though?
horrorfan005 writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 8:13:59 PM

He looks like Arsenio Hall
Action_Bastard writes:
on March 26th, 2009 at 9:10:25 PM

I thought this was common knowledge...
ACTIONFIGURE writes:
on March 27th, 2009 at 1:27:05 AM

This guy was a victim of "Symilex"
SpydrMonkeyakaSPF writes:
on March 27th, 2009 at 1:52:25 AM

That's one creepy a$$ pic, i swear!
-apocolyptic- writes:
on March 27th, 2009 at 2:15:40 AM

..aside from the obvious..whats this about?
-apocolyptic- writes:
on March 27th, 2009 at 2:16:40 AM

But very few dispute that the visual inspiration came from German actor Conrad Veidt's role in the 1928 film "The Man Who Laughs." Didn't we know that already? Very few dispute it.
jik009 writes:
on March 27th, 2009 at 8:40:45 AM

Have you heard? The sky is blue!
dwightschrute writes:
on March 27th, 2009 at 10:33:44 AM

sh*t man that dude is f*cking creepy.
mattcl23 writes:
on March 27th, 2009 at 8:09:45 PM

Wow! Are you sure he wasn't looking in the mirror when he had a heart attack. That's a scary looking dude.
Tadi writes:
on May 5th, 2016 at 6:51:20 AM

Thx guys! I like your site and added to bookmarks!
192.168.0.1
Kamilla112 writes:
on November 13th, 2016 at 5:41:34 PM

I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post.
192.168.0.1

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