10 Best Endgame Performances By Movie Actors, According To Reddit

It’s always sad for fans when beloved actors pass away or retire from the business. But luckily, an actor’s work remains that fans can enjoy for years to come. However, it’s always extra special when an actor leaves the audience with one last great performance to end.

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These last performances have shown the immense talent of the actors who have evolved. In some cases, these are performances in the middle of a great career that ended too soon and sometimes they feel like the perfect culmination of an actor’s legacy. Regardless of the circumstances, fans remember these performances as memorable farewells.

ten Peter Finch – Network (1976)

The highly acclaimed Network is considered one of the greatest films ever made and features a remarkable cast, including Faye Dunaway and William Holden. But it’s Peter Finch who steals the show as the newscaster whose frustrated on-air rants make him a huge star.

Redditor NedthePhoenix considered Finch’s last performance before his death in 1977 to be one of the “clear examples” of a great final performance. His role as Howard Beale made Finch the first actor to win an Oscar posthumously.

9 James Gandolfini – The Gout (2014)

James Gandolfini in The Gout

Although James Gandolfini became an icon thanks to his role as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos, he also had a long and successful film career. His death in 2013 interrupted what would have been a career filled with many other great roles like that of Drop.

The film stars Tom Hardy as a quiet bartender who runs an establishment with his mob-connected friend Marv (Gandolfini). Although not the main role, Redditor Pedro_Carmichael_DDS called Gandolfini’s performance “top of the line”.


8 Raul Julia – Street Fighter (1994)

Raul Julia M Bison Street Fighter

Sometimes, even when a final movie isn’t entirely memorable, an actor’s performance can stand out as a reminder of why audiences loved it. Such was the case of actor Raul Julia who had a career filled with acclaimed and charismatic roles.

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His last film role was as the villainous M. Bison in the video game adaptation, street fighter. The film certainly didn’t receive critical acclaim outside of Julia’s wonderfully over-the-top performance. Redditor TheRogueToad admitted the movie wasn’t great but insisted that “Raul Julia gave it his all, and it shows.”

seven John Cazale – The Deer Hunter (1978)

Robert De Niro and John Cazale in The Deer Hunter

John Cazale is a tragic story in Hollywood, but the career he left behind is undeniably legendary. Cazale only made five films before his death in 1978, and all five ended up being nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Although he is best known as Fredo in The Godfather films, his last performance in The deer hunter is another example of his incredible talent.

The harrowing war film follows a group of friends who go to fight together in Vietnam and must deal with the impact of what they faced upon their return. With such a masterpiece as his latest film, Redditor NedthePhoenix said Cazale “deserved so much better in life”.

6 Marilyn Munroe – The Misfits (1961)

Marilyn Monroe in a car looking over her shoulder in The Misfits

Marilyn Munroe is one of the most iconic movie stars of all time and another heartbreaking Hollywood story. His career was filled with memorable roles and great performances before his untimely death in 1962. But The misfits was the one she would leave the public with.

The film also marks the final performance of another Hollywood legend, Clark Gable. He plays an aging cowboy trying to maintain his independent life when he falls in love with a divorced woman (Munroe). Redditor ElSordo91 called it “an excellent film, with good performances all around”.

5 Jason Robards – Magnolia (1999)

Earl Partridge on his deathbed at Magnolia

For some actors, the fact that their final performance is excellent is not so surprising because they have consistently delivered outstanding work throughout their careers. This is the case of Jason Robards who played in several classics of Once upon a Time in the West at All the President’s Men.

Robard’s final performance was part of Paul Thomas Anderson’s grand ensemble Magnolia. Robards plays a dying man who connects with his estranged son, played by Tom Cruise. An editor in chief called Robard’s final role “an absolutely magnificent performance”.

4 Oliver Reed – Gladiator (2000)

There are rare instances where an actor dies in the middle of filming a project and yet the film can still be completed with a remarkable performance intact. It happened with Ridley Scott Gladiator when Oliver Reed died in the middle of filming.

With several rewrites and groundbreaking visual effects, Reed’s performance as gladiator-turned-slave owner Proximo was saved. It made for a great end to Reed’s career, especially with his final lines in the movie that Redditor Pedro_Carmichael_DDS recalled, “shadows and dust”.

3 Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread (2017)

Daniel Day Lewis sitting in a chair and smiling in Phantom Thread.

As sad as it may be to see a great actor’s career come to an end, it’s nice to see them being able to walk away from their work on their own terms and choose their own final performance. Daniel Day-Lewis is an actor who was happy to avoid the public spotlight and announced he would be retiring in 2017.

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While Day-Lewis may return one day, his last performance before his retirement announcement was fitting to finish. Redditor 2ktraee called Day-Lewis’ turn as an obsessive fashion designer in Paul Thomas Anderson ghost yarn a “scary performance to leave behind.”

2 John Wayne – The Shooter (1976)

Few actors have reached John Wayne’s level of stardom, especially in the western genre. it’s only fitting that Wayne’s last performance before his death in 1979 was in a western with Don Siegel The shooter.

As if it were a planned farewell for Wayne, he plays an aging shooter looking for a way to die with dignity in his final days. Although a box office disappointment, the film has since been considered one of Wayne’s best and Redditor. DuePast6 called it “the perfect end to his career”.

1 Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

Chadwick Boseman Ma Rainey's black stockings

Chadwick Boseman’s death was one of the biggest shocks in recent Hollywood memory. The actor had become one of the biggest stars thanks to his role as Black Panther and quickly proved to be one of the best actors of his generation.

His last performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a heartbreaking reminder of the brilliant career that ended far too soon. His performance as an ambitious trumpeter in a band was one that Redditor NedthePhoenix supposedly would have earned Boseman a place among “Peter Finch in Network and Heath Ledger in The black Knightas posthumous Oscar winners.

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