Fictional Character - Subject of largest number of films.

Does anyone know which fictional character has been the subject of the most films. I think Dracula. I’m probably wrong. Mrs Jammers thinks Sherlock Holmes. She’s probably right. IMDB says 99 Sherlock Holmes, 127 Dracula, but there may be more without the name in the title. Anybody any ideas?


The character Master Wong, of Chinese origin, has been featured in hundreds of films and TV serials.

Some smart aleck will shortly drive by shouting ‘Jesus!’.

What about Mickey Mouse?
I think you need to define your terms more clearly.

Here’s a link on Master Wong

The Guinness book of Records have it as Sherlock Holmes at 211 movies.

It also reports Napoleon as being the most filmed historical character.

Off to Cafe Society.

DrMatrix -General Questions Moderator

Hmmm… let me try and read Jammers’s mind for Popup:

OK, it seems reasonable that the Q would be about appearances in a full-length theatrical or TV feature film or self-contained serial/minisieries, as lead or in a major supporting role, of an identifiably-authored fictional human, or fictional characterization of a legendary mytho-heroic figure (e.g. Robin Hood or Hercules).
We may or may not want to restrict this to characters sourced from outside the film/feature-length-TV medium (S. Holmes, Dracula, the Lone Ranger, James Bond).

IMDB shows 153 for Santa Claus, 3 for Saint Nick, 1 for St. Nicholas. Which brings a total of 157 for the jolly old elf. I’m pretty sure there are more than that because he seems to be in the cast list as just Santa some times but I can’t figure out how to filter these out. When you search on just Santa you also get Santa Cruz and Santa Anna, etc.

I was going to pop in and say Santa.

no cite, sorry…just a WAG

Tarzan? He’s the only one that comes to mind, after you’ve already named Sherlock Holmes and Dracula.

But is Santa a “fictional” character or a “fictionalized” character? There’s no doubt that there was a bishop named Nicholas at one time, who folks considered to be a pretty swell guy. While the jolly fat guy who drinks Coca-Cola is pretty clearly a different character, it’s not so clear for a character billed as “St. Nicholas”, say, or “Sinterclause”.

According to The Guinness Book of Movie Facts & Feats (1993), by Patrick Robertson, as of 1993,

  1. Sherlock Holmes – 211 films.
  2. Count Dracula – 159 films.
  3. Frankenstein’s monster – 115 films.
  4. Tarzan – 98 films.
  5. Zorro – 70 films.
  6. Hopalong Cassidy – 66 films.
  7. The Durango Kid – 64 films.
  8. Charlie Chan – 49 films.
  9. Robin Hood – 48 films.

Robertson counts both shorts and features, although almost all of the numbers above are for features.

I’m shocked and disappointed that there were only 90 entries on IMDB for “Hamlet.” I had heard anecdotally that there were over 500 versions of the play on film…


However Wong Fei Hung was not a fictional character.

Wong Fei Hung is, however, a legendary character.

In fact, one actor, Kwan Tak Hing, portrayed Wong in 99 films.

Santa (AS “Santa”, as opposed to Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra) would fall into the “legendary mytho-heroic” category. Wong Fei Hung, as protrayed in numerous films, is legendary/heroic but brings up the tantalizing debate as to when (both in terms of the attributed deeds and of distance into the past) does someone acquire “mythical” status.

Smart Alec Voice


/Smart Alec Voice

My first thought was Holmes, unless there’s one from a culture I don’t know about. India makes a whole lot of films, and they have a whole lot of mythology, not to mention all that history. We need help.

Hmmmm. I’m not sure if this counts (or is even true) but I had once heard that Dicken’s A Christmas Carol was the movie that had been re-made the most. And so perhaps Scrooge?

If not, my guess would have been Holmes.