What actors own their roles?

Most dopers agreed that Robert Preston owned the role of Prof. Harol Hill. What other performers could not be replaced in the roles they play or played?
My first thought was Gene Wilder in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory .
I’m also not sure Tom Sellek could have done Indiana Jones. But could Harrison Ford do Magnum?
What do you all think?

Right off the top of my head –

Humphrey Bogart as Rick and Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa

Clark Gable as Rhett

Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins

John Wayne as Rooster Cogborn

Christopher Reeve as Superman

Judy Garland as Dorothy

Woody Allen in any of his roles.

Jack Nicholson as Randal P. McMurphy

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch

Ian McKellan as (dare I say it) Gandalf

Dennis Hopper as Frank Booth

Tom Berenger as Sgt. Barnes

R. Lee Ermey as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman

BTW Roadwalker Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka is a great example.

Anthony Hopkins - Hannibal Lechter

Another vote for Hopkins/Lechter & Wilder/Wonka
Rutger Hauer - Roy Batty
Nicholson - Joker
Mark Hamil - voice of the animated Joker
Jim Henson - Kermit the Frog

Val Kilmer–Doc Holliday

Sean Connery as James Bond. No one else is even close.

Marlon Brondo as Vito Corleone.

Chris Guest as Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap).

Dame Judith Anderson as Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca.

I couldn’t have imagined anyone else as Gandalf.

many good examples noted!
Also Rex Harrison as Henry Higgins; Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins probably own those roles
From TV - that guy who played the villain in Jewel in the Crown owned that role for sure
I have to second Ian McKellan as Gandalf…will have to wait for 3rd movie to decide completely on Elijah Wood as Frodo.

Mel Gibson as Max Rockatansky.
He fits the part so well…A fourth one is in the works.

Yes! Second on Sean Connery as James Bond! (Who else could come off as suave and dangerous wearing a tiny baby-blue one-piece terry suit?)

And Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby.

Is this just limited to films? Becuase I agree with most of the roles mentioned the actors own that character and anyone else in that role will just look like a cheap imitation, but there are a lot of examples on TV as well. There are many shows I cannot imagine doing as well were anyone else in a particular.

For example, pretty much the entire casts of All In the Family, Married With Children, The Honeymooners, Buffy, The X-Files . . .

John Ritter - Jack Tripper

Redd Foxx - Fred Sanford

Sherman Helmsley - George Jefferson

And plenty of others I’m not mentioning.

I’ve got to disagree about Ian McKellan as Gandalf. He’s about perfect in the part, but when I think of Gandalf I think of John Huston.

And I thought Hannibal proved that Jodie Foster owned the role of Clarice Starling. I was always more impressed with her performance in Silence of the Lambs than Hopkins’.

absolutely ian mckellen as gandalf. no one else could do it.

and the woody allen vote.

mel brooks in all his movies. even if they’re only cameos…

Some others:

Denis Franz as Sipowitz (sp)

Ted Danson as Sam

Peter Sellars as Inspector C

Orson Wells as Kane

Travolta as Tony in Staying Alive

Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam

Clint Eastwood as Harry Callahan.

Christopher Lloyd in Taxi and Back to the Future.

Can I go for a Double Team act?

John Belushi and Dan Akroyd… I’ll let you guys guess who!

I know this is probably a minority opinion, but I thought Brian Cox was much creepier as Hannibal Lechter in Michael Mann’s Manhunter.