Professor James Moriarty might have only properly appeared in a single short story in the original Sherlock Holmes canon but he still made a big enough impression to follow his nemesis into the world of film and TV numerous times. It seems every adaptation of the great detective has to include the Napoleon of Crime as well, otherwise he is conspicuous for his absence. As such, there have been many a brilliant Moriarty over the years. Here are our top ten. Be warned, though, spoilers lie herein.
Honourable mention: Daniel Davis, Star Trek: The Next Generation
Edit: By popular demand, we are adding this sci-fi-themed Moriarty to our list. When android Data plays at being Sherlock Holmes in the virtual reality of the Enterprise’s holodeck, crewmember La Forge creates this A.I Moriarty for him to fight. However, things go awry and the mastermind breaks out into the real world to cause havoc.
10. Paul Freeman, Without A Clue
1988 comedy film Without A Clue sports a clever twist on the usual Sherlock Holmes status quo. In it, Dr Watson (Ben Kingsley) is the genius who hires an actor (Michael Caine) to play Sherlock Holmes so that he can solve crimes in incognito. Moriarty, however, is the real deal and Paul Freeman gives a fun, hissable performance in this underappeciated film.