- Tim Allen has played Santa Claus in three different movies.
- Leslie Nielsen has also played Santa Claus.
- Tyler Perry and Billy Bob Thornton have played characters who pretended to be Santa Claus.
- Paul Giamatti played Santa's brother in "Fred Claus."
- In the original "Miracle on 34th Street," Edmund Gwenn starred as Kris Kringle.
Santa Claus is a fixture of the holiday season, especially when it comes to Christmas movies. Onscreen, Saint Nick has been portrayed by a motley mix of actors, from Tim Allen to Leslie Nielsen.
Here are 10 actors who have played Santa (or characters pretending to be Santa) throughout the years.
Tim Allen wore the red suit in the "Santa Clause" series.
"Home Improvement" star Tim Allen wore the red suit in all three " Santa Clause " movies (released in 1994, 2002, and 2006). The family-friendly fantasy trilogy tell the story of a toy salesman who becomes Santa after accidentally causing the real Saint Nick to fall off his roof. Holiday hijinks ensue from Illinois to the North Pole.
Ed Asner played Santa in several movies, including "Elf."
Alan Markfield, New Line Productions
Ed Asner, famous for portraying Lou Grant on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," first dressed up as the big guy in " The Christmas Star ," a 1986 movie about a counterfeiter who escapes from prison before Christmas by wearing a Santa costume.
More recently, Asner played Santa in the beloved 2003 flick " Elf ." Alongside a voice cast that included Jim Parsons and Mark Hamill, he reprised the role in " Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas " (2014), a stop-motion TV special based on the first film and its subsequent Broadway musical adaptation.
Lifetime fans might have also caught Asner's appearance as Santa in " Christmas on the Bayou ," which aired on the network in 2013.
In the original "Miracle on 34th Street," Edmund Gwenn starred as Kris Kringle.
Twentieth Century Fox
In the 1947 holiday classic " Miracle on 34th Street " (which was remade in 1994 starring Richard Attenborough), Edmund Gwenn played Kris Kringle the real Saint Nick pretending to be a department store Santa at Macy's Herald Square flagship in New York City.
Jim Broadbent was Santa in "Get Santa."
Film i Vst
Actor Jim Broadbent, who you may recognize from his role as Archmaester Ebrose on "Game of Thrones," played Santa Claus in the family comedy "Get Santa."
Paul Giamatti played Santa's brother in "Fred Claus."
Paul Giamatti is known for a diverse range of roles, from the eponymous Founding Father in the miniseries "John Adams" to the comic book writer Harvey Pekar in "American Splendor." Giamatti even played Santa's brother in " Fred Claus ," a 2007 comedy adventure movie co-starring Vince Vaughn.
Chevy Chase dressed up as Santa in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."
Archive Photos/Getty Images
As his "National Lampoon" character Clark "Sparky" Griswold, Jr., Chevy Chase dressed up as Santa in the comedy series' third installment, " Christmas Vacation " (1989).
In "Bad Santa," Billy Bob Thornton played a thief who dressed as Saint Nick to rob malls.
Broad Green Pictures
Billy Bob Thornton starred as a not-so-saintly Nick in the dark comedy " Bad Santa ." The 2003 movie centers around a professional thief who dresses as a department store Santa in order to rob malls at night.
Tyler Perry's tough persona works as a mall Santa in "A Madea Christmas."
Madea actor and comedian Tyler Perry's persona gets a job as a mall Santa in " A Madea Christmas " (2013), the eighth movie in the franchise.
Kurt Russell portrayed the title character in Netflix's "Christmas Chronicles."
Leslie Nielsen appeared as Santa in two movies.
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