Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Will Ferrell is a typical polarizing funny man who movie fans either love or hate. The former “Saturday Night Live” star has been active in films since his 1998 role in “A Night at the Roxbury,” which spoofed characters from a popular SNL skit. While Ferrell’s portrayal of Steve Butabi in that movie wasn’t top-five material, he has played a number of memorable characters.
In the charming 2003 Christmas comedy “Elf,” Ferrell played Buddy the elf. Buddy is an oversized elf who struggles to make toys and fit in at the North Pole. He learns that he was adopted and runs away to New York City to find his biological father, played by James Caan. Buddy finds romance, but he also learns that it’s just as difficult for him to fit in. His passionate Christmas spirit is his key to a happy life in his new home.
4 Harold Crick
In the 2006 comedy-drama release “Stranger Than Fiction,” Ferrell played IRS agent Harold Crick. In a strange twist, Ferrell soon realizes that his life is that of a character in a fiction writer’s book and he must find her in order to get control over his life. Much of the story center’s on Crick’s romantic fling with Ana Pascal, a bakery shop owner played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. After Crick cracks down on Pascal for tax evasion, he develops a soft spot for her cookies … and her rebellious attitude.
3 Ricky Bobby
In another title role, Will Ferrell played a top-flight race card driver in the 2006 movie “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” Ricky Bobby has everything going for him. He not only wins on the track, but he wins with his friends and with women as well. In a classic tale of losing everything quickly, Bobby’s life is turned upside down when a new driver comes along and steals his thunder.
2 Chazz Reinhold
In the 2005 film “Wedding Crashers,” starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, Ferrell played a small role near the end of the movie. However, his depiction of the “king of crashing” Chazz Reinhold fit perfectly with the actor’s over-the-top persona and animated comedy. In the final stages of the movie, Wilson’s character was struggling with lost love, and turns to Chazz for a fill-in crash buddy. Instead, he realizes he doesn’t want his life to continue as a never-ending saga of scoring women at everything from parties to funerals.
1 Ron Burgundy
Ferrell’s most iconic role was as the title character in the 2004 comedy movie “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” Ferrell played a witless, yet somehow accomplished, television anchor who becomes enchanted when the station gets its first anchorwoman (played by Christina Applegate). The film included cameos from a number of less-than-A-list celebrities, but Ferrell was undoubtedly the prominent figure in this slapstick-comedy-filled story.