So many actors have taken on the iconic role of Santa Claus over the years in movies, commercials and more. From Tim Allen to Kurt Russell, check out Santa’s best transformations.
There are so many holiday movies to enjoy throughout the Christmas season. From holiday classics to new favorites, a number of beloved actors have played the one and only Santa. Who can forget celui de Tim Allen transformation into Santa? Or that of Kurt Russell recent turn like St. Nick in The Christmas Chronicles?
Playing Santa Claus is one of the most coveted holiday roles for an actor. Many of these iterations of the legendary character are timeless, and the actors are up for some major makeovers to play Santa Claus. Check out some of the most notable actors like Santa Claus below.
Tim Allen, 68, became a holiday icon when he took on the role of St. Nick in Santa, which was released in 1994. After Tim’s character Scott accidentally kills a man in a Santa costume, Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. The film was a huge success, grossing nearly $ 190 million during its release.
Tim returned to the role for two sequels, which came out in 2002 and 2006. The actor’s transformation into a classic Christmas character is featured throughout the films. The character of Tim grows a long white beard and gets a huge belly that is ready for all the Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve.
Kurt Russel, 70, took on the role of Santa Claus in the 2018 Netflix movie The Christmas Chronicles. The film follows two children who decide to hide on Santa’s sleigh when they try to get a closer look. When they surprise Santa Claus with their presence, he loses control of his sleigh. The sleigh breaks down and Santa Claus loses his magic hat. Children must team up with Santa Claus to deliver gifts on time or the Christmas spirit will be gone.
For his version of Santa, Kurt wore a red suit with a fur lining. He sported longer white hair and a shorter, curlier white beard in the movie. He returned for the 2020 sequel, which featured his longtime partner Goldie Hawn, 76, as Mrs. Claus.
Tom Hanks, 65, voiced Santa Claus in the 2004 Christmas film Le Polar Express. Tom has actually voiced several characters in the film, including the Hero Boy who hops on a train bound for the North Pole before Christmas to embark on an unforgettable journey. Tom also voices the Hero Boy’s father, conductor, tramp, and puppet Scrooge. Le Polar Express is truly a Christmas classic!
Legendary actor deceased Ed Asner played Santa Claus in Will Ferrell 2003 holiday hit Elf. Ed’s version of Santa Claus finds Buddy in his bag and gives it to Papa Elf to raise at the North Pole. When Santa Claus plants his sleigh in Central Park, Elf helps Santa to save Christmas.
The end Richard Attenborough starred as Kris Kringle / Santa in the 1994 remake of Miracle on 34th Street. The character of Richard is hired to replace Santa Claus in the fictional Cole’s department store. During the holiday movie, Kris helps a 6 year old girl named Susan (Mara Wilson) believe in the spirit of Christmas. Richard sadly passed away in 2014.
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton, 66, played a very daring version of St. Nick in the 2003 comedy Bad santa claus. Billy’s character Willie is a con artist who masquerades as Santa Claus to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. In the end, Willie goes to great lengths to help a troubled child on Christmas Eve. Billy reprized the role in the 2016 sequel.
Paul Giamatti, 54, played Santa Claus in the 2007 film Fred Claus which focuses on the troubled brother of Santa Claus (Vince Vaughn). Fred has been in his brother’s shadow his entire life, but Fred must save Christmas when Nick / Santa is unable to deliver any presents.
Paul has Santa Claus looking down. From the iconic red and white costume to a bushy white beard, Paul’s transformation into Santa Claus is quite astonishing.
John Travolta, 67, starred as Santa Claus in a Capital One commercial in 2020. He appeared in the holiday ad with his Pulp Fiction co-star Samuel L. Jackson. John was completely unrecognizable with his long white hair and beard.
John was not wearing a typical Santa Claus costume. However, it was still very festive. He was wearing a red waistcoat and holiday-themed socks. John’s turn as Santa Claus took everyone by surprise!
Similar to Travolta, Steve Carell, 59, played Santa Claus in an Xfinity holiday commercial. Office alum transforms completely into Santa Claus with his huge white beard and Santa outfit. He even has rosy cheeks and glasses. Honestly, if there’s another Santa movie in the works, then Steve is your man.