To excel as an actor, you’d need a combination of many traits and skills, while a lot can be acquired by training and experience there is still a few that seem to just come naturally. For a greater part of four decades, Alfred Molina has graced the big screen with some very iconic performances. Some of the best Alfred Molina Movies and TV Shows are laced with his subtle yet effective performances. Molina is one of those actors that seem to revel in supporting roles, rarely taking lead performances. It can be argued that no one quite plays a supporting role as well as he does.
He was born on the 24th of May 1953 in Paddington, London to Spanish immigrant parents from Madrid, Alfred attended London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He had his first role in the sitcom The Losers, which was shot in 1978.
Alfred Molina Movies and TV Shows Ranked From Best To Worst
1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Though Harrison Ford is easily the star of the show, Alfred Molina’s performance is no less spectacular. Molina plays Satipo, -a conniving and dubious Peruvian tour guide who helped American archaeologist Indiana Jones get to the Temple of the Chachapoyan Warriors.
Written by Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark would go on to become one of the iconic movies of its time. Released in 1981 on a budget of $18 million, it grossed an impressive $389.9 million at the box office. Raiders of the Lost Ark amassed nine Academy Awards nominations and won numerous other awards, including a Grammy Award and Best Picture at the People’s Choice Awards.
2. An Education
Molina played Jack Mellor, the father of the lead actress Carey Mulligan (Jenny Mellor). An Education was directed by Lone Scherfig with a plot centered on a memoir of journalist Lynn Barber.
Carey Mulligan plays the role of Jenny, a promising teenager who can’t wait to get out of the shackles of teenage life and enjoy the seeming bliss and freedom of adulthood. Her overbearing parents and school teachers harbor high hopes of her getting into Oxford and getting a better life. All these seem under threat when a smooth, sophisticated and urban man in his 30’s (Peter Sarsgaard) shows up to give the young teen a taste of adult life.
He introduces the young Carey to a life of classical music, restaurants, and nightclubs. Over time, it turns out David isn’t who he claims to be. Shot on a budget of $7.5 million, it raked in $26.1 million at the Box office.
3. Boogie Nights
Set in the US of the ’70’s, this movie casts some light on the long history of the adult entertainment industry. A period when pornography was just hitting the mainstream.
Written, produced and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the story is about the life of Eddie Adams, a high school dropout who is working at a night club but who soon rises to fame after he begins to star in porn movies.
Alfred Molina plays Rahad Jackson an eccentric local drug dealer who Eddie Adams and his friends attempt to rob. Boogie Nights was released to favorable reception and had a great run at Award Nights. Shot on a budget of $15 million, it made $43.1 million at the box office.
Frida is centered around the private life of a Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Directed by Julie Taymor (she also directed The Lion King) Frida is an emotional and colorful insight into the life of one of South Americas most talented artists in recent memory. It follows through from her childhood up till her battle with polio and other personal tragedies which in turn seemed to help unleash her creative genius. Her artistry and personal life take a different turn when she meets and eventually marries the legendary artist Diego Rivera (played by Alfred Molina). Rivera’s philandering makes for a tumultuous marital relationship with Frida. Available in English, Spanish, French, and Russian, Frida grossed $56.3 million at the box office on a budget of $12 million.
5. Angie Tribeca
Alfred Molina’s movie career includes some good TV shows and Tribeca is one of them. Starring Hayes MacArthur, Andrée Vermeulen, Jere Burns, Deon Cole and Rashida Jones, Angie Tribeca is an American Cop comedy TV Series which broadcast on TBS. The story is centered around the life and career of a veteran LAPD cop named Angie Tribeca. Alfred Molina put in a series of superb performances as Dr. Edelweiss an expert scientist. He was part of the show’s recurring cast. After running for four seasons, the series was canceled on May 9, 2019.
Alfred Molina plays the role of Robert Aldrich in this TV Show that depicts the onscreen clashes and rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford whilst they were on set for the production of the film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? This first installment pitches the two ladies as two sisters raised in a family in proximity with showbiz, they’d go on to see each other as rivals. Towards the end of their careers, they battle sexism, ageism to stay relevant. Each season featured 10 episodes each of which tried to reenact other famous “feuds”.
7. Spider-Man 2
Any list of Alfred Molina Movies and TV Shows would be incomplete without his performance in Spider Man on the list. If you have ever watched Spider-Man, then you will definitely be familiar with Molina’s electric portrayal of Doctor Octopus, an eccentric scientist who is sometimes Spider Man’s enemy but more often than not an ally who uses his scientific skills to further his ambition.
What many don’t know is that Molina had to compete for the role with stalwarts like Robert De Niro, Sam Neill, and Ed Harris. Directed by Sam Raimi and written by Alvin Sargent, Spider Man was a commercial success realizing $783.8 million on a budget of $200 million
8. The Da Vinci Code
Before we go any further its good you know that there is a consensus that the Bestselling book (by Dan Brown) with the same title is a lot more interesting. Directed by Ron Howard and written by Akiva Goldsman, The Da Vinci Code chronicles events that take place after the murder of museum curator Jacques Sauniere (Jean-Pierre Marielle). Tom Hanks plays Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbologist who is brought in by Inspector Fache (Jean Reno) to help unravel a few symbols left after the murder of museum curator Jacques Sauniere (Jean-Pierre Marielle)
Alfred Molina plays the role of Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, leader of the Opus Dei Sect who also goes by the code name (the Teacher). He is the behind-the-scenes villain who orders his protege Silas to eliminate four top members of the Priory of Sion.
9. Harry’s Law
When a fired patent lawyer moves into an abandoned shoe store to set up her own practice with a bunch of legal misfits, everything that follows is downright hilarious. This comedy TV show was created by David E. Kelley, and had Alfred Molina star as Eric Sanders one of the many defendants that Harry gets to represent. The show ran for two seasons before it was canceled by NBC.
10. Texas Ranger
Set in the old American West, 10 years after the Civil War, Texas Ranger as a movie has received a generally lukewarm reception both by virtue of its storyline and also what is perceived as the weak character development of a majority of the cast.
Alfred Molina stars as John King Fisher, a Texas gunslinger who is being tracked and chased by a band of Rangers who have been commissioned to keep the sanity along the Mexican border. Despite a budget of $38 million, the movie was a flop at the box office earning a measly $763,740.
11. Ladies Man
It’s not every day that you find an Alfred Molina movie or TV show where he is the star. In this comedy sitcom, Alfred plays Jimmy, a furniture maker who is outnumbered in his home by women. He has two daughters – Wendy a 10-year-old daughter, and a teenage Bonnie.
Aside from his kids, he also has an ex-wife and current wife all of whose drama complicate his life further. He is however elated when he finds his wife is pregnant for a boy, an overdue partner in a house filled with women. Ladies Man first aired on September 20, 1999, and ran till June 27, 2001. Molina is joined on the cast by Sharon Lawrence, Betty White, Dixie Carter, Park Overall, Kaley Cuoco, and Alexa Vega. The show has received mixed receptions with certain critics complaining of the story’s lack of depth.
This is not to be confused with the 2019 movie with the same title. This was released in 2011 and had the Twilight star Taylor Lautner in its lead role as an 18-year-old Nathan Harper.
Directed by John Singleton, and written by Shawn Christensen, Abduction is a story of a young boy who has everything he is grown up to believe shattered when he realizes the parents who raised him aren’t his biological parents.
Molina plays Frank Burton, a CIA operative who intervenes when the life of the young Nathan is under threat. Though a success at the Box office, the movie was critically panned.