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Marvel's Daredevil actors, ranked from Charlie Cox to Ben Affleck and even Rex Smith

From the most recent Daredevil Charlie Cox, to the most name-recognized Daredevil Ben Affleck, and the most forgettable Daredevil in Rex Smith, we are ranking Marvel's best live-action actors without fear

Daredevil actors
Image credit: Marvel

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Marvel has been trying to make its attorney-turned-superhero Daredevil work onscreen since the '70s with no less than four nixed live-action TV shows, one aborted '90s cartoon, and probably more we don't even know about. In the past 35 years, there have been three live-action Daredevils, each in very different projects: one in a TV movie, one in a theatrical movie, and one in a Netflix TV series.

From the most recent Daredevil (Charlie Cox), to the most name-recognized Daredevil (Ben Affleck), we are ranking Marvel's best live-action Men Without Fear... and, yes; we're even including the most forgettable Daredevil, Rex Smith. (Who? You're about to find out.)

3. Rex Smith as Daredevil (1989)

Daredevil #184
Image credit: Marvel

Even with the fog of nostalgia as someone who stayed up late as a 12-year old in 1989 to watch the TV movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, Daredevil's live action debut in a all-black lycra-looking costume left much to be desired. The one-time Street Hawk star was, in many ways, just like the debut of Daredevil in comics - out of place with a weird costume (even by '80s standards), with acting that felt ill-fitting and subpar, especially next to Bill Bixby.

2. Ben Affleck as Daredevil (2003 - 2005)

Daredevil #184
Image credit: Marvel

Riding high as a legitimate movie star with Good Will Hunting and Armageddon very recent memories, Ben Affleck's casting as Daredevil fit the bill; especially considering he wrote the foreword to his friend Kevin Smith's Daredevil comic just a handful of years earlier, professing his love for the character and winning over fickle comic book fans in the process. But the finished product did anything but, with Affleck in particular seemingly lost on the set of a big-budget superhero movie - similiar to the criticisms he faced as Batman decades later. While his plain-clothes scenes with Foggy Nelson (played by Jon Favreau) were electric by contrast, Ben Affleck's Daredevil is frightening... and not in a good way.

1. Charlie Cox as Daredevil (2015 - Present)

Daredevil #184
Image credit: Marvel

Much in the same way that Christopher Reeve's role as Clark Kent/Superman portrayed the duality of the two distinct sides of one character, Boardwalk Empire's Charlie Cox inhabits his role of Daredevil in a way that I continue find myself checking to make sure it's the same person in the DD costume and not a stunt double. Cox's work as a diligent but wounded Matt Murdock adds a pathos to the character that becomes vicious when you see him put on the costume.


Fear not, we have the essentials when it comes to Marvel's Daredevil. From the best Daredevil stories of all time, to a guide to watching Daredevil, a comprehensive guide to Marvel Studios' Daredevil: Born Again on Disney+, Marvel's Daredevil actors, ranked from Charlie Cox to Ben Affleck and even Rex Smith, how Frank Miller accidentally killed a Daredevil cartoon (and Marvel killed a book to avoid pissing him off), and even that time we caught Daredevil actor Charlie Cox sneaking into New York Comic Con as Bluey.

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