Portrayed by: Darren McGavin
Back in the '50s, you couldn’t make a movie about drug addiction without being swarmed by controversy. A trailblazing spirit is exactly why Darren McGavin’s performance as heroin dealer Louie Fomorowski, who serves Frank Sinatra’s character, lands on this list. His role in The Man with the Golden Arm, directed by Otto Preminger, one of cinema’s great temperamental geniuses, was a groundbreaking role for the time, and McGavin played it perfectly.
The movie seems quaint now, but Fomorowski was an out-and-out scumbag who introduced audiences everywhere to a seedy underbelly of society that they were not aware of. In the end, he got exactly what he deserved, and in the process set up a template for most movie drug dealers to follow.