The fantastic nature of witches has been with us since infancy. We were told stories of princesses and knights, of the good and the bad, while the bad usually consisted of witches. However, witches are portrayed sometimes as malevolent while other times they are benevolent. In television and film the themes are the same but over the years witches have definitely put us under their spell. Here are the glorious witches of film and television.
Sandra Bullock | Practical Magic
Lovely Sandra played the role of Sally Owens in the 1998 magical film Practical Magic. Sally was on of two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Blood is thicker than water for those two, though, as Sally used her magical aptitude to help her sister out in a time of need.
Sandra’s career went from good to incredible. She is an Academy Award winning actress and a mother of two. Bullock’s most memorable roles were in films like The Blind Side, The Proposal, Miss Congeniality, The Heat, and Two Weeks Notice.
Bette Midler | Hocus Pocus
Hocus Pocus is one of the all time favorite Halloween films. Bette Midler played the role of Winnie Sanderson, one of the three witch sisters who were brought back to life after a young boy lit a special candle on Halloween eve. Winnie was the head of the sister clan.
Legendary actress Bette Midler has had one of the most stellar careers in Hollywood. Since her role in Hocus Pocus in 1993, Midler has been in films like The First Wives Club, What Women Want, The Stepford Wives, The Women, and most recently Freak Show. She is currently acting on Broadway in the show Hello, Dolly!
Elizabeth Montgomery | Bewitched
One of the very first witches on television, Elizabeth Montgomery played the role of Samantha Stephens on the iconic television series Bewitched. Sam was a witch who just wanted a normal life but couldn’t escape her magical upbringing and family.
Elizabeth won five Primetime Emmy Awards for her role as Samantha Stephens, the role she would forever be known for. Montgomery passed away in 1995 after a battle with colon cancer, she was just 62 years old.
Fairuza Balk | The Craft
Fairuza scared the living daylights out of us as Nancy Downs in the film The Craft. She was the head of a coven of high school witches who had a mean streak in her. Nancy was feared and crazy, until her untimely demise.
Balk kept her acting career going but pretty under the independent radar. She has been in films like American History X, Don’t Come Knocking, and Grindstone Road. When it comes to her television credits, Balk has been a part of shows like The Sopranos, Justice League, and Ray Donovan.
Helena Bonham Carter | Harry Potter
Helena Bonham Carter played the wicked role of Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series. Her dark style of dress and witchcraft had her on the side of evil, but she was fabulous while doing it!
Helena Bonham Carter
During the years that Carter was Bellatrix, she was also a part of many other projects. Some of her film credits include Dark Shadows, Alice in Wonderland, The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, The Long Ranger, Cinderella, Suffragette, and Great Expectations.
Michelle Pfeiffer | Stardust
The lovely Michelle Pfeiffer changed her tune from serious films to fantasy when she played the role of the witch Lamia, in the film Stardust. It’s Lamia’s job to make sure the star that fell to earth gets in her hands so she can be eternally young.
Known for much more than her relatively recent role as Lamia, Pfeiffer’s been in other films like Hairspray, Personal Effects, Dark Shadows, The Family and Where Is Kyra?
Susan Sarandon | The Witches of Eastwick
Susan Sarandon was one third of the witches in The Witches of Eastwick. Sarandon played the role of Jane Spofford alongside Cher and Michelle Pfeiffer. The novel-based film is about three women who aren’t aware of their magical gifts, only to come together and cast.
Sarandon is widely known throughout Hollywood and beyond. Her roles in Thelma & Louise, Lorenzo’s Oil, Step Mom, Enchanted, Little Women, and most recently The Meddler, have her keeping busy and famous to boot.
Nicole Kidman | Practical Magic
Nicole Kidman can play it all, including a very seductive witch. Kidman played the role of Gillian Owens in the 1998 film Practical Magic. Gillian was a rebellious woman who got into a little bit of trouble with a man she was dating, eventually needing her magical family to get out of a serious mess.
Kidman is now an Academy Award winning actress, with major films such as The Hours, Lion, The Paperboy, Moulin Rouge! and The Golden Compass, under her belt.
Emma Watson | Harry Potter
Emma Watson spent ten years playing the role of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise. Undoubtedly the role that shot her to fame, Watson brought a beloved character to life in the most graceful of ways, not to mention her innate ability as a witch so cast some very powerful spells and save the day.
Emma has gone from Hermione to Belle this year, landing the role of the coveted live action version of Beauty and the Beast. She has also starred in the film The Circle, based on a very successful novel by the same name. Needless to say, Watson leads a charmed life.
Carice van Houten | Game of Thrones
We couldn’t have a list of witches and not mention Melisandre from Game of Thrones. The witch brought back Jon Snow for crying out loud! While there is a debate whether she is good or bad, we find her fascinating and dark.
Carice van Houten
When she isn’t playing Melisandre, Carice van Houten is either spending time with her partner, fellow actor Guy Pearce, or reviewing her acting credits, which include films like Jackie, and Incarnate, or television shows like The Simpsons.
Alyson Hannigan | Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Alyson Hannigan played sweet and innocent Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that was until she became a super dark witch who threatened the entire world. Apparently the timid Willow was always half dark and the forces of evil were just waiting to burst.
Post-Buffy, Hannigan starred in the American Pie films, as well as the extremely successful television show How I Met Your Mother. Her most recent role was in the 2014 episode of The McCarthys.
Sarah Jessica Parker | Hocus Pocus
Sarah Jessica landed the role of Sarah Sanderson in the film Hocus Pocus in 1993. Sarah played the ditzy witch sister of her other two more powerful and evil ones. SJP was perfect to play the petite witch, who had a taste for young children on Halloween.
Sarah Jessica Parker
While playing a witch sure was fun, it was SJP’s role as Carrie Bradshaw that we all remember. Her most recent projects include productions like All Roads Lead to Rome, Glee, and HBO’s Divorce.
Elizabeth Olsen | Captain America
Elizabeth Olsen plays Wanda Maximoff, also known as the Scarlet Witch in the Avengers films (soon to be four of them). She uses her powers for evil initially until she sees the light and turns to the side of the Avengers themselves.
Elizabeth, the younger sister of famed twins Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Her acting career started on the set of her sister’s many films and slowly continued to grow over the years. Her most recent projects include I Saw the Light, Ingrid Goes West, Wind River, and the latest Avengers film, Infinity War.
Naomie Harris | Pirates of the Caribbean
Whether you recognize her or not, actress Naomie Harris played the role of the nautical witch Tia Dalma, as well as the physical embodiment of the goddess Calypso.
Harris’ career is a relatively new one but is fast-moving due to her acting chops and more than adequate features. Harris has been in films like Skyfall and Spectre of the James Bond franchise, as well as Moonlight, and Collateral Beauty, both of which were nominated for several awards.
Emmy Rossum | Beautiful Creatures
Emmy Rossum spent 2013 in the role of witch family member Ridley Duchannes. She brought trouble to her cousin because she was a dark caster rather than a benevolent white caster. The Southern witch has the power of a siren and the looks to match.
Emmy shot to fame in the role of Christine Daaè in The Phantom of the Opera in 2004. Who knew a woman as tiny as her could possess the voice of an angel? Her recent role is in television, playing Fiona Gallagher in the hit television show Shameless.
Maggie Smith | Harry Potter
Maggie Smith, also known to us as the tough yet lovable Professor Minerva McGonagall. McGonagall was much more than a talented witch, she was also the Headmistress of Hogwarts and the head of Gryffindor. Oh, she can also shape shift which is pretty cool.
Dame Maggie Smith is a force to be reckoned with. Her most recent film roles include The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (and its sequel) as well as The Lady in the Van. Her television credits include the incredibly successful show Downton Abbey, which without Smith wouldn’t be the same.
Melissa Joan Hart | Sabrina the Teenage Witch
A young Melissa Joan Hart broke out with the role of Sabrina in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a sitcom she starred in from 1996 to 2003. Sabrina was a young witch who was under the care of her two aunts and their cat.
Melissa Joan Hart
After Hart’s time as a witch, she continued to act on television shows such as Melissa & Joey, which she was also the executive producer and director of, as well as herself in Celebrity Family Feud.
Anjelica Huston | The Addams Family
In 1991, Anjelica Huston landed the role that would change her career, that of Morticia Addams in The Addams Family, followed by the 1993 Addams Family Values. Huston’s portrayal of the goth vixen was done to perfection thanks to her long legged self who wore the dark skin tight gown, in addition to the long hair and nails to match.
Huston is still keeping busy with her acting, appearing in films like Material Girls, These Foolish Things, 50/50, The Big Year, and most recently a voice role in the film Arctic Justice: Thunder Squad.
Tilda Swinton | Narnia
Tilda Swinton played the less than lovable role of the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia. Jadis the White Witch made Narnia the cold place it had become due to her cold heart. She uses her powers to try and gain total control and make the prophecy fail.
Tilda reprised her role as the witch two more times since the original 2005 film. She is known throughout the acting world for her very diverse roles, in films like The Grand Budapest Hotel Trainwreck, Hail, Caesar!, Doctor Strange, and War Machine.
Charlize Theron | Snow White and the Huntsman
The beautiful Charlize Theron played the equally beautiful and evil Queen Ravenna in both Snow White and the Huntsman and The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Ravenna’s sole purpose is to rule everything and everyone and will use any magic necessary to do so. Oh and make sure she is the most beautiful in all the land.
Theron is one of the biggest names in Hollywood these days, landing starring roles in films like Prometheus, Dark Places, A Million Ways to Die n the West, and The Fate of the Furious.
Robin Tunney | The Craft
Robin played the role of Sarah Bailey in the 1996 film The Craft. The Craft has become one of the cult witchcraft films of the 90s. Sarah was a newcomer to a high school where she was taken in by a group of girls who introduced her to a darker path. The group goes on to terrorize the popular crowd until things are set right again.
These days, Robin is known for her leading role in the television show The Mentalist as Teresa Lisbon. Her film credits include The In-Laws, Hollywoodland, August, Passenger Side, and My All American.
Kat Graham | The Vampire Diaries
One of the more recent television witches to date, actress Kat Graham plays the role of Bonnie Bennett on The Vampire Diaries. Bonnie comes from a long line of witches and is one herself. She uses her powers to get what she wants in the greater scheme of things.
In addition to playing Bonnie, Graham keeps busy by playing herself in shows like Hell’s Kitchen, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Ridiculousness, and The Show with Vinny. Her film credits include playing the role of Jada Pinkett in the 2017 film All Eyez on Me, based on the life of rapper Tupac Shakur.
Jenna Dewan | The Witched of East End
For two years, Jenna Dewan played the role of Freya Beauchamp in the television show Witches of East End. She was one of four other witches in her family. The show was based on the novel by the same name by Melissa de la Cruz.
Jenna has since continued to dance as a guest judge on the show So You Think You Can Dance, as well as currently holding on to a recurring role in the show Supergirl as Lucy Lane.
Jessica Lange | American Horror Story
American Horror Story has many types of horrors within. On the ‘Coven’ episode, actress Jessica Lange plays the role of Fiona Goode, the Head Witch in Charge at Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies, also known as witches. It’s Fiona’s job to teach the younger witches the way.
Jessica Lange is synonymous with Hollywood. The legendary actress has been in many a film, including King Kong, Blue Sky, The Vow, In Secret, and Wild Oats.
Rachel Weisz | Oz the Great and Powerful
There are two witches in Oz the Great and Powerful, sisters and bad to the bone. Rachel Weisz plays the role of the Wicked Witch of the East, also known as Evanora. She certainly makes bad look very good.
Rachel is a very versatile actress, who can play comedy and drama, fantasy and sci-fi all with her own special twist. Her most memorable roles include The Light Between Oceans, Definitely, Maybe, The Bourne Legacy, The Mummy, Denial, and The Lobster.
Cara Delevingne | Suicide Squad
Cara, a model, played the roles of both Dr. June Moone and Enchantress in the hit film Suicide Squad. The sci-fi fantasy film revolves around a team of unlikely bad guys who are used by a government agency to help. Cara’s characters are two in one body and are very convincing as terribly evil.
Cara is more known for her runway walk than her acting chops, for now that is. Her most recent turn to film has her starring in two films in 2017 – Tulip Fever, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
Lily Collins | The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Lily played the role of Clary Fray in the 2013 film The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The film, which is based on a well-known book series, is about Clary and her shadowhunter adventures. She may not technically be a witch, but she certainly knows how to do some pretty incredible, and supernatural, things.
Lily, daughter of renowned musician Phil Collins, is a model and spokesperson in addition to being an acclaimed actress. She is the face of Lancôme in addition to having roles in films like The Blind Side, Stuck in Love, Love, Rosie, and To the Bone.
Alice Englert | Beautiful Creatures
The 2013 film Beautiful Creatures was full of big names. However, in the lead was a lesser known actress, Alice Englert, in the role of Lena Duchannes. She played the struggling teen caster who just wants a normal life in a world that may turn her dark.
After Beautiful Creatures, Alice took to roles in television shows like New Worlds, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, and The Mouse on the Prairie.
Mara Wilson | Matilda
Mara Wilson played the lovable neglected little girl with superpowers, Matilda. The 1996 film introduced magic (or telekinesis) to a while new generation. Matilda was good and kind, using her powers to get even with the world that had ignored her.
Mara went MIA after her roles in Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire. She stopped acting when her mother got sick and passed away. She decided to focus on writing and her education. Wilson came out with a book about her life, as well as frequently writes for online magazines.
Cher | The Witches of Eastwick
Cher was one of three women who didn’t know they were witches is The Witches of Eastwick. Cher played Alexandra Medford. Her wild hair and piercing eyes did the work for her in the film, she was more than formidable.
Cher, who is known for being a triple threat with her music and dancing, is one of the most famous artists to date. Her film roles in Mermaids, and Burlesque had fans applauding, while her musical career has always managed to make a comeback. Her most recent adventure is the Broadway play that will be based on her life.
Alyssa Milano | Charmed
From 1998 through 2006, Alyssa Milano played the role of Phoebe Halliwell, one of the three Halliwell sisters living in San Francisco, secretly battling the forces of evil through their own unique gifts. Phoebe had the gift of foresight, which she dreaded all too much.
Since her years on Charmed, which other than Who’s the Boss?, brought her great fame and recognition, Alyssa has been busy acting in shows like My Name is Earl, Romantically Challenged, Mistresses and most recently on Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later.