Andy Serkis

Of the countless visual effects that wowed moviegoers in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (2001-03), none had the sheer impact of Gollum, a former hobbit transformed into a piteous creature by its lust for the magical ring. And while its fully articulated appearance was a miracle of digital effects, the character would have had none of its impact were it not for the astonishing performance of Andy Serkis, the English actor who lent his voice and physical movements to the role. Serkis' turn, alternately tragic and treacherous, was hailed by critics worldwide; he would go on to give life to another Jackson digital creation - the title beast in "King Kong" (2005) - and prove himself a versatile talent in his own skin with notable supporting roles in "13 Going on 30" (2004), "The Prestige" (2006), and "Longford" (2006). The actor continued to earn acclaim for live-action roles in such U.K.-produced dramas as the Ian Dury biopic "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" (2010) and more stunning motion-capture work in box office hits like "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011). Fans later thrilled to the performer reprising the role of Gollum in Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy, along with performances in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" (2011) and its sequel "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (2014), plus "Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2014), "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015) and "Black Panther" (2018). Despite the fact that his most notable roles were delivered via computer technology, Serkis became one of film's most respected and sought-after performers.