Hannibal Lecter is a fictional character in a series of novels by author Thomas Harris. Lecter is introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. This novel and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, feature Lecter as one of two primary antagonists. In the third novel, Hannibal, Lecter becomes the main character. His role as protagonist continues into the fourth novel, Hannibal Rising, which explores his childhood and development into a serial killer. Lecter's character also appears in all five film adaptations. The first movie, Manhunter, was loosely based on Red Dragon, and features Brian Cox as Lecter, inexplicably spelled as "Lecktor". In 2002, a second adaptation of Red Dragon was made under the original title, featuring Anthony Hopkins, who had previously played Lecter in the motion pictures The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. Hopkins won an Academy Award for his representation of the character in The Silence of the Lambs in 1991.
Hannibal Lecktor[sic], as portrayed by Brian Cox in Manhunter.
Brian Cox portrayed Hannibal Lecktor in the 1986 film Manhunter. Cox said his characterization was inspired by Scottish serial killer Peter Manuel.
British actor Anthony Hopkins is the most commonly referenced actor as Hannibal Lecter because he portrayed the character in three of the five films, and won an Academy Award as well as universal praise for his performance as the character in Silence of the Lambs, which was released in 1991.
Gaspard Ulliel portrays Lecter as a young man in the 2007 motion picture Hannibal Rising. Ulliel stated that he based his portrayal on Hopkins' and mixed it with his own style.
Aaran Thomas portrays Lecter as a child in Hannibal Rising.