"Playing God" is also the answer to the question "What do George Burns and Alanis Morissette have in common?": Burns portrayed the deity in a series of three films starting with Oh, God!, and Morissette took on the divine role in Dogma.

Actually, playing God is what quite a lot of actors have in common, as I discovered when I decided to delve into what the Internet Movie Database (IMDb; http://www.imdb.com/) had to say on the subject. Below are the results of my investigations: a list of actors who have played God (or supplied the Voice of God) on film, and the names and dates of the films in which they did so. From the raw IMDb results I have weeded out red herrings (characters whose names or descriptions have the string god in them but who do not appear to be "the" God) and also the video and television results, and I have grouped male and female actors together into a single chronological list. I've also noted cases in which the actor playing God also has one or more other roles in the same film, such as major prophets, the devil, or Bugs Bunny.

Because this list is based on a secondary source, I cannot vouch for its completeness, and since it contains a great many films I have not seen, I cannot be sure that all of the roles included really are "God" in the sense of "the deity" (as opposed to, say, "God" in the sense of "some guy named Godfrey who's called 'God' for short"). Still, I hope that my list will prove both amusing and informative as a picture of how cinematic protrayals of God have changed—or not—over the last six decades or so.

Actors who have played God on film:

  1. Mel Blanc in The Old Grey Hare (1944) - also supplies the voice of Bugs Bunny, of course
  2. Frantisek Smolik in Capkovy povidky (1947)
  3. Francisco López Silva in El Regreso (1950)
  4. Donald Hayne in The Ten Commandments (1956) - God as a pillar of flame
  5. Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments (1956) - Voice of God; also stars as Moses
  6. Vittorio De Sica in Ballerina e Buon Dio (1958)
  7. Artturi Laakso in Punainen viiva (1959)
  8. Bohus Záhorský in Darbujan a Pandrhola (1959)
  9. Paul Frees in Noah's Ark (1959) - also plays Noah
  10. José Luis Jiménez in Macario (1960)
  11. Aapeli in Pikku Pietarin piha (1961)
  12. Nicola Rossi-Lemeni in Il giudizio universale (1961)
  13. Fernandel in Le diable et les dix commandements (1962)
  14. Valentine Dyall in Bedazzled (1967)
  15. Groucho Marx in Skidoo (1968)
  16. Graham Chapman in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  17. Norman Rose in Love and Death (1975)
  18. David Bryant in Angels (1976)
  19. George Burns in Oh, God! (1977), Oh, God! Book II (1980), and Oh, God! You Devil (1984) - also plays Harry O. Tophet in the last of these
  20. Walker Edmiston in Wholly Moses (1980)
  21. Luciano De Crescenzo in Il Papocchio (1981)
  22. Red Tower in Irresistable (1982)
  23. Franciszek Piecka in Konopielka (1982) - also plays a beggar
  24. Gene Hackman in Two of a Kind (1983)
  25. Robert Morley in Second Time Lucky (1984)
  26. John Paratore in Stuck on You! (1984)
  27. Ferdy Mayne in Night Train to Terror (1985)
  28. George Liker in Hollow Venus: Diary of a Go-Go Dancer (1989)
  29. George Murdock in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989) - see also the node "Why does God need a starship?"
  30. George Plimpton in Religion, Inc. (1989)
  31. Tomisaburo Wakayama in Tanba Tetsuro no daireikai shindara dounaru (1989)
  32. Eric Edwards in Sweet Angel Ass (1990)
  33. Charlton Heston in Almost an Angel (1990)
  34. Lord Lively in Girlfriend from Hell (1990)
  35. Ichirô Ogura in Dokidoki Virgin mô ichido I Love You (1990)
  36. Richard Provost in Switch (1991)
  37. Linda Gary in Switch (1991)
  38. Andrea Guardiola in El juicio final (1991)
  39. Robert Mitchum in Les sept péchés capitaux (1992)
  40. Hans Paetsch in Otto - Der Liebesfilm (1992)
  41. R.C. Bates in The Making of "...And God Spoke" (1993)
  42. Stephen Fry in Sylvia Hates Sam (1993)
  43. Ashok Kumar in Yuhi Kabhi (1994)
  44. David McColskey in Come Again? (1994)
  45. Fernando Fernán Gómez in Asi en el cielo en la tierra (1995)
  46. Harry Schein in Happy Days (1995)
  47. Seth MacFarlane in The Life of Larry (1995) - also plays most of the other roles
  48. Stefan Ljungqvist in Monopol (1996)
  49. Nanni Tamma in I magi randagi (1996)
  50. Annie Sprinkle in Bubbles Galore (1996)
  51. Phillip Adams in Road to Nihil (1997)
  52. Mark DiCarlo in Three Days (1997)
  53. Wayne Grace in Under Heaven (1998)
  54. Owen Hammer in Mysteries of the Universe: Part III (1998)
  55. Dean Harris in The Week Before (1998)
  56. Todd Messegee in Vermin (1998)
  57. Dick Olsen in Enchanted (1998)
  58. Rolf Skoglund in Rymd (1998)
  59. Comfort Cardoza in Vermin (1998)
  60. Maurice Roëves in The Acid House (1998) - also plays a drunk and a priest
  61. Val Kilmer in The Prince of Egypt (1998) - also stars as Moses
  62. Amitabh Bachchan in Hello Brother (1999)
  63. Panchetta S. Barnett in Another Planet (1999)
  64. Ian Fraser in The Game of the Century (1999)
  65. Marty Hanks in Heaven Sucks! (1999)
  66. Manou Kersting in Black XXX-Mas (1999)
  67. Garrett Wang in The Auteur Theory (1999) - also plays Mike Wong
  68. John McDowell in The Most Fertile Man in Ireland (1999) - also plays Ulster Man
  69. Alanis Morissette in Dogma (1999) and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
  70. Eric Dearborn in Bedazzled (2000)
  71. Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf in Citizen Toxic: The Toxic Avenger IV (2000)
  72. Glenn Hoeffner in My Next Funeral (2000)
  73. Jacob Lewin in The Diamond Nose (2000)
  74. Ceci Stephens in Divine Intervention (2000) - also plays Satan
  75. Jens Okking in Jolly Roger (2001)
  76. Shane Walsh in D'Boyz (2001)
  77. Gina Hecht in Odessa or Bust (2001)
  78. Craig Alan Edwards in A Chubby Kid (2002)
  79. David Johansen in God is on Their Side (2002)
  80. Bostjan Romih in Na svoji vesni (2002)
  81. Juliana Gilchrist in Mockingbird (2002)
  82. Lorie Hope in Awakening Joshua (2002)
  83. Kenny Marshall in The War on the War on Drugs (2002) - also plays Kali, Officer Hummler, Sissy Boy, and Cold Sufferer
  84. Don Creech in Ultrachrist! (2003)
  85. Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty (2003)
  86. Curtis Hannum in The Real Old Testament (2003)
  87. William Byron Hillman in Quigley (2003)
  88. Ray Johnson in Limbo (2003)
  89. Krishna Narayanamurti in Long Distance (2003)
  90. Borivoj Navrátil in Trosecníci (2003)
  91. John Ford Noonan in God Has a Rap Sheet (2003)
  92. Assi Dayan in Ha-Bsora Al-Pi Elohim (2004)
  93. David Disb in God Calling Rachel (2004)
  94. Alexander Kingston in Raspberry & Lavender (2004)
  95. Paul Whitworth in Meet Your Maker (2004)
  96. Juana Mercedes Kindelán Tamayo in Le sacre du printemps (2004)
  97. Reggi Danielle Sweat in Judgement (2004)
  98. Brian Lally in Fool's Gold (2005)
  99. Ellen DeGeneres in Oh, God! (2005)
  100. Faye Dunaway in Love Hollywood Style (2005)
  101. Stephanie Braxton in Mary's Dilemma (2006)