From old ladies sitting around a table to serial killers that ditch the evidence in the bay, fictional Miamians have come in all shapes and sizes. Some roles have called for the character to represent Miami in a laid back way, others have set out to throw LIV nightclub in the viewers face constantly to remind them just how different Miami is from the rest of the country.
More and more television shows and movies are not just filming in Miami, but basing their shows in Miami — so it's only right we take a look back at where we've been. New or old, Miami has had some of the most interesting and iconic characters to ever grace the big screen. Let's take a look at ten of the best.
Blanche Devereaux, The Golden Girls Thank you for being a friennnnnnnd. Blanche brought it hard for a 50-something Miamian. Rue McClanahan’s character on The Golden Girls didn't give a damn, and may be partially responsible for making the term "cougar" a household term in 2015. While the rest of the Golden Girls were sitting around the kitchen talking about everyday life, Blanche was always running around with some Miami sugar daddy ten years her junior. Some of the best Blanche moments include her battles with Estelle Getty's Sofia over her promiscuous ways; the back-and-forth was great comedy and made for two unforgettable television characters.
Willie Beamen, Any Given Sunday
Jamie Foxx's character "Steamin" Willie Beamen in Any Given Sunday makes the movie. Beaman starts off as the Miami Sharks shy-no name third-string quarterback and ends up making rap videos—living the ultimate Miami life. Beamen played with flash and a hunger to cash in on an incentive laced contract, making him oblivious to structure and set plays his coach calls. While fictional, Beamen's character seemed like the perfect XFL quarterback at the time the movie was released.
Spencer Strasmore, Ballers
Spence isn't only the newest character on this list, but also one of the most ridiculously Miami. Throughout the first season of Ballers, Spencer Strasmore has hit on just about every piece of Miami; from the strip clubs all the way to the yacht parties — Strasmore has showcased the Miami that everyone around the country thinks they know. While there might be more deserving characters from movies that happened twenty years ago, Strasmore makes the list because it's 2015, not 1985, and his character is putting Miami all over HBO every single Sunday night.
Lieutenant Horatio Caine, CSI: Miami /"It seems as if the victim was on a speed date at the time of their death"
//"Well you know what they say about speed, Frank. Speed kills."
CSI: Miami was ridiculous in so many ways, but Lieutenant Horatio Caine made it worth watching, even if just for the one-liners that ended every first scene. You know it was a memorable character when it was made into a meme.
Brian O'Conner, 2 Fast 2 Furious
The greatness that is the late Paul Walker's 2 Fast 2 Furious character Brian O'Conner was built over the duration of the Fast franchise; but it got it's jump in Miami. Sequels can kill a franchise before it begins, but 2 Fast 2 Furious actually had fans wanting more. O'Conner flips from a former officer in the Los Angeles Police Department, to a full-fledged criminal that abandons the FBI in 2 Fast 2 Furious — making it an important movie in what has surprising become one of the most successful movie franchises of all-time.
Dexter Morgan, Dexter
Dexter Morganlived one hell of a Miami life; he just was a serial killer on the side. Blood spatter pattern analyst for the fictional Miami Metro Police Department by day, slicer-and-dicer of bad guys by night, Dexter was one of the more unique characters on any television show at the time it aired — you actually rooted for a serial killer.. While the show itself fizzled out into a ridiculous last few seasons, the character of Dexter himself remains one of the most memorable television characters ever. When someone says the name Dexter, you think of Michael C. Hall's character.
Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey, Bad Boys Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) don't give a single crap about how most cops go about their business, because the narcotics division of the Miami Police Department isn't a job for most cops. Mike Lowrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrey and Marcus found themselves in some stereotypical Miami situations and environments, they were like Miami Vice on molly. The never-ending one-liners and memorable scenes between Lawrence and Smith are memorable to this day, and with the announcement of Bad Boys 3 and 4 coming to theaters in the next few years, we're sure to go back and get a refresher on the first two.
Ace Ventura, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Jim Carrey'sMiami-based character runs a private detective agency that specializes in the retrieval of missing animals; it sounds so much lamer than it actually was. Ace sets out not only to save the Miami Dolphins stolen dolphin, but to safely return a kidnapped Dan Marino — that's a recipe for 1990s Miami greatness. People born well after this film somehow know quotes from it; it's like the Michael Jackson lyrics of movie quotes. Finkle is Einhorn, Einhorn is Finkle.
Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs, Miami Vice
What's more Miami than Miami Vice? Not much. Tubbs and Crockett represented everything that was Miami in the '80s — terrible flashy fashion with a flare unlike anything else going on in the U.S. at the time. The pair took being a vice cop to lengths few television shows or movies had at the time. It didn't matter if the bad guy was on a speed boat on his way to Cuba, Miami Vice was going to reel his ass in.
Tony Montana, Scarface The undisputed heavyweight champion when it comes to everything and anything Miami film, the character of Tony Montana is the unquestioned greatest fictional Miami character of all-time. At the time, the film was released it wasn't the hit it is today due to the fact that people weren't ready for the violence and imagery that the film depicted. It was thought at the time that Al Pacino's character showed Miami in a negative light. Now, Scarface is a legendary film that instantly brings Miami to mind. Take a look through some old VHS tapes and Scarface is sure to be one of the only ones you still keep around, if only to look at Tony Montana art on the front.
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.