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It’s the role of a lifetime – the chance to steam up the screen as Regency heart-throb Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. We’ve seen many Darcys over the years, but who was the best? Now you get to decide.

Yesterday was the bicentenary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There’s no need to be scandalised by our blatant objectification of these leading men, we did the literary appreciation and analysis part yesterday, so now we can get to the really important matter – who was the hottest Mr. Darcy? Ladies and gentlemen, get your votes ready.

First, straight to the source. What did Austen have to say about Darcy in Pride and Prejudice?

“…Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year.

The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.”

Laurence Olivier in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (1940)

Honestly, we can’t imagine Olivier is going to swing the vote, but we had to start at the beginning. This 1940 film starred Olivier as our leading man, opposite Greer Garson as Elizabeth Bennet. He looks slightly older, and more serious than the Darcys we have come to know in recent adaptations, but he was the first person to play the role in a prominent adaptation. Anyway, just look at that jawline, it certainly deserves some votes. And everyone always looks better in black and white.

Colin Firth in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (1995)

Firth is going to be difficult to beat, we imagine. What else can be said, the man jumps into a lake in a white shirt and emerges totally soaked, oh my. He was brooding and sexy on screen, in a way that made it very clear that he thought he was better than everyone else – how very Mr. Darcy. Firth left most of the female population (and we dare say, a lot of the males as well) swooning in front of their televisions, as he tried to win over Jennifer Ehle as the lovely Miss Bennet. Well, he certainly won us over.

Martin Henderson in ‘Bride and Prejudice’ (2005)

Martin Henderson had his turn at Fitzwilliam Darcy in the somewhat questionable Bollywood adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, not so wittily titled Bride and Prejudice. The fairly loose adaptation of Austen’s plot, and the modern day setting allowed Darcy to be somewhat more relaxed than in other versions – showing a different side to his character which many audience members responded to. Some fans may miss the usual English accent, but at least we get to see Darcy’s version of Bollywood dancing.

Matthew Macfadyen in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (2005)

Matthew Macfadyen brought Jane Austen to a whole new generation in Joe Wright’s 2005 film, which also starred Keira Knightley. He gave us a slightly younger and softer Darcy – we would really buy that he wasn’t (only) prejudiced, he was also super shy. He may not have jumped into a lake, but he did walk through the pouring rain (luckily for us, without an umbrella), and then had that beautiful stroll through the morning fog – and both scenes did wonders to endear him to the audience (and us).

Elliot Cowan in ‘Lost in Austen’ (2008)

Cowan played the brooding and meddling Darcy in this twisted take on Pride and Prejudice, navigating the disasters that ensued when a modern-day girl found herself inside the novel. This incredibly meta version of Pride and Prejudice only became more so when Cowan’s Darcy was encouraged into a lake to recreate the scene made famous by Firth’s Darcy, in his 1995 adaptation. Not that we disliked this, in fact we’d be highly encouraging of all future Darcys recreating this scene. For, you know, reasons.

Daniel Gordh in ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’ (2012-2013)

The newest entrance to the Darcy Club is a hipster’s dream come true. Gordh appears in the web series opposite Ashley Clements, adorned in all the bowties and suspenders we could want. His Darcy is exceedingly awkward and almost cripplingly shy. Of course it’s difficult to judge a Darcy who hasn’t had his ‘jump in the lake/walk through the fog/propose in the rain’ moment yet, but judging from the hysteria sparked by his first appearance in Darcy Day, he’s well on his way to becoming many fans’ favorite.

Vote for your favorite Darcy

Who's your favourite Darcy?

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  • Lucy

    Daniel Gordh of course! But that be because he’s the current “Darcy” compared to the others who are from years past. Matthew Mcfadyen and Colin Firth are good as well. And Daniel Gordh was a diver.. So there’s that ;-)

  • upper_westsider

    Colin Firth – Absolutely! I loved each of the P&P versions. Olivier was really handsome when he was younger, but Colin Firth took my breath away. He still does. My favorite P&P is with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfayden. I don’t think Macfayden is as handsome as Firth or Olivier, but he was very sexy. I LOVED the scene when Darcy told Elizabeth how much he loved her even though he had tried not to. I thought it was really sexy and no one even had to take their clothes off. Hollywood should take a lesson.

  • Elphaba Thropp

    Colin Firth! My first Darcy; I was about four when I named him ‘The Guy Who Never Smiles’.

  • http://twitter.com/ean_nae e@n

    Matthew MacFadyen will always be the only Mr Darcy for me!! ♥

  • phantomoca

    You forgot David Rintoul in 1980′s ‘Pride and Prejudice’

  • Rose

    Matthew Macfayden is my favorite. Love his voice its soo sexy and loved his version of Darcy.

    • http://twitter.com/MariiaSimon María Simón

      Oh, yes, that voice.

    • Daughter of Eve

      Same here. The visuals in Wright’s version were stunning; put in Macfadyen and it’s just fangirl heaven. The rain scene when he tells Lizzy he loves her is simply the best.

      • Louis

        Joe Wright’s adaptation was little deviant from the book but it is my favourite. And Matthew, damn that man, acted his Darcy so well and that voice of his and his fast speech you can barely keep up. But yeah. I love the film. I love his chemistry with Keira. Oh the feels

        • Louis

          and my deviant i meant they changed the scenes a bit but they made it so good cinematically. the script was superb and the acting incredible. why am i defending myself?

          • Daughter of Eve

            lol, no need to defend yourself. We’re definitely on the same page, agreeing Macfadyen makes a great, hot, Mr. Darcy with dat voice

          • Phoenix07

            So agree with you! I didn’t feel like the deviation on some of the scenes was disruptive of the story in general…It was kinda necessary to be able to fit everything in in a two hour film. But his chemistry with Keira on screen is just wow…It almost feels like a betrayal to anything Pride and Prejudice related to say that like this pair better than Colin/Jennifer in the BBC version. lol. But seriously….his voice!

            “You’ve bewitched me body and soul…” Is it wrong that I completely melt every. single. time. when he says that line? Hahaha. =)

          • Daughter of Eve

            I love it when he says “I love you, most ardently”

      • Kristen Kranz

        The rain scene. Is. Perfection. It is definitely one of my favorite scenes of all time. The tension and chemistry between them in that scene is palpable.

    • Lookat

      He’s my favorite, too. Colin Firth is a close second, but Macfayden is so much more sensitive at the end of his movie than Firth. That’s why he got my vote.

  • Shelby Walker

    Colin Firth for sure (though I’ve only seen a few of these adaptations)! I feel like he did the best job of portraying the uptight aspects of Darcy’s character. You felt like he was unlikable, but then you learn more and see Darcy interact with his sister and you fall in love. Second is tied between Daniel Gordh and Matthew MacFadyen. They are both fantastic!

  • Bumble

    The awkward moment when you realize Colin Firth looks exactly like your dad.

    >O< *Awkward turtle*

    • http://twitter.com/Tonksceratops Lisa

      Can I meet your dad?

    • Molly


    • Jacqui

      Can I have your dad’s babies?

  • http://hypable.com Selina

    This should not be a question! The voting should not be this close! You people! COLIN FIRTH! MR. DARCY! He even played Mr. Darcy in Bridget Jones, that’s how much Mr. Darcy this man is. Excuse me I’m gonna go watch the miniseries again…….

    • https://twitter.com/maramawhyte Marama Whyte

      I would have put him as Darcy in Bridget Jones as well, but I thought it’d split the vote. SEE SELINA I LOOK OUT FOR YOU.

    • Carly

      Completely agree. No one else’s Darcy comes close to Colin Firth.

    • http://twitter.com/LaCoraDora Amanda Cora

      While I do adore Colin has Darcy, I have watched Matthew MacFadyen’s proposal scene on repeat too many times to not vote for him. Partly just to hear the way he spits out “Wickham” I always giggle/swoon.

      • Alice

        OMG I thought it was only me. The way he says “Wickham” in the scene is hilarious. Though it was just my messed up sense of humour.

        Colin will forever be my number one, though. <3

    • Ev42

      I do not understand how Firth’s not winning this by a mile??!! I just really, really don’t get it… O.O

  • http://twitter.com/McKeeKatharine Katharine McKee

    Colin Firth ftw! Though Daniel Gordh as a close second.

  • http://twitter.com/akacj7 Caroline J.

    matthew macfadyen is SMOKIN’ hot but nobody PLAYS darcy better than Colin Firth. and i mean, he’s technically played the role twice (bridget jones diary).

  • SnatcherGirl

    I’m such a Matthew Macfadyen fan, I can’t even. The 2005 adaption, in my opinion, most beautifully translate the book to the film medium, and that’s courtesy of the writing, direction, acting, SOUNDTRACK (kinda in love with it), screenplay….gahhh, just love it <3

  • WhatTheGrace


    That is all… full stop. Nothing else matters!

  • PotionWillow207

    It’s a hard choice between Colin Firth and Matthew Macfayden. Sooooo hard….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=646371872 Elizabeth Lee Hammons

    Daniel, no, Colin. No, Daniel! No, Matthew. No! AGH!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/gfludal gfludal

    This was a close one between Colin Firth and Daniel Gordh. I didn’t even consider Matthew Macfadyen, how is he winning?

    • Clair

      Because everyone is allowed their own opinion. I myself am a Daniel and Matthew fan. I liked Colin and love the mini series, but he was more my moms cup of tea. I do however understand his fanbase and wouldnt be surprised or offended if he won.

      • http://profiles.google.com/gfludal gfludal

        Of course those who like Matthew are allowed their opinion. I was just surprised that he has so many votes, because I’ve rarely heard him mentioned as somebody’s favourite Darcy before.

      • keeks86

        My unwanted two cents lolI personally preferred Matthew MacFadyen over Colin, although he’s a great actor, in my opinion, but now with the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, by heart is divided in 2, and i decided to give my vote, to the man with less of a fan base Mr Gordh-geous

  • K8_8K

    Although I did not always appreciate Jennifer Ehle’s acting and I do like the 2005 movie version. Colin Firth is still the best Mr. Darcy!

  • http://purplehrdwonder.livejournal.com/ Caitlin Kelly

    Colin Firth was simply born to play Mr. Darcy. No contest.

  • Elizabeth Bennet

    Ummmmm, Colin Firth. Obviously.

  • Evie

    Matthew Macfadyen is definitely my favourite! The way he played Darcy was so..endearing <3 If he was shown as just plain prejudiced and rude…well, he'd come off as a jerk. The way Matthew played him however, you see that Darcy can't help himself coming off that way – because he's super shy and doesn't know how to talk to people easily (beyond people he knows well). As he grows closer to Lizzy, you get to see more sides to him too, though sometimes very subtly; his shy glances, cute awkwardness, his kindness towards his friends, etc. And his confession scenes (especially the last one) felt so genuine! (and one can't complain about him striding across a field on a foggy morning all disheveled and glorious :'D)

  • Snowey

    I was going to say Matthew Macfadyen but I feel Daniel Gordth has nailed the anti-social-ness of Darcy

  • zpplnchick

    Colin Firth is classic Mr. Darcy, and Daniel V. Gordh is wonderful in the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (supes adorbs as a sexy and shy hipster with a good smoulder) but Matthew MacFadyen stole my heart and just won’t give it back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=752203253 Kendra Baird

    I wish there could be a three way tie between Colin Firth, Matthew Macfadyen, and Daniel Vincent Gordh. Because I love all three equally. I love Colin Firth because he’s swoon-worthy, plus the lake scene is fantastic. Then Matthew MacFadyen’s voice alone makes me melt. And his Mr. Darcy’s main problem is being an awkward turtle, which of course makes you go “awwww.”
    And then, there’s Daniel Gordh and his magic eyebrows that make innuendos with just one twitch. His chemistry with Ashley Clements is palpable. I love his hipster-ness, too.

  • verity

    Colin Firth for Darcy!! I do love Matthew Mcfadyen though. I especially loved him in Little Dorrit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045615098 Riana-Tiana Menezes

    I would die to see the look on all of your faces after watching the Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice. That will be priceless.

    • http://www.facebook.com/alysia.dugan Alysia Dugan

      I seriously love that movie to pieces. I watch it at least once a month. That’s really sad now that I think about it…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045615098 Riana-Tiana Menezes

        lol don’t worry. Whenever I’m down in the dumps, I always think of that “cobra dance” scene in the movie and laugh hysterically. Then my day goes better. :)

    • Rachel

      I freaking love the bollywood version the best, i’ve watched it so many times its not even funny

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1045615098 Riana-Tiana Menezes

        Haha I can totally relate. This version is just so funny like every single dialogue cracks me up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515348470 Stephanie Godfrey

    I’ve only seen the version with Mathew Macfayden and since I’m pretty obsessed with it I’m going with him.

  • jazz

    Whatever you guys, Laurence Olivier is the best Darcy. And I don’t think he is more “serious”, he’s actually probably acts the cutest and is real sly and charming. More people should watch it! Yes, it’s probably the most different in terms of a direct translation (and the clothes are a century later) but watch it just for LO, cause he’s the best!

  • Brittany

    Okay, don’t get me wrong, I think Macfadyn is SUPER hot and I really enjoyed that movie version of P&P. Actually as far as movies go, I think it is probably one of the best adaptations because the scenes are breathtaking and the supporting cast is flawless, but there was quite a bit of liberty taken with the characters, including Darcy, for the sake of the movie. Not bad, but also not necessarily book accurate. Austen’s Darcy wouldn’t have confessed his love to Lizzie B. outside in the rain, more likely he would have thrown a fit and brought her indoors as quickly as possible, and come off as pretentious for scolding her about being outside in the rain when really, that’s his way of caring. (But oh do I love that scene)

    In my opinion, you cannot compete with Colin Firth. That man IS everything Darcy needs to be from the book. He’s awkward and short with people, he has a temper, he clearly isn’t swayed my public opinion. Also… insert everything Bridget Jones says about Colin Firth playing Darcy, and I feel that way too. Thank the gods above for that wet shirt scene. I fell in love with Macfadyn pretty early on the his movie… but I actually did hate Darcy at the beginning when played by Firth… and that made my coming to see his side of things that much sweeter. For that reason alone, I say Colin Firth all the way… NO CONTEST!

    • Clair

      So…would Darcy have jumped in a lake in the book? I never got that impression, and therefore dont think the rain scene can be used against Matthew :P

      • Brittany

        For me the wet shirt scene works because Darcy was at home, away from society (or so he thought). That and he is so embarrassed for Lizzie B to see him in that manner. Had it taken place anywhere other than his home, then no way would it have worked. And as stated, I do LOVE that rain scene with Macfadyn. That version is visually stunning and full of drama, and the supporting cast far outshines that of the BBC’s version of P&P, but my Darcy will ALWAYS be Colin Firth.

    • Hagrid’s Coat

      I really like your point about how Colin Firth’s Darcy is more unlikable at the beginning, making the ending of the story so much better as you come to like him with Lizzie. That’s the main reason why I like him better as well!

  • Phantomfluteplayer

    Colin Firth – no question about it. My friends and I marathoned the BBC mini-series soon after a couple of us read the book for a research paper in school. It was pretty long for one night, but SO worth it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alysia.dugan Alysia Dugan

    The people voting for Matthew have clearly never seen Colin’s Mr. Darcy, because if they had, it wouldn’t even be a contest.

    • rose

      Yes, I’ve seen Colin Firth(in fact I saw the mini-series first)but I still prefer Matthew. I just love his voice.

  • Elinor Lipman

    After exhaustive analysis: Colin Firth! See “In the Matter of Mr. Darcy”

  • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

    Alright, here’s my two cents. I am a massive Jane Austen fan, have read all of her books, and have seen every adaptation of her work in existence give or take a couple. I love Colin Firth as an actor and as Mr. Darcy. Colin’s Darcy, however, will always have a little bit of a lighter edge than Matthew Macfadyen. They are both completely brilliant, but there is something about Matthew’s Darcy that is darker, more intense, and a something else intangible that have never been able to quite put my finger on. In terms of being an adaptation of the novel and how Darcy is written, I am afraid that Matthew Macfadyen comes out just the slightest bit ahead for me. But in the end, I love Mr. Darcy in all his incantations!

  • http://twitter.com/SarahKHansen S.K.Hansen

    I had trouble choosing between Gordh, Macfadyen and Firth, then I thought, is this actually problem? Three hot Darcys are better than one, right?

    • thejirehscope

      THIS is my exact same dilemma

  • Jen

    it wont let me vote but Matthew McFadyen for sure! when it comes to colin firth, i prefer Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones.

  • http://www.hypable.com/ Kristin LeMunyon

    200th anniversary!? What a two hundred years it has been.

  • Alison

    See, I get the whole Colin Firth thing. I really do. But I have to give to the LBD.

  • Amanda

    Yes, Matthew Macfadyen! I can watch him and Keira Knightley fall in love with each other at any time. I do love his adorable awkwardness once he realizes he’s in love with her, “And are you having a pleasant tripppp?” Heehee Oh God, and then his speech at the end, with the fog, and the music, ugh, get’s me everytime!

  • Rachel

    oh my god……martin henderson only has 6 votes……he was my favourite :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/susan.york.948 Susan York

    I have never understood the appeal f Matthew Macfadyen as Darcy when you have a young Colin Firth to compare!

  • Alyssamz

    Omg it’s not fair to add Colin firth vs lbd!!!

    I have to choose Colin though <3

  • Karen Wasylowski

    Colin Firth is wonderful but he’s kind of made a career of Darcy, hasn’t he? He’s bound to be better known for the part. I could never choose between him and Matthew Macfadyen, another brilliant performance, and Laurence Oliver was really the most like the character described. How can you choose from among such great actors? Why should there even be a competition? We should welcome all Darcys!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bettie-Turner/100000053833226 Bettie Turner

    Of course, I expected Colin Firth to be out there, but I”m glad my Darcy, Matthew MacFadyen is on his heels.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angierodr Angelica Rodriguez

    I fell in love with Matthew MacFadyen’s Darcy because it was the first one I saw. And because he did play Darcy far more endearing. It doesn’t keep true to the book. And then I saw Colin Firth’s Darcy and…. I just can’t even with how perfectly he played him. You hate him, then hate him some more, and then you slowly start to fall in love with him. Kinda made me feel like I was Lizzie, slowly becoming endeared to this man. What a beautiful portrayal. I hope everyone in my generation (early 20s!) gives the 1995 TV series a chance. It’s stunning, beautiful, and satisfying. And you’ll fall head over heels for Colin Firth as well.

  • http://twitter.com/TheKateWarren Kate Warren

    You left out David Rintoul from the 1980 BBC miniseries. How could you? And for Star Wars fans, Grand Moff Tarkin was Darcy in 1967.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cathy.guerman Cathy Guerman

    I repeat,I only want to know the results so far.

  • Megs

    Colin Firth, followed by Elliot Cowan, tied for second with Daniel Gordh

  • anna

    matthew macfadyen is my favorite Darcy I love his voice!!!!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/inge.douma Inge Douma

    Matthew McFadyen, are you kidding folks? He´s far too close behind the one and only Darcy and that´s of course Colin Firth!!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/plurima.laplurima Plurima Laplurima

    Macfayden has a beautiful voice but he’s terrible as Mr. Darcy (but I’m not English, even the critics in my country said McFayden was terribly miscast as Mr. Darcy)

  • Jane

    AAH this is such a hard decision! I love them all so much (except Sir Laurence Olivier, who knew he was in Pride and Prejudice?) I adore Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy. He is so perfect. And I always giggle hysterically when he asks about her family twice. And am I the only one who loves Mr Darcy in Bride and Prejudice. He is so amazing in that movie. But my vote has to go to Matthew Mcfadyen. He completely made that movie, as I really dislike Keira Knightley. But his portrayal of the dark, brooding, socially awkward Darcy carried their whole romance. I really love all of them, though.

  • emiliar

    Matthew and its interpretation to let me know and fall in love with the novels of Jane Austen Thanks Joe, Matthew, Keira and the unforgettable soundtrack of Dario Marianelli…you have given and give me many wonderful sensations

  • DLS

    I have always loved Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, but let me tell ya Elliot Cowan from Lost in Austen is a close second for me. Apparently not to many have seen the movie. You should. Yum

  • http://www.facebook.com/carmeliap Carmelia Paulo da Silva


  • http://www.facebook.com/cathy.guerman Cathy Guerman

    Where are the rsults so far

  • Alessia

    Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy.

  • http://flavors.me/isalegrady isabel

    Damn, I’ve already voted for Matthey Macfadyen, BUT I want to vote for Daniel Gordh too! I’ve never thought I would ever think that awkwardness would be an sexy thing. Yep.

  • http://twitter.com/echosei_ACE Angelie Censon

    MATTHEW McFADYEN FTW!!! The vulnerable Darcy wins it for me… though Colin really did what i was imagining Darcy would be when I was reading the Book. And Daniel’s awkward Darcy is nice… but I’m all the way Matthew :D

  • http://twitter.com/ItsJuuja ItsJuuja

    I had a tough choice actually. Colin Firth was stunning as Darcy, but Macfayden was extremly talented in acting Darcy’s character out. Still Daniel Gordh did an amazing job in The Lizzie Benne Diaries. I highly recommend that youtube-show.

  • Bre

    Matthew for sure!

  • Tully

    Matthew is my favorite, because he is really caught the spirit of Mr. Darcy. He is not just proud, he is shy, and he grew up learning that he has to be proud about all things of his family an estate…And Matthew did the job perfectly…HE and Keira have the perfect chemistry and perfect tension together…I love all the scenes…I love this movie

  • Cathy Guerman

    When this poll will close?

  • Cathy

    Why I can not vote?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cathy.guerman Cathy Guerman

    Would deserve to vote twice today,yesterday the vote doesn’t worked,to me at least.

  • Cathy Guerman

    Why can I not vote?

  • Cathy Guerman

    Two days ago I can not vote,why?

  • Cathy Guerman

    Why I cannot vote anymore?

  • Cathy Guerman

    COLIN Firth

  • Cathy Guerman


  • Cathy Guerman


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  • Cathy Guerman

    I wonder why my votes are not counted.

  • becCat

    Are. You. SERIOUS???

    WHY does no-one ever mention David Rintoul’s version of Darcy? He’s gorgeous, chiseled, cold, warm, stiff-necked, vulnerable and the perfect foil for Elizabeth Garvie’s Lizzie. Sigh…

    All these guys (with the exception of CF, maybe) are amateurs at playing Darcy. RANK amateurs.

  • Rachel Caroline Deacons

    Matthew is pretty darned sexy to be sure…BUT I’d pick Colin Firth. Every. Damned. Time.

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