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Whether he's called Santa Claus, St. Nick, Kris Kringle or Father Christmas, the man in the big red suit is a regular sight in holiday movies.
Tim Allen, Ed Asner, Paul Giamatti and Leslie Nielsen are just some of the actors who've donned Santa's white beard and black boots in live-action films on the big screen.
The history of live-action portrayals of the jolly gift-giver goes all the way back to 1898, when the less-than-two-minute short film simply titled Santa Claus was created by pioneering filmmaker G.A. Smith. It is the earliest known example of parallel action, according to the British Film Institute, creating the first iconic moving images of Santa entering a house through the roof while a young child lies sleeping in bed.
Harold Smith played Santa Claus in that film, regarded as the first ever Christmas movie, but the motif of the character, from his beard, to his suit and his pointy hat, continue to identify the holiday character more than a century after his first portrayal.
As you prepare for Christmas, take a look at some of the other actors who've made a list and checked it twice in movies like Home Alone, Elf, A Christmas Story and multiple versions of Miracle on 34th Street.
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