Alan Ruck’s 10 Best Movies & TV Shows, Ranked

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Summary Alan Ruck has had a successful Hollywood career with over 100 film and TV appearances, including iconic roles in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Succession.”
Ruck’s TV guest appearances span decades and include popular shows like “Scrubs,” “CSI,” and “Justified,” showcasing his versatility as an actor.
Ruck has starred in notable films such as “Twister” and “Speed” and recent projects like “The Burial” and “Freaky,” demonstrating his ongoing presence in the industry.
Alan Ruck has enjoyed a very successful Hollywood career as a prominent actor in both film and television. The 67-year-old actor has appeared in more than 100 individual movies and television shows, which include a vast number of guest appearances in some of the most well-known entertainment projects of all time. Ruck made his feature film debut with the 1983 crime thriller Bad Boys which starred a young Sean Penn. Ruck was featured in a few television movies during the 1980s until he got his big break with an extremely popular 1986 comedy alongside Matthew Broderick directed by acclaimed screenwriter John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Home Alone).
Ruck’s list of one-episode guest appearances in television shows is decade-spanning and impressive. His earliest guest spots include The Outer Limits and the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. Ruck has also made cameos on Scrubs, Medium, Eureka, Fringe, Boston Legal, CSI, Numb3rs, American Dad!, Justified, and Burn Notice, among several other well-known television series. Ruck also had several brief multi-episodic roles in series such as Greek, Masters of Sex, Psych, and The Middle. Ruck is the lead actor in two known projects currently in development, a horror comedy titled Crust and the upcoming crime drama Wind River: Rising.
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10 Star Trek Generations (1994)
Ruck played the supporting role of Captain Harriman in Star Trek Generations alongside William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and Malcolm McDowell. One of the most divisive installments of the Star Trek franchise, Generations was faced with the challenging task of beginning a new series of “Next Generation” films after the conclusion of the original series with 1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country​​​​​​. Ruck’s character John Harriman is a commanding officer on the USS Enterprise-B set in the 23rd century and marks the only official role that Ruck played in the entire Star Trek universe.
9 Twister (1996)
Other than being a surprise Oscar contender, Twister was a landmark film in groundbreaking visual effects for its time. Ruck plays the supporting character Robert ‘Rabbit’ Nurick alongside Bill Paxton, Helen Hunt, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Rabbit is a passionate storm chaser who makes a memorable impression in the film despite getting limited screen time. The onscreen dynamic between Ruck and Philip Seymour Hoffman is reason enough to watch the 1996 disaster film, which ended up being the second highest-grossing blockbuster of that year.
8 Freaky (2020)
Freaky is a sharp and inventive horror comedy starring Vince Vaughn as a serial killer known as The Butcher. Taking a page out of the Freaky Friday handbook, Vaughn’s Butcher switches bodies with high-schooler Millie (Kathryn Newton) and only has 24 hours to figure out how to switch back before the change becomes permanent. Intended to be a purely fun and entertaining film, Freaky is a great option to watch around Halloween for viewers who are not looking for anything too frightening. Ruck has a small role as the unfriendly and even abusive Mr. Bernardi, a wood shop teacher who faces an unfortunate fate in the gory film.
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7 Spin City (1996 – 2002)
Ruck’s longest tenure in any television show was as Stuart Bondk in the comedy series Spin City, which featured one of Michael J. Fox’s most celebrated performances of his career. Ruck appeared in all 145 episodes across 6 seasons of Spin City, playing a Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor who assumed additional responsibilities when Mike (Fox) or Charlie (Charlie Sheen) were out of the office. The series chronicles a fictionalized version of a local government office in New York City and was celebrated for the hilarious and heartfelt interactions between the dynamic ensemble cast.
6 The Burial (2023)
Although The Burial was recently released in October 2023, it already has become one of Ruck’s most prominent works in film. The legal drama stars passionate performances by Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones and tells the true story of how a funeral home owner (Jones) and a charismatic attorney (Foxx) fight to save a family business. Even though the film takes place in the mid-90s, the story is heavily rooted in themes of racial prejudice, particularly in Ruck’s character Mike Alfred who takes a backseat in the legal proceedings to work on his racially-charged opinions. The Burial is a tense, palpable, and ultimately wholesome star-studded drama.
5 The Dropout (2022)
The Dropout is arguably one of the more underrated television miniseries of 2022, featuring a standout leading performance from Amanda Seyfried. Seyfried portrays Elizabeth Holmes, the brilliant but manipulative real-life founder of the breakthrough health technology company Theranos. The series follows the riveting true story of Holmes’s rise and fall, starting out as a revolutionary in the field with a remarkable medical device that could have greatly helped the world and ending in her incredible demise as a liar and scam artist. Ruck plays a supporting role as Dr. Jay Rosan, the Medical Director and former Vice President of Health Innovation at Walgreens.
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4 The Exorcist (2016 – 2017)
While The Exorcist: Believer failed to hit the mark with audiences, the shortlived Exorcist series on Fox was a surprisingly successful extension of The Exorcist franchise. Acting as a direct sequel to the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist completely ignores the previous lackluster Exorcist movie sequels by reinventing the script, starring two exorcists who follow cases of demonic possession. Ruck plays the haunted and disparaged Henry Rance in The Exorcist season 1, appearing in all ten episodes. For fans of the horror genre and the original Exorcist film, this 2016 sequel series is a must-watch.
3 Speed (1994)
Speed is arguably one of Keanu Reeves’s best action movies of his career, starring alongside Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, Jeff Daniels, and Alan Ruck. With an ingenious premise, exceptionally gripping action sequences, and sheer pulse-pounding tension, Speed remains a staple of the action thriller genre nearly thirty years after its original release. Ruck plays Stephens, an obnoxious tourist trapped on a high-speed public bus that must maintain a designated speed through Los Angeles or else it will explode.
2 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Alan Ruck’s most iconic performance to this day still might be the lovable Cameron Frye in John Hughes’s generation-defining comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. A longtime fan-favorite movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off represents the quintessential teenage angst of the 1980s, as also seen in the equally iconic Breakfast Club that came out the previous year. For better or for worse, Ruck’s likeness will always be attributed to his breakout role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, which also skyrocketed the acting career of Matthew Broderick.
1 Succession (2018 – 2023)
Alan Ruck redefined his career with his integral role as one of the Roy kids in the acclaimed HBO series Succession. Ruck plays Connor Roy, the only one of the Roy kids who was born to a different mother but shares that same father in multimedia mogul Logan Roy (Brian Cox). Connor is one of the most likable characters in Succession particularly because he is incredibly out of touch with reality, aiming to fill some empty seat of Logan’s massive media conglomerate Waystar and eventually hilariously running for President of the United States. Due to the overwhelming success of Succession, it ranks first on the list of Alan Ruck’s best movies and TV shows.

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