The Alien played by Bolaji Badejo
Ridley Scott’s Alien revolutionized both the science fiction and horror movie genres in 1979. In the beginning, no one knew who was going to be cast as the film’s titular monster. Eventually, Ridley Scott was introduced to Bolaji Badejo, a design student from Nigeria. Badejo’s thin, lanky frame and near-seven-foot-tall height would help convince viewers that the film’s monster couldn’t just be some guy in a suit, which many monster movies made obvious over the years.
Badejo only played the alien in the first film of the franchise, but still left a heavy impression, especially since James Cameron’s Aliens had dozens of Xenomorphs all over the place and future sequels primarily used puppetry and CGI to render their aliens. Badejo’s alien is just a bodysuit, but extremely threatening. He ended up doing an amazing job to help sell the illusion, and the Xenomorph would go on to become one of Hollywood’s most unforgettable sci-fi monsters. Sadly, Badejo’s Alien legacy would long outlive him—he was only 39 when he passed away in 1992 after being diagnosed with sickle cell disease.