"The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture" ~ Alfred Hitchcock
There are lots of famous villains throughout the history of fiction. Dracula, The Wicked Witch of the West, Darth Vader, Norman Bates, the dude who melted Frosty the Snowman (evil bastard).
Oftentimes, a story's antagonist is every bit as compelling, and sometimes more so, than the hero. I think we are so fascinated by villains because they are flawed, as we are flawed. Of course 'flawed' would be the understatement of the year for some villains, but you get my drift.
And would heroes exist if not for villains?
To me, the most compelling fictional villain will always be Hannibal Lecter. What a fascinating, character. Though I would damn sure never accept one of his dinner invitations.
Who is your favorite villain in movie, television, or literary history?