Greatest Acting Performances of All Time

Beatlesboy9

The Top Ten

1 Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump

Life is like a box of chocolates
You never know what you're gonna get.

Run Forrest run

2 Jack Nicholson - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

For some reason, I knew he was going to be on this list. - MusicalPony

Probably because he's had so many great and memorable roles, done so well... - Billyv

3 Robert Deniro - Taxi Driver
4 Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight

This should be number one.

5 Eli Wallach - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Eli Wallach - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Eli Herschel Wallach was an American film, television and stage actor whose career spanned more than six decades, beginning in the late 1940s.

Lots of people agree that Wallach was snubbed for a Best Leading Actor Academy Award for his performance, and they're right. His performance was rich and multilayered. As Tuco, he is devious, yet vulnerable; strong, yet sympathetic; grotesque, yet glowing. There is as much menace to him as there is a warm and welcoming presence. One of the greatest movie performances ever.
People generally consider this film to be a Clint Eastwood film. It's an Eli Wallach film, through and through. - SourNote2014

6 James Gandolfini - The Sopranos

While he arguably had a certain advantage over actors in movies in that he had approx 86 hours in 86 installments to develop and portray the character, it could alsot be considered an extraordinaiy feat in sustaining and building the depth over years and that amount of time on camera.
Anyway it's viewed, the performance should be considered as one of, if not the greatest performance. A magnificent and unique achievement. - Billyv

7 Stefán Karl Stefánsson - Polite People
8 Marlon Brando - The Godfather Marlon Brando - The Godfather Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American actor, film director, and activist. He is credited with bringing a gripping realism to film acting, and is often cited as one of the greatest and most influential actors of all time.
9 Toshiro Mifune - Seven Samurai
10 Jack Nicholson - The Shining

It wasn't scary but it was the funniest thing. And when I'm typing, cha ching, cha ching!

I really think he should have won the oscar for this. I really don't see why he didn't. - Beatlesboy9

The Contenders

11 Seth Rogen - Take This Waltz
12 Minoru Chiaki - The Lower Depths
13 Song Kang-ho - Gwoemul

Song gives a surprising amount of depth to Gang-du, a lovable idiot who is stronger than he first appears, a man who is a lousy father but an all-round loving father at the same time. He's like a lost little child, yet he carries responsibility on his shoulders. And as always, the weight of Song's screen presence is tremendous. - SourNote2014

14 Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
15 Barbra Streisand - The Guilt Trip
16 Sigourney Weaver - Aliens Sigourney Weaver - Aliens Susan Alexandra "Sigourney" Weaver is an American actress and film producer. Following her film debut as a minor character in Annie Hall, she quickly came to prominence in 1979 with her first lead role as Ellen Ripley in Alien.
17 Leonardo DiCaprio - What's Eating Gilbert Grape
18 Edward Norton - Fight Club Edward Norton - Fight Club Edward Harrison Norton is an American actor, filmmaker and activist. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his work in the films Primal Fear, American History X and Birdman.
19 Peter O'Toole - Lawrence of Arabia Peter O'Toole - Lawrence of Arabia Peter James O'Toole was a British stage and film actor of Irish descent. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company before making his film debut in 1959.
20 Al Pacino - Dog Day Afternoon Al Pacino - Dog Day Afternoon Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American actor and filmmaker. Pacino has had a career spanning more than five decades, during which time he has received numerous accolades and honors.
21 Dustin Hoffman - The Graduate Dustin Hoffman - The Graduate Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor and director with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters.
22 Robert Deniro - Raging Bull
23 Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs Anthony Hopkins - The Silence of the Lambs Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins CBE is a Welsh actor, director, and producer. He was born on December 31, 1937 in Margam, Wales. He is known for winning the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992, and was nominated three additional times. Hopkins has also won three BAFTAs, two Emmys, and the Cecil B. DeMille ...read more.
24 Michelle Williams - Take This Waltz
25 Gregory Peck - to Kill a Mockingbird

Incredibly difficult decision, but Gregory Peck is possibly my favourite actor. He WAS Atticus Finch. - PetSounds

26 Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
27 Morgan Freeman - The Shawshank Redemption
28 Paul Newman - Cool Hand Luke Paul Newman - Cool Hand Luke Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, professional racing driver and team owner, environmentalist, activist and philanthropist.
29 Rutger Hauer - Blade Runner Rutger Hauer - Blade Runner
30 Sheryl Lee Ralph - Mistress
31 Sean Penn - I Am Sam
32 Isabella Rossellini - Blue Velvet
33 Al Pacino - Scent of a Woman Al Pacino - Scent of a Woman Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American actor and filmmaker. Pacino has had a career spanning more than five decades, during which time he has received numerous accolades and honors.
34 Humphrey Bogart - Casablanca Humphrey Bogart - Casablanca Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American screen actor whose performances in iconic 1940s films noir such as The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The Big Sleep earned him status as a cultural icon.
35 Tom Green - Freddy Got Fingered

Lol. - SevenTreeTool

36 Kevin Spacey - American Beauty Kevin Spacey - American Beauty Kevin Spacey Fowler is an American actor, producer and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television.
37 Javier Bardem - No Country for Old Men
38 Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove
39 Edie Falco - The Sopranos
40 Jodie Foster - The Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster - The Silence of the Lambs Alicia Christian "Jodie" Foster is an American actress, director and producer who has worked in films and on television. She has often been cited as one of the best actresses of her generation.
41 Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
42 Samuel L. Jackson - Pulp Fiction
43 Carroll Baker - Baby Doll
44 Robert Deniro - Hide and Seek
45 Meryl Streep - Sophie's Choice Meryl Streep - Sophie's Choice Mary Louise "Meryl" Streep is an American actress. Cited in the media as the "best actress of her generation", Streep is particularly known for her versatility in her roles, transformation into the characters she plays, and her accent adaptation.
46 Robert Duvall - Apocalypse Now

His character, so well portrayed, was the key to understanding Kurtz as well as Willard at the end - Billyv

47 Tippi Hedren - The Birds Tippi Hedren - The Birds Nathalie Kay "Tippi" Hedren (born January 19, 1930) is an American actress, animal rights activist and former fashion model.
48 Robert Duvall - Tender Mercies
49 Dustin Hoffman - Tootsie Dustin Hoffman - Tootsie Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor and director with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters.
50 Clint Eastwood - The Unforgiven Clint Eastwood - The Unforgiven Clinton "Clint" Eastwood Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and political figure.
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List Stats

200 votes
111 listings
4 years, 226 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
2. Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
3. Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
NK1998
1. Eli Wallach - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
2. Stefán Karl Stefánsson - Polite People
3. Toshiro Mifune - Seven Samurai
SourNote2014
1. Robert Deniro - Taxi Driver
2. James Gandolfini - The Sopranos
3. Sigourney Weaver - Aliens
BeatlesFan1964

WRemix
View All 6

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