Top 10 Greatest Actors of All TimePresenting the top ten best male actors in the history of cinema. The greatest actors including silver screen heroes, Oscar winners, Bollywood superstars, and big time names from the small screen.
No actor is as versatile as Tom Hanks. He puts in by far the most time studying and learning the person he is portraying and the movie. Like in Castaway, he stayed on the island by himself to figure out how he would eat and live in those conditions. Everything you saw him do in that movie, he learned while he stranded himself on the island. And to lose the weight that he did and to gain it back, that's pure dedication. And I don't know any other actor that could've done Forrest Gump any better than he did. In the movie Big, forget about it, no one could've acted like a child like he did. There have been thousands of movies that are similar where they switch places with another person, and no one nails it like Tom Hanks dead in bag.
Nominated for 5 Academy Awards for playing a little kid in a man's body, a troubled WWII captain, a modern Robinson Crusoe, and his two Oscar-winning roles as a gay man and a mentally challenged overachiever, Hanks is extremely versatile and is brilliant in both comedic and dramatic roles.
I fell in love with this man after I watched "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." His performance was flawless, and the movie in general was just a joy to watch. It's a beautiful film. His performances in "The Shining," "Chinatown," "As Good as It Gets," and "The Departed" are just a few other examples of this man's brilliance. I love JD and Tom Hanks, but their quality of performance isn't quite on the same level as Jacky Boy's. For me, he's the best. Other notable greats that aren't far off for me include Al Pacino, Daniel Day Lewis, Robert De Niro, Gary Oldman, Gene Hackman, Alan Rickman, and Anthony Hopkins. I don't understand how Will Smith and Tom Cruise have managed to secure more votes than the last four actors that I mentioned, especially Gene Hackman and Anthony Hopkins... Gene Hackman is actually 100th on this list with fewer votes than Daniel Radcliffe and Andrew Lincoln. What a load of baloney.
I don't think he is sexy, but the man can act! He is very diverse and agile. He can be so funny, elusive, mysterious, boyish, wise, psycho, happy, sad, grievous, etc. And I believe every moment of his characters.
Johnny Depp is a highly intelligent, articulate, talented, charismatic, handsome, and sexy man with a devilish sense of humor. What's not to love?
In all of my seventy years, I have seen no other actor who could portray so convincingly such a diverse array of characters. Johnny has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to excel in any type of role and to entertain us while doing so, even when portraying downright evil characters. Moreover, the man can sing, and he does so admirably in roles that require that skill.
Johnny has left his unique imprint on every movie in which he has appeared, leaving us with an ever-growing number of characters who slip easily into our memories and our hearts.
Robert De Niro is one of the greatest actors of all time, known for his chameleon-like ability to transform into any role, from iconic gangsters to vulnerable outsiders. He is a master of method acting, and his performances are consistently mesmerizing and unforgettable.
To be honest, a lot of old-time actors are not in the top 20, except for DeNiro, Pacino, and Brando. I have been watching lots of movies and looked at this list, and I wondered why about 90% of the entire list is absolutely WRONG. I couldn't find any of the OG actors. Here is a list of actors that are very underappreciated in my opinion: Orson Welles, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Laurence Olivier, Humphrey Bogart, Paul Newman, Robert Duvall, Charlie Chaplin, Bruce Lee, Clint Eastwood, Sidney Poitier, Sean Connery, Alan Rickman, James Earl Jones, Clark Gable, Peter Sellers, Anthony Perkins, Anthony Hopkins, and Gregory Peck, just to name a few. Why did people even put Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio or even Tom Hanks on the same level or even above the level of actors like DeNiro? I just wanted to give a quick rant about why actors from back then are better than actors today and how messed up the world is right now. Anyway... back to why I chose DeNiro. DeNiro has had many stellar and almost unmatched performances, such as in The Godfather Part II, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, The Deer Hunter, GoodFellas, Heat, and The Untouchables. If you don't believe me, watch those movies. Need I say more?
I think he is the best male actor on this list. I have never seen anyone that can create such believability in a role. He can play the whole spectrum from melodramatic characters to action heroes and convince you that he is specifically that role. This guy starred in Titanic, Gangs of New York, Shutter Island, Inception, all amazing films. I have not seen all his movies, but I have yet to come across a movie he has sucked in. He nails every role he is in and it doesn't even look like he is trying; that tells me he is truly a one-of-a-kind talent. He is a movie star, but he doesn't let that get to his head. He puts his acting first and foremost, which is rare in Hollywood these days.
Easily the most underrated actor in Hollywood today. In every role I've seen him in, he has owned the part completely and delivered a riveting performance that can only be measured against the best actors of all time. He gets into the characters he portrays so deeply that you really believe in that character, and you don't even necessarily see him as Leo at the time. Some actors can only play one style of character. Leo, on the other hand, creates a unique style for every character. He becomes that character. This is a rare gift, and he should be recognized for it. It pains me that he has yet to receive an Oscar.
Easily the most realistic and the most intense actor of all time for his realistic acting performances like Serpico, Justice for All, Scent of a Woman, and Heat.
I think there are several categories by which to evaluate the greatness of an actor.
1. Body of work - How many movies?
2. Roles - Diversity of characters played.
3. Cultural Impact - The effect their career had on the cultural landscape and movie industry.
It is the third category that best exemplifies this man's career, in my opinion. The string of film roles not only put him on the map in regards to the movie industry but also cemented him in pop culture for all time. It is for roles such as:
1. The Godfather
3. The Godfather Part II
4. Dog Day Afternoon
These movies establish him as a cultural icon but also a staple in the conversation as one of the top 15 greatest actors of all time.
One of the greatest actors in history, he can be the guy you love and the guy that you love to hate! His film career has withstood the test of time. It is filled with diverse screen roles and his tremendous ability to set the screen on fire. If he were younger, he would be the only man alive who could honestly pull off being larger than life and believable as Christian Grey. I don't think that there are any other actors alive who will be able to realistically portray Christian Grey onscreen. So sad the book wasn't written sooner and for Pacino!
Streetcar, Waterfront, Julius Caesar, Wild One, Zapata - five performances right out of the gate that have no equal! Not even Brando could compete with these early groundbreaking roles. Anthony Hopkins, Russell Crowe, Paul Newman all stated that he was the best by far. I think he became disillusioned with filmmaking and fame and so withdrew his gift from the art form and walked on in later roles to keep the money coming in. His Godfather role was highly overrated, but his presence is what made it work, and it was a masterpiece of filmmaking in every aspect. A one-off for sure was Brando, who was once labeled "The Talent Of Our Time"!
The only actor who makes me forget who he really is, it was Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and not Brando, it was Terry in "On the Waterfront" and not Brando, it was Don Corleone in "The Godfather" and not Brando, it was Colonel Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now" and not Brando. This guy never wears a face but strips himself naked so that you may see not the actor or character but your own reflection. With Brando, it isn't emotion, it's gestures—subtle, soft, and suitable. A flick of the eye for anger, a nervous twitch for agitation. Normal. For men express much in the heart. He knew it.
Morgan Freeman, his voice alone could win an Oscar. What is there to say about Freeman besides always turning in a great performance? He can be somber, intense, and funny... There are no limits. His best performances include #1 - Shawshank Redemption, Red, and #2 - Hoke, Driving Mrs. Daisy. It's difficult to leave out his role as Ned in Unforgiven or his performance in Million Dollar Baby. He has played so many good roles.
His voice is famous and could win an Oscar. He should weigh up on the list with Kevin Bacon, Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, John Cusack, Dennis Quaid, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, and so many awesome actors. "Shawshank Redemption" with Tim Robbins, "Driving Miss Daisy," "Million Dollar Baby"... so many great movies.
Morgmyster, I call him. A spectacular tribute to the acting history. Freeman and Hanks in my mind are the best you can imagine. Freeman starred beautifully in Invictus and is a great actor in Shawshank and all the new modern films. He is what I like to call unbeatable. He is the light shining in the dark... He is the greatest actor of all time. If anyone thinks that anyone can mess him over (apart from Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks and that guy off the new Fantastic 4), they are wrong, and if I met someone who thought differently, I would fold them like a deck of cards.
To be honest, this list is absolutely terrible. Jason Stratman is in front of Daniel Day Lewis? A man who has done nothing and played the same hard man English role versus the 2-time Oscar winner (soon to be three for his part in Lincoln). I mean, the guy's a legend. He has put some unbelievable performances in movies such as "In the Name of the Father," "Gangs of New York," "There Will Be Blood," "Lincoln," and "My Left Foot." He is one of the best actors I have ever seen. The only performance which is up with his, in my mind, is Brando in "The Godfather" and maybe Heath Ledger as the Joker. He is a true actor; he doesn't care about money but for the role. In my opinion, he is the hardest worker with months of preparation going into his work. He is the greatest of his generation for sure. We will wait and see if he proves himself as the best ever. I think he is...
Samuel L. Jackson is the best actor I've probably ever seen. He plays the starring role of Nick Fury in Avengers, which is one of the greatest series of movies ever. Samuel L. Jackson also acts in a lot of other movies. I don't know much, but he does play in Kong Skull Island, which is another great movie. He has great acting skills, better than most people I've seen in a while. Honestly, he should star in a lot more movies than he has starred in now.
He's just one of the most memorable people from our time thanks to a slew of memorable quotes and roles, such as the badass Nick Fury or the hilarious Jules Winnfield. He's a great actor and can make even the worst of movies better thanks to his memorable presence and great acting talents, even when working with the worst of scripts.
Why is Samuel Jackson at 91? He should be in the top 20 at least! I mean, come on! He is a great actor. He did very well in Pulp Fiction and Coach Carter. He is so underrated on this website. He is very talented and clever. The power he puts into his acting is unreal.
Robert Downey Jr. is the only person who just might be able to go toe to toe with him on his finest day; Johnny Depp comes close, but Robert Downey Jr. deserves to be up there! He is better than a ton of actors. His work in Iron Man as Tony Stark actually got me thinking whether he secretly was Tony Stark. He's just that good. He is perfect for any role he does. And the way he played Chaplin, mind-blowing! Do I even need to mention Tropic Thunder? And, oh my, Sherlock Holmes. He was a true British gentleman, for crying out loud! Diverse, awesome, sassy, confident - what's not to like? And to top it all off, this guy started his career at the age of 5! He is the best. Simply the best.
I admit that this man has changed my life. Not only does he do every single role he's ever played absolutely perfectly, he's also one of the hottest people I've ever had the luck to set my eyes on.
It's his fault that I'm in love with a fictional character (Tony Stark) and not someone real.
He is smoking hot. My favorite. Best movie, I think, is Bruce Almighty. I would love to meet him someday. I don't think there could be a better actor than him. He's my number one comedy man. You should see Mr. Popper's Penguins; it looks awesome. I am pretty happy that he has won lots of Golden Globe Awards. He is beautiful with his role. Two people that I think are a bit equal in his acting are Stallone and Diesel.
This guy is a super funny dude. It's amazing how well he does and such. I wonder how many times he cracks up when filming scenes for his movies.
Also, why are there so many people, like Johnny Depp (don't get me wrong, he's a good actor), that are on this list and the Top Ten WORST Actors list?
He's got to be the best actor of all time. Come on, people, have you ever seen Ace Ventura, The Mask, or Bruce Almighty? He was also in the Sonic the Hedgehog film (which is my favorite film of all time), and in that film, he proves that he still hasn't lost his touch!
He was no common actor, not at all. He gave movies something only a few can: a soul. In fact, I can't think of an actor right now who gave such heart and emotional immersion in films like this man did. Jumanji, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dead Poets Society, Patch Adams - man, those films couldn't have been so brilliant if Robin Williams hadn't been in them. Like, no way. He was a Jewel of a filmmaker. Every movie he was in is one you always remember and enjoy. Period. The world lost a big one, a really big one.
I mean, he has played in such touching movies and portrayed such great figures in movies. I totally cried during this one. He is easily my favorite actor of all time.
What can I say? The world lost an amazing actor. He could go all the way from making you laugh out loud to making you cry with his more emotional performances. My favorite happens to be the lesser-known film 'Flubber' in 1996. Probably because of the silly, almost slapstick humor. Regardless, I am aware of other instances of his brilliant acting, such as 'Patch Adams' and 'Mrs. Doubtfire'.
I can't believe he isn't higher on the list. Have you seen The Fresh Prince of Bel Air? Even from the beginning, he could act very well! Way too well! This is a guy that can make you laugh until your stomach hurts, but can also make you cry until your eyes are dry! Series, movies, wherever he appears, he will either make you laugh or cry, and anybody who can convey those two strong emotions into a perfect balance has to be the king of actors!
One of the best actors I have ever seen. There is not one role he has done that I wasn't impressed with. I am Legend, Independence Day, Enemy of the State, Seven Pounds, Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness to name a few. This guy really brings stories to life and inspires people to think when you watch his movies. You cannot deny that this man is very talented and he deserves to be at least in the top three.
What?! He is WAY too low on the list. Will Smith is one of the best actors OF ALL TIME! He's absolutely hilarious, he's an EXTREMELY good actor, and he's super fun to watch. I can't believe more people didn't vote for him. And I'm sorry if you disagree, but I think he is the best actor on this list by far, and Tom Hanks is really not that good. Will Smith should be number one or at least number two. Tom Hanks... he's just "ok" for me.
I believe that Denzel Washington is not only a good African American actor, but rather a talented performer regardless. I think most directors could assign him the responsibilities of any role that does not depend on color to portray, whether it is from a movie script or stage play. He got his acting start on the dramatic theater stage, performing in front of live audiences. And he would do as good a job as any other performer in successfully bringing the character to life in an enjoyable way. He is very entertaining to watch due to his ability to become very animated and embody each character he portrays.
Firstly, my name is Victor Ifeanyi (Vin) and I pray every day to be in a movie with the one and only Denzel Washington! I need not type his name fully before my keyboard knows who I intend typing. Denzel Washington is simply the best of the best. Watching him has changed my life. I lack words to explain how I feel and what I know about Denzel! He's just amazing! So true! So, so real! I'll have to stop here for now... I love Denzel Washington! And may God bless him, may God answer my prayers... I'm an aspiring actor... I live so far away but... God be praised!
No contest, Anthony Hopkins is without any doubt the greatest actor of all time! Forget Silence of the Lambs, a good film, of course. His performance in Titus is untouchable. Meet Joe Black, astounding! The Remains of the Day, truly remarkable. I could go on and on. This man has a gift for acting like no other; it's a shame to see the actors of today.
Johnny Depp, you're kidding me, right? Is it because his portrayal of Willy Wonka just captured the essence of the film? What a lousy excuse for an actor, seriously.
I was torn between Nicholson and Hopkins, but I just had to go with him simply because of Hannibal Lecter. Definitely one of the greatest performances in film history, and one of the best-deserved Best Actor awards ever.
Tom Hiddleston is number 0, and Anthony Hopkins is 25? People, there is a difference between a really good actor and being a part of some super high-budget films. I mean, I thought these movies were great, but come on, judge by skill and not by budget...
I couldn't agree more. As he ages, he becomes an even better actor. He carefully selects roles that suit him and pique his interest. One often overlooked role is "Mr. & Mrs. Smith." It was a fantastic movie, although I'm sure not all fans of "Friends" would agree. Nevertheless, if you disregard everything else, it's a genuinely enjoyable film. I'm willing to bet it made a significant amount at the box office, even though most people wouldn't admit to seeing it. "Moneyball" is his best work thus far, and he poured himself into that film after reading the book. It took a few years to produce, but I'm confident he'll be in contention for an Oscar now. They wouldn't pay him as much as they do if he wasn't a major draw at the box office. I watched "Meet Joe Black," and although it received terrible reviews, both he and the movie were exceptional.
Seriously, 15th place?!?! I have never seen even half of the actors listed before him step much outside their comfort zone. If a great actor constantly picks similar roles over and over, most of these guys are the best in the business. Most of them couldn't have come close to playing half of his roles. I hated him when he first started becoming a household name because he's pretty. People really miss out on some amazing movies due to this very same thinking. I can't help but feel it has something to do with his placement on a list such as this.
Adam Sandler is the best actor/comedian ever because he made such great movies such as That's My Boy, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and he also did a great job in Hotel Transylvania. And plenty more great movies (these were just off the top of my head). Johnny Depp is nowhere near the skill of Adam Sandler. Adam is my favorite actor, and I hope you agree.
I love this actor. Please vote for Adam Sandler because every movie he has been in was a success and a big hit! Some examples include 50 First Dates, Bedtime Stories, The Wedding Singer, The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, The Longest Yard, Click, and last but not least, Just Go with It.
Is this really Adam Sandler's ranking, 39? He should be in the top 5. I mean, he is the funniest guy and the best actor ever. He has starred in The Longest Yard, Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, Anger Management, and Big Daddy! This is not acceptable, and Adam should be number 1!
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Jurassic World, Passenger... Man, he is one of the best actors I have ever known. Any Marvel or DC fans?
Chris Pratt is not only one of the funniest actors ever, but he also leaves you feeling like you can't wait for his next movie to come out! He is one of the few good guys left in Hollywood.
He just became my favorite actor after he was in Guardians of the Galaxy. I actually didn't know about him before that. He's an awesome actor, but why so low?!
You are my favorite. You are doing a very good job in acting I've ever seen in the world. So I am very shocked that you are very down under in this list. I want you to come to India to visit and shoot any of your films because in our country, there are no shootings of any Hollywood movies except for a few movies with some scenes. So I request you to please come to India and make this mission possible.
His movies simply outgrossed everybody else's except Tom Hanks'. If you take Hanks's cartoons out of the picture, then Cruise is the king of the box office. I guess it's easy to crap on him for his religion or being weird on Oprah, but even since then, War of the Worlds, MI4, Knight and Day have all hit the 100 million mark.
Despite all the stupid stuff that came out of his mouth, Tom Cruise is an insanely good actor (minus "Eyes Wide Shut"). Everything he puts his heart and soul into is an instant success. Very few actors have that ability.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is really the most electrifying man in all of entertainment! He really is. The story of his life and how he made it is another lovely thing to know on its own. I get motivated and encouraged every time I see Dwayne, including his movies. I love, love Dwayne and his good heart. Dwayne is truly Dwayne!
The most iconic actor in the world, The Rock has starred in countless movies such as Tooth Fairy, Jumanji, Journey to the Mysterious Island (my personal favorite), and Scorpion King, among others. The Rock is easily the most castable actor, and his name sells more than anyone else's.
He is the best wrestler that we all know, but no one expects him to be a terrific actor. Now he is the second person to earn a higher salary for a movie. His journey is a great one, and I hope he continues this for a long time.
Heath is a legend. He was able to fully understand and transform into characters in a way no one else could. Not just one, but two moments that he improvised during his unforgettable performance as the clown prince of crime in The Dark Knight are two of the best unscripted scenes of all time. Heath was able to immerse himself in a character and dedicate himself to that character and this performance, so much so that for the period of time in which the cameras were moving, he truly became the character. The person whom his character was based on in Brokeback Mountain said that "he understands me better than I do." It is because of his brilliance that these performances were more than just performances, and instead they became legends. He is my all-time favorite actor and deserves to be in that #1 spot!
There are so many deluded people voting here that don't understand what acting is. They're all voting for the film stars, not the actors! People like Tom Cruise and Will Smith aren't good actors; they just look good and don't become the character. They stay as who they are, the film star. People like Heath Ledger, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Gary Oldman, Javier Bardem, Tom Hanks, and many others should be higher up on this list! It's crazy. Watch Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight - to name a few of his brilliant performances - and you will understand that that is proper acting from the best. Rest in peace, Heath Andrew Ledger. You will never be forgotten.
Not the absolute best but should be in the top 10. I'm not sure why Depp made it ahead of legends like Gary Oldman, Daniel Day Lewis, Marlon Brando, Russell Crowe, and Robert De Niro. These guys could easily make the top 5. Depp is overrated. In terms of talent, I consider him to be on the same level as Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio, and seeing him very far ahead is just stupid enough that I want to shoot myself. Also, there are a lot of Indian actors. I've never seen any of their movies, so I can't say much about them either. But I'm sure Christian Bale kicks pretty much a whole bunch of their cartoonish asses.
He is by far one of the best actors of all time. In nearly every role he performs in, he gives 110%. The way he can shapeshift is insane for a role. He clearly gives a lot of care to his characters. Even his more phoned-in roles are better than what most actors dream of.
He is an actor, a role player. You give him anything, he will play it brilliantly. That's the quality of a great actor. The dedication he puts into his roles is unparalleled. He won't stand out in a particular role like other actors because there's only one standout performance of an actor, and that's because that actor might be with that mindset or so. However, this guy will fit in any roles you give him. He is a true actor.
My first memory of ever actually feeling anything from a film is attributed to this wonderful man. When I was a teenager, I watched The Professional, and I got literal goosebumps when the scene before Stansfield enters Matilda's apartment for the second time. The overhead shot of Gary taking that pill will always be seared into my brain. It was just brilliantly shot, and the acting was superb. Gary will always be my favorite actor and an actor who I think is severely underrated. I think he is one of the few actors that has been a part, maybe sometimes unknowingly (because he is that good), of a lot of our collective most memorable cinematic moments. He deserves better than number 18 on this list.
He disappears into his roles and gives a multilayered performance for every character he plays. I don't think I ever saw a more versatile actor with so much talent. He has this incredible ability to make you feel the character as though it was a real person coming out of the screen. Stansfield from The Professional still gave me chills after all these years, while the enigmatic Smiley from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, is compelling to watch even when he doesn't talk or move. And, unlike some of the actors above, he doesn't rely solely on heavy makeup to fully embody a role (unless it's necessary, like in Darkest Hour, because he doesn't resemble Churchill).
Where do I start? He is the very best! Everyone has heard of Indiana Jones and Han Solo! This man has changed my life so much. I can remember some of my early birthday parties dedicated to him. I had at least four birthday parties based on him. Indiana Jones was my childhood! The Indiana Jones franchise is still my favorite, and he is still in my top three actors. He may be getting old, but he is still a MAJOR BADASS! His films will always be pure gold. The only reason he is not higher is that the high actors are young and get millions spent on CGI and other things.
I can't understand how Robert Downey Jr. is ahead of him. People always say that people only like him because he is handsome, but the charm and wit he puts into his characters is just astounding. He performed Han Solo spectacularly well, just the sheer coolness and daringness of a true space pirate. And Indiana Jones, the attitude, MCU arm, was just perfect. He is truly the greatest actor of all time. He is my favorite, and I have fond memories of watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with my dad, and being scared to death (mum wasn't home). I recently watched Call of the Wild and cried because I got so attached to his character.