The Best Actors in Film History People In Film

The Best Actors in Film History

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536,946 votes 32,469 voters 672,475 views 702 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Male actors only! Vote based on each actor's FILM career only.

The best actors ever are ranked here in this list of the best actors in film history. These are the greatest actors ever to appear on the silver screen - male only (to vote on both genders, check out this list of the greatest film actors and actresses). These gentlemen were part of some of the greatest movies of all time (or were perhaps the reason they were the best movies ever), with countless Academy Awards between them.

What are the qualities of the best actors of all time? Is it the raw emotion they show, the parts they choose, their acting methods, or simply their effortless charm and charisma? There's no denying some of these amazing actors belong on the list of the hottest male celebrities, but behind the 1000 watt smiles lies the talent that defines generations of actors.

Who is the best actor of all time? Is it a classic actor like Marlon Brando, a comedic genius like Charlie Chaplin, a double-threat like Clint Eastwood, or a method actor like Daniel Day Lewis? There are so many choices for the greatest movie actor ever that you may have a hard time choosing just one (although you can vote for as many of the actors on this list of the greatest actors ever as you'd like). If your favorite leading man isn't on the list, make sure to add him so others can vote for him to receive the title of best actor in film history.


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  • 204 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 10212
    - 4528


    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface See The Best Al Pacino Movies

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  2. 2
    + 8771
    - 4253

    most listed
    The Shining, The Departed, Batman See The Best Jack Nicholson Movies

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  3. 3
    + 9603
    - 4203


    Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver See The Best Robert De Niro Movies

    ;
  4. 4
    + 8882
    - 3076


    Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story See The Best Tom Hanks Movies

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  5. 5
    + 7934
    - 3439

    the people's #1
    The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman See The Best Marlon Brando Movies

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  6. 6
    + 8884
    - 4147


    Titanic, Inception, The Departed See The Best Leonardo DiCaprio Movies

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  7. 7
    + 5198
    - 2415


    The Silence of the Lambs, Thor, Thor: The Dark World See The Best Anthony Hopkins Movies

    ;
  8. 8
    + 5605
    - 2554


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins See The Best Morgan Freeman Movies

    ;
  9. 9
    + 4995
    - 2489


    Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day See The Best Denzel Washington Movies

    ;
  10. 10
    + 3952
    - 1628


    The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars See The Best Paul Newman Movies

    ;
  11. 11
    + 5279
    - 2944


    Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood See The Best Daniel Day-Lewis Movies

    ;
  12. 12
    + 5757
    - 3564


    A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands See The Best Johnny Depp Movies

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  13. 13
    + 3921
    - 2077


    The Graduate, Being John Malkovich, Rain Man See The Best Dustin Hoffman Movies

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  14. 14
    + 3261
    - 1919

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window See The Best James Stewart Movies

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  15. 15
    + 4230
    - 1886

    ranked low on reranks
    Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry See The Best Clint Eastwood Movies

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  16. 16
    + 3587
    - 1442

    ranked low on reranks
    American Beauty, Seven, The Usual Suspects See The Best Kevin Spacey Movies

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  17. 17
    + 3217
    - 1401


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins  See The Best Michael Caine Movies

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  18. 18
    + 3502
    - 1616


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins See The Best Gary Oldman Movies

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  19. 19
    + 3038
    - 1353


    Superman, The French Connection, Young Frankenstein See The Best Gene Hackman Movies

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  20. 20
    + 3175
    - 1452


    Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner See The Best Harrison Ford Movies

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  21. 21
    + 3863
    - 1703


    Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society  See The Best Robin Williams Movies

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  22. 22
    + 2998
    - 1473

    often listed
    Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, American History X  See The Best Edward Norton Movies

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  23. 23
    + 2864
    - 1104


    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now See The Best Robert Duvall Movies

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  24. 24
    + 2726
    - 1433


    Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen See The Best Humphrey Bogart Movies

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  25. 25
    + 3351
    - 1286


    Goldfinger, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade See The Best Sean Connery Movies

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  26. 26
    + 3307
    - 1527


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins See The Best Christain Bale Movies

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  27. 27
    + 2549
    - 1136


    Pulp Fiction, Annie Hall, Batman Returns See The Best Christopher Walken Movies

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  28. 28
    + 2472
    - 1202


    North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday See The Best Cary Grant Movies

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  29. 29
    + 2476
    - 1040


    To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, The Omen  See The Best Gregory Peck Movies

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  30. 30
    + 2989
    - 1448


    The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins, Schindler's List See The Best Liam Neeson Movies

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  31. 31
    + 3315
    - 1473


    The Avengers, Iron Man, Iron Man 3 See The Best Robert Downey Jr. Movies

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  32. 32
    + 2939
    - 1621


    Fight Club, Seven, The Departed See The Best Brad Pitt Movies

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  33. 33
    + 2694
    - 1362


    Gladiator, Man of Steel, A Beautiful Mind See The Best Russell Crowe Movies

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  34. 34
    + 2078
    - 1158


    Once Upon a Time in the West, 12 Angry Men, The Grapes of Wrath See The Best Henry Fonda Movies

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  35. 35
    + 2494
    - 925

    ranked low on reranks
    No Country for Old Men, Men in Black, Captain America: The First Avenger ... See The Best Tommy Lee Jones Movies

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  36. 36
    + 2472
    - 1326


    The Avengers, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas See The Best Samuel L. Jackson Movies

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  37. 37
    + 1892
    - 1013


    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ... See The Best Ian McKellen Movies

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1880
    - 1040


    In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Sneakers See The Best Sidney Poitier Movies

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  39. 39
    + 1923
    - 1086


    Spartacus, Clash of the Titans, Rebecca See The Best Laurence Oliver Movies

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  40. 40
    + 1982
    - 1136


    Lawrence of Arabia, Ratatouille, Prometheus See The Best Peter O'Toole Movies

    ;
  41. 41
    + 2348
    - 1150


    City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times See The Best Charlie Chaplin Movies

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  42. 42
    + 1693
    - 887


    Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island See The Best Ben Kingsley Movies

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  43. 43
    + 2253
    - 1122


    The Dark Knight, Brokeback Mountain, The Patriot See The Best Heath Ledger Movies

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  44. 44
    + 1881
    - 976


    Saving Private Ryan, The Departed, Good Will Hunting See The Best Matt Damon Movies

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  45. 45
    + 1454
    - 691


    Iron Man, The Big Lebowski, Tron See The Best Jeff Bridges Movies

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  46. 46
    + 1370
    - 677


    Die Hard, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the ...

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1260
    - 821


    Schindler's List, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry ... See The Best Ralph Fiennes Movies

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  48. 48
    + 1933
    - 1544

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Being John Malkovich, Mystic River See The Best Sean Penn Movies

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  49. 49
    + 1480
    - 801

    ranked low on reranks
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the ... See The Best Robert Redford Movies

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  50. 50
    + 1722
    - 1145

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, Pocahontas See The Best Mel Gibson Movies

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