The Best Actors in Film History People In Film
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The Best Actors in Film History

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.
  • 107 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 2983
    - 1123

    Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 2862
    - 1055

    the people's #1 The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 2671
    - 1083

    most listed The Shining, The Departed, Batman

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 2599
    - 927

    The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 2734
    - 911

    Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 2257
    - 750

    The Silence of the Lambs, Thor, Thor: The Dark World

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 2291
    - 822

    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Shawshank Redemption

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 2157
    - 830

    Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, Lincoln

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 2469
    - 886

    Titanic, Inception, The Departed

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 1496
    - 669

    It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1694
    - 660

    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Cars

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 2087
    - 777

    Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 1680
    - 693

    Rain Man, The Graduate, Being John Malkovich

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 2140
    - 1012

    A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 1833
    - 586

    ranked low on reranks The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 1507
    - 677

    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 1346
    - 563

    Superman, Hoosiers, Unforgiven

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1385
    - 562

    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 1287
    - 609

    Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 1225
    - 438

    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 1565
    - 560

    Goldfinger, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Untouchables

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 1137
    - 424

    To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, The Omen

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 1193
    - 517

    North by Northwest, The Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 1349
    - 594

    Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 1316
    - 623

    The Dark Knight Rises, Schindler's List, Batman Begins

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 1368
    - 478

    American Beauty, Seven, The Usual Suspects

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 1251
    - 637

    Fight Club, American History X, The Incredible Hulk

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 1210
    - 519

    Pulp Fiction, Annie Hall, Wedding Crashers

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 960
    - 469

    Once Upon a Time in the West, 12 Angry Men, The Grapes of Wrath

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 1415
    - 542

    ranked low on reranks Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 943
    - 503

    Ratatouille, Lawrence of Arabia, Prometheus

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 1305
    - 637

    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 916
    - 466

    Spartacus, Rebecca, Clash of the Titans

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 1180
    - 572

    Gladiator, Man of Steel, A Beautiful Mind

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 1320
    - 553

    The Avengers, Iron Man, Iron Man 3

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 1058
    - 386

    ranked low on reranks Captain America: The First Avenger, No Country for Old Men, Men in Black ...

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 885
    - 475

    In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Sneakers

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 919
    - 694

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Being John Malkovich, The Thin Red Line

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 1064
    - 606

    Fight Club, The Departed, Seven

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 1025
    - 494

    City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 718
    - 441

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ...

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 902
    - 413

    ranked low on reranks The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, Bullitt

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 1011
    - 597

    The Avengers, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 713
    - 386

    Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the ...

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 693
    - 355

    Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 796
    - 444

    Spartacus, Cinema Paradiso, Paths of Glory

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 938
    - 516

    added by daker The Searchers, The Longest Day, Stagecoach

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 790
    - 486

    Planet of the Apes, Any Given Sunday, Ben-Hur

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 713
    - 348

    Amélie, Cinema Paradiso, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 630
    - 357

    Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, The Passion of the Christ

    ) open
382 +

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