The Best Actors in Film History People In Film

The Best Actors in Film History

who else should see this list?

original ranker
75,953 views 288 items 52,440 votes 2,465 voters 104 followers 75reranks
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.

List Criteria: Male actors only!

< >
  • the crowd
  • 75 reranks
  • experts
  • comments
  • </> embed
Rerank This List
View as a Ranked by
Rank
loading your
votes…
 
  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 664
    Down 226

    the people's #1 &often listed
    Marlon Brando

    1924 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 797
    Down 265
    1943 More
    100
  3. 3
    Up 762
    Down 263
    1940 More
    99
  4. 4
    Up 692
    Down 275

    most listed &ranked high on reranks
    Jack Nicholson

    1937 More
    99
  5. 5
    Up 623
    Down 185

    ranked low on reranks
    Anthony Hopkins

    1937 More
    97
  6. 6
    Up 639
    Down 216
    1957 More
    95
  7. 7
    Up 711
    Down 241
    1956 More
    94
  8. 8
    Up 601
    Down 200
    1937 More
    93
  9. 9
    Up 486
    Down 165
    1925 More
    90
  10. 10
    Up 467
    Down 182

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dustin Hoffman

    1937 More
    89
  11. 11
    Up 413
    Down 155
    1908 More
    88
  12. 12
    Up 538
    Down 215

    ranked low on reranks
    Denzel Washington

    1954 More
    87
  13. 13
    Up 565
    Down 298

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Johnny Depp

    1963 More
    86
  14. 14
    Up 409
    Down 133

    ranked low on reranks
    Gene Hackman

    1930 More
    86
  15. 15
    Up 437
    Down 184

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Gary Oldman

    1958 More
    85
  16. 16
    Up 381
    Down 135

    ranked low on reranks
    Michael Caine

    1933 More
    85
  17. 17
    Up 379
    Down 166

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Humphrey Bogart

    1899 More
    84
  18. 18
    Up 556
    Down 237
    1974 More
    82
  19. 19
    Up 457
    Down 166
    1930 More
    82
  20. 20
    Up 362
    Down 137

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Cary Grant

    1904 More
    81
  21. 21
    Up 315
    Down 94

    ranked low on reranks
    Gregory Peck

    1916 More
    80
  22. 22
    Up 302
    Down 117

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Henry Fonda

    1905 More
    80
  23. 23
    Up 463
    Down 146

    ranked low on reranks
    Clint Eastwood

    1930 More
    80
  24. 24
    Up 312
    Down 99

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Duvall

    1931 More
    79
  25. 25
    Up 398
    Down 141
    1943 More
    78
  26. 26
    Up 373
    Down 156
    1942 More
    77
  27. 27
    Up 346
    Down 145
    1952 More
    77
  28. 28
    Up 382
    Down 186
    1969 More
    76
  29. 29
    Up 291
    Down 151

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Peter O'Toole

    1932 More
    76
  30. 30
    Up 331
    Down 134

    ranked low on reranks
    Kevin Spacey

    1959 More
    74
  31. 31
    Up 264
    Down 133
    1907 More
    74
  32. 32
    Up 368
    Down 190

    ranked low on reranks
    Christian Bale

    1974 More
    73
  33. 33
    Up 252
    Down 144

    often listed
    Sidney Poitier

    1927 More
    72
  34. 34
    Up 287
    Down 215

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Sean Penn

    1960 More
    71
  35. 35
    Up 318
    Down 176

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Russell Crowe

    1964 More
    71
  36. 36
    Up 243
    Down 123

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Kirk Douglas

    1916 More
    70
  37. 37
    Up 259
    Down 111

    ranked low on reranks
    Steve McQueen

    1930 More
    69
  38. 38
    Up 245
    Down 82

    ranked low on reranks
    Tommy Lee Jones

    1946 More
    69
  39. 39
    Up 254
    Down 125
    1889 More
    69
  40. 40
    Up 305
    Down 152

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Downey Jr.

    1965 More
    69
  41. 41
    Up 172
    Down 88
    1935 More
    67
  42. 42
    Up 251
    Down 141
    1907 More
    67
    added by: daker
  43. 43
    Up 270
    Down 163

    often listed
    Robin Williams

    1951 More
    66
  44. 44
    Up 170
    Down 99

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ian McKellen

    1939 More
    66
  45. 45
    Up 263
    Down 168

    often listed
    Samuel L. Jackson

    1948 More
    66
  46. 46
    Up 224
    Down 125
    1923 More
    66
  47. 47
    Up 144
    Down 67

    often listed &ranked low on reranks
    Ben Kingsley

    1943 More
    65
  48. 48
    Up 147
    Down 61
    1900 More
    65
  49. 49
    Up 179
    Down 91
    1914 More
    65
  50. 50
    Up 312
    Down 191
    1979 More
    64
  51. +Add New Item

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS + 17 MORE

items 1 - 50 of 288

think you can do better?

rerank this list
why?

got a blog or website?

embed this list
why?

    more popular lists