popular opinion The Best Actors in Film History  

Originally by
890k votes 51k voters 950k views 1,153 items Follow Embed

List Rules 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.

1
+ - 16,264 5,788
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Tom Hanks Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story - See The Best Tom Hanks Movies

The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History The Best Whole Bean Coffee Brands

2
+ - 16,068 9,999
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Al Pacino The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface - See The Best Al Pacino Movies

3
+ - 14,125 9,650
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Jack Nicholson The Shining, The Departed, Batman - See The Best Jack Nicholson Movies

4
+ - 15,275 9,205
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Robert De Niro Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver - See The Best Robert De Niro Movies

5
+ - 11,938 6,910
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Marlon Brando The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman - See The Best Marlon Brando Movies

6
+ - 7,999 4,245
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Anthony Hopkins The Silence of the Lambs, Thor, Thor: The Dark World - See The Best Anthony Hopkins Movies

7
+ - 8,833 4,985
Morgan Freeman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Morgan Freeman The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins - See The Best Morgan Freeman Movies

8
+ - 14,517 9,586
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Leonardo DiCaprio Titanic, Inception, The Departed - See The Best Leonardo DiCaprio Movies

9
+ - 8,734 3,691
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Dustin Hoffman The Graduate, Being John Malkovich, Rain Man - See The Best Dustin Hoffman Movies

10
+ - 7,737 3,447
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
James Stewart It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window - See The Best James Stewart Movies

11
+ - 6,842 2,598
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Paul Newman The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars - See The Best Paul Newman Movies

12
+ - 7,123 3,035
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Clint Eastwood Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry - See The Best Clint Eastwood Movies

13
+ - 7,132 2,509
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Kevin Spacey American Beauty, Seven, The Usual Suspects - See The Best Kevin Spacey Movies

14
+ - 8,816 6,785
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Daniel Day-Lewis Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood - See The Best Daniel Day-Lewis Movies

15
+ - 6,435 2,319
Michael Caine is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Michael Caine The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins -  See The Best Michael Caine Movies

The Best Movies of All Time Stars Who Passed on Iconic Hollywood Roles

16
+ - 6,789 2,360
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Gene Hackman Superman, The French Connection, Young Frankenstein - See The Best Gene Hackman Movies

17
+ - 5,376 2,296
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Humphrey Bogart Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen - See The Best Humphrey Bogart Movies

18
+ - 6,208 1,833
Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Robert Duvall The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now - See The Best Robert Duvall Movies

19
+ - 8,414 5,610
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Denzel Washington Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day - See The Best Denzel Washington Movies

20
+ - 6,164 2,546
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Gary Oldman The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins - See The Best Gary Oldman Movies

21
+ - 8,998 7,661
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Johnny Depp A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands - See The Best Johnny Depp Movies

22
+ - 4,618 2,473
Edward Norton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Edward Norton Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, American History X -  See The Best Edward Norton Movies

23
+ - 4,436 1,877
Christopher Walken is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Christopher Walken Pulp Fiction, Annie Hall, Batman Returns - See The Best Christopher Walken Movies

24
+ - 4,884 2,039
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Henry Fonda Once Upon a Time in the West, 12 Angry Men, The Grapes of Wrath - See The Best Henry Fonda Movies

25
+ - 5,006 2,938
Harrison Ford is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Harrison Ford Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner - See The Best Harrison Ford Movies

26
+ - 4,470 1,684
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Gregory Peck To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, The Omen -  See The Best Gregory Peck Movies

27
+ - 4,943 1,918
Sean Connery is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Sean Connery Goldfinger, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - See The Best Sean Connery Movies

28
+ - 4,379 1,897
Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Cary Grant North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday - See The Best Cary Grant Movies

29
+ - 6,061 3,228
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Robin Williams Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society -  See The Best Robin Williams Movies

Actors You Would Watch Read the Phone Book Ways to Make Sure You Die Happy

30
+ - 5,059 2,427
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Christian Bale The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins - See The Best Christain Bale Movies

31
+ - 4,436 2,187
Liam Neeson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Liam Neeson The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins, Schindler's List - See The Best Liam Neeson Movies

32
+ - 4,149 2,190
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Russell Crowe Gladiator, Man of Steel, A Beautiful Mind - See The Best Russell Crowe Movies

33
+ - 4,428 1,485
Tommy Lee Jones is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Tommy Lee Jones No Country for Old Men, Men in Black, Captain America: The First Avenger - See The Best Tommy Lee Jones Movies

34
+ - 4,023 2,262
Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Samuel L. Jackson The Avengers, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas - See The Best Samuel L. Jackson Movies

35
+ - 4,439 2,923
Brad Pitt is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Brad Pitt Fight Club, Seven, The Departed - See The Best Brad Pitt Movies

36
+ - 3,343 1,694
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Laurence Olivier Spartacus, Clash of the Titans, Rebecca - See The Best Laurence Oliver Movies

37
+ - 3,321 1,634
Ian McKellen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Ian McKellen The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men - See The Best Ian McKellen Movies

38
+ - 4,970 2,803
Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Robert Downey Jr. The Avengers, Iron Man, Iron Man 3 - See The Best Robert Downey Jr. Movies

39
+ - 3,296 1,632
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Sidney Poitier In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Sneakers - See The Best Sidney Poitier Movies

40
+ - 3,714 1,740
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Charlie Chaplin City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times - See The Best Charlie Chaplin Movies

41
+ - 2,842 1,486
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Ben Kingsley Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island - See The Best Ben Kingsley Movies

42
+ - 2,709 1,204
Alan Rickman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Alan Rickman Die Hard, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

43
+ - 3,670 1,787
Heath Ledger is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Heath Ledger The Dark Knight, Brokeback Mountain, The Patriot - See The Best Heath Ledger Movies

The Coolest Actors Ever The Best Midsize Family Sedans

44
+ - 2,981 1,729
Peter O'Toole is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Peter O'Toole Lawrence of Arabia, Ratatouille, Prometheus - See The Best Peter O'Toole Movies

45
+ - 3,179 1,717
Matt Damon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Matt Damon Saving Private Ryan, The Departed, Good Will Hunting - See The Best Matt Damon Movies

46
+ - 2,555 1,384
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Philip Seymour Hoffman The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, The Big Lebowski - See The Best Philip Seymour Hoffman Movies

47
+ - 2,843 1,862
Mel Gibson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Mel Gibson Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, Pocahontas - See The Best Mel Gibson Movies

48
+ - 2,048 1,387
Ralph Fiennes is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Ralph Fiennes Schindler's List, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - See The Best Ralph Fiennes Movies

49
+ - 2,386 1,233
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Jeff Bridges Iron Man, The Big Lebowski, Tron - See The Best Jeff Bridges Movies

50
+ - 2,451 1,310
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Robert Redford Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - See The Best Robert Redford Movies