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The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

List Criteria: Vote up and add all of the actors and actresses who you think are the very best.

The best actors and actresses of all time, male and female, ranked by film fans worldwide. This list of greatest actors and actresses attempts to answer the question "Who are the best actors of all time?" by incorporating the views and opinions of all members of the Ranker Community. Keep in mind, as you vote or add a top actor or actress you see missing, that we are rating these actors on their body of work, not just what they have done recently! Some of the greatest actors of all time have not necessarily acted in a project in the past 5 years, but they still deserve to be on this greatest actresses and actors of all time list.

Top actors and actresses in films are judged by their acting ability and their mastery of roles that they have played over the years. Many of these great actors have videos of their best roles for you to view so you can refresh yourself on the best works of your favorite actors as you consider your votes for top thespians of all time. Nominate your picks for the top actors & actresses by making a list of your own. Then come back to the Master List and vote up your favorites!

For lists separated by gender, check out our lists of the best actors of all time and the best actresses in film history.

The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History People In Film
  • 266 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 6862
    - 2789

    most listed
    The Shining, Batman, The Departed

    ;
  2. 2
    + 6606
    - 2643

    the people's #1
    Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver

    ;
  3. 3
    + 6545
    - 2581


    Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story

    ;
  4. 4
    + 5797
    - 2159


    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface

    ;
  5. 5
    + 6588
    - 1750

    added by NickPeek
    The Deer Hunter, Out of Africa, Kramer vs. Kramer

    ;
  6. 6
    + 5684
    - 1975


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

    ;
  7. 7
    + 6045
    - 2155


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ;
  8. 8
    + 4215
    - 1564


    The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman

    ;
  9. 9
    + 5060
    - 3226

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands

    ;
  10. 10
    + 5384
    - 2661


    Titanic, Inception, The Departed

    ;
  11. 11
    + 4594
    - 2340


    Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day

    ;
  12. 12
    + 4679
    - 2055


    Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry

    ;
  13. 13
    + 3924
    - 1853


    The Graduate, Being John Malkovich, Rain Man

    ;
  14. 14
    + 3993
    - 1352

    ranked low on reranks
    The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars

    ;
  15. 15
    + 3609
    - 1439


    It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window

    ;
  16. 16
    + 3437
    - 1427


    Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen

    ;
  17. 17
    + 3764
    - 1994


    Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood

    ;
  18. 18
    + 4078
    - 1855


    Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society

    ;
  19. 19
    + 3648
    - 1171

    ranked low on reranks
    Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, Roman Holiday

    ;
  20. 20
    + 3196
    - 1527


    Superman, The French Connection, Young Frankenstein

    ;
  21. 21
    + 2735
    - 1339


    Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen

    ;
  22. 22
    + 3753
    - 1973


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

    ;
  23. 23
    + 4105
    - 1606

    ranked low on reranks
    Goldfinger, The Untouchables, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    ;
  24. 24
    + 3368
    - 1950

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins, Schindler's List

    ;
  25. 25
    + 3180
    - 1303


    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now

    ;
  26. 26
    + 3129
    - 1428


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ;
  27. 27
    + 2832
    - 1745

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, Contact

    ;
  28. 28
    + 2725
    - 1064

    ranked low on reranks
    North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday

    ;
  29. 29
    + 3508
    - 2109

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Avengers, Iron Man, Iron Man 3

    ;
  30. 30
    + 2733
    - 971

    ranked low on reranks
    To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, The Omen

    ;
  31. 31
    + 3366
    - 1601


    American Beauty, Seven, The Usual Suspects

    ;
  32. 32
    + 3054
    - 2331

    often listed
    Fight Club, Seven, The Departed

    ;
  33. 33
    + 2276
    - 1260


    City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times

    ;
  34. 34
    + 2322
    - 1080

    added by vivian
    All About Eve, P.S. I Love You, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? The Letter, What ever happened to Baby Jane, Jezabel

    ;
  35. 35
    + 2764
    - 1414


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ;
  36. 36
    + 2192
    - 1026


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

    ;
  37. 37
    + 2809
    - 1267


    Pulp Fiction, Annie Hall, Batman Returns

    ;
  38. 38
    + 3017
    - 1120

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 2578
    - 1415


    Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, American History X

    ;
  40. 40
    + 2435
    - 1547


    Gladiator, Man of Steel, A Beautiful Mind

    ;
  41. 41
    + 2601
    - 1630


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ;
  42. 42
    + 2597
    - 1683


    Saving Private Ryan, The Departed, Good Will Hunting

    ;
  43. 43
    + 2340
    - 970

    ranked low on reranks
    Casino Royale, Skyfall, Shakespeare in Love

    ;
  44. 44
    + 2561
    - 1575

    often listed
    The Avengers, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas

    ;
  45. 45
    + 2425
    - 1499


    Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Finding Neverland

    ;
  46. 46
    + 2614
    - 1687


    The Dark Knight, Brokeback Mountain, The Patriot

    ;
  47. 47
    + 2186
    - 954

    ranked low on reranks
    JFK, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment

    ;
  48. 48
    + 2065
    - 1001


    Monsters University, The Prince of Egypt, Excalibur

    ;
  49. 49
    + 2076
    - 1212


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

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1937
    - 1052


    Spartacus, Clash of the Titans, Rebecca

    ;
1698 +

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