The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

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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.
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  1. 1
    + 11,820
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    age 59 Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American film actor, director, voice-over artist, writer and film producer. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies before achieving success

  2. 2
    + 11,042
    - 7,433

    most listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 78 John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer, and writer. Throughout his career, Nicholson has portrayed unique and challenging roles, many of which include

  3. 3
    + 7,522
    - 5,377

    often listed
    Died at 80 (1924-2004) Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American actor and film director. He is hailed for bringing a gripping realism to film acting, and is widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential actors

  4. 4
    + 10,275
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 72 Robert De Niro is an American actor and film producer who has starred in over 90 films. His first major film roles were in the sports drama Bang the Drum Slowly and the Martin Scorsese-directed crime

  5. 5
    + 6,549
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    ranked low on reranks
    age 78 Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters. He first drew

  6. 6
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    ranked low on reranks
    Died at 89 (1908-1997) James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive drawl voice and down-to-earth persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films

  7. 7
    + 5,391
    - 2,312

    the people's #1
    Died at 64 (1929-1993) Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood's Golden Age. She was ranked by the American Film Institute as the

  8. 8
    + 4,468
    - 2,535

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Died at 96 (1907-2003) Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress. Known for her fierce independence and spirited personality, Hepburn was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years. She appeared in a range

  9. 9
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    added by vivian
    Died at 81 (1908-1989) The Letter, What ever happened to Baby Jane, Jezabel

  10. 10
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    age 78 Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins, CBE is a Welsh actor of film, stage, and television, and a composer and painter. After graduating from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 1957, he trained at

  11. 11
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Died at 58 (1899-1957) Humphrey DeForest Bogart was an American screen actor whose performances in such iconic 1940s films noir as The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The Big Sleep, earned him the legacy of cultural icon.

  12. 12
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    age 78 Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, and narrator. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and

  13. 13
    + 9,292
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 75 Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American actor and filmmaker. He is well known for playing mobsters, especially Michael Corleone in The Godfather films and Tony Montana in Scarface, and

  14. 14
    + 4,317
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    ranked low on reranks
    Died at 82 (1904-1986) Cary Grant was an English stage and Hollywood film actor who became an American citizen in 1942. Known for his transatlantic accent, debonair demeanor and "dashing good looks", Grant is

  15. 15
    + 10,748
    - 5,729

    often listed & added by NickPeek
    age 66 Meryl Streep is an American actress. A three-time Academy Award winner, she is widely regarded as one of the greatest film actors of all time. Streep made her professional stage debut in The Playboy

  16. 16
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    - 1,686

    ranked low on reranks
    Died at 87 (1916-2003) Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor. One of the world's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play major film roles until the late 1970s. His performance as

  17. 17
    + 3,256
    - 2,000

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Died at 88 (1889-1977) Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE was an English comic actor and filmmaker who rose to fame in the silent film era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona

  18. 18
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    Died at 83 (1925-2008) Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor, film director, entrepreneur, professional racing driver, auto racing team owner, environmentalist, social activist and philanthropist. He won numerous

  19. 19
    + 6,493
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 85 Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. is an American actor, film director, producer, musician, and politician. He rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's

  20. 20
    + 4,089
    - 1,581

    Died at 82 (1907-1989) Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also worked

  21. 21
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    ranked low on reranks
    Died at 67 (1915-1982) Ingrid Bergman was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and the Tony Award for Best

  22. 22
    + 8,078
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 41 Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He has been nominated for ten Golden Globe Awards, winning two, and five Academy Awards. DiCaprio began his career by appearing in

  23. 23
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    ranked low on reranks
    age 85 Eugene "Gene" Allen Hackman is an American actor and novelist. In a career spanning five decades, Hackman has been nominated for five Academy Awards, winning two, including best actor in The

  24. 24
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 52 Johnny Depp is an actor.

  25. 25
    + 5,175
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    age 82 Sir Michael Caine, CBE, is an English actor and author. Renowned for his distinctive Cockney accent, Caine has appeared in over 115 films and is one of the UK's most recognisable actors. He made his

  26. 26
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    ranked low on reranks
    age 84 Robert Selden Duvall is an American actor and director. He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards, six Golden Globes, and has multiple nominations and one win each of the BAFTA, Screen Actors

  27. 27
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    often listed
    age 61 Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. is an American actor and filmmaker. Washington has received much critical acclaim for his film work since the 1990s, including his portrayals of real-life figures such as

  28. 28
    + 4,781
    - 2,246

    age 53 Alicia Christian Foster, known professionally as Jodie Foster, is an American actress, film director, and producer. Foster began acting in commercials at the age of three, and her first significant

  29. 29
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    ranked low on reranks
    Died at 77 (1905-1982) Henry Jaynes Fonda was TV producer and actor.

  30. 30
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 63 Liam John Neeson, OBE is an Irish actor. In 1976, he joined the Lyric Players' Theatre in Belfast for two years. He then acted in the Arthurian film, Excalibur. Between 1982 and 1987, Neeson starred

  31. 31
    + 4,895
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    age 85 Sir Thomas Sean Connery is a Scottish actor and producer who has won an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globes. He was knighted by Elizabeth II in July 2000, and received the Kennedy

  32. 32
    + 5,086
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    age 56 Kevin Spacey Fowler, better known as Kevin Spacey, is an American actor, film director, writer, producer, and comedian. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s, before being cast in

  33. 33
    + 4,089
    - 1,728

    age 57 Gary Leonard Oldman is an English actor, filmmaker, and musician. Oldman rose to prominence in the United Kingdom with his portrayals of Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy and Joe Orton in Prick Up Your

  34. 34
    + 5,598
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Died at 63 (1951-2014) Robin McLaurin Williams was an American actor and comedian. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy

  35. 35
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    often listed
    age 73 Harrison Ford is an American actor and film producer. He gained worldwide fame for his starring roles as Han Solo in the original Star Wars epic space opera trilogy and the title character of the

  36. 36
    + 3,872
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    ranked low on reranks
    age 72 Christopher Walken is an American actor. He has appeared in more than 100 films and television shows, including The Deer Hunter, Annie Hall, The Prophecy trilogy, The Dogs of War, Brainstorm, The Dead

  37. 37
    + 5,037
    - 4,307

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 58 Sir Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is an English actor. He holds both British and Irish citizenship. Born and raised in London, he excelled on stage at the National Youth Theatre, before being

  38. 38
    + 4,197
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    ranked low on reranks
    age 69 Tommy Lee Jones is an American actor and film director. He has received four Academy Award nominations, winning one as Best Supporting Actor for his performance as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in the

  39. 39
    + 3,398
    - 1,740

    age 46 Edward Harrison Norton is an American actor, screenwriter, director, producer and activist. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his work in the films Primal Fear, American History X and

  40. 40
    + 3,452
    - 1,956

    age 41 Christian Charles Philip Bale is an English actor. He has starred in both blockbuster films and smaller projects from independent producers and art houses. Bale first caught the public eye at the age

  41. 41
    + 3,097
    - 1,198

    ranked low on reranks
    age 81 Dame Judith Olivia "Judi" Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA is an English actress and author. Dench made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years she

  42. 42
    + 4,371
    - 3,166

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 50 Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor, producer, and singer, whose career has included critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal troubles, and

  43. 43
    + 3,744
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    age 52 William Bradley "Brad" Pitt is an American actor and producer. He has received a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and three Academy Award nominations in acting categories,

  44. 44
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    - 1,205

    ranked low on reranks
    age 70 Dame Helen Lydia Mirren, DBE, is an English actor. Mirren has won an Academy Award for Best Actress, four BAFTAs, three Golden Globes, four Emmy Awards, and two Cannes Film Festival Best Actress

  45. 45
    + 3,233
    - 1,782

    age 40 Kate Elizabeth Winslet, CBE, is an English actress and singer. She is the recipient of an Academy Award, an Emmy Award, three Golden Globe Awards and a Grammy Award. She is the youngest person to

  46. 46
    + 3,292
    - 2,160

    age 45 Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon is an American actor, screenwriter and producer. His career was launched with the success of his and Ben Affleck's Academy Award-winning screenplay, Good Will

  47. 47
    + 2,382
    - 1,173

    ranked low on reranks
    age 46 Catherine Élise "Cate" Blanchett is an Australian actress of screen and stage. She has received critical acclaim and many accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Screen Actors

  48. 48
    + 3,100
    - 1,889

    age 51 Russell Ira Crowe is an actor, film producer and musician. Although a New Zealand citizen, he has lived most of his life in Australia and identifies himself as an Australian. He came to international

  49. 49
    + 3,271
    - 1,904

    age 67 Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American actor and film producer. He achieved prominence and critical acclaim in the early 1990s with films such as Jungle Fever, Patriot Games, Amos & Andrew, True

  50. 50
    + 2,584
    - 1,456

    age 88 Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE, is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author and diplomat. In 1964, Poitier became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, for his role in

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