Top 25 Male Screen Legends list. In 1999 the American Film Institute recognized the 50 greatest American screen legends -25 men and 25 women. Criteria was as an actor or a team of actors with a significant screen presence in American feature-length films whose screen debut occurred in or before 1950, or whose screen debut occurred after 1950 but whose death has marked a completed body of work. The list was selected by leaders from the American film community, including artists, historians, critics and other cultural leaders, who chose from a list of 250 nominees in each gender. The lists were presented by 50 Hollywood stars.