The Best English Actors of All Time

32k votes 2.2k voters 18k views 74 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Male actors from England, dead or alive. Vote based on their entire body of work.

Some of the best actors of all time hail from England, and whether you love these English men for their acting talents or just their accents, there's no denying that many of these English actors are among some of the best actors in film history. Whether living or dead, these men made England a top source for acting talent in Hollywood and will go down in history as the best.

Who are the all-time top English actors in film history? Some of these actors from England became famous for roles as Americans, as Jedi (hi, Alec Guinness!), as detectives, and any number of other memorable characters. There's just something about these English gentlemen that movie audiences love, and their fantastic acting abilities have made many of them award winners as well.

This list features the greatest English actors of all time including Charlie Chaplin, Anthony Hopkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale, Cary Grant, David Niven, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Ewan McGregor. Don't see your favorite actor from England? Add him below so other film fans can vote. Then, be sure to vote and rerank the list according to who you think are the best English actors to have ever graced the screen.
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  • 16 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 628
    - 358


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ;
  2. 2
    + 613
    - 414


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

    ;
  3. 3
    + 653
    - 350


    Die Hard, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the ...

    ;
  4. 4
    + 632
    - 365


    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ...

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  5. 5
    + 616
    - 387


    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

    ;
  6. 6
    + 429
    - 358

    most listed & ranked high on reranks
    Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the ...

    ;
  7. 7
    + 347
    - 74

    ranked low on reranks & added by Alex Donoso
    Black Hawk Down, Ella Enchanted, King Arthur

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  8. 8
    + 384
    - 337

    the people's #1
    Spartacus, Clash of the Titans, Rebecca

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  9. 9
    + 488
    - 354


    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ...

    ;
  10. 10
    + 555
    - 318

    ranked low on reranks
    X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men 2

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  11. 11
    + 399
    - 315


    The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Time Machine

    ;
  12. 12
    + 360
    - 343


    North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday

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  13. 13
    + 425
    - 325


    Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island

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  14. 14
    + 412
    - 422

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

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  15. 15
    + 424
    - 294

    ranked low on reranks
    Alien, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the ...

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  16. 16
    + 367
    - 337

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Schindler's List, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry ...

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  17. 17
    + 364
    - 418

    often listed
    The English Patient, The King's Speech, Shakespeare in Love

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  18. 18
    + 327
    - 155

    ranked low on reranks & added by Marianthi Xaritou
    Underworld: Awakening, The Inbetweeners Movie, Divergent

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  19. 19
    + 406
    - 285

    ranked low on reranks
    City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times

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  20. 20
    + 216
    - 234

    added by JackEck
    Gladiator, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the ...

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  21. 21
    + 307
    - 312


    Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The ...

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  22. 22
    + 372
    - 278

    ranked low on reranks
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, ...

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  23. 23
    + 382
    - 464


    Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a ...

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  24. 24
    + 334
    - 346


    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The ...

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  25. 25
    + 247
    - 304


    The Pink Panther, Mutiny on the Bounty, Murder by Death

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  26. 26
    + 301
    - 306


    101 Dalmatians, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sense and Sensibility

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  27. 27
    + 278
    - 271


    Shaun of the Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Hot Fuzz ...

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  28. 28
    + 318
    - 311


    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of ...

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  29. 29
    + 235
    - 244


    Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek Into Darkness

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  30. 30
    + 244
    - 210


    Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Prometheus

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  31. 31
    + 273
    - 253


    Casino Royale, Skyfall, Road to Perdition

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  32. 32
    + 261
    - 289


    Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually

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  33. 33
    + 196
    - 236


    Alien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the ...

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  34. 34
    + 268
    - 302


    The Avengers, Thor, Thor: The Dark World

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  35. 35
    + 173
    - 207


    Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shakespeare in Love ...

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  36. 36
    + 174
    - 199

    added by ingridself
    Skyfall, Big Fish, The Bourne Ultimatum

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  37. 37
    + 36
    - 13

    added by Tom Islava
    The Little Mermaid, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Home Alone 2: Lost in ...

    ;
  38. 38
    + 266
    - 334


    Hugo, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Grand Budapest Hotel

    ;
  39. 39
    + 137
    - 131

    added by SeanDorman
    Star Wars, Lolita, Dracula

    ;
  40. 40
    + 130
    - 198


    The Longest Day, Cleopatra, Where Eagles Dare

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  41. 41
    + 161
    - 221


    Gangs of New York, Brazil, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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  42. 42
    + 167
    - 239


    Superman, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Superman II

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  43. 43
    + 67
    - 94

    added by vida-so
    Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past

    ;
  44. 44
    + 184
    - 148

    ranked low on reranks
    Sin City, The Bourne Identity, Children of Men

    ;
  45. 45
    + 53
    - 96

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Spartacus, Robin Hood, Logan's Run

    ;
  46. 46
    + 114
    - 139

    added by SeanDorman
    Gladiator, The King's Speech, The Secret of NIMH

    ;
  47. 47
    + 81
    - 93

    added by DennisScottMoore
    Jurassic Park, The Great Escape, The Lost World: Jurassic Park

    ;
  48. 48
    + 116
    - 174

    added by MelanieSeeseBrodhead
    Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, The Elephant Man

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  49. 49
    + 62
    - 69

    added by vida-so
    Mars Attacks!, Mrs. Doubtfire, GoldenEye

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  50. 50
    + 208
    - 252


    The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Black Hawk Down

    ;
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