actors The Best English Actors of All Time  

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List Rules 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.
list ordered by

1
+ - 788 387
Alan Rickman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Alan Rickman Die Hard, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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2
+ - 722 410
Michael Caine is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Michael Caine The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

3
+ - 752 402
Ian McKellen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Ian McKellen The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men

4
+ - 683 463
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Daniel Day-Lewis Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood

5
+ - 725 412
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Gary Oldman The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

6
+ - 573 382
Christopher Lee is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Christopher Lee The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

7
+ - 486 394
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Alec Guinness Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi

8
+ - 647 346
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Patrick Stewart X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men 2

9
+ - 432 375
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Laurence Olivier Spartacus, Clash of the Titans, Rebecca

10
+ - 454 355
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Jeremy Irons The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Time Machine

11
+ - 410 376
Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Cary Grant North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday

12
+ - 464 207
Theo James is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Theo James Underworld: Awakening, The Inbetweeners Movie, Divergent

13
+ - 358 151
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Hugh Dancy Black Hawk Down, Ella Enchanted, King Arthur

14
+ - 497 344
John Hurt is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
John Hurt Alien, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

15
+ - 488 375
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Ben Kingsley Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island

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16
+ - 438 378
Ralph Fiennes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Ralph Fiennes Schindler's List, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

17
+ - 477 480
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Christian Bale The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

18
+ - 465 325
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Charlie Chaplin City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times

19
+ - 441 457
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Colin Firth The English Patient, The King's Speech, Shakespeare in Love

20
+ - 414 315
John Cleese is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
John Cleese Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

21
+ - 350 348
Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Peter Sellers Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Pink Panther, Being There

22
+ - 263 263
Richard Harris is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Richard Harris Gladiator, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

23
+ - 477 491
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a Slave

24
+ - 400 361
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Sean Bean The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

25
+ - 278 326
David Niven is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
David Niven The Pink Panther, Mutiny on the Bounty, Murder by Death

26
+ - 362 326
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Hugh Laurie 101 Dalmatians, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sense and Sensibility

27
+ - 325 287
Bill Nighy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Bill Nighy Shaun of the Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Hot Fuzz

28
+ - 370 328
Ewan McGregor is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Ewan McGregor Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Trainspotting

29
+ - 314 280
Daniel Craig is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Daniel Craig Casino Royale, Skyfall, Road to Perdition

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30
+ - 72 33
Tim Curry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Tim Curry The Little Mermaid, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

31
+ - 268 271
Simon Pegg is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Simon Pegg Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek Into Darkness

32
+ - 321 331
Tom Hiddleston is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Tom Hiddleston The Avengers, Thor, Thor: The Dark World

33
+ - 285 242
Idris Elba is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Idris Elba Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Prometheus

34
+ - 310 311
Martin Freeman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Martin Freeman Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually

35
+ - 217 256
Ian Holm is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Ian Holm Alien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

36
+ - 161 155
Peter Cushing is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Peter Cushing Star Wars, Lolita, Dracula

37
+ - 196 226
Tom Wilkinson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Tom Wilkinson Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shakespeare in Love

38
+ - 195 219
Albert Finney is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Albert Finney Skyfall, Big Fish, The Bourne Ultimatum

39
+ - 313 350
Jude Law is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Jude Law Hugo, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Grand Budapest Hotel

40
+ - 118 114
Michael Fassbender is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Michael Fassbender Inglourious Basterds, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past

41
+ - 165 219
Richard Burton is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Richard Burton The Longest Day, Cleopatra, Where Eagles Dare

42
+ - 195 232
Jim Broadbent is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Jim Broadbent Gangs of New York, Brazil, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

43
+ - 48 29
Jonathan Pryce is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Jonathan Pryce Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Brazil, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

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44
+ - 255 264
Tom Hardy is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Tom Hardy The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Black Hawk Down

45
+ - 112 113
Richard Attenborough is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Richard Attenborough Jurassic Park, The Great Escape, The Lost World: Jurassic Park

46
+ - 44 23
Bob Hoskins is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Bob Hoskins Brazil, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Hook

47
+ - 138 158
Derek Jacobi is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Derek Jacobi Gladiator, The King's Speech, The Secret of NIMH

48
+ - 206 169
Clive Owen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Clive Owen Sin City, The Bourne Identity, Children of Men

49
+ - 188 255
Terence Stamp is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
Terence Stamp Superman, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Superman II

50
+ - 141 192
John Gielgud is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best English Actors of All Time
John Gielgud Chariots of Fire, Gandhi, The Elephant Man