Watchworthy
25.3k voters

The All-Time Greatest Action Stars

Updated November 13, 2020 352.8k votes 25.3k voters 350.2k views149 items

List RulesMust be actors known for their work in action films.

Who are the all-time greatest action stars? This list includes some of the biggest names in movie history, and each actor or actress listed here is fully capable of kicking butt and taking names in any movie they're in. Action stars are a special breed. They combine great acting ability with physicality that brings an action film to life. Be sure to vote for your favorite action stars and vote down any you don't like. Also, feel free to add any great action movie stars who are missing from the list.

What makes an action star the best? It's someone who commands the screen with feats of strength and prowess - not to mention the uncanny ability to miraculously survive even in the face of impossible odds. Many people listed here are top action movie stars who starred in some of the greatest action movies of all time. Some are newcomers, having landed major roles in recent films, including the best action movies of 2012, for example.

Not all of the all-time greatest action stars are men, no no. Some of the sexiest women in action movies are included here. Among them: Sigourney Weaver, aka Ripley in Alien. She definitely qualifies. Angelina Jolie and Milla Jovovich are other good examples.

Enjoy voting for the best action stars, and remember: You can, and should, add any famous Hollywood action actors who deserve a spot but aren't already listed here!

Photo:
...more
  • Vin Diesel26
    2,810
    1,842

    Vin Diesel

    Age: 53

    BirthplaceNew York City, USA, New York

    CreditsFurious 7, Fast & Furious 6, Fast Five, xXx

    More Vin Diesel 

    Here's Why Vin Diesel Is One Of Hollywood's Most Interesting PersonalitiesVin Diesel Is A Low-Key Ultranerd

  • Charles Bronson27
    2,263
    1,523

    Charles Bronson

    Dec. at 82 (1921-2003)

    BirthplaceEhrenfeld, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    CreditsOnce Upon a Time in the West, The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen, The Magnificent Seven

  • Matt Damon28
    2,347
    1,484

    Matt Damon

    Age: 45

    BirthplaceCambridge, USA, Massachusetts

    CreditsThe Bourne Identity, Saving Private Ryan, Good Will Hunting, The Departed

    More Matt Damon 

    Fascinating Things Most People Don't Know About Matt DamonThe Best Matt Damon Movies

  • Tom Hardy29
    1,528
    748

    Tom Hardy

    Age: 43

    BirthplaceHammersmith, London, United Kingdom

    CreditsMad Max: Fury Road, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, The Revenant

    More Tom Hardy 

    Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Tom HardyThe Best Tom Hardy Movies

  • Wesley Snipes30
    2,431
    1,677

    BirthplaceOrlando, Florida, United States of America

    CreditsBlade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity, Demolition Man

    More Wesley Snipes 

    Wesley Snipes Has Proven To Be One Of Hollywood's Most Eccentric StarsThe Best Wesley Snipes Movies

  • Dolph Lundgren31
    2,169
    1,489

    BirthplaceSpånga, Stockholm, Sweden

    CreditsThe Expendables, The Expendables 2, Universal Soldier, Rocky IV

    More Dolph Lundgren 

    The Best Dolph Lundgren Movies#902 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • Samuel L. Jackson32
    2,051
    1,367

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    CreditsPulp Fiction, Django Unchained, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Hateful Eight

    More Samuel L. Jackson 

    The Best Samuel L. Jackson Movies, Ranked ListLong Before He Started Acting, Samuel L. Jackson Took Part In A Hostage Situation That Included MLK's Dad

  • John Wayne33
    2,616
    2,010

    John Wayne

    Dec. at 72 (1907-1979)

    BirthplaceWinterset, Iowa, United States of America

    CreditsThe Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Rio Bravo, True Grit

    More John Wayne 

    Facts We Just Learned About John Wayne That Made Us Say 'Whoa'The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

  • Christian Bale34
    2,115
    1,511

    BirthplaceHaverfordwest, United Kingdom

    CreditsThe Dark Knight, The Prestige, American Psycho, The Dark Knight Rises

    More Christian Bale 

    The 25+ Best Christian Bale Movies of All TimeThe Greatest Characters Played by Christian Bale, Ranked

  • Danny Trejo35
    1,306
    688

    BirthplaceEcho Park, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

    CreditsMachete, From Dusk Till Dawn, Machete Kills, Heat

  • Theo James36
    2,698
    1,168

    Theo James

    Age: 35

    BirthplaceOxford, United Kingdom

    CreditsUnderworld: Awakening, Divergent, The Inbetweeners Movie, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Insurgent

  • Mark Wahlberg37
    2,177
    1,513

    BirthplaceDorchester, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    CreditsBoogie Nights, The Fighter, Lone Survivor, Prisoners

    More Mark Wahlberg 

    The Best Mark Wahlberg MoviesFun Facts You Didn't Know About Mark Wahlberg

  • Gerard Butler38
    1,715
    1,289

    BirthplacePaisley, United Kingdom

    Credits300, How to Train Your Dragon, Olympus Has Fallen, RocknRolla

  • Chris Pratt39
    1,147
    804

    BirthplaceVirginia, Minnesota, United States of America

    CreditsGuardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World, Her, Parks and Recreation

    More Chris Pratt 

    Chris Pratt Interviews That Are Funnier Than They Have Any Right To Be20 Funny Chris Pratt Memes To Brighten Your Day

  • Chow Yun-Fat40
    1,215
    743

    BirthplaceLamma Island, Hong Kong

    CreditsCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, The Killer, Curse of the Golden Flower, Hard Boiled

    More Chow Yun-Fat 

    #244 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History#7 of 235 The All-Time Greatest Martial Arts Actors

  • Tommy Lee Jones41
    1,663
    1,395

    BirthplaceSan Saba, Texas, United States of America

    CreditsNo Country for Old Men, Men in Black, Men in Black II, The Fugitive

    More Tommy Lee Jones 

    19 Weird Things About Tommy Lee Jones, Hollywood's Most Grizzled ActorThe Top 20+ Best Tommy Lee Jones Movies of All Time, Ranked

  • Carl Weathers42
    1,669
    1,413

    BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

    CreditsPredator, Rocky I, II & IV

  • Will Smith43
    2,017
    1,747

    Will Smith

    Age: 52

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    CreditsMen in Black, I Am Legend, I, Robot, The Pursuit of Happyness

    More Will Smith 

    The Best Will Smith Movies16 Will Smith TV And Movie Details That Make You Feel Fresh

  • Kate Beckinsale44
    1,466
    1,238

    BirthplaceFinsbury Park, London, United Kingdom

    CreditsThe Aviator, Underworld, Underworld Evolution, Pearl Harbor

    More Kate Beckinsale 

    A Complete Timeline Of Kate Beckinsale And Pete Davidson's Relationship#89 of 239 The Greatest British Actors of All Time

  • Sigourney Weaver45
    2,285
    2,057

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York City, New York, USA

    CreditsAlien, Aliens, Alien³, Avatar

    More Sigourney Weaver 

    The Best Sigourney Weaver Movies#34 of 843 The Best Actresses in Film History

  • Antonio Banderas46
    1,264
    955

    BirthplaceSpain, Málaga

    CreditsDesperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Shrek 2, The Skin I Live In

    More Antonio Banderas 

    #94 of 273 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today#140 of 310 The Coolest Actors Ever

  • Steve McQueen47
    1,792
    1,676

    Steve McQueen

    Dec. at 50 (1930-1980)

    BirthplaceBeech Grove, Indiana, United States of America

    CreditsThe Great Escape, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Papillon, Bullitt

    More Steve McQueen 

    The Best Steve McQueen Movies#114 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive

  • Al Pacino48
    1,663
    1,500

    Al Pacino

    Age: 80

    BirthplaceEast Harlem, New York City, New York, United States of America

    CreditsThe Godfather, Scarface, Heat, The Godfather: Part II

    More Al Pacino 

    The Best Al Pacino Movies16 Crazy-Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Al Pacino

  • Henry Cavill49
    736
    602

    BirthplaceJersey, United Kingdom, with Dependencies and Territories

    CreditsMan of Steel,The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,Immortals,Stardust

    More Henry Cavill 

    Ways Henry Cavill Bewitched The Internet's HeartThe 19 Funniest Memes About Henry Cavill In 'The Witcher'

  • Brad Pitt50
    1,577
    1,403

    Brad Pitt

    Age: 56

    BirthplaceUSA, Shawnee, Oklahoma

    CreditsInglourious Basterds, Fight Club, World War Z, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

    More Brad Pitt 

    The Best Brad Pitt Movies#157 of 269 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World