Entertainment
25.7k voters

The All-Time Greatest Action Stars

Updated May 24, 2021 336.5k votes 25.7k voters 358.3k views168 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!

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  • 1
    8,257
    2,751

    BirthplaceThal, Austria

    GenderMale

    CreditsThe Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, Pumping Iron

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  • 2
    5,945
    1,998

    BirthplaceVictoria Peak, Hong Kong

    GenderMale

    Alternative NameChen Lung^! Yuen Lung Chan^! Lung Chen^! Yuen-Lung Chan^! Lung Cheng^! Long Cheng^! Chen Gang Shen^! Sing Lung^! Chan Kwong Sang^! Yuan Lung Chan^! Jackie Chan^! Chen Yuan Lung^! Chan Yuan Lung^! Chen Yuen Lung

    CreditsJackie Chan Adventures, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Shanghai Knights

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  • 3
    5,179
    1,376

    BirthplaceBeirut, Lebanon

    GenderMale

    CreditsThe Matrix, Speed, John Wick, The Devil's Advocate

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  • 4
    5,724
    2,190

    Bruce Lee

    Dec. at 33 (1940-1973)

    BirthplaceChinatown, California, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Alternative NameYam Lee^! Bruce Lee^! Bruce Lee Siu-Lung^! Xiaolong Li^! Lee Siu Lung^! Siu-Lung Lee

    CreditsThe Big Boss, The Way of the Dragon, The Chinese Connection, Enter the Dragon

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  • 5
    5,694
    2,411

    BirthplaceIdar-Oberstein, West Germany

    GenderMale

    Alternative NameBruce Willis

    CreditsThe Sixth Sense, Die Hard, The Fifth Element, Armageddon

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  • 6
    7,023
    3,007

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    GenderMale

    CreditsRocky, The Expendables, Rambo, Cliffhanger

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  • 7
    5,428
    2,297

    BirthplaceShirebrook, Derbyshire, England

    GenderMale

    CreditsLock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, The Transporter, Crank

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  • 8
    3,848
    1,398

    Jet Li

    Age: 57

    BirthplaceBeijing, China

    GenderMale

    CreditsHero, Unleashed, The Expendables, The Expendables 2

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    #107 of 243 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World#297 of 362 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time

  • 9
    4,670
    2,020

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, USA

    GenderMale

    Alternative NameHarrison Ford

    CreditsStar Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner

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  • 10
    4,736
    2,235

    BirthplaceRyan, Oklahoma, United States of America

    GenderMale

    CreditsThe Way of the Dragon, Missing in Action, The Delta Force, The Expendables 2

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  • 11
    4,873
    2,100

    BirthplaceHayward, California, United States of America

    GenderMale

    Alternative NameRocky Maivia^! Dwayne Douglas Johnson^! Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson^! Dwayne Johnson

    CreditsSan Andreas, Fast & Furious 6, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Scorpion King

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  • 12
    3,701
    1,722

    BirthplaceBallymena, United Kingdom

    GenderMale

    CreditsSchindler's List, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins, Taken

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  • 13
    5,183
    2,610

    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

    GenderMale

    CreditsMillion Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Unforgiven, Rawhide

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  • 14
    4,106
    1,959

    BirthplaceBrussels, Sint-Agatha-Berchem, Belgium

    GenderMale

    CreditsDouble Impact,Universal Soldier,Kickboxer,Bloodsport

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  • 15
    3,291
    1,690

    BirthplaceFountainbridge, United Kingdom

    GenderMale

    CreditsDr. No, The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Rock

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  • 16
    3,602
    1,749

    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

    GenderMale

    CreditsThe Prestige, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men, Les Misérables

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  • 17
    2,543
    923

    BirthplaceBoston, Massachusetts, USA

    GenderMale

    CreditsCaptain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Snowpiercer, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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  • 18
    2,884
    1,501

    BirthplaceSpringfield, Massachusetts, United States of America

    GenderMale

    CreditsThe Thing, Stargate, Death Proof, The Hateful Eight

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  • 19
    3,738
    2,346

    Mel Gibson

    Age: 64

    BirthplacePeekskill, New York, United States of America

    GenderMale

    CreditsBraveheart, Signs, Lethal Weapon,The Patriot

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  • 20
    2,594
    1,497

    BirthplaceMount Vernon, New York, United States of America

    GenderMale

    CreditsTraining Day, American Gangster American Gangster, Man on Fire, Inside Man

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  • 21
    1,684
    727

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

    GenderMale

    CreditsThor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Rush

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  • 22
    2,093
    1,074

    BirthplaceKiev, Ukrainian SSR

    GenderFemale

    CreditsThe Fifth Element, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife

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  • 23
    3,473
    2,211

    Tom Cruise

    Age: 58

    BirthplaceSyracuse, New York, United States of America

    GenderMale

    CreditsTop Gun, Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men

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  • 24
    2,350
    1,445

    BirthplaceChester, England

    GenderMale

    CreditsSkyfall, Casino Royale, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Quantum of Solace

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    #1517 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time#42 of 220 The Greatest British Actors of All Time

  • 25
    2,200
    1,458

    Charles Bronson

    Dec. at 82 (1921-2003)

    BirthplaceEhrenfeld, Pennsylvania, USA

    GenderMale

    Alternative NameCharles Bronson^! Charles Buchinski

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

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