martial arts The All-Time Greatest Action Stars  

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Originally by Ranker Community
195.2k votes 15k voters 233.8k views 137 items

List Rules Must 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, adding to the already amped-up feeling of an action film. 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!
list ordered by

1
4,693 1,961
Arnold Schwarzenegger is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Arnold Schwarzenegger The Terminator, Predator, Total Recall

2
4,106 1,887
Sylvester Stallone is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Sylvester Stallone Rocky, The Expendables, Rambo

3
3,296 1,509
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Bruce Willis The Sixth Sense, Die Hard, The Fifth Element

4
3,171 1,570
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Clint Eastwood Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Unforgiven

5
3,610 1,307
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Bruce Lee The Big Boss, The Way of the Dragon, The Chinese Connection

6
3,270 1,250
Jason Statham is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Jason Statham Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch

7
3,441 1,090
Jackie Chan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Jackie Chan Jackie Chan Adventures, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2

8
2,688 1,340
Chuck Norris is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Chuck Norris The Way of the Dragon, Missing in Action, The Delta Force

9
2,601 1,165
Harrison Ford is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Harrison Ford Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

10
2,157 1,418
Mel Gibson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Mel Gibson Braveheart, Signs, Lethal Weapon

11
2,216 1,158
Jean-Claude Van Damme is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Jean-Claude Van Damme Double Impact, Universal Soldier, Kickboxer

12
1,902 1,028
Sean Connery is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Sean Connery Dr. No, The Hunt for Red October, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

13
2,082 1,055
Liam Neeson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Liam Neeson Schindler's List, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Batman Begins

14
1,994 878
Hugh Jackman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Hugh Jackman The Prestige, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men

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15
2,192 829
Jet Li is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Jet Li Hero, Unleashed, The Expendables

16
2,587 1,530
Dwayne Johnson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Dwayne Johnson San Andreas, Fast & Furious 6, G.I. Joe: Retaliation

17
1,524 809
Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Kurt Russell The Thing, Stargate, Death Proof

18
1,189 880
Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Sigourney Weaver Alien, Aliens, Alien³

19
1,281 875
Charles Bronson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Charles Bronson Once Upon a Time in the West, The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen

20
1,544 1,337
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
John Wayne The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Rio Bravo

21
1,732 1,684
Tom Cruise is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Tom Cruise Top Gun, Mission: Impossible, Jerry Maguire

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22
1,122 896
Steve McQueen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Steve McQueen The Great Escape, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Papillon

23
983 827
Linda Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Logan2011 added Linda Hamilton Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The Terminator, Dante's Peak

24
1,329 966
Wesley Snipes is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Wesley Snipes Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity

25
1,478 1,104
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Denzel Washington Training Day, American Gangster American Gangster, Man on Fire

26
1,765 956
Keanu Reeves is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Keanu Reeves The Matrix, Speed, John Wick

27
1,108 837
Jean Reno is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Jean Reno Léon: The Professional, The Da Vinci Code, Godzilla

28
1,170 854
Randy Savage is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Al Stamira added Randy Savage Spider-Man, Bolt, WrestleMania IV

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29
1,305 996
Daniel Craig is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Daniel Craig Skyfall, Casino Royale, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

30
1,408 1,014
Matt Damon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Matt Damon The Bourne Identity, Saving Private Ryan, Good Will Hunting

31
1,130 916
Dolph Lundgren is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Dolph Lundgren The Expendables, The Expendables 2, Universal Soldier

32
1,150 676
Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
ryanjjjj8 added Robert Downey Jr. The Avengers, Iron Man, Iron Man 3

33
1,683 1,352
Vin Diesel is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Vin Diesel Furious 7, Fast & Furious 6, Fast Five

34
1,061 896
Nicolas Cage is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Nicolas Cage Leaving Las Vegas, National Treasure, Moonstruck

35
796 482
Tommy Lee Jones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Tommy Lee Jones No Country for Old Men, Men in Black, Men in Black II

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36
1,218 950
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Christian Bale The Dark Knight, The Prestige, American Psycho

37
1,016 742
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Al Pacino The Godfather, Scarface, Heat

38
905 785
Carl Weathers is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Carl Weathers Predator, Rocky I, II & IV

39
700 713
Roger Moore is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Roger Moore The Spy Who Loved Me, Live and Let Die, For Your Eyes Only

40
1,257 1,087
Mark Wahlberg is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Mark Wahlberg Boogie Nights, The Fighter, Lone Survivor

41
812 753
Patrick Swayze is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Patrick Swayze Ghost, Dirty Dancing, Donnie Darko

42
1,141 685
Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Milla Jovovich The Fifth Element, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction

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43
1,116 1,228
Steven Seagal is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Steven Seagal Under Siege, Above the Law, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

44
1,158 995
Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Samuel L. Jackson Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

45
1,107 1,155
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Will Smith Men in Black, I Am Legend, I

46
372 202
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Janka Garais added Robert De Niro Goodfellas, The Godfather: Part II, Casino

47
906 951
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Russell Crowe Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, L.A. Confidential

48
809 850
Pierce Brosnan is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Pierce Brosnan GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day

49
937 907
Gerard Butler is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Gerard Butler 300, How to Train Your Dragon, Olympus Has Fallen

50
877 900
Brad Pitt is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
Brad Pitt Inglourious Basterds, Fight Club, World War Z