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The All-Time Greatest Action Stars

Updated February 18, 2020 344.5k votes 24.9k voters 345.8k 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!

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  • 1
    Arnold Schwarzenegger is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    8,578
    2,801

    BirthplaceThal, Austria

    CreditsThe Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, Pumping Iron

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  • 2
    Jackie Chan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    6,138
    1,952

    BirthplaceVictoria Peak, Hong Kong

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

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  • 3
    Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    5,894
    2,214

    Bruce Lee

    Dec. at 33 (1940-1973)

    BirthplaceUSA, California, Chinatown, San Francisco

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

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  • 4
    Keanu Reeves is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    5,322
    1,303

    BirthplaceBeirut, Lebanon

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

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  • 5
    Jason Statham is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    5,584
    2,308

    BirthplaceShirebrook

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

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  • 6
    Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    5,859
    2,480

    BirthplaceIdar-Oberstein, West Germany

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

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  • 7
    Harrison Ford is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    4,805
    2,020

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    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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  • 8
    Sylvester Stallone is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    7,156
    3,211

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    CreditsRocky, The Expendables, Rambo, Cliffhanger

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  • 9
    Jet Li is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    3,943
    1,384

    Jet Li

    Age: 57

    BirthplaceBeijing, China

    CreditsHero, Unleashed, The Expendables, The Expendables 2

  • 10
    Dwayne Johnson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    4,992
    2,139

    BirthplaceHayward, California, United States of America

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

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  • 11
    Chuck Norris is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    4,832
    2,297

    BirthplaceRyan, Oklahoma, United States of America

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

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  • 12
    Liam Neeson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    3,813
    1,714

    BirthplaceBallymena, United Kingdom

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

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  • 13
    Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    5,339
    2,740

    BirthplaceCalifornia, United States of America

    CreditsMillion Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Unforgiven, Rawhide

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  • 14
    Jean-Claude Van Damme is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    4,222
    2,018

    BirthplaceSint-Agatha-Berchem, Brussels, Belgium

    CreditsDouble Impact,Universal Soldier,Kickboxer,Bloodsport

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  • 15
    Hugh Jackman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    3,733
    1,760

    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

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

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  • 16
    Chris Evans is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    2,671
    847

    BirthplaceSudbury, Massachusetts, United States of America

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

  • 17
    Chris Hemsworth is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    1,684
    661

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

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

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  • 18
    Sean Connery is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    3,362
    1,741

    BirthplaceFountainbridge, United Kingdom

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

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  • 19
    Kurt Russell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    2,961
    1,533

    BirthplaceSpringfield, Massachusetts

    CreditsThe Thing, Stargate, Death Proof, The Hateful Eight

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  • 20
    Mel Gibson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    3,824
    2,453

    Mel Gibson

    Age: 64

    BirthplacePeekskill, New York, United States of America

    CreditsBraveheart, Signs, Lethal Weapon,The Patriot

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  • 21
    Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    2,618
    1,521

    BirthplaceMount Vernon, New York, United States of America

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

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  • 22
    Daniel Craig is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    2,403
    1,451

    BirthplaceChester, England

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

  • 23
    Tom Cruise is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    3,547
    2,270

    Tom Cruise

    Age: 58

    BirthplaceUSA, New York, Syracuse

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

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  • 24
    Milla Jovovich is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    2,101
    1,058

    BirthplaceKiev, Ukraine

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

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  • 25
    Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Greatest Action Stars
    2,359
    1,351

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

    CreditsThe Avengers, Iron Man, Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2

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