Entertainment The Best Actors in Film History  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Male actors only! Vote based on each actor's FILM career only.

The best actors ever are ranked here in this list of the best actors in film history. These are the greatest actors ever to appear on the silver screen - male only (to vote on both genders, check out this list of the greatest film actors and actresses). These gentlemen were part of some of the greatest movies of all time (or were perhaps the reason they were the best movies ever), with countless Academy Awards between them.

What are the qualities of the best actors of all time? Is it the raw emotion they show, the parts they choose, their acting methods, or simply their effortless charm and charisma? There's no denying some of these amazing actors belong on the list of the hottest male celebrities, but behind the 1000 watt smiles lies the talent that defines generations of top actors.

Who is the best actor of all time? Is it a classic actor like Marlon Brando, a comedic genius like Charlie Chaplin, a double-threat like Clint Eastwood, or a method actor like Daniel Day Lewis? There are so many choices for the greatest movie actor ever that you may have a hard time choosing just one (although you can vote for as many of the actors on this list of the greatest actors ever as you'd like). If your favorite leading man isn't on the list, make sure to add him so others can vote for him to receive the title of best actor in film history.

list ordered by
1
34,335 14,136
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story
2
27,262 21,720
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface
3
24,148 19,582
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Shining, The Departed, Batman
4
26,003 20,610
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver
5
20,946 11,648
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman
6
16,336 9,042
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Silence of the Lambs, Thor, Thor: The Dark World
7
18,194 11,921
Morgan Freeman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
8
16,963 8,247
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Graduate, Being John Malkovich, Rain Man
9
16,401 7,192
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window
10
26,799 20,841
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Titanic, Inception, The Departed
11
14,680 6,896
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry
12
13,102 5,861
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars
13
16,881 12,839
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood
14
16,860 11,287
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day
15
11,524 5,511
Michael Caine is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
16
9,754 5,248
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen
17
16,440 15,133
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands
18
11,692 4,830
Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now
19
11,362 5,412
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Superman, The French Connection, Young Frankenstein
20
12,163 7,363
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
21
10,802 6,345
Harrison Ford is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner
22
12,640 6,408
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society
23
10,926 5,158
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
24
8,698 3,767
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, The Omen
25
9,078 5,801
Edward Norton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, American History X