Entertainment The Best Actors in Film History  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
1.6M votes 98.7k voters 1.4M views 1,032 items

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
32,563 13,212
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story

2
23,013 18,593
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Shining, The Departed, Batman

3
25,959 20,738
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface

4
24,824 19,660
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
15,285 8,263
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Silence of the Lambs, Thor, Thor: The Dark World

6
19,956 11,063
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman

7
17,032 11,078
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
15,697 6,721
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window

9
16,291 7,758
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Graduate, Being John Malkovich, Rain Man

10
25,394 19,851
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Titanic, Inception, The Departed

11
13,798 6,422
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry

12
12,341 5,507
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
15,944 12,065
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
15,775 10,548
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day

15
10,903 5,142
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
15,539 14,115
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands

17
9,243 4,886
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen

18
11,006 4,526
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
10,832 5,057
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Superman, The French Connection, Young Frankenstein

20
10,031 5,913
Harrison Ford is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner

21
11,399 7,014
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

22
10,105 4,734
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

23
11,749 6,044
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society

24
8,517 5,372
Edward Norton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, American History X

25
8,182 3,515
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, The Omen