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
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window
2
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman
3
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story
4
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars
5
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Shining, The Departed, Batman
6
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Graduate, Being John Malkovich, Rain Man
7
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver
8
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface
9
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Spartacus, Clash of the Titans, Rebecca
10
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, The Omen
11
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Once Upon a Time in the West, 12 Angry Men, The Grapes of Wrath
12
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Silence of the Lambs, Thor, Thor: The Dark World
13
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen
14
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi
15
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times
16
Peter O'Toole is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Lawrence of Arabia, Ratatouille, Prometheus
17
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Titanic, Inception, The Departed
18
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
JFK, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment
19
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands
20
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry
21
Morgan Freeman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
22
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Amélie, It's a Mad, Mad
23
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood
24
Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday
25
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Sneakers