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

Birthplace: Concord, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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2
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface

Birthplace: East Harlem, New York City, New York, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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3
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman

Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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4
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver

Birthplace: Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, USA

Nationality: Italy, United States of America

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5
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Shining, The Departed, Batman

Birthplace: Neptune City, New Jersey, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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6
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window

Birthplace: Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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7
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars

Birthplace: Shaker Heights, Ohio, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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8
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
City Lights, The Gold Rush, Modern Times

Birthplace: Walworth, United Kingdom

Nationality: United Kingdom, England

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

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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10
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Spartacus, Clash of the Titans, Rebecca

Birthplace: Dorking, United Kingdom

Nationality: United Kingdom

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11
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
To Kill a Mockingbird, Cape Fear, The Omen

Birthplace: La Jolla, San Diego, California, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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12
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi

Birthplace: Maida Vale, London, United Kingdom

Nationality: England

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13
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Amélie, It's a Mad, Mad

Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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14
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
High Noon, Cinema Paradiso, The Pride of the Yankees

Birthplace: Helena, Montana, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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15
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Once Upon a Time in the West, 12 Angry Men, The Grapes of Wrath

Birthplace: Grand Island, Nebraska, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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16
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Silence of the Lambs, Thor, Thor: The Dark World

Birthplace: Margam, United Kingdom

Nationality: Wales, United States of America, United Kingdom

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17
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands

Birthplace: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA

Nationality: United States of America

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18
Peter O'Toole is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Lawrence of Arabia, Ratatouille, Prometheus

Birthplace: Connemara, Republic of Ireland

Nationality: Ireland, England

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19
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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20
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
JFK, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment

Birthplace: Newton, Massachusetts, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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21
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
daker added
The Searchers, The Longest Day, Stagecoach

Birthplace: Winterset, Iowa, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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22
Burt Lancaster is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Field of Dreams, From Here to Eternity, Judgment at Nuremberg

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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23
Robert Mitchum is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Cape Fear, Scrooged, The Night of the Hunter

Birthplace: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

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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

Birthplace: Horfield, United Kingdom

Nationality: United States of America, England

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

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

Nationality: United States of America

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