Popular Opinion 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
31,029 12,386
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story

See: The Best Tom Hanks Movies

2
24,910 19,688
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface

See: The Best Al Pacino Movies

3
22,044 18,097
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Shining, The Departed, Batman

See: The Best Jack Nicholson Movies

4
23,845 18,724
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Goodfellas, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver

See: The Best Robert De Niro Movies

5
19,027 10,652
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, Superman

See: The Best Marlon Brando Movies

6
14,520 7,835
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

See: The Best Anthony Hopkins Movies

7
16,271 10,615
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

See: The Best Morgan Freeman Movies

8
15,712 7,364
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Graduate, Being John Malkovich, Rain Man

See: The Best Dustin Hoffman Movies

9
24,284 18,856
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Titanic, Inception, The Departed

See: The Best Leonardo DiCaprio Movies

10
15,195 6,384
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
It's a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Rear Window

See: The Best James Stewart Movies

11
15,129 11,290
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood

See: The Best Daniel Day-Lewis Movies

12
11,842 5,238
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

See: The Best Paul Newman Movies

13
13,151 6,042
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Good, Unforgiven, Dirty Harry

See: The Best Clint Eastwood Movies

14
14,990 9,752
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day

See: The Best Denzel Washington Movies

15
14,844 13,143
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
A Nightmare on Elm Street, Platoon, Edward Scissorhands

See: The Best Johnny Depp Movies

16
10,479 4,857
Michael Caine is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

 See: The Best Michael Caine Movies

17
8,859 4,643
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen

See: The Best Humphrey Bogart Movies

18
10,867 6,228
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

See: The Best Gary Oldman Movies

19
10,416 4,769
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Superman, The French Connection, Young Frankenstein

See: The Best Gene Hackman Movies

20
10,563 4,316
Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now

See: The Best Robert Duvall Movies

21
9,482 5,560
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

See: The Best Harrison Ford Movies

22
11,128 5,751
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society

 See: The Best Robin Williams Movies

23
8,081 5,067
Edward Norton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
Fight Club, The Incredible Hulk, American History X

 See: The Best Edward Norton Movies

24
11,118 6,669
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
American Beauty, Seven, The Usual Suspects

See: The Best Kevin Spacey Movies

25
9,439 4,462
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors in Film History
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

See: The Best Christain Bale Movies