Entertainment
93.6k voters

The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

Updated April 1, 2021 1.5m votes 93.6k voters 1.3m views1.9k items

List RulesVote up the film actors and actresses, living or passed, who consistently turned out the best performances.

This is a list of the best actors and actresses of all time, ranked by film fans worldwide. This list of greatest actors and actresses attempts to answer the question, "Who are the best actors of all time?" 

Keep in mind, as you vote that we are rating these actors on their body of work, not just what they have done recently! Some of the greatest movie stars of all time have not necessarily acted in a project in the past five years, but they still deserve to be on this greatest Hollywood actors and actresses list.

Top actors and actresses in films are judged by their acting ability and their mastery of roles over the years. Many of these popular actors and actresses have been nominated for or won Academy Awards, as well as Golden Globe Awards. Some from this list of movie stars have even won the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Scroll down through the top actors and actresses and vote up the ones you believe to be the most talented. Then check back to see if your favorites topped our list! Then, to see lists separated by gender, check out the best actors of all time and the best actresses in film history.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    35,760
    7,420

    Tom Hanks

    Concord, California

    Won for Best Actor Oscar for Philadelphia (1994) and Forrest Gump (1995)

    Won for Best Actor Golden Globe for Big (1989), Philadelphia (1994), Forrest Gump (1995), and Cast Away (2001)

    Winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award (2020)

    More Tom Hanks 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Big,' Tom Hanks's First Blockbuster HitWholesome Tom Hanks Memes To Make Your Day A Little Brighter

  • 2
    8,047
    4,015

    Gene Hackman

    San Bernardino, California

    Won for Best Actor Oscar for The French Connection (1972) and Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Unforgiven (1993)

    Won for Best Actor Golden Globe for The French Connection (1972) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2002) and Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe for Unforgiven (1993)

    Winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award (2003)

    More Gene Hackman 

    #6 of 170 The Best Living American Actors#23 of 25 The 25 Best Comic Book Villain Movie Performances of All Time

  • 3
    6,873
    3,436

    Henry Fonda

    Grand Island, Nebraska

    Won for Best Actor Oscar for On Golden Pond (1982)

    Won for Best Actor Golden Globe for On Golden Pond (1982)

    Winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Award (1980)

    More Henry Fonda 

    #12 of 25 People Who Won Oscars for the Wrong Film#10 of 18 18 Times Movies Cast 'Nice Guy' Actors As Not-So-Nice Characters

  • 4
    10,666
    5,280

    Morgan Freeman

    Memphis, Tennessee

    More Morgan Freeman 

    26 Facts You Didn't Know About Morgan Freeman#2 of 178 The Greatest Black Actors In Film History

  • 5
    10,061
    5,094

    Anthony Hopkins

    Margam, United Kingdom

    More Anthony Hopkins 

    #11 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History#3 of 264 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

  • 6
    4,868
    2,068

    Helen Mirren

    Hammersmith, London

    More Helen Mirren 

    #7 of 88 The Best Female Celebrity Role Models#6 of 185 The Best Living English Actresses

  • 7
    8,362
    4,223

    Clint Eastwood

    California, United States of America

    More Clint Eastwood 

    22 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Clint Eastwood#29 of 90 Who Is The Coolest Actor In The World Right Now?

  • 8
    7,638
    3,728

    Jodie Foster

    Los Angeles, California

    More Jodie Foster 

    The Greatest Characters Played by Jodie Foster, Ranked#391 of 732 The Greatest Directors In Movie History

  • 9
    8,352
    3,626

    Robert Duvall

    San Diego, California

    More Robert Duvall 

    #21 of 105 The Most Influential Contemporary Americans#80 of 439 Famous Men You'd Want to Have a Beer With

  • 10
    6,142
    2,443

    Tommy Lee Jones

    San Saba, Texas

    More Tommy Lee Jones 

    19 Weird Things About Tommy Lee Jones, Hollywood's Most Grizzled Actor#141 of 258 The Best Marvel Movie Actors Ever

  • 11
    4,893
    2,113

    Judi Dench

    Heworth, United Kingdom

    More Judi Dench 

    #362 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021#4 of 349 The Best Actresses In Film History

  • 12
    8,365
    4,383

    Paul Newman

    Shaker Heights, Ohio

    More Paul Newman 

    #16 of 16 On-Set Pranks That Prove Hollywood Actors Have Fun#3 of 25 What Actors From The Golden Age Of Hollywood Looked Like In Their First Role And Their Last Role

  • 13
    7,853
    3,962

    Michael Caine

    Rotherhithe, London

    More Michael Caine 

    #14 of 220 The Greatest British Actors of All Time#22 of 54 The Best English Actors Working Today

  • 14
    6,478
    3,469

    Ingrid Bergman

    Stockholm, Sweden

    More Ingrid Bergman 

    #586 of 1,267 Test 7- The Most Beautiful Women in the World#7 of 24 All Triple Crown Of Acting Winners, Ranked

  • 15
    3,711
    1,970

    Jack Lemmon

    Newton, Massachusetts

    More Jack Lemmon 

    #3 of 16 The Best Celebrity Tombstones#36 of 42 The Best Oscar Hosts Ever

  • 16
    4,257
    2,034

    Hugh Jackman

    Sydney, Australia

    More Hugh Jackman 

    22 Hugh Jackman Tweets That Showcase Just How Entertaining Wolverine Is On Twitter#12 of 219 The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Oscar (For Acting)

  • 17
    6,126
    3,182

    Sean Connery

    Fountainbridge, United Kingdom

    More Sean Connery 

    Legendary Behind-The-Scenes Stories From Sean Connery's Illustrious Career#21 of 32 All People's Sexiest Man Alive Covers, Ranked By Current Sexiness Standards

  • 18
    3,062
    1,614

    Clark Gable

    Cadiz, Ohio

    More Clark Gable 

    #47 of 362 The Greatest Entertainers Of All Time#15 of 82 The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • 19
    5,870
    2,536

    Christopher Walken

    Astoria, New York City

    More Christopher Walken 

    A Gaggle of Christopher Walken Impressions, Ranked Best to Worst#1635 of 2,753 The Most Influential People of All Time

  • 20
    2,896
    1,509

    Vivien Leigh

    Darjeeling, India

    More Vivien Leigh 

    #83 of 140 The Greatest Broadway Stars of All Time#8 of 77 The Best English Actresses of All Time

  • 21
    4,489
    1,752

    Alan Rickman

    Hammersmith, London

    More Alan Rickman 

    The Harry Potter Cast Shares Their Favorite Alan Rickman Moments And We’re Already Crying#4 of 25 Times Actors Gave Unexpectedly Honest Answers To Interview Questions

  • 22
    12,376
    7,044

    Meryl Streep

    Summit, New Jersey

    More Meryl Streep 

    Which Actress Do You Think Will Be The Next Meryl Streep?#3 of 272 The Best American Actresses Working Today

  • 23
    5,128
    2,616

    Kate Winslet

    Reading, United Kingdom

    More Kate Winslet 

    Kate Winslet Broke Tom Cruise's Record With Crazy 'Avatar 2' Stunt#168 of 356 The Most Beautiful Women Of 2021, Ranked

  • 24
    3,400
    1,729

    Kathy Bates

    Memphis, Tennessee

    More Kathy Bates 

    All About The Real Life Inspiration For Kathy Bates's Butcher Character On AHS#39 of 244 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World

  • 25
    2,757
    1,467

    Judy Garland

    Grand Rapids, Minnesota

    More Judy Garland 

    #17 of 602 The Best Female Vocalists Ever#46 of 739 The Best Singers Of All Time