Entertainment
93.5k voters

The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

Updated April 1, 2021 1.5m votes 93.5k 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.

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  • 26
    3,829
    2,145

    Sidney Poitier

    Miami, Florida

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  • 27
    5,839
    3,236

    Cary Grant

    Horfield, United Kingdom

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  • 28
    3,367
    1,871

    Robert Redford

    Santa Monica, California

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  • 29
    11,316
    6,691

    Al Pacino

    East Harlem, New York City

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  • 30
    5,199
    2,682

    Heath Ledger

    Perth, Australia

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  • 31
    5,401
    2,829

    Christian Bale

    Haverfordwest, United Kingdom

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  • 32
    8,871
    5,326

    Dustin Hoffman

    Los Angeles, California

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  • 33
    6,175
    3,500

    Gary Oldman

    London, England

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  • 34
    6,593
    3,774

    Robert Downey Jr.

    Manhattan, New York City

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  • 35
    2,263
    1,338

    Gary Cooper

    Helena, Montana

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  • 36
    3,435
    2,005

    Julie Andrews

    Walton-on-Thames, United Kingdom

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  • 37
    6,543
    4,005

    Harrison Ford

    Chicago, Illinois

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  • 38
    3,004
    1,697

    Ian McKellen

    Burnley, United Kingdom

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  • 39
    1,582
    729

    Faye Dunaway

    Bascom, Florida

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  • 40
    6,543
    4,117

    Gregory Peck

    La Jolla, San Diego

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  • 41
    4,256
    2,537

    Cate Blanchett

    Ivanhoe, Australia

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  • 42
    3,310
    1,918

    Maggie Smith

    Ilford, London

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    #2 of 201 The Best Actresses Working Today#1 of 54 The Best English Actresses Working Today

  • 43
    4,983
    3,021

    Samuel L. Jackson

    Washington, D.C.

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  • 44
    2,875
    1,793

    Ralph Fiennes

    Ipswich, United Kingdom

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  • 45
    2,148
    1,221

    Steve McQueen

    Beech Grove, Indiana

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  • 46
    4,606
    2,748

    Edward Norton

    Boston, Massachusetts

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  • 47
    2,680
    1,504

    Ed Harris

    Englewood, New Jersey

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  • 48
    2,695
    1,425

    Matthew McConaughey

    Uvalde, Texas

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  • 49
    2,354
    1,345

    Lauren Bacall

    New York City, New York

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  • 50
    1,799
    1,086

    Maureen O'Hara

    Ranelagh, Republic of Ireland

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    #404 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#28 of 186 The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)