The Greatest Actors & Actresses In Entertainment History

Over 102.3K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Actors & Actresses In Entertainment History
Voting Rules
Vote 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.

Most divisive: Tom Cruise
Ranked by
  • Meryl Streep
    Summit, New Jersey, USA
    22,623 votes
    • Credits (Film): The Deer Hunter, Out of Africa, Kramer vs. Kramer, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Manhattan

    Meryl Streep holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor, with a staggering 21 nominations. Best known for her transformative roles and her ability to adopt various accents, some of her most celebrated performances include Sophie's Choice, The Devil Wears Prada, and Mama Mia! An actress of unmatched versatility, Streep continues to be a prominent figure in Hollywood.

  • Anthony Hopkins
    Margam, Port Talbot, Wales
    18,171 votes
    • Credits (Film): The Silence of the Lambs, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Legends of the Fall

    Sir Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor renowned for his chilling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor. Other notable roles include Odin in the Thor film franchise and Don Diego de la Vega in The Mask of Zorro. Hopkins' captivating performances often showcase his uncanny ability to portray complex, multi-faceted characters.

  • Al Pacino
    East Harlem, New York, USA
    20,025 votes
    • Credits (Film): The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Scarface, Heat, Dog Day Afternoon

    Al Pacino is an iconic American actor best known for his roles in The Godfather trilogy, Scarface, and Scent of a Woman. Over his career, he has received numerous awards and nominations, including an Academy Award for Best Actor. With his unique voice and intense on-screen presence, Pacino has left an indelible mark on the film industry.

  • Robin Williams
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    15,234 votes
    • Credits (Film): Aladdin, Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Hook

    Robin Williams was a beloved comedic genius with a talent for improvisation and a gift for making people laugh. In addition to his comedy work, Williams also played dramatic roles in Good Will Hunting, which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Dead Poets Society. His tragic passing in 2014 left a void in the hearts of fans around the world.

  • Morgan Freeman
    Memphis, Tennessee, USA
    20,158 votes
    • Credits (Film): The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins, The Shawshank Redemption, Seven

    With his distinctive voice and commanding screen presence, Morgan Freeman has become a cherished figure in Hollywood. Over the course of his career, Freeman has starred in numerous notable films, including The Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, and Million Dollar Baby. His portrayal of wise, authoritative characters has made Freeman a symbol of wisdom and guidance in the world of cinema.

  • Paul Newman
    Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA
    13,643 votes
    • Credits (Film): The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cars, Cool Hand Luke, Road to Perdition

    Paul Newman was an American actor known for his blue eyes, good looks, and exceptional acting skills. Some of his most memorable films include Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, and Cool Hand Luke. In addition to his remarkable acting career, Newman was also a dedicated philanthropist and the founder of Newman's Own, which has donated millions to charity.