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The Best Biopics About Actors

Updated November 8, 2019 1.9k votes 361 voters 17.6k views32 items

List RulesVote up the best true biographical movies about actors and actresses

The idea of making an actor biopic is kind of hilarious - you're actively inviting an actor to pretend to be the real version of another actor on the silver screen. Many people are fascinated with the lives of celebrities, however, so biopics are the best way to learn about all of the ins and outs of a specific celebrity's life.


What is the best actor biopic? Robert Downey Jr. stars as Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin. Critics weren’t in love with it, but audiences found it compelling. On this list, you’ll also find James Franco playing another famous James: James Dean. My Week with Marilyn stars Michelle Williams as the blonde bombshell herself, and Jennifer Love Hewitt plays her famous brunette pop-cultural counterpart in The Audrey Hepburn Story. Other notable titles include Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.


Part of the fun of biographical movies about actors is judging how close the resemblance is between the real person and the person portraying them. Vote up the best actor biopics below, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section.

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  • 1
    Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    126
    20

    Chaplin

    Robert Downey Jr., Milla Jovovich

    Released1992

    Directed byRichard Attenborough

    Chaplin is a 1992 British-American biographical comedy-drama film about the life of British... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    James Dean is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    79
    15

    James Dean

    James Franco, Michael Moriarty

    Released2001

    Directed byMark Rydell

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  • 3
    Frances is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    74
    18

    Frances

    Kevin Costner, Jessica Lange

    Released1982

    Directed byGraeme Clifford

    Frances is a 1982 American biographical film starring Jessica Lange as actress Frances Farmer.... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    77
    21

    Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story

    Lauren Holly, Robert Wagner

    Released1993

    Directed byRob Cohen

    Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is a 1993 American biographical drama film written and directed by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    What's Love Got to Do with It is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    51
    4

    What's Love Got to Do with It

    Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne

    Released1993

    Directed byBrian Gibson

    What's Love Got to Do with It is a 1993 American biographical film directed by Brian Gibson,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 6
    My Week with Marilyn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    76
    29

    My Week with Marilyn

    Emma Watson, Michelle Williams

    Released2011

    Directed bySimon Curtis

    My Week with Marilyn is a 2011 British drama film directed by Simon Curtis and written by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Coal Miner's Daughter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    48
    5

    Coal Miner's Daughter

    Tommy Lee Jones, Sissy Spacek

    Released1980

    Directed byMichael Apted

    Coal Miner's Daughter is a 1980 biographical film which tells the story of country music... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    The Life and Death of Peter Se is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    52
    17

    The Life and Death of Peter Sellers

    Charlize Theron, Heidi Klum

    Released2004

    Directed byStephen Hopkins

    This film is a 2004 British/American film about the life of English comedy actor Peter... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Auto Focus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    49
    15

    Auto Focus

    Willem Dafoe, Maria Bello

    Released2002

    Directed byPaul Schrader, Larry Karaszewski

    Auto Focus is a 2002 American biographical film directed by Paul Schrader, starring Greg... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    My Dinner with Hervé is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    34
    2

    My Dinner with Hervé

    Peter Dinklage, Jamie Dornan

    Released2018

    Directed bySacha Gervasi

    My Dinner with Hervé is a 2018 American television drama film directed by Sacha Gervasi. A... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Gable and Lombard is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    44
    14

    Gable and Lombard

    James Brolin, Red Buttons

    Released1976

    Directed bySidney J. Furie

    Gable and Lombard is a 1976 American biographical film directed by Sidney J. Furie. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    The Audrey Hepburn Story is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    50
    20

    The Audrey Hepburn Story

    Jennifer Love Hewitt, Emmy Rossum

    Released2000

    Directed bySteve Robman

    The Audrey Hepburn Story is a 2000 television film biopic of actress and humanitarian Audrey... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    The Buster Keaton Story is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    41
    13

    The Buster Keaton Story

    Peter Lorre, Rhonda Fleming

    Released1957

    Directed bySidney Sheldon

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  • 14
    Too Much, Too Soon is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    40
    13

    Too Much, Too Soon

    Errol Flynn, Dorothy Malone

    Released1958

    Directed byArt Napoleon

    Too Much, Too Soon is a 1958 biographical film made by Warner Bros.. It was directed by Art... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    I'll Cry Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    39
    13

    I'll Cry Tomorrow

    Susan Hayward, Eddie Albert

    Released1955

    Directed byDaniel Mann

    I'll Cry Tomorrow is a biopic which tells the story of Lillian Roth, a Broadway star who... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Judy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    4
    0

    Judy

    Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley

    Released2019

    Directed byRupert Goold

    Judy is a 2019 British biographical drama film directed by Rupert Goold, it is an adaptation... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Man of a Thousand Faces is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    43
    17

    Man of a Thousand Faces

    James Cagney, Jim Backus

    Released1957

    Directed byJoseph Pevney

    Man of a Thousand Faces is a film detailing the life of silent movie actor Lon Chaney, in... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Harlow is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    41
    16

    Harlow

    Angela Lansbury, Ginger Rogers

    Released1965

    Directed byGordon Douglas

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  • 19
    The Jayne Mansfield Story is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    40
    17

    The Jayne Mansfield Story

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Loni Anderson

    Released1980

    Directed byDick Lowry

    The Jayne Mansfield Story is a 1980 television film directed by Dick Lowry, starring Loni... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Prince of Players is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    37
    14

    Prince of Players

    Richard Burton, Raymond Massey

    Released1955

    Directed byPhilip Dunne

    Prince of Players is a 1955 20th Century Fox biographical film about the 19th century American... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Honey Boy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    1
    0

    Honey Boy

    Noah Jupe, Shia LaBeouf

    Released2019

    Directed byAlma Har'el

    Honey Boy is a 2019 American drama film directed by Alma Har'el, based on Shia LaBeouf's... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    The Babe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    28
    5

    The Babe

    John Goodman, James Cromwell

    Released1992

    Directed byArthur Hiller

    The Babe is a 1992 biographical drama film about the life of famed baseball player Babe Ruth,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    The Actress is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    38
    15

    The Actress

    Spencer Tracy, Anthony Perkins

    Released1953

    Directed byGeorge Cukor

    The Actress is an 1953 American comedy-drama film based on Ruth Gordon's autobiographical play... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Sweetheart of the Gods is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    34
    13

    Sweetheart of the Gods

    Peter van Eyck, Robert Graf

    Released1960

    Directed byGottfried Reinhardt

    Sweetheart of the Gods is a film directed by Gottfried Reinhardt released on Apr 12, 1960.
  • 25
    The George Raft Story is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Biopics About Actors
    35
    15

    The George Raft Story

    Jayne Mansfield, Julie London

    Released1961

    Directed byJoseph M. Newman

    The George Raft Story is a 1961 American biographical film of Hollywood film star George Raft.... more on Wikipedia
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