Entertainment Who's The Best Actor From Every State?  

Matt Manser
8.8k votes 1k voters 13.3k views 50 items

List Rules Vote up the actors who best represent their home states.

No matter what part of the US you're from, you can brag about the famous people who grew up in your state. If you're not sure which stars got their start in your homeland, it's time for a quick refresher on the best actor from every state. 

In states that spawned a considerable number of celebrities, some pretty good actors don't make the cut. While Jack Nicholson could be considered one of the best actors of all time, he unfortunately grew up in the same state as Meryl Streep (sorry, Jack). If musicians were added into the mix, the competition would be even steeper.  

Most of these renowned performers have won Oscars and Emmys, and some have appeared in fantastic movies and TV shows filmed in their native lands. You might not recognize a small handful of these actors, as a few snuck onto the list thanks to their tiny home states.

list ordered by

1
398 55
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 59

California is a sprawling state with a huge population, but Concord, CA native Tom Hanks takes home the prize. His work as David S. Pumpkins speaks for itself, as does his Oscar wins for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump.

2
276 124
Robin Williams is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
Dec. at 63 (1951-2014)

Williams was born in Chicago, though his family moved to Michigan when he was 12. He initially made a name for himself as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco, before landing a role on the TV show Mork & Mindy. He was nominated for four Oscars, including a win for Good Will Hunting.

3
254 115
Morgan Freeman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 81

From Memphis, one of Freeman's earliest roles was Easy Reader on The Electric Company. He went on to earn five Oscar nominations, including a win for Million Dollar Baby.

4
182 73
Bette Davis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
Died at 81 (1908-1989)

From Lowell, MA, Davis is one of the most celebrated film stars of all time. She won Oscars in 1936 and 1939 for Dangerous and Jezebel respectively, and is also known for All About Eve, and Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?.

5
194 81
Meryl Streep is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 69

From Summit, NJ, Meryl Streep's reputation speaks for itself. For the record, she's won three Oscars, most recently in 2012 for The Iron Lady.

6
168 68
Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 85

Born in Milwaukee, Wilder is known for roles in The Producers, Young Frankenstein, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. He also won an Emmy for a guest appearance on Will & Grace.

7
175 76
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 75

Born in Manhattan, De Niro won Oscars for The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull. He also starred in Dirty Grandpa, but don't hold that against him.

8
142 56
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
Died at 80 (1924-2004)

From Omaha, Brando's list of accolades is nearly endless. In his lifetime, he won two Oscars for his roles in On The Waterfront and The Godfather.

9
147 60
Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 88

Robert Duvall was born in San Diego, but grew up in Maryland. His illustrious career includes roles in The Godfather Part II, Network, and an Oscar win for Tender Mercies.

10
152 65
Katharine Hepburn is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
Dec. at 96 (1907-2003)

One of Hollywood's biggest legends, Katharine Hepburn was born in Hartford, CT. She won her first Oscar in 1934 for Morning Glory. She went on to receive three more Oscars, the last one being for 1982's On Golden Pond.

11
143 59
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
Dec. at 83 (1925-2008)

One of Hollywood's biggest stars, Paul Newman was born in Cleveland, OH. He won an Oscar in 1987 for The Color Of Money, and was nominated nine other times.

12
164 74
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 51

From Arlington, VA, Sandra Bullock shot to stardom with 1994's Speed. She won an Oscar for The Blind Side and was nominated again for Gravity.

13
185 90
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 50

From his sitcom's theme song, you know that Will Smith was born and raised in Philadelphia. Since then, he's repeatedly proven his range as an actor, taking on roles in comedies, dramas and action films. He also has received two Oscar nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.

14
143 63
Jessica Lange is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 69

From Cloquet, MN, Lange won an Oscar in 1983 for Tootsie, and another in 1995 for Blue Sky. She's also won three Emmy awards, including two for American Horror Story.

15
139 62
Octavia Spencer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 48

Montgomery native Octavia Spencer began her career in the '90s by guest starring on several TV shows. In 2012, she won an Oscar for her role in The Help, and she has also been nominated for her work in Hidden Figures and The Shape of Water.

16
155 75
Emma Stone is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 30

Hailing from Scottsdale, Emma Stone's breakthrough role came when she played Jules in 2007's Superbad. Since then she's been in The Amazing Spider-Man and Birdman, and won an Oscar for La La Land.

17
115 50
Julianne Moore is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 55

From Fort Bragg, NC, Moore has received four Oscar nominations, including a win for Still Alice. She also won an Emmy in 2012 for Game Change, where she played Sarah Palin.

18
163 87
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 49

Matthew McConaughey was born in Uvalde, TX, and shot to fame with his role in Dazed and Confused. He won an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, and was nominated for an Emmy for his role on True Detective.

19
115 53
Viola Davis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 53

Viola Davis was born in South Carolina, but raised in Central Falls, RI. She won an Oscar in 2017 for Fences, and was also nominated for Doubt and The Help.

20
159 86
Neil Patrick Harris is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 45

From Albuquerque, Harris got his big break with Doogie Howser, MD. He went on to receive four Emmy nominations for How I Met Your Mother, and has been picked several times to host the Tony Awards.

21
127 67
Amy Adams is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 44

Amy Adams was born in Italy, but raised in Castle Rock, CO. In 2006, she broke through with her role in Junebug, which earned her an Oscar nomination. Since then, she's received four additional nominations — most recently for 2014's American Hustle but has yet to win.

22
107 56
Billy Bob Thornton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 63

From Hot Springs, AR, one of Billy Bob Thornton's first big roles was on the John Ritter/Markie Post sitcom Hearts Afire. However, it was his Oscar-winning performance in Slingblade (which he also wrote and directed) that cemented his celebrity status. Since then, he's been in Bad Santa, Friday Night Lights, and a slew of other popular movies and TV shows. 

23
140 84
George Clooney is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 57

From Lexington, Clooney's path to stardom was a long and winding one. He was a regular on many TV shows (including a sitcom called E/R) before making it big on the drama ER. He continued on to become one of the world's biggest movie stars, and won an Oscar for Syriana.

24
98 51
Sarah Paulson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 44

Paulson was born in Florida, but grew up in Maine. She rose to prominence with her various roles on American Horror Story, and won an Emmy for playing Marcia Clark in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.

25
101 54
Jennifer Garner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Who's The Best Actor From Every State?
age 46

Born in Texas but raised in Charleston, Garner has received four Emmy nominations for her work on Alias. On the big screen, she's been featured in Juno and Dallas Buyers Club, most notably.