Entertainment
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The Best Living English Actors

Updated September 11, 2021 26.1k votes 4.4k voters 26.2k views74 items

List RulesLiving male actors from England. Vote based on their entire body of work so far.

You'd listen to Michael Caine talk all day, right? And surely you'd watch Ian McKellan in just about any movie Hollywood decided he should be in. Why? Because they're two of the best living English actors, along with the other English men on this list. These greatest living actors from England aren't just handsome and don't just come with a great accent, they're truly talented actors who have all made film history.

Who are the top living English actors? These men (whether retired or still working) are still gracing the earth and many are turning out excellent performances in hit movies, like Christian Bale and Benedict Cumberbatch. The best at what they do, these English actors win awards left and right, from BAFTAs to Golden Globes, and are popular with film-going audiences the world over.

This list features the greatest living English actors including Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, Michael Cane, Colin Firth, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Sean Bean, John Cleese, Jude Law, Hugh Laurie, and Rupert Everett. Don't see your favorite living actor from England? Add him below so other film fans can vote. Then, be sure to vote and rerank the list according to who you think are the best English actors still alive today.

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  • 1
    1,349
    405

    Colin Firth

    The English Patient, The King's Speech
  • 2
    645
    602

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • 3
    470
    400

    Tom Hardy

    The Dark Knight Rises, Inception
  • 4
    335
    259

    Idris Elba

    Thor, Thor: The Dark World
  • 5
    498
    463

    Tom Hiddleston

    The Avengers, Thor
  • 6
    202
    137

    David Thewlis

    The Big Lebowski, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 7
    498
    479

    Ian McKellen

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • 8
    324
    295

    James McAvoy

    X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • 9
    768
    759

    Christian Bale

    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises
  • 10
    263
    233

    Rowan Atkinson

    The Lion King, Love Actually
  • 11
    300
    275

    Jude Law

    Hugo, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • 12
    646
    667

    Gary Oldman

    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises
  • 13
    199
    169

    Bill Nighy

    Shaun of the Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  • 14
    319
    308

    Martin Freeman

    Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz
  • 15
    276
    268

    Daniel Craig

    Casino Royale, Skyfall
  • 16
    204
    84

    Tom Holland

    The Impossible, Locke
  • 17
    268
    276

    Sean Bean

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • 18
    397
    427

    Patrick Stewart

    X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand
  • 19
    171
    157

    John Cleese

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 20
    69
    25

    Paul Bettany

    The Avengers, Iron Man
  • 21
    218
    223

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 22
    51
    19

    Michael Sheen

    Gladiator, Alice in Wonderland
  • 23
    168
    172

    Simon Pegg

    Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead
  • 24
    336
    371

    Jeremy Irons

    The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance
  • 25
    101
    86

    Stephen Fry

    Jeeves and Wooster
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List Rules: Living male actors from England. Vote based on their entire body of work so far.