Entertainment

The Best Living English Actors 

Ranker Film
Originally by
Updated June 14, 2019 29.3k votes 4k voters 23.6k views 66 items

List Rules Living 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.

list ordered by
1
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The English Patient, The King's Speech, Shakespeare in Love
2
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a Slave
3
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
4
Tom Hardy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Black Hawk Down
5
Tom Hiddleston is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Avengers, Thor, Thor: The Dark World
6
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
7
Idris Elba is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Prometheus
8
Jude Law is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Hugo, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Grand Budapest Hotel
9
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Lion King, Love Actually, Rat Race
10
Ian McKellen is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men
11
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living English Actors
RazzleDazzle(Crimsonny) added Black Hawk Down, Ella Enchanted, King Arthur
12
James McAvoy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Julia Adamczyk added X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion
13
Daniel Craig is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Casino Royale, Skyfall, Road to Perdition
14
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living English Actors
X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men 2
15
Martin Freeman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually
16
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Time Machine
17
Bill Nighy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Shaun of the Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Hot Fuzz
18
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
19
Ralph Fiennes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Schindler's List, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
20
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood
21
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living English Actors
101 Dalmatians, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sense and Sensibility
22
Michael Caine is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins
23
Tom Holland is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living English Actors
FILIMIX added The Impossible, Locke, How I Live Now
24
David Thewlis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living English Actors
MatthewGill added The Big Lebowski, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
25
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island