actors The Best Living English Actors  

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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
463 354
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Gary Oldman The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

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2
612 429
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Christian Bale The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

3
830 298
Theo James is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Lignod added Theo James Underworld: Awakening, The Inbetweeners Movie, Divergent

4
341 229
Ian McKellen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Ian McKellen The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men

5
370 277
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Benedict Cumberbatch Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a Slave

6
135 52
James McAvoy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Julia Adamczyk added James McAvoy X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion

7
294 217
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Patrick Stewart X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men 2

8
235 192
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Ben Kingsley Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island

9
265 195
Tom Hiddleston is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Tom Hiddleston The Avengers, Thor, Thor: The Dark World

10
321 300
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Daniel Day-Lewis Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood

11
334 322
Michael Caine is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Michael Caine The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

12
231 175
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Hugh Laurie 101 Dalmatians, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sense and Sensibility

13
324 308
Ralph Fiennes is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Ralph Fiennes Schindler's List, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

14
332 322
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Colin Firth The English Patient, The King's Speech, Shakespeare in Love

15
305 179
Tom Hardy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Tom Hardy The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Black Hawk Down

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16
205 167
Martin Freeman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Martin Freeman Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually

17
193 150
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Sean Bean 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

18
212 198
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Jeremy Irons The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Time Machine

19
215 112
Idris Elba is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Idris Elba Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Prometheus

20
191 147
Jude Law is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Jude Law Hugo, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Grand Budapest Hotel

21
197 173
Daniel Craig is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Daniel Craig Casino Royale, Skyfall, Road to Perdition

22
359 237
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living English Actors
RazzleDazzle(Crimsonny) added Hugh Dancy Black Hawk Down, Ella Enchanted, King Arthur

23
172 123
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Rowan Atkinson The Lion King, Love Actually, Rat Race

24
93 75
Daniel Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living English Actors
black90txd added Daniel Radcliffe Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

25
115 98
Simon Pegg is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Simon Pegg Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek Into Darkness

26
134 132
Clive Owen is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Clive Owen Sin City, The Bourne Identity, Children of Men

27
142 123
Bill Nighy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Bill Nighy Shaun of the Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Hot Fuzz

28
115 105
John Cleese is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Living English Actors
John Cleese Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

29
103 86
David Thewlis is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living English Actors
MatthewGill added David Thewlis The Big Lebowski, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

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30
84 112
Tom Wilkinson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Tom Wilkinson Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shakespeare in Love

31
61 91
Rhys Ifans is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Rhys Ifans The Amazing Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I, The Replacements

32
30 16
Stephen Fry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Yuki Hikari added Stephen Fry Jeeves and Wooster

33
79 106
Terence Stamp is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Terence Stamp Superman, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Superman II

34
86 97
Jim Broadbent is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Jim Broadbent Gangs of New York, Brazil, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

35
97 145
Hugh Grant is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Hugh Grant Love Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary

36
90 86
Chiwetel Ejiofor is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Chiwetel Ejiofor Children of Men, Love Actually, American Gangster

37
41 35
Andrew Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Lindsay Ní Mhurchú added Andrew Lincoln Love Actually, Gangster No. 1, Enduring Love

38
64 83
Derek Jacobi is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living English Actors
looksharp added Derek Jacobi Gladiator, The King's Speech, The Secret of NIMH

39
83 94
Ian Holm is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Ian Holm Alien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

40
32 30
Timothy Spall is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Ferry73 added Timothy Spall Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

41
10 9
John Boyega is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Guest_8658ce6e-aba5-47fb-9a2e-95645b6a7e3e added John Boyega Attack the Block, Junkhearts, Half of a Yellow Sun

42
8 9
Damian Lewis is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living English Actors
salesgal added Damian Lewis Your Highness, Dreamcatcher, The Escapist

43
5 9
Jamie Campbell Bower is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Living English Actors
AnnijaBule added Jamie Campbell Bower Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I, The Twilight Saga: New Moon

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44
9 21
Sam Riley is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living English Actors
1491971760840 added Sam Riley Maleficent, 24 Hour Party People, Control

45
56 81
Timothy Dalton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Timothy Dalton Toy Story 3, Hot Fuzz, The Rocketeer

46
29 50
Matthew Macfadyen is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Cindy Harriel added Matthew Macfadyen Pride & Prejudice, Frost/Nixon, Grindhouse

47
52 115
Rupert Everett is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Rupert Everett Shrek 2, Shakespeare in Love, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion

48
3 12
David Oyelowo is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Living English Actors
salesgal added David Oyelowo Lincoln, Interstellar, The Help

49
22 45
Chris O'Dowd is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living English Actors
includinguandme added Chris O'Dowd Thor: The Dark World, Bridesmaids, The Boat That Rocked

50
13 42
Nathaniel Parker is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living English Actors
D. emmelinegrace added Nathaniel Parker Stardust, Hamlet, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader