Actors The Best Living English Actors  

Ranker Film
Originally by
20.5k votes 2.8k voters 18.3k views 54 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
561 399
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

2
707 491
Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

3
487 317
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 12 Years a Slave

4
426 266
Ian McKellen is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
211 81
James McAvoy is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
364 224
Tom Hiddleston is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Avengers, Thor, Thor: The Dark World

7
370 246
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Living English Actors
X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men 2

8
290 230
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island

9
397 346
Michael Caine is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

10
386 327
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Gangs of New York, The Last of the Mohicans, There Will Be Blood

11
402 348
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The English Patient, The King's Speech, Shakespeare in Love

12
376 326
Ralph Fiennes is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
279 201
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Living English Actors
101 Dalmatians, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sense and Sensibility

14
381 201
Tom Hardy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Black Hawk Down

15
258 218
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Time Machine

16
263 193
Martin Freeman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Love Actually

17
229 174
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
263 136
Idris Elba is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Prometheus

19
241 169
Jude Law is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Hugo, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Grand Budapest Hotel

20
237 200
Daniel Craig is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Casino Royale, Skyfall, Road to Perdition

21
209 154
Rowan Atkinson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Lion King, Love Actually, Rat Race

22
134 106
Daniel Radcliffe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Living English Actors
black90txd added Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

23
371 266
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Living English Actors
RazzleDazzle(Crimsonny) added Black Hawk Down, Ella Enchanted, King Arthur

24
142 124
Simon Pegg is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead, Star Trek Into Darkness

25
158 157
Clive Owen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Sin City, The Bourne Identity, Children of Men

26
174 140
Bill Nighy is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Shaun of the Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Hot Fuzz

27
149 126
John Cleese is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

28
135 105
David Thewlis is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
97 127
Terence Stamp is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Superman, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Superman II

30
99 135
Tom Wilkinson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shakespeare in Love

31
85 102
Derek Jacobi is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Living English Actors
looksharp added Gladiator, The King's Speech, The Secret of NIMH

32
55 41
Stephen Fry is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Yuki Hikari added Jeeves and Wooster

33
73 115
Rhys Ifans is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Living English Actors
The Amazing Spider-Man, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I, The Replacements

34
123 169
Hugh Grant is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Love Actually, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones's Diary

35
107 117
Jim Broadbent is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Gangs of New York, Brazil, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

36
100 115
Ian Holm is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Alien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

37
101 106
Chiwetel Ejiofor is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Children of Men, Love Actually, American Gangster

38
42 52
Timothy Spall is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Ferry73 added Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

39
51 54
Andrew Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Lindsay Ní Mhurchú added Love Actually, Gangster No. 1, Enduring Love

40
20 33
John Boyega is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Guest_8658ce6e-aba5-47fb-9a2e-95645b6a7e3e added Attack the Block, Junkhearts, Half of a Yellow Sun

41
23 28
Damian Lewis is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Living English Actors
salesgal added Your Highness, Dreamcatcher, The Escapist

42
72 103
Timothy Dalton is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Toy Story 3, Hot Fuzz, The Rocketeer

43
62 135
Rupert Everett is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Shrek 2, Shakespeare in Love, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion

44
25 14
Tom Holland is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Living English Actors
FILIMIX added The Impossible, Locke, How I Live Now

45
41 70
Matthew Macfadyen is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Living English Actors
Cindy Harriel added Pride & Prejudice, Frost/Nixon, Grindhouse

46
16 30
Jamie Campbell Bower is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Living English Actors
AnnijaBule added Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I, The Twilight Saga: New Moon

47
33 64
Chris O'Dowd is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Living English Actors
includinguandme added Thor: The Dark World, Bridesmaids, The Boat That Rocked

48
17 44
Sam Riley is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Living English Actors
1491971760840 added Maleficent, 24 Hour Party People, Control

49
9 31
David Oyelowo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Living English Actors
salesgal added Lincoln, Interstellar, The Help

50
19 62
Nathaniel Parker is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Living English Actors
D. emmelinegrace added Stardust, Hamlet, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader