The Best Living English Actors

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.

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