Entertainment
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The Best Living English Actors

Updated June 22, 2021 25.9k votes 4.3k voters 25.9k views73 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
    1,366
    403

    Colin Firth

    The English Patient, The King's Speech
  • 2
    645
    605

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • 3
    467
    397

    Tom Hardy

    The Dark Knight Rises, Inception
  • 4
    336
    254

    Idris Elba

    Thor, Thor: The Dark World
  • 5
    323
    289

    James McAvoy

    X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • 6
    194
    134

    David Thewlis

    The Big Lebowski, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • 7
    491
    464

    Tom Hiddleston

    The Avengers, Thor
  • 8
    775
    765

    Christian Bale

    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises
  • 9
    494
    480

    Ian McKellen

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • 10
    264
    233

    Rowan Atkinson

    The Lion King, Love Actually
  • 11
    297
    274

    Jude Law

    Hugo, A.I. Artificial Intelligence
  • 12
    647
    673

    Gary Oldman

    The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises
  • 13
    198
    169

    Bill Nighy

    Shaun of the Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
  • 14
    315
    309

    Martin Freeman

    Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz
  • 15
    274
    267

    Daniel Craig

    Casino Royale, Skyfall
  • 16
    173
    156

    John Cleese

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 17
    200
    80

    Tom Holland

    The Impossible, Locke
  • 18
    396
    427

    Patrick Stewart

    X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand
  • 19
    269
    277

    Sean Bean

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • 20
    221
    222

    Daniel Radcliffe

    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  • 21
    62
    25

    Paul Bettany

    The Avengers, Iron Man
  • 22
    48
    16

    Michael Sheen

    Gladiator, Alice in Wonderland
  • 23
    166
    172

    Simon Pegg

    Star Trek, Shaun of the Dead
  • 24
    337
    373

    Jeremy Irons

    The Lion King, Die Hard with a Vengeance
  • 25
    398
    455

    Ralph Fiennes

    Schindler's List, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
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List Rules: Living male actors from England. Vote based on their entire body of work so far.