Film The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood  

Ranker Film
2.6k votes 254 voters 8.8k views 55 items

List Rules Vote up any great actor who is a person of color. Men only—there is a separate list for actresses.

With audiences pushing Hollywood towards increased diversity both on- and off-screen, now is the perfect time to celebrate the work of these famous people of color. The best non-white performers have made their mark across all genres. Some POC actors thrive in dramas while other great non-white actors specialize in comedies. Many of the greatest non-white actors have even been nominated for Academy Awards.

Who will you find on this list of the greatest non-white actors? Perhaps you'll vote Will Smith up to the very top. Since breaking into acting with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Smith has gone on to excel in dramatic parts. Denzel Washington specializes in instantly iconic performances, with starring roles in films including Glory, Training Day, and American Gangster. Sir Ben Kingsley, who is of Indian descent, won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1982 for his performance in Gandhi. Other great men featured on this top non-white actors list include Jackie Chan, Antonio Banderas, and Idris Elba.

Do you have a favorite non-white actor? Vote your picks for best performers up to the top of the list, and please add any notable stars who are missing. For favorite women in film and TV, check out this list of the best non-white actresses.

list ordered by

1
96 18
Morgan Freeman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

2
86 15
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day

3
73 15
Idris Elba is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Prometheus

4
74 17
Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Avengers, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas

5
62 15
Forest Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Platoon, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Good Morning

6
69 20
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Men in Black, Independence Day, Men in Black 3

7
56 13
James Earl Jones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, The Lion King

8
65 19
Michael B. Jordan is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
That Awkward Moment, Fruitvale Station, Hardball

9
50 10
Don Cheadle is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2, Boogie Nights

10
50 12
Anthony Mackie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Million Dollar Baby, The Hurt Locker

11
52 16
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Sneakers

12
60 23
Jackie Chan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Kung Fu Panda, Rush Hour, Enter the Dragon

13
42 15
Laurence Fishburne is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, Man of Steel

14
38 12
Benicio del Toro is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Usual Suspects, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sin City

15
45 18
Jamie Foxx is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Django Unchained, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ray

16
41 15
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Enter the Dragon, Limitless, Fist of Fury

17
47 20
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Shrek, Mulan, Beverly Hills Cop

18
36 12
Dev Patel is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Slumdog Millionaire, The Last Airbender, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

19
32 9
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island

20
35 16
Danny Glover is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Saw, Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple

21
30 12
Michael Clarke Duncan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Green Mile, Sin City, Armageddon

22
25 10
Chiwetel Ejiofor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Children of Men, Love Actually, American Gangster

23
28 13
Terrence Howard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Iron Man, Crash, The Princess and the Frog

24
31 16
Antonio Banderas is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Shrek 2, Philadelphia, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

25
37 22
Kevin Hart is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This Is the End, Scary Movie 3

26
31 17
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Madagascar

27
27 14
Danny Trejo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Heat, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, From Dusk till Dawn

28
22 10
Djimon Hounsou is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Gladiator, Guardians of the Galaxy, Amistad

29
29 17
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men, As Good as It Gets

30
22 11
Ken Watanabe is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Batman Begins, Inception, The Last Samurai

31
21 12
Andy García is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Untouchables, Ocean's Eleven, The Godfather Part III

32
26 17
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Blazing Saddles, The Muppet Movie, Superman III

33
21 14
Ving Rhames is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Pulp Fiction, Mission: Impossible, Dawn of the Dead

34
13 7
Michael K. Williams is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Incredible Hulk, 12 Years a Slave, Gone Baby Gone

35
14 8
Billy Dee Williams is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Batman, Return of the Jedi

36
15 9
Omar Epps is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Scream 2, Love & Basketball, Juice

37
16 10
David Oyelowo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Lincoln, Interstellar, The Help

38
17 11
Louis Gossett, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
An Officer and a Gentleman, Jaws 3-D, Enemy Mine

39
13 8
LeVar Burton is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek Generations, Ali

40
19 14
Gael García Bernal is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Y Tu Mamá También, Babel, Amores perros

41
14 9
Ossie Davis is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Grumpy Old Men

42
4 0
John Boyega is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Attack the Block, Junkhearts, Half of a Yellow Sun

43
18 15
Wesley Snipes is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity

44
15 12
Giancarlo Esposito is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Usual Suspects, Do the Right Thing, Trading Places

45
10 7
Keith David is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Platoon, The Thing, Requiem for a Dream

46
3 0
Chadwick Boseman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
42, The Express, Get on Up

47
13 11
Jeffrey Wright is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, Casino Royale

48
2 0
Daniel Kaluuya is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Johnny English Reborn, Welcome to the Punch, Chatroom

49
13 12
Diego Luna is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Elysium, Y Tu Mamá También, The Terminal

50
7 9
José Ferrer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Lawrence of Arabia, Dune, The Greatest Story Ever Told