Film The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood  

Ranker Film
2.1k votes 211 voters 6.9k views 58 items

List Rules Vote up any great actor who is a person of color.

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.

1
83 12
Morgan Freeman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Morgan Freeman The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Batman Begins

2
71 11
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Denzel Washington Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day

3
59 13
Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Samuel L. Jackson The Avengers, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas

4
57 12
Idris Elba is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Idris Elba Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Prometheus

5
49 10
James Earl Jones is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
James Earl Jones Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, The Lion King

6
52 13
Michael B. Jordan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Michael B. Jordan That Awkward Moment, Fruitvale Station, Hardball

7
54 15
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Will Smith Men in Black, Independence Day, Men in Black 3

8
46 10
Viola Davis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Viola Davis The Help, Traffic, Out of Sight

9
48 12
Forest Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Forest Whitaker Platoon, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Good Morning

10
42 8
Don Cheadle is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Don Cheadle Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2, Boogie Nights

11
40 9
Anthony Mackie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Anthony Mackie Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Million Dollar Baby, The Hurt Locker

12
44 13
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Sidney Poitier In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Sneakers

13
49 18
Jackie Chan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Jackie Chan Kung Fu Panda, Rush Hour, Enter the Dragon

14
30 6
Taraji P. Henson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Taraji P. Henson The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Hustle & Flow, Four Brothers

Celebrities With Heterochromia Iridis

15
35 10
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Bruce Lee Enter the Dragon, Limitless, Fist of Fury

16
33 9
Benicio del Toro is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Benicio del Toro The Usual Suspects, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sin City

17
42 16
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Eddie Murphy Shrek, Mulan, Beverly Hills Cop

18
35 11
Laurence Fishburne is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Laurence Fishburne The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, Man of Steel

19
27 5
Octavia Spencer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Octavia Spencer Spider-Man, Being John Malkovich, The Help

20
31 9
Dev Patel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Dev Patel Slumdog Millionaire, The Last Airbender, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

21
37 15
Jamie Foxx is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Jamie Foxx Django Unchained, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ray

Jim Carrey's Netflix Documentary Proves He's Hollywood's Most Unstable Method Actor

22
28 8
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Halle Berry X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men 2

23
28 8
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Ben Kingsley Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island

24
31 13
Danny Glover is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Danny Glover Saw, Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple

25
32 15
Kevin Hart is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Kevin Hart The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This Is the End, Scary Movie 3

26
22 8
Chiwetel Ejiofor is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Chiwetel Ejiofor Children of Men, Love Actually, American Gangster

27
23 10
Terrence Howard is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Terrence Howard Iron Man, Crash, The Princess and the Frog

28
27 14
Antonio Banderas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Antonio Banderas Shrek 2, Philadelphia, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

Hollywood's Hottest Cowboys and Cowgals

29
22 11
Michael Clarke Duncan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Michael Clarke Duncan The Green Mile, Sin City, Armageddon

30
22 11
Danny Trejo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Danny Trejo Heat, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, From Dusk till Dawn

31
24 13
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Chris Rock Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Madagascar

32
18 8
Djimon Hounsou is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Djimon Hounsou Gladiator, Guardians of the Galaxy, Amistad

33
18 8
Ken Watanabe is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Ken Watanabe Batman Begins, Inception, The Last Samurai

34
23 14
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Richard Pryor Blazing Saddles, The Muppet Movie, Superman III

35
22 14
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Cuba Gooding, Jr. Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men, As Good as It Gets

The Sexiest Characters in Film History

36
12 5
Michael K. Williams is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Michael K. Williams The Incredible Hulk, 12 Years a Slave, Gone Baby Gone

37
14 7
David Oyelowo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
David Oyelowo Lincoln, Interstellar, The Help

38
16 9
Andy García is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Andy García The Untouchables, Ocean's Eleven, The Godfather Part III

39
18 11
Ving Rhames is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Ving Rhames Pulp Fiction, Mission: Impossible, Dawn of the Dead

40
11 5
LeVar Burton is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
LeVar Burton Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek Generations, Ali

41
12 6
Billy Dee Williams is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Billy Dee Williams Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Batman, Return of the Jedi

42
15 9
Louis Gossett, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Louis Gossett, Jr. An Officer and a Gentleman, Jaws 3-D, Enemy Mine

Unanswered Questions From 'Deadpool 2'

43
17 11
Oprah Winfrey is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Oprah Winfrey The Princess and the Frog, The Color Purple, Ocean's Thirteen

44
16 11
Gael García Bernal is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Gael García Bernal Y Tu Mamá También, Babel, Amores perros

45
14 10
Giancarlo Esposito is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Giancarlo Esposito The Usual Suspects, Do the Right Thing, Trading Places

46
12 8
Omar Epps is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Omar Epps Scream 2, Love & Basketball, Juice

47
11 7
Ossie Davis is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Ossie Davis Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Grumpy Old Men

48
10 6
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Jennifer Hudson Sex and the City, Dreamgirls, The Three Stooges

49
11 8
Jeffrey Wright is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Jeffrey Wright The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, Casino Royale

50
14 12
Wesley Snipes is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Wesley Snipes Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity