Film The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood  

Ranker Film
2.3k votes 230 voters 7.6k 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
89 14
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
78 13
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
66 15
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
64 14
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
53 11
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
51 11
Viola Davis is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Viola Davis The Help, Traffic, Out of Sight

7
58 16
Michael B. Jordan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Michael B. Jordan That Awkward Moment, Fruitvale Station, Hardball

8
61 18
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Will Smith Men in Black, Independence Day, Men in Black 3

9
54 14
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
45 9
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
33 5
Octavia Spencer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Octavia Spencer Spider-Man, Being John Malkovich, The Help

12
44 11
Anthony Mackie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Anthony Mackie Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Million Dollar Baby, The Hurt Locker

13
48 14
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
53 21
Jackie Chan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Jackie Chan Kung Fu Panda, Rush Hour, Enter the Dragon

15
38 12
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
35 10
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
33 9
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
42 16
Jamie Foxx is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Jamie Foxx Django Unchained, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ray

19
38 13
Laurence Fishburne is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Laurence Fishburne The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, Man of Steel

20
34 10
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
43 17
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Eddie Murphy Shrek, Mulan, Beverly Hills Cop

22
31 8
Taraji P. Henson is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
30 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
33 14
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
26 11
Michael Clarke Duncan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Michael Clarke Duncan The Green Mile, Sin City, Armageddon

26
34 19
Kevin Hart is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Kevin Hart The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This Is the End, Scary Movie 3

27
25 12
Danny Trejo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Danny Trejo Heat, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, From Dusk till Dawn

28
27 14
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Chris Rock Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Madagascar

29
28 15
Antonio Banderas is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Antonio Banderas Shrek 2, Philadelphia, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

30
22 10
Chiwetel Ejiofor is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Chiwetel Ejiofor Children of Men, Love Actually, American Gangster

31
24 12
Terrence Howard is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Terrence Howard Iron Man, Crash, The Princess and the Frog

32
26 14
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Cuba Gooding, Jr. Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men, As Good as It Gets

33
19 9
Djimon Hounsou is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Djimon Hounsou Gladiator, Guardians of the Galaxy, Amistad

34
19 9
Ken Watanabe is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Ken Watanabe Batman Begins, Inception, The Last Samurai

35
20 10
Andy García is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Andy García The Untouchables, Ocean's Eleven, The Godfather Part III

36
21 12
Ving Rhames is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Ving Rhames Pulp Fiction, Mission: Impossible, Dawn of the Dead

37
24 15
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Richard Pryor Blazing Saddles, The Muppet Movie, Superman III

38
12 6
Michael K. Williams is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Michael K. Williams The Incredible Hulk, 12 Years a Slave, Gone Baby Gone

39
13 7
Billy Dee Williams is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
15 9
David Oyelowo is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
David Oyelowo Lincoln, Interstellar, The Help

41
12 7
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Harrison Melton added Jennifer Hudson Sex and the City, Dreamgirls, The Three Stooges

42
15 10
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

43
18 14
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 12
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
12 8
Ossie Davis is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Ossie Davis Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Grumpy Old Men

46
11 7
LeVar Burton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
LeVar Burton Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek Generations, Ali

47
14 11
Giancarlo Esposito is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Giancarlo Esposito The Usual Suspects, Do the Right Thing, Trading Places

48
12 9
Omar Epps is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Omar Epps Scream 2, Love & Basketball, Juice

49
15 14
Wesley Snipes is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Wesley Snipes Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity

50
11 10
Diego Luna is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Diego Luna Elysium, Y Tu Mamá También, The Terminal