Film The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood  

Ranker Film
2.8k votes 275 voters 9.9k 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
101 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
88 18
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Remember the Titans, Glory, Training Day

3
76 16
Idris Elba is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Prometheus

4
78 19
Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Avengers, Pulp Fiction, Goodfellas

5
66 16
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
74 22
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
53 10
Don Cheadle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Iron Man 3, Iron Man 2, Boogie Nights

8
56 12
Anthony Mackie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Million Dollar Baby, The Hurt Locker

9
69 21
Michael B. Jordan is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
That Awkward Moment, Fruitvale Station, Hardball

10
57 14
James Earl Jones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, The Lion King

11
65 23
Jackie Chan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Kung Fu Panda, Rush Hour, Enter the Dragon

12
9 0
John Boyega is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Attack the Block, Junkhearts, Half of a Yellow Sun

13
52 18
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Sneakers

14
45 15
Bruce Lee is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Enter the Dragon, Limitless, Fist of Fury

15
45 15
Laurence Fishburne is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, Man of Steel

16
41 13
Dev Patel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Slumdog Millionaire, The Last Airbender, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

17
50 20
Eddie Murphy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Shrek, Mulan, Beverly Hills Cop

18
38 13
Benicio del Toro is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Usual Suspects, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sin City

19
46 21
Jamie Foxx is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Django Unchained, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Ray

20
33 11
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Schindler's List, Iron Man 3, Shutter Island

21
34 13
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
38 17
Danny Glover is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Saw, Lethal Weapon, The Color Purple

23
12 1
Chadwick Boseman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
42, The Express, Get on Up

24
40 22
Kevin Hart is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This Is the End, Scary Movie 3

25
30 15
Terrence Howard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Iron Man, Crash, The Princess and the Frog

26
29 15
Danny Trejo is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Heat, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, From Dusk till Dawn

27
34 20
Chris Rock is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Madagascar

28
25 12
Chiwetel Ejiofor is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Children of Men, Love Actually, American Gangster

29
31 19
Antonio Banderas is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Shrek 2, Philadelphia, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles

30
23 12
Djimon Hounsou is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Gladiator, Guardians of the Galaxy, Amistad

31
30 19
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men, As Good as It Gets

32
23 13
Ken Watanabe is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Batman Begins, Inception, The Last Samurai

33
27 19
Richard Pryor is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Blazing Saddles, The Muppet Movie, Superman III

34
21 14
Andy García is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Untouchables, Ocean's Eleven, The Godfather Part III

35
22 15
Ving Rhames is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Pulp Fiction, Mission: Impossible, Dawn of the Dead

36
16 10
Omar Epps is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Scream 2, Love & Basketball, Juice

37
21 16
Wesley Snipes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Blade, Blade II, Blade: Trinity

38
14 9
Billy Dee Williams is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Batman, Return of the Jedi

39
5 0
Daniel Kaluuya is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Johnny English Reborn, Welcome to the Punch, Chatroom

40
13 8
Michael K. Williams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Incredible Hulk, 12 Years a Slave, Gone Baby Gone

41
16 11
David Oyelowo is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Lincoln, Interstellar, The Help

42
21 16
Gael García Bernal is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Y Tu Mamá También, Babel, Amores perros

43
17 13
Louis Gossett, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
An Officer and a Gentleman, Jaws 3-D, Enemy Mine

44
14 10
Ossie Davis is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, Grumpy Old Men

45
13 9
LeVar Burton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek Generations, Ali

46
12 8
Keith David is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Platoon, The Thing, Requiem for a Dream

47
16 13
Giancarlo Esposito is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Usual Suspects, Do the Right Thing, Trading Places

48
15 13
Diego Luna is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
Elysium, Y Tu Mamá También, The Terminal

49
13 12
Jeffrey Wright is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, Casino Royale

50
9 12
Mos Def is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Non-White Actors in Hollywood
The Italian Job, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy