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Popular Film Actors from South Africa

Updated June 14, 2019 27.8k views436 items

List of famous film actors and actresses from South Africa, listed by their popularity with photos when available. South Africa has given birth to some great movie actors and actresses over the years, many of who have gone on to star in comedies, dramas, horror movies and more. These are some of the best South African screen actors in the history of the world, so if you're a native of South Africa and an aspiring actor/actress then these are people you should look up to.

You can rank all of these film actors, from Joe Vaz to Todd Gitlin.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the best South African actors?" and "Which movies stars are from South Africa?"

You can click on the names of these legendary movie stars of South Africa in order to get more information about each one. If you're a film buff use this list of talented South African film actors to find some new movies you haven't already seen.
  • Charlize Theron1

    Charlize Theron

    Prometheus, The Italian Job

    BirthplaceSouth Africa, Benoni, Gauteng

    NationalityUnited States of America, South Africa

    Charlize Theron ( shar-LEEZ THERR-ən; Afrikaans: [ʃarˈlis trɔn]; born 7 August 1975) is a...  more

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  • Sid James2

    Sid James

    The Lavender Hill Mob, The 39 Steps

    BirthplaceSouth Africa

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, South Africa

    Sidney "Sid" James (born Solomon Joel Cohen; 8 May 1913 – 26 April 1976) was a British...  more

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  • Basil Rathbone3

    Basil Rathbone

    The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Great Mouse Detective

    BirthplaceJohannesburg, South Africa

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, South Africa

    Philip St. John Basil Rathbone MC (13 June 1892 – 21 July 1967) was an English actor. He rose...  more

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  • Laurence Harvey4

    Laurence Harvey

    The Manchurian Candidate, Cinema Paradiso

    BirthplaceJoniškis, Lithuania

    NationalityLithuania, United Kingdom, South Africa

    Laurence Harvey (born Laruschka Mischa Skikne; 1 October 1928 – 25 November 1973) was a...  more

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  • Alice Krige5

    Alice Krige

    Chariots of Fire, Star Trek: First Contact

    BirthplaceUpington, South Africa

    NationalitySouth Africa

    Alice Maud Krige (; born 28 June 1954) is a South African actress and producer. Her first...  more
  • Cyril Cusack6

    Cyril Cusack

    Harold and Maude, My Left Foot

    BirthplaceDurban, South Africa

    NationalityIreland, United Kingdom, South Africa

    Cyril James Cusack (26 November 1910 – 7 October 1993) was an Irish actor, who appeared in...  more
  • Embeth Davidtz7

    Embeth Davidtz

    Schindler's List, The Amazing Spider-Man

    BirthplaceFairfield Township, Lafayette, Indiana, USA

    NationalityUnited States of America, South Africa

    Embeth Jean Davidtz (born August 11, 1965) is a South African-American actress. Her screen...  more
  • Glynis Johns8

    Glynis Johns

    Mary Poppins, While You Were Sleeping

    BirthplacePretoria, South Africa

    NationalityWales, South Africa

    Glynis Johns (born 5 October 1923) is a retired Welsh stage, television and film actress,...  more
  • Cecil Kellaway9

    Cecil Kellaway

    Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Wuthering Heights

    BirthplaceCape Town, South Africa

    NationalitySouth Africa

    Cecil Lauriston Kellaway (22 August 1890 – 28 February 1973) was a British/South African...  more
  • Dave Matthews10

    Dave Matthews

    Just Go With It, You Don't Mess with the Zohan

    BirthplaceJohannesburg, South Africa

    NationalityUnited States of America, South Africa

    David John Matthews (born January 9, 1967) is a South African-born American singer,...  more

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  • Ian Hunter11

    Ian Hunter

    The Adventures of Robin Hood, A Midsummer Night's Dream

    BirthplaceKenilworth, Cape Town

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, South Africa

    Ian Hunter (13 June 1900 – 22 September 1975) was an English character actor....  more
  • Bijou Phillips12

    Bijou Phillips

    Almost Famous, Bully

    BirthplaceGreenwich, Connecticut, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Bijou Lilly Phillips (born April 1, 1980) is an American actress, model, socialite, and...  more

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  • Arnold Vosloo13

    Arnold Vosloo

    The Mummy, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

    BirthplacePretoria, South Africa

    NationalityUnited States of America,South Africa

    Arnold Vosloo (born 16 June 1962) is a South African actor. He is known for his roles as...  more
  • 14

    Ross Kettle

    Playing God, Diamond Hunters

    BirthplaceDurban, Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    NationalitySouth Africa, New Zealand

    Ross Kettle is a South African actor, known for directing the play Soweto's Burning, and best...  more
  • Peter Gabriel15

    Peter Gabriel

    New York Stories, Secret World Live

    BirthplaceEngland, Chobham

    NationalityEngland, South Africa

    Peter Brian Gabriel (born 13 February 1950) is an English singer, songwriter, record producer...  more

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  • Alf Kumalo16

    Alf Kumalo

    The Bang Bang Club, Nor the Moon by Night

    BirthplaceAlexandra, Gauteng, South Africa

    NationalitySouth Africa

    Alfred Khumalo (5 September 1930 – 21 October 2012), better known as Alf Kumalo, and with the...  more
  • Hakeem Kae-Kazim17

    Hakeem Kae-Kazim

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, X-Men Origins: Wolverine

    BirthplaceLagos, Nigeria

    NationalityNigeria, England, South Africa

    Hakeem Kae-Kazim (born 1 October 1962) is a British-Nigerian actor best known for his work in...  more
  • Justine Waddell18

    Justine Waddell

    Dracula 2000, The Fall

    BirthplaceJohannesburg, South Africa

    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom, South Africa

    Justine Waddell (born 4 November 1976) is a South African born British film and television...  more
  • J. R. R. Tolkien19
    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (; 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet,...  more

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  • Antony Sher20

    Antony Sher

    Shakespeare in Love, The Wolfman

    BirthplaceCape Town, South Africa

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, South Africa

    Sir Antony Sher, KBE (born 14 June 1949) is a British actor of South African origin, a...  more
  • 21
    Lee Brilleaux was a member of the musical group, Dr. Feelgood....  more
  • Marius Weyers22

    Marius Weyers

    Gandhi, Blood Diamond

    BirthplaceJohannesburg, South Africa

    NationalitySouth Africa

    Marius Weyers (born 3 February 1945, in Johannesburg) is a South African actor. He lives with...  more
  • 23

    Harry DeRoy

    The Haunted Pajamas, Lend Me Your Name

    BirthplaceSouth Africa

    NationalitySouth Africa

    Harry DeRoy is an actor....
  • 24

    Dorothy Black

    The Night Has Eyes, The Admiral's Secret

    BirthplaceJohannesburg, South Africa

    NationalitySouth Africa

    Dorothy Black is an actress....  more
  • Nelson Mandela25

    BirthplaceMvezo, South Africa

    NationalitySouth Africa

    Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (; Xhosa: [xolíɬaɬa mandɛ̂ːla]; 18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013) was...  more

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