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The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

Updated May 4, 2020 1.6m votes 100.3k voters 1.2m views272 items

List RulesWorking male actors who have starred in major films or TV series in the last ~5 years

The best actors working today include Hollywood legends, Academy Award winners and many of the top up and coming actors in the world right now. These talented and beautiful men grace the big and small screen with brilliant performances in our favorite movies and TV shows and do it really, really well. There's no question that many of these top current actors, if they aren't already, will long be remembered among the best actors of all time.

For many of these best male actors, being part of Hollywood's elite is nothing new as they've been starring in our favorite titles for many years. The likes of George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Christopher Walken, among other popular actors, have been around for decades and lost little of that spark that made them favorites.

Moving into a slightly younger crowd, many of these best current actors are quickly becoming legendary as they continue to see success. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Johnny Depp are not just all hot, but among the best Hollywood has to offer today. But there's another generation of young actors looking for their turn in the spotlight too with up and comers like Aaron Paul, Michael Fassbender, Chris Hemsworth and Henry Cavill all on track to be the next big thing.

How do you compare the newcomers and the veterans to the greatest actors of all time? However you rank them, do so below on this list of the best actors working today!

  • 1
    Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    Tom Hanks

    Age: 64

    BirthplaceConcord, California, United States of America

    A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)
    The Post (2017)
    Sully (2016)
    Bridge of Spies (2015)

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  • 2
    Christian Bale is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceHaverfordwest, United Kingdom

    Ford v. Ferrari (2019)
    Vice (2018)
    Backseat (2018)
    The Big Short (2015)
    Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

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  • 3
    Tom Hardy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    Tom Hardy

    Age: 43

    BirthplaceHammersmith, London, United Kingdom

    Fonzo (2019)
    Venom (2018)
    Taboo (2017-)
    Dunkirk (2017)
    Peaky Blinders (2014-)
    London Road (2016)
    The Revenant (2015)
    Legend (2015)
    Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
    Chilf 33 (2015)
    The Drop (2014)
    Locke (2014)

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  • 4
    Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceLondon, England

    Ironbark (2019)
    Avengers: Endgame (2019)
    Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018)
    The Grinch (2018)
    Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
    Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
    The Current War (2017)
    Doctor Strange (2016)
    Black Mass (2015)
    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
    The Imitation Game (2014)

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  • 5
    Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceManhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

    All-Star Weekend (2019)
    The Nice Guys (2016)
    Chef (2014)
    The Judge (2014)
    Avengers / Marvel movies (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015)

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  • 6
    Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceUvalde, Texas, United States of America

    The Beach Bum (2019)
    White Boy Rick (2018)
    The Dark Tower (2017)
    Gold (2017)
    The Sea of Trees (2016)
    Free State of Jones (2016)
    Interstellar (2014)

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  • 7
    Hugh Jackman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

    The Front Runner (2018)
    The Greatest Showman (2017)
    Logan (2017)
    Eddie the Eagle (2016)
    Pan (2015)
    Chappie (2015)
    X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

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  • 8
    Jake Gyllenhaal is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
    Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)
    The Sisters Brothers (2018)
    Wildlife (2018)
    Stronger (2017)
    Okja (2017)
    Life (2017)
    Nocturnal Animals (2016)
    Demolition (2015)
    Everest  (2015)
    Southpaw (2015)
    Accidental Love (2015)
    Nightcrawler (2014)

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  • 9
    Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceMargam, United Kingdom

    The Pope (2019)
    Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
    Westworld (2016)

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  • 10
    Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceWashington, D.C., United States of America

    Shaft (2019)
    Glass (2019)
    The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017)
    Kong: Skull Island (2017)
    xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017)
    The Legend of Tarzan (2016)
    The Hateful Eight (2015)
    Chi-Raq (2015)
    Big Game (2015)
    Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
    Kite (2014)
    Avengers / Marvel movies (2019, 2018, 2015, 2014)

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  • 11
    Bradley Cooper is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplacePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    A Star Is Born (2018)
    The Mule (2018)
    War Dogs (2016)
    Joy (2015)
    Aloha (2015)
    Serena (2015)
    American Sniper (2015)

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  • 12
    Ryan Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceVancouver, Canada

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  • 13
    Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceMidland, Texas, United States of America

    The Highwayman (2019)
    Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
    Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
    LBJ (2017)
    The Glass Castle (2017)
    War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
    Wilson (2017)
    The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
    The Duel (2016)
    Now You See Me 2 (2016)
    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (2014-15)

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  • 14
    Tommy Lee Jones is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceSan Saba, Texas, United States of America

    Ad Astra (2019)
    Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)
    Jason Bourne (2016)

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  • 15
    Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceRío Piedras, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

    Joker (2019)
    The Sisters Brothers (2018)
    Mary Magdalene (2018)
    Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (2018)
    You Were Never Really Here (2017)
    Irrational  Man (2015)
    Inherent Vice (2014)

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  • 16
    Idris Elba is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    Idris Elba

    Age: 43

    BirthplaceLondon Borough of Hackney, London, United Kingdom

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  • 17
    Ian McKellen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceBurnley, United Kingdom

    Cats (2019)
    The Good Liar (2019)
    All Is True (2018)
    Vicious (2013-16)
    Mr. Holmes (2015)
    Hobbit movies (2014, 2013, 2012)
    Marvel movies (2014, 2013)

  • 18
    Ryan Gosling is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceLondon, Canada

    First Man (2018)
    Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
    Song to Song (2017)
    La La Land (2016)
    The Nice Guys (2016)
    The Big Short (2015)
    Lost River (2014)

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  • 19
    Paul Rudd is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    Paul Rudd

    Age: 51

    BirthplacePassaic, New Jersey, United States of America

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  • 20
    Brad Pitt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    Brad Pitt

    Age: 56

    BirthplaceShawnee, Oklahoma, United States of America

    Once  Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
    Ad Astra (2019)
    War Machine (2017)
    Allied (2016)
    The Big Short (2015)
    By the Sea (2015)
    Fury (2014)

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  • 21
    Mark Ruffalo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceKenosha, Wisconsin, United States of America

    Spotlight (2016)
    Now You See Me 2 (2016)
    Foxcatcher (2015)
    Infinitely Polar Bear (2015)
    Avengers Movies (2019, 2018, 2017, 2015)

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  • 22
    Chris Hemsworth is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

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  • 23
    Chris Pratt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceVirginia, Minnesota, United States of America

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  • 24
    Willem Dafoe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceAppleton, Grand Chute, Wisconsin, United States of America

    The Lighthouse (2019)
    Motherless Brooklyn (2019)
    Aquaman (2018)
    At Eternity's Gate (2018)
    Opus Zero (2017)
    Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
    What Happened to Monday (2017)
    The Florida Project (2017)
    The Greay Walt (2016)
    A Family Man  (2016)
    Dog Eat Dog (2016)
    My Hindu Friend (2015)
    John Wick (2014)
    Pasolini (2014)
    The Fault in  Our Stars (2014)
    Bad Country (2014)
    The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
    A Most Wanted Man (2014)

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  • 25
    Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

    BirthplaceOwensboro, Kentucky, United States of America

    City of Lies (2018)
    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
    Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
    Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
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    Black Mass (2015)
    Mortdecai (2015)
    Into the Woods (2014)
    Tusk (2014)
    Transcendence (2014)

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