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The Best (Male) Actors Working Today

Updated December 1, 2020 1.7m votes 103.4k voters 1.2m views273 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!

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  • Tom Hanks1
    37,549
    11,890

    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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  • Christian Bale2
    20,931
    11,189

    BirthplaceHaverfordwest, United Kingdom

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

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  • Hugh Jackman3
    14,739
    6,760

    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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  • Tom Hardy4
    9,884
    4,767

    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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  • Benedict Cumberbatch5
    9,530
    4,343

    BirthplaceHammersmith, London, United Kingdom

    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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  • Robert Downey Jr.6
    21,674
    11,655

    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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  • Anthony Hopkins7
    14,443
    7,791

    BirthplaceMargam, United Kingdom

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

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  • Matthew McConaughey8
    11,371
    5,902

    BirthplaceTexas, USA, Uvalde

    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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  • Samuel L. Jackson9
    13,814
    7,401

    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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  • Jake Gyllenhaal10
    9,567
    4,371

    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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  • Bradley Cooper11
    11,041
    5,778

    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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  • Joaquin Phoenix12
    7,473
    4,052

    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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  • Ryan Reynolds13
    7,859
    3,557

    BirthplaceVancouver, Canada

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  • Woody Harrelson14
    8,552
    4,425

    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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  • Tommy Lee Jones15
    8,493
    4,731

    BirthplaceSan Saba, Texas, United States of America

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

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  • Brad Pitt16
    14,579
    8,261

    Brad Pitt

    Age: 56

    BirthplaceUSA, Shawnee, Oklahoma

    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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  • Ian McKellen17
    9,419
    5,355

    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)

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  • Ryan Gosling18
    7,506
    4,135

    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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  • Idris Elba19
    4,960
    2,662

    Idris Elba

    Age: 48

    BirthplaceLondon Borough of Hackney, London, United Kingdom

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  • Johnny Depp20
    17,950
    10,422

    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)
    Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie (2016)
    Black Mass (2015)
    Mortdecai (2015)
    Into the Woods (2014)
    Tusk (2014)
    Transcendence (2014)

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  • Chris Hemsworth21
    6,565
    3,377

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

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  • James McAvoy22
    5,699
    3,151

    BirthplacePort Glasgow, United Kingdom

    It: Chapter Two (2019)
    Dark Phoenix (2019)
    Glass (2019)
    Submergence (2017)
    Atomic Blonde (2017)
    Split (2016)
    X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
    Victor Frankenstein (2015)
    The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (2014)
    X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

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  • Paul Rudd23
    5,910
    3,133

    Paul Rudd

    Age: 51

    BirthplacePassaic, New Jersey, United States of America

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  • Willem Dafoe24
    5,054
    2,804

    BirthplaceUSA, Grand Chute, Wisconsin, Appleton

    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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  • Mark Ruffalo25
    6,961
    3,943

    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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