the 20 best actors

The best actors of every era.
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1.
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in 1949...
“ Brando. The name says it all. I don't think that we need another reason to watch a movie. If he is billed, and he is always top billed (counter reference - The Score, The Formula...), we should see it. This guy gave us col. Kurtz, Don Corleone, Stanley Kowalski and Terry Malloy. He is effortless, sly, sharp, emotional yet detached and distand. He is the master of the craft. He is the king. All hail the king. ” - mirkolamou
 
2.
Daniel Day-Lewis
Day-Lewis is one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation and has earned numerous awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Actor for his performances in My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012), making him the only male actor in history to have three wins in the lead actor category and one of only three male actors to win three Oscars...
“ The one guy who could compete with Brando concerning vast range of their capabilities as an actor is Daniel Day-Lewis. We believe him to be this bloodthirsty butcher at one point and heroic hunter and scout in the second. Modest and kind, he should be aware of his status, because he is the best actor of our time, of every time, excluding Brando. ” - mirkolamou
 
3.
James Stewart
James Maitland Stewart was born on 20 May 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English, descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he was a keen athlete (football and track)...
“ An all American hero and still a perfectly ordinary guy. His love, fears, rage, sadness and happyness were something that gave us pleasure for so many wonderful years. Weak and indulgent as one would think, but instead strong and incredibly resolute, he always believed in goodness of mankind and firmly dealt with the things that tried to ruin his and ours perfect world. ” - mirkolamou
 
4.
Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman is a talented British born movie actor who played Sid Vicious in Sid & Nancy, Drexl in True Romance, and George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He starred in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the remake of RoboCop. He is also an English filmmaker, musician and author. Renowned for his "big" acting style...
“ Eternally talented, sharp, always full of anxiety, slightly sad, but energy full; Gary Oldman is the teacher among students concerning acting craft. He's glance piercing into the distant void tells us: "I know everything that needs to be known. Ask me and I will share." ” - mirkolamou
 
5.
Robert De Niro
Actor, Goodfellas
Robert De Niro, thought of as one of the greatest actors of all time, was born in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is Irish, German, Dutch, English, and French. He was trained at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop...
“ A living legend. The one all the other look up to. A family man, vise guy, a gambler, priest that bends the rules, master criminal with the code, skillful mercenary and a decorated cop; everything and more, much more is Robert De Niro. ” - mirkolamou
 
6.
Humphrey Bogart
Actor, Casablanca
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy in Andover...
“ Tough guy. No noncence guy. A reference to go name. Every film encyclopedia should begin with him. He is great as a hero, he's even better as a villain. ” - mirkolamou
 
7.
Anthony Hopkins
Actor, Hannibal
Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, he moved to London and joined the National Theatre...
“ A gentleman and the monster. The giant that walks among us. Wildly intelligent and brilliant, this man is a "sir" with a reason. A good man that can turn "bad" if you push him, and a bad man that can be kind if he gives you a chance. ” - mirkolamou
 
8.
Sean Penn
Sean Penn is a powerhouse film performer capable of intensely moving work, who has gone from strength to strength during a colourful film career, and who has drawn much media attention for his stormy private life and political viewpoints. Sean Justin Penn was born in Los Angeles, California, the second son of actress Eileen Ryan (née Annucci) and director...
“ A serious actor. A man driven. Passionate, serious, dangerous, determined.
Sean deserves all the praise that he gets, and we all need to right the wrong of neglecting him earlier, and the talent that bursts from his work. ” - mirkolamou
 
9.
Clint Eastwood
Perhaps the icon of macho movie stars, and a living legend, Clint Eastwood has become a standard in international cinema. Born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the elder of two children in a middle-class family, Eastwood finished high school at the comparatively late age of 19 and worked odd jobs for several years before enrolling at Los Angeles City College...
“ No words can describe this man. He is a legend. He is a living respect. He is THE western hero and he is THE cop. He is the man that holds the values of life so high, for us all to look upon them... and him. ” - mirkolamou
 
10.
Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness was an English actor. After an early career on the stage, he was featured in several of the Ealing Comedies, including The Ladykillers and Kind Hearts and Coronets in which he played eight different characters. He is also known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946)...
“ Brilliant and masterful, Alec Guinness is an actor in every sense of the word. Hugely and deservingly respected as one of the best actors ever, he shows such determination and easyness on the big screen that it would seem that he puts no effort in his work; that is because of his born talent, tact and sense of duty. ” - mirkolamou
 
11.
Jack Nicholson
With 12 Academy Award nominations (eight for Best Actor and four for Best Supporting Actor), Nicholson is the most nominated male actor in Academy Awards history. Only Nicholson (1960s-2000s), Michael Caine (1960s-2000s), Paul Newman (1950s-1960s, 1980s-2000s), and Laurence Olivier (1930s-1970s) have been nominated for an acting (lead or supporting) Academy Award in five decades...
“ What to say about Big Jack. A man that grasps with the greatness of his nature. A name respected and gladly mentioned. We bow our heads to Big Jack. ” - mirkolamou
 
12.
Morgan Freeman
With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman...
“ When a man must wait for his chance until he is in his 40-es, we could imagine that he would very easily give up. But not mister Freeman. The man was a fighter all his life and still is, reminding us that we must fight through life, we must earn good things, and we can never give up.
Morgan Freeman IS what we like to call the man. ” - mirkolamou
 
13.
Al Pacino
One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family. His parents...
“ At this point I will offer no more descriptions because i would only repeat myself. Instead I will note some of the most notable characters these guys portrayed on the big screen.
We start with Big Al.
Michael Corleone, Vincent Hanna, Frank Serpico, Tony Montana etc. ” - mirkolamou
 
14.
Sidney Poitier
A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with his brother...
“ Virgil Tibbs, John Prentice, Donald Crease, Nelson Mandela, FBI Dep. Dir. Carter Preston etc. ” - mirkolamou
 
15.
John Wayne
John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. He was of English, Ulster-Scots, and Irish ancestry. Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, where they tried ranching in the Mojave Desert...
“ The Duke...
John Chisum, Hondo Lane, Ethan Edwards, John T. Chance, Davy Crockett, Tom Doniphon and more and more and then some! ” - mirkolamou
 
16.
Russell Crowe
Actor, Gladiator
Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom catered movie sets. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Wemyss, was a cinematographer. Crowe's recent ancestry includes Welsh (where his paternal grandfather was born, in Wrexham), English...
“ Hando, Bud White, Jeffrey Wigand, Maximus Decimus Meridius, Jim Braddock etc. ” - mirkolamou
 
17.
Bill Murray
Bill Murray is an American actor, comedian, and writer. The fifth of nine children, he was born William James Murray in Wilmette, Illinois, to Lucille (Collins), a mailroom clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, who sold lumber. He is of Irish descent. Among his siblings are actors Brian Doyle-Murray, Joel Murray...
“ dr. Peter Venkman, Phil Connors, Bunny Breckinridge, Raleigh St. Clair, Steve Zissou etc. ” - mirkolamou
 
18.
Laurence Fishburne
Actor, The Matrix
One of Hollywood's most talented and versatile performers and the recipient of a truckload of NAACP Image awards, Laurence John Fishburne III was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961, to Hattie Bell (Crawford), a teacher, and Laurence John Fishburne, Jr., a juvenile corrections officer. His mother transplanted her family to Brooklyn after his parents divorced...
“ sheriff Tanny Brown, capt. Miller, Bumpy Johnson, Socrates Fortlow, Morpheus etc. ” - mirkolamou
 
19.
Jean-Paul Belmondo
Actor, Breathless
The son of the renowned French sculptor Paul Belmondo, he studied at Conservatoire National Superieur d'Art Dramatique (CNSAD); after the minor stage performances he made his screen debut in À pied, à cheval et en voiture but the episodes with his participation were cut before release. However, the breakthrough role in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless made him one of the key figures in the French New Wave...
“ Michel Poiccard, Cartouche, Adrien Dufourquet, Francois Capella, Bob Saint-Clair, Josselin Beaumont, Joe Cavalier etc. ” - mirkolamou
 
20.
Robert Mitchum
Robert Mitchum was an underrated American leading man of enormous ability, who sublimated his talents beneath an air of disinterest. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Ann Harriet (Gunderson), a Norwegian immigrant, and James Thomas Mitchum, a shipyard/railroad worker. His father died in a train accident when he was two...
“ Paddy Carmody, Max Cady, sheriff J. P. Harrah, Charles Shaughnessy, Matt Calder, rev. Harry Powell etc. ” - mirkolamou