15 Great Actors (not personalities e.g. Denzel Washington)

This is a list of ten great actors. Hopefully anyone who reads this will understand my distinction between actors and personalities. Actors become another human being bringing none of themselves to the screen. Personalities bring mostly themselves to the screen, which can be entertaining, but is not acting. Interestingly, women tend to be more successful as actresses and men as personalities.

Here is a list of personalities:
Tom Cruise
Bruce Willis
George Clooney
Harrison Ford
Will Smith
Samuel L. Jackson
Clint Eastwood
Sandra Bullock

Oh, and this list only includes actors who are alive and continuing to act and they are in no particular order.

And if you have any suggestions, please let me know.
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1.
Robert De Niro
Actor, Goodfellas
De Niro's longtime collaboration with Scorsese later earned him an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in the 1980 film Raging Bull. He also earned nominations for the psychological thrillers Taxi Driver (1976) and Cape Fear (1991), both directed by Scorsese. De Niro received...
“ Again no need for explanation, although if one only included his recent movies, he might make the personalities list, he may be getting a little lazy in his old age ” - ccclyde
 
2.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Actor, Capote
Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ancestry...
“ One of the best around. This man is really able to occupy not only the body, but the soul of the character. Bravo sir.

Watch the differences between his characters in Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Charlie Wilson's War, and Synecdoche, New York. Oh and of course Capote. ” - ccclyde
 
3.
Kate Winslet
Actress, Titanic
Ask Kate Winslet what she likes about any of her characters, and the word "ballsy" is bound to pop up at least once. The British actress has made a point of eschewing straightforward pretty-girl parts in favor of more devilish damsels; as a result, she's built an eclectic resume that runs the gamut from Shakespearean tragedy to modern-day mysticism and erotica...
“ no need to explain this one. ” - ccclyde
 
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...
“ One of the best, but also the most overlooked. From Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies to Leon to a very interesting turn in True Romance. It is incredible how this man is able to disappear within his roles. ” - ccclyde
 
5.
Meryl Streep
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 19 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William Streep...
“ or this one ” - ccclyde
 
6.
Steve Buscemi
Actor, Fargo
Steve Buscemi was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Dorothy (Wilson), a restaurant hostess, and John Buscemi, a sanitation worker. He is of Italian (father) and English, Dutch, and Irish (mother) descent. He became interested in acting during his last year of high school. After graduating, he moved to Manhattan to study acting with John Strasberg...
“ Great dramatic actor, but also can take a great turn in a comedy. ” - ccclyde
 
7.
Michael Gambon
Sir Michael Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, to Mary (Hoare), a seamstress, and Edward Gambon, an engineer. After joining the National Theatre, under the Artistic Directorship of Sir Laurence Olivier, Gambon went on to appear in a number of leading roles in plays written by Alan Ayckbourn...
“ Fantastic, simply fantastic. ” - ccclyde
 
8.
Gene Hackman
Actor, Unforgiven
Eugene Allen Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Anna Lyda Elizabeth (Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman, who operated a newspaper printing press. He is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German), English, and Scottish ancestry, partly by way of Canada, where his mother was born. After several moves...
“ Great in Royal Tennenbaums, The Conversation, and everything else. ” - ccclyde
 
9.
John Turturro
Highly talented, lightly built American actor who always looks unsettled and jumpy has become a favourite of cult/arthouse film aficionados with his compelling performances in a broad range of cinematic vehicles. Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian-American parents, Katherine, a jazz singer...
“ Again, a truly phenomenal actor, such range and so much presence.

Barton Fink, Big Lebowski, Clockers ” - ccclyde
 
10.
Ben Kingsley
Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Bhanji in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was a Kenyan-born medical doctor, of Gujarati Indian descent, and his mother, Anna Lyna Mary (Goodman), was an English actress. Ben began to act in stage plays during the 1960s. He soon became a successful stage actor...
“ Best Actor for Gandhi, fantastic in everything from Schindler's List to Shutter Island. ” - ccclyde
 
11.
Daniel Day-Lewis
Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Cecil Day-Lewis (A.K.A. Nicholas Blake) (Poet Laureate of England) and his second wife, Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and head of the famous Ealing Studios...
“ Needs as little explanation as Ms. Streep. ” - ccclyde
 
12.
Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. He was raised in Brisbane, Queensland, after his parents split up...
“ Did you see King's Speech? Screw Christian Bale. ” - ccclyde
 
13.
Frances McDormand
Actress, Fargo
Frances Louise McDormand was born on June 23, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. She was adopted by Canadian-born parents Noreen Eloise (Nickleson), a nurse from Ontario, and Vernon Weir McDormand, a minister from Nova Scotia, who raised her in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. She earned her B.A. in Theater from Bethany College in 1979 and her MFA from Yale in 1982...
“ So great, so funny. Personally my favorite actress of all time. ” - ccclyde
 
14.
Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Lee Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California, to Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who was a furniture salesman and prop supervisor for Columbia Pictures. He was raised in a Jewish family (from Ukraine, Russia-Poland, and Romania). Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955, and went to Santa Monica City College...
“ Kramer vs. Kramer, Rain Man, nuff said ” - ccclyde
 
15.
Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten years old...
“ severe ” - ccclyde