20 best male actors - In my opinionby jcbycroft | created - 19 Apr 2011 | updated - 19 Apr 2011 | Public
It is impossible to fit everyone into a list of 20 so my goal is to create a list of actors whose names are synomous with great film. I may not like some of these actors as people (Cruise, Gibson) but I think they are extremely good at what they do. Their roles are as believable and impressive as they are diverse. The play parts better than any other actor could have. They provide draw to films that without them would fail and with them smash records. One last thing. I acknowledge this is a list of younger actors (Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman) are overlooked for a reason. I'm sure you may have other favorites (as do I) but these are the ones you just can't deny are amazing at what they do.
Qualifications: - must have been a part of a headlining picture within the last eight years - must still be living - must have at least one film (any year) that was a box office smash or cult classic - must have range - they played a role better than anyone else could
F.y.i. the two movies I list are meant to demonstrate their range - not necessarily their best movies.
1. Gary Oldman
Actor | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
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...
Fifth Element - True Romance
2. Tom Hanks
Producer | Cast Away
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese, while his father was of mostly English ancestry. Tom grew up in what he has ...
Big - Castaway
3. Kevin Spacey
Actor | The Usual Suspects
Kevin Spacey Fowler, better known by his stage name Kevin Spacey, is an American actor of screen and stage, film director, producer, screenwriter and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in...
The Usual Suspects - K-Pax
4. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is perhaps one of the most versatile actors of his day and age in Hollywood.
He was born John Christopher Depp II in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, to Betty Sue (Wells), who worked as a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer.
Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped ...
Edward Scissor Hands - Pirates of the Caribbean
Actor | Fences
Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...
Training Day - Book of Eli
Actor | Inception
Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains (1985) and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3 (1991), to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s,...
Shutter Island - Catch Me If You Can
7. Mel Gibson
Actor | Braveheart
Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is ...
Braveheart - Mad Max
8. Brad Pitt
Actor | Mr. & Mrs. Smith
An actor and producer known as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt's most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club (1999). However, his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball (2011), and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven (...
Se7en - Troy
9. Tom Cruise
Actor | Top Gun
In 1976, if you had told fourteen year-old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not too distant future he would be Tom Cruise, one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to join the priesthood. ...
Vanilla Sky - Minority Report
10. Jeff Bridges
Actor | The Big Lebowski
Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, the son of well-known film and TV star Lloyd Bridges and his long-time wife Dorothy Dean Bridges (née Simpson). He grew up amid the happening Hollywood scene with big brother Beau Bridges. Both boys popped up, without ...
The Big Lebowski - Tron
11. Will Smith
Music_department | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden ...
Ali - The Pursuit of Happyness
12. Harrison Ford
Actor | Raiders of the Lost Ark
Harrison Ford was born on July 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, to Dorothy (Nidelman), a radio actress, and Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), an actor turned advertising executive. His father was of Irish and German ancestry, while his maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Minsk,...
Star Wars - Indiana Jones
13. Al Pacino
Actor | Serpico
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.
Alfredo James Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an ...
Scarface - Any Given Sunday
14. Robert De Niro
Actor | Cape Fear
One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in 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 English, Dutch, German, French and Irish. He was trained at...
Untouchables - Men of Honor
15. Bruce Willis
Actor | Die Hard
Actor and musician Bruce Willis is well known for playing wisecracking or hard-edged characters, often in spectacular action films. Collectively, he has appeared in films that have grossed in excess of $2.5 billion USD, placing him in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts.
Walter Bruce ...
Fifth Element - Pulp Fiction
16. Forest Whitaker
Actor | The Last King of Scotland
Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the 2006 film The Last King of Scotland (2006), and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American ...
Last King of Scotland - Street Kings
Actor | Pulp Fiction
Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), ...
Resurrecting the Champ - Pulp Fiction
18. Ewan McGregor
Actor | Moulin Rouge!
Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents ...
Trainspotting - Moulin Rouge
19. Christian Bale
Actor | The Dark Knight
Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Charles Howard Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different ...
3:10 to Yuma - American Psycho
20. Keanu Reeves
Actor | The Matrix
Keanu Charles Reeves, whose first name means "cool breeze over the mountains" in Hawaiian, was born September 2, 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon. He is the son of Patricia Taylor, a showgirl and costume designer, and Samuel Nowlin Reeves, a geologist. Keanu's father was born in Hawaii, of British, ...
The Matrix - The Replacements