Great Actors (Male)

50 of the world's best actors, in my opinion.

Honourary mentions to Christopher Walken, Elijah Wood, Peter O'Toole, and Christoph Waltz.
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1.
Edward Norton
Actor, Fight Club
American actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Columbia, Maryland. His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (Rouse), was a foundation executive and teacher of English, and a daughter of famed real estate developer James Rouse...
“ My number 1. Hands down. Edward Norton is just so... perfect. I can't really decribe it. He's spot on with his characters, acts them to perfection, and blows my mind. Loved him in Illusionist, American History X, Fight Club... Oh well, anything really. ” - BoMarit
 
2.
Leonardo DiCaprio
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 and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3, to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet and Titanic...
“ When I saw him in Titanic, I liked it but wasn't getting heart attacks like all the other teenage girls around me. But he has managed to let go of that image, and makes some of the best quality films around. He is so precise with his characters, I believe anything I see from him. It's amazing to watch him, and he'll keep doing great things, I'm sure. ” - BoMarit
 
3.
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 out of school when he was 15...
“ I mean... This man needs no words. He pulls off the craziest of characters and also makes PERFECT choices of roles. I hope he gets an Oscar in the future, his entire oeuvre deserves one. ” - BoMarit
 
4.
Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He had English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan had an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years old...
“ First stole my heart in Sense and Sensibility. What a performances he's given so far! He's played several bad guys and his English productions are seriously PHENOMENAL. Also, nobody was better suited for Snape. ” - BoMarit
 
5.
Ian McKellen
Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (Sutcliffe) and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer. He is of Scottish, Northern Irish, and English descent. During his early childhood, his parents moved with Ian and his sister Jean to the mill town of Wigan...
“ From Magneto to Gandalf, I absolutely love him in the fantasy genre. I think he's an amazingly charismatic man to watch. ” - BoMarit
 
6.
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...
“ Amazing actor, what a great versatility and depth he brings to the table. ” - BoMarit
 
7.
James McAvoy
McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a nurse, and James McAvoy senior, a bus driver. He was raised on a housing estate in Drumchapel, Glasgow by his maternal grandparents (James, a butcher, and Mary) after his parents divorced when James was 7. He went to St Thomas Aquinas Secondary in Jordanhill...
“ Our first rising star. His upcoming projects will define his career, but he's already proving that he's fantastic. Love him in Atonement, and seriously think he'll be stunning in anything else. ” - BoMarit
 
8.
Willem Dafoe
Actor, Spider-Man
Willem Dafoe was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, to Muriel Isabel (Sprissler), a nurse, and Dr. William Alfred Dafoe, a surgeon. He is of German, French, English, Irish, and Scottish descent. In 1979, Dafoe was given a small role in Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate from which he was fired. His first feature role came shortly after in Kathryn Bigelow's The Loveless...
“ First saw him in Platoon when I was younger and he blew my mind. Still does. Phenomenal. ” - BoMarit
 
9.
Jeff Bridges
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 billing...
“ Yay! His face makes me happy. I love this man, especially in Crazy Heart - what a performance... ” - BoMarit
 
10.
Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs was born in Liverpool, the third of four children of Sheila (née Nathan) and Eric Isaacs. His parents were both from Jewish families (from Eastern Europe). He studied law at Bristol University and graduated in 1985 with a degree in law but decided to study acting. While at Bristol University...
“ So incredibly talented, yet so underrated. Why?? He's amazing! From Harry Potter to Green Zone to Patriot to Brotherhood... He acts with such class and depth, I really enjoy his stuff. He should have much bigger roles. ” - BoMarit
 
11.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Actor, Inception
Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt was born February 17, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, to Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. Joseph was raised in a Jewish family with his late older brother, Dan Gordon-Levitt, who passed away in October 2010. His parents worked for the Pacifica Radio station KPFK-FM and his maternal grandfather...
“ He'll shoot to überfame in the coming 5 years. One of the great new faces (though he's not really new) and he's distinguished himself with his latest roles. ” - BoMarit
 
12.
Sean Bean
Sean Bean's 20 year career spans theater, radio, television and movies. Bean was born in Handsworth, Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, to Rita (Tuckwood) and Brian Bean. He worked for his father's welding firm before he decided to become an actor. He attended RADA in London and appeared in a number of West End stage productions including RSC's "Fair Maid of the West" (Spencer)...
“ He's currently blowing my mind in Game of Thrones: I wasn't sure whether he'd pull off the good guy for once, but oh my god he's amazing! It made me re-evaluate what he's done so far and it's good. ” - BoMarit
 
13.
Orlando Bloom
Orlando Jonathan Blanchard Bloom was born in Canterbury, Kent, England on January 13, 1977. His mother, Sonia Constance Josephine (Copeland), was born in Kolkata, India, to an English family then-resident there. The man he briefly knew as his father, Harry Bloom, was a legendary political activist who fought for civil rights in South Africa...
“ Highly underrated because of his looks, I guess, but he does some seriously amazing acting in his movies! ” - BoMarit
 
14.
Hugh Jackman
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film series...
“ Stole my heart in X-Men, and keeps on doing it. The Prestige and Deception are other favourites. ” - BoMarit
 
15.
Christopher Lee
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it be Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film...
“ Best. Dracula. Ever. Pretty much one high quality actor - you should listen to his metal band, it's the best! ” - BoMarit
 
16.
Chris Hemsworth
Actor, Thor
Chris Hemsworth was born in Melbourne, Australia, to Leonie (van Os), a teacher of English, and Craig Hemsworth, a social-services counselor. His brothers are actors Liam Hemsworth and Luke Hemsworth. He is of Dutch (from his immigrant maternal grandfather), Irish, English, Scottish, and German ancestry. His uncle, by marriage, was Rod Ansell, the bushman who inspired the film Crocodile Dundee...
“ Another rising star. I think he'll do great in the action/fantasy genre, though I hope he manages to distinguish himself into drama as well. Great jobs so far. ” - BoMarit
 
17.
Eric Bana
Actor, Star Trek
Eric Bana was born Eric Banadinovic on August 9, 1968, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He is the younger of two brothers. His father, named Ivan Banadinovic, came from Zagreb, Croatia, and worked as a manager for Caterpillar Inc. His mother, named Eleanor Banadinovic, came from a German family and was a hairdresser...
“ Recently saw him in Hanna and seriously, he's just amazing. ” - BoMarit
 
18.
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...
“ For me, he stole the show in King's Speech (sorry.. he just did). I love him in most of him movies, he's phenomenal. ” - BoMarit
 
19.
Ryan Gosling
Actor, Drive
Ryan Thomas Gosling was born on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, Canada. He is the son of Donna (Wilson), a secretary, and Thomas Ray Gosling, a traveling salesman. Ryan was the second of their two children. His ancestry is French-Canadian, as well as English, Scottish, and German. The Gosling family moved to Cornwall...
“ I think he will be one of the greatest of all times in a few years. No joke, he acts with such quality and perfection, you (almost) forget he's a superhot guy as well. Blue Valentine, All Good Things, and Notebook are just 3 of my favourites. I don't have enough praise for him. ” - BoMarit
 
20.
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...
“ Quid pro quo... This man sends chills down my spine. ” - BoMarit
 
21.
Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey, Canadian-born and a U.S. citizen since 2004, is an actor and producer famous for his rubbery body movements and flexible facial expressions. The two-time Golden Globe-winner rose to fame as a cast member of the Fox sketch comedy In Living Color but leading roles in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Dumb & Dumber and The Mask established him as a bankable comedy actor...
“ People think he can only do funny stuff - which he's incredible at - but he is one of my favourite chameleons. I loved him in Eternal Sunshine and Truman Show. ” - BoMarit
 
22.
Colin Firth
Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. His mother, Shirley Jean (Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University, and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's College) in Winchester...
“ I really like him and he deserved his Oscar this year, but he'll always be Mr Darcy to me and therefore he's not that high. ” - BoMarit
 
23.
Christian Bale
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 countries throughout Bale's childhood...
“ Very versatile, edgy, and dark. I love the depth he gives to his roles, but for me, The Prestige was his best. ” - BoMarit
 
24.
Matthew Macfadyen
David Matthew Macfadyen was born in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, to Meinir (Owen), a drama teacher and actress, and Martin Macfadyen, an oil executive. He is of Scottish and Welsh descent. Because of his father's career, he spent at least part of his childhood in Indonesia, before finishing his education back in England and winning a place at RADA in 1992...
“ One of Britain's best. His movies are phenomenal, but he also blew my mind as Logan Mountstewart in Any Human Heart. ” - BoMarit
 
25.
Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy made his debut in Ridley Scott's 2001 war film Black Hawk Down. Hardy's other notable films include the science fiction film Star Trek: Nemesis (2002), the crime film RocknRolla (2008), biographical psychological drama Bronson (2008), science fiction thriller Inception (2010), sports drama Warrior (2011)...
“ This guy is a rising star, mark my words. ” - BoMarit
 
26.
Heath Ledger
When hunky, twenty-year-old heart-throb Heath Ledger first came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of little depth. He spent several years trying desperately to sway this image, but this was a double-edged sword. Heath Ledger was born on the fourth of April 1979...
“ What a performance he made of the Joker. I was a fan for quite some time and he kept changing and improving with every film. Rest in peace, Heath. ” - BoMarit
 
27.
Ewan McGregor
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 encouraged him to leave school and pursue his acting goals rather than be unhappy...
“ I love anything he does. He's just great. ” - BoMarit
 
28.
Sean Connery
Actor, Dr. No
Connery's breakthrough came in the role of secret agent James Bond. He was reluctant to commit to a film series, but understood that if the films succeeded his career would greatly benefit. He played the character in the first five Bond films: Dr. No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball...
“ Best James Bond. And also has an amazing resume. ” - BoMarit
 
29.
Robin Williams
Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford Motor Company executive from Indiana...
“ Besides a GREAT, great actor, he's also an incredibly funny stand-up comedian - watch his stuff on Youtube! ” - BoMarit
 
30.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has evolved into one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. With an amazing list of credits to his name, he has managed to stay new and fresh even after over four decades in the business. Downey was born April 4, 1965 in Manhattan, New York, the son of writer, director and filmographer Robert Downey Sr. and actress Elsie Downey (née Elsie Ann Ford)...
“ He's Iron Man. And he's doing a damn good job at it. He'd be higher if it weren't for that failure of a Sherlock Holmes (to which they're making a sequel - argh). ” - BoMarit
 
31.
Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, screen-writer and director, is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received Oscar nods in every decade from sixties through the naughts...
“ Pure gold, this man. I'll never forgot his performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. ” - BoMarit
 
32.
Hugo Weaving
Actor, The Matrix
Hugo Wallace Weaving was born on April 4, 1960 in Nigeria, to English parents Anne (Lennard), a tour guide and teacher, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist. Hugo has an older brother, Simon, and a younger sister, Anna, who both also live and work in Australia. During his early childhood, the Weaving family spent most of their time traveling between Nigeria...
“ Smith. I mean, nobody can move their eyebrows like this one. ” - BoMarit
 
33.
Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Lee Renner was born in Modesto, California, the son of Valerie (Tague) and Lee Renner, who managed a bowling alley. After a tumultuous yet happy childhood with his four younger siblings, Renner graduated from Beyer High School and attended Modesto Junior College. He explored several areas of study...
“ Also slightly underrated, but he has such an interesting aura and I loved him in the Hurt Locker. ” - BoMarit
 
34.
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, to producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner (née Achs) and director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played his sister in Donnie Darko. His godmother is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His mother is from a Jewish family, and his father's ancestry includes Swedish, English, and Swiss-German...
“ I've always liked him, though he blew me away in Brokeback Mountain. He's proving that he's an amazing actor. Still, he'll always be Donnie Darko to me. ” - BoMarit
 
35.
Stellan Skarsgård
Stellan Skarsgård is a Swedish actor. He is known for his roles as Jan Nyman in Breaking the Waves (1996), Prof. Gerald Lambeau in Good Will Hunting (1997), Bootstrap Bill in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007), Bill Anderson in Mamma Mia...
“ This man is usually cast next to the big ones and therefore somewhat overshadowed, but his performances are stellar (no pun intended). ” - BoMarit
 
36.
Sam Neill
Sam Neill was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to army parents, an English-born mother, Priscilla Beatrice (Ingham), and a New Zealand-born father, Dermot Neill. His family moved to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. He went to boarding schools and then attended the universities at Canterbury and Victoria...
“ Very talented and versatile. I like him in fantasy roles. ” - BoMarit
 
37.
Dominic Monaghan
Dominic Monaghan is best known for his role in the movie adaptations of "Lord of the Rings". Before that, he became known in England for his role in the British television drama Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. Monaghan was born in Berlin, West Germany, to British parents Maureen, a nurse, and Austin Monaghan, a science teacher...
“ From hobbit to heroin-addict, I think he's doing a great job at anything. ” - BoMarit
 
38.
Matt Damon
Matthew Paige Damon was born on October 8, 1970, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, realtor and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Matt has an older brother named Kyle who is now a sculptor. His father is of English and Scottish descent...
“ At first I was never too impressed, but he's been doing some quality work lately. Then I re-watched a lot of his films and realised that he's a very talented guy. ” - BoMarit
 
39.
Mark Strong
British actor Mark Strong, who played Jim Prideaux in the 2011 remake of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, is often cast as cold, calculating villains. But before he became a famous actor, he intended to pursue a career in law. Strong was born Marco Giuseppe Salussolia in London, England, to an Austrian mother and an Italian father...
“ Plays the bad guy with extreme precision, and I love his dark look and lingering sentences. ” - BoMarit
 
40.
Ryan Reynolds
Actor, Deadpool
Ryan Rodney Reynolds was born on October 23, 1976 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the youngest of four children. His father, James Chester Reynolds, was a food wholesaler, and his mother, Tammy, worked as a retail-store saleswoman. Between 1991-93, Ryan appeared in Fifteen, a Nickleodeon series taped in Florida with many other Canadian actors...
“ I hope his upcoming role in Green Lantarn will be good, but for now, he amazed me in Wolverine. ” - BoMarit
 
41.
Ken Watanabe
Actor, Inception
Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, 1959 in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. In 1978, he moved to Tokyo to pursue his career as an actor. He drew the attention of the critics when Yukio Ninagawa, a famous Japanese director, chose him for the lead role in one of his plays even though Ken was still an acting student...
“ I first saw him in Memoirs of a Geisha and was blown away. He keeps on doing that. ” - BoMarit
 
42.
Gerard Butler
Actor, 300
Gerard James Butler was born in Paisley, Scotland, to Margaret and Edward Butler, a bookmaker. His family is of Irish origin. Gerard spent some of his very early childhood in Montreal, Quebec, but was mostly raised, along with his older brother and sister, in his hometown of Paisley. His parents divorced when he was a child...
“ This man is so versatile - from 300 to PS I Love You. ” - BoMarit
 
43.
Bruce Willis
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 Willis was born on March 19...
“ Die Hard. Need I say more? ” - BoMarit
 
44.
“ For me, the one of the best performances in Lost (next to Locke and Ben), and I'm hoping his future is bright and shiny. ” - BoMarit
 
45.
Michael Caine
Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in London, to Ellen Frances Marie (Burchell), a charlady, and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, a fish-market porter. He left school at 15 and took a series of working-class jobs before joining the British army and serving in Korea during the Korean War, where he saw combat...
“ Amazing actor. ” - BoMarit
 
46.
Anthony Edwards
Actor, ER
Anthony Edwards was born in Santa Barbara, California, on July 19, 1962, to a well-blended family. He is the youngest of five children, and the son of Erika Kem (Weber), a landscape painter and artist, and Peter Edwards, an architect. His mother was of German descent, and his father was of English, Irish, Scottish, and Spanish-Mexican ancestry...
“ He stole the show in ER. ” - BoMarit
 
47.
Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig, one of British theatre's most famous faces, who waited tables as a struggling teenage actor with the National Youth Theatre, went on to star as "James Bond" in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre. He was born Daniel Wroughton Craig on March 2, 1968, at 41 Liverpool Road...
“ I'm really liking his James Bonds, but he still has to prove himself a little more. I hope his upcoming Cowboys and Aliens will do that for me. ” - BoMarit
 
48.
Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, UK, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, truck driver, assistant architect and an amateur boxer. He had originally sought a career as a teacher by attending St...
“ I'm not his biggest fan, but he does manage to make me believe in anything he does, and for that he deserves a place here. ” - BoMarit
 
49.
Michael Sheen
Even though he had burned up the London stage for nearly a decade--and appeared in several films--Michael Sheen was not really "discovered" by American audiences until his critically-acclaimed turn as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 1999 Broadway revival of "Amadeus". Sheen was born in Newport, Wales, the only son of Irene (Thomas) and Meyrick Sheen...
“ An ability to entertain, yet show amazingly weak characters - very impressed. ” - BoMarit
 
50.
Jason Momoa
Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa was born on August 1, 1979 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is the son of Coni (Lemke), a photographer, and Joseph Momoa, a painter. His father is of Hawaiian descent and his mother, who is from Iowa, is of mostly German ancestry. Jason was raised in Norwalk, Iowa by his mother. After high school...
“ Very underrated, but I think he's doing a great job in Game of Thrones. ” - BoMarit