Favorite Actors and Acresses

Not in any real order, except as the occur to me, though those nearest the top are generally my favorites.

I also cite my favorite performance and movie for each.
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
James Stewart
James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 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), musician (singing and accordion playing), and sometime actor...
“ I will say that James Stewart is my all time favorite actor, though. Light comedy, westerns, drama....

Favorite Movie: Vertigo
Favorite performance: The Philadelphia Story ” - Hairy_Lime
Cary Grant
Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant", Grant is said to have replied, "So would I." Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, England, to Elsie Maria (Kingdon) and Elias James Leach, who worked in a factory. His early years in Bristol would have been an ordinary lower-middle-class childhood...
“ No one was more adept at screwball romantic comedy than Grant. And, like Stewart, he was a brilliant Hitchcockian everyman.

Favorite Movie: Notorious
Favorite Performance: Bringing Up Baby ” - Hairy_Lime
Katharine Hepburn
Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was devastated at age 14 to find him dead...
“ Uh... Is it any wonder I really love The Philadelphia Story? Poor Ruth Hussey.

Favorite Movie:The Philadelphia Story
Favorite Performance: The Lion in Winter ” - Hairy_Lime
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...
“ Embodies a world-weary failed romantic hipness that is timeless.

Favorite Movie: Casablanca
Favorite Performance: The Maltese Falcon ” - Hairy_Lime
Ingrid Bergman
Actress, Casablanca
Ingrid Bergman was one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood's lamented Golden Era. Her natural and unpretentious beauty and her immense acting talent made her one of the most celebrated figures in the history of American cinema. Bergman is also one of the most Oscar-awarded actresses, tied with Meryl Streep, both second only to Katharine Hepburn...
“ I don't care how many layers of gauze they put over the camera lens to film her. Bergman in Casablanca is the most beautiful woman ever on screen.

Favorite Movie: Casablanca
Favorite Performance: Notorious ” - Hairy_Lime
William Holden
William Holden was born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois, to Mary Blanche (Ball), a schoolteacher, and William Franklin Beedle, Sr., an industrial chemist. He came from a wealthy family (the Beedles) that moved to Pasadena, California, when he was three. In 1937, while studying chemistry at Pasadena Junior College...
“ A rough and tumble, slightly sarcastic, manliness in his best roles. They'll love him in Pomona.

Favorite Movie: Sunset Blvd.
Favorite Performance: Network ” - Hairy_Lime
Joseph Cotten
Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Jr. was born in Petersburg, Virginia, into a well-to-do Southern family. He was the eldest of three sons born to Sally Whitworth (Willson) and Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Sr., an assistant postmaster. Jo (as he was known) and his brothers Whit and Sam spent their summers at their aunt and uncle's home at Virginia Beach...
“ When I visited the Hollywood Walk of Fame, I made damn sure to find his star. There were entire years when I felt like Holly Martins at the end of The Third Man.

Favorite Movie: The Third Man
Favorite Performance: The Third Man ” - Hairy_Lime
Orson Welles
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. Maurice Bernstein...
“ Long before he was an obese wine salesman and Johnny Carson guest, back when he was trying to make money to fund his genius directing efforts, he was a great actor. And even later - the greatest Falstaff imaginable.

Favorite Film: The Third Man
Favorite Performance: Chimes at Midnight ” - Hairy_Lime
Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon was born on February 8, 1925 in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. He initially acted on TV before moving to Hollywood for the big screen, cultivating a career that would span decades. An eight time Academy Award nominee, with two wins, Lemmon starred in over 60 films including Some Like It Hot...
“ Some actor/director combinations always worked for me: Hitch and Stewart, Hitch and Grant, Huston and Bogie, Ford and Wayne. Wilder and Lemmon.

Favorite Movie: Some Like it Hot
Favorite Performance: The Apartment ” - Hairy_Lime
Robert De Niro
Actor, Goodfellas
Robert De Niro thought of as one of the greatest actors of all time, 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 the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop...
“ Oh look! He's listed someone who is still alive! Add Scorsese and DeNiro to the above list.

Favorite Movie: Raging Bull
Favorite Performance: Raging Bull ” - Hairy_Lime
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...
“ Of all the current actresses or actors (based on current work), my favorite. Fond of taking risks in the roles she takes and the acting choices she makes. Also fond of taking off her clothes, but that's a mere lagniappe.

Favorite Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Favorite Performance: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ” - Hairy_Lime
Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson was born in London on April 15, 1959, into a family of actors - her father was Eric Thompson, who has passed away, and her mother, Phyllida Law, has co-starred with Thompson in several films (her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well). Her father was English-born and her mother is Scottish-born...
“ Gorgeous, sunny beauty who radiates intelligence and warmth. I think she'd be a great person to just sit and talk to.

Favorite Movie: Henry V
Favorite Performance: Much Ado About Nothing ” - Hairy_Lime
Meryl Streep
Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 20 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...
“ I'm sure she's been bad in a movie, but I cannot recall when. Even crap like Falling in Love was not her fault.

Favorite Movie: Adaptation
Favorite Performance: Sophie's Choice ” - Hairy_Lime
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...
“ Actually, Freeman has been in many of my least-liked well-liked films: Se7en, Shawshank Redemption, Driving Miss Daisy, all of which I at best dislike. But even in films I don't like, he's always the bright spot.

Favorite Film: Unforgiven
Favorite Performance: Glory ” - Hairy_Lime
Peter O'Toole
A leading man of prodigious talents, Peter O'Toole was raised in Leeds, England, the son of Constance Jane Eliot (Ferguson), a Scottish nurse, and Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish bookie. As a boy, he decided to become a journalist, beginning as a newspaper copy boy. Although he succeeded in becoming a reporter...
“ No one, but no one, goes over the top with the skill and panache of Peter O'Toole. Witness, for instance, either of his performances as Henry II. The man knows how to chew scenery. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Favorite Movie: Lawrence of Arabia
Favorite Performance: My Favorite Year ” - Hairy_Lime
Paul Giamatti
Actor, Sideways
Paul Giamatti is an American actor who has worked steadily and prominently for over twenty years, and is best known for leading roles in the films American Splendor, Sideways, and Barney's Version (for which he won a Golden Globe), and supporting roles in the films Cinderella Man, The Illusionist, and San Andreas...
“ Yeah, I'm always kind of fond of everyman character actors who stumble into leading man status, and still retain what made them great character actors.

Favorite Movie: Sideways
Favorite Performance: American Splendor ” - Hairy_Lime
Bette Davis
Actress, All About Eve
Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but then she discovered the stage...
“ Back to dead people! Like Hepburn, absolutely iconic despite, er... unconventional looks.

Favorite Movie: All About Eve
Favorite Performance: All About Eve ” - Hairy_Lime
Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington is an American actor and filmmaker. He has received three Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for the historical war drama film Glory and Best Actor for his role as a corrupt cop in the crime thriller Training Day. Denzel Hayes Washington...
“ He can be a little too unselective in his roles, but he brings great intensity to his best roles.

Favorite Film: Glory
Favorite Performance: Philadelphia ” - Hairy_Lime
Harry Dean Stanton
Actor, Alien
Prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton's drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes. Stanton was born in West Irvine, Kentucky, to Ersel (Moberly), a cook, and Sheridan Harry Stanton, a barber and tobacco farmer...
“ He's like cheese: put enough of it on cardboard or broccoli and I'll eat it up.

Favorite Movie: Paris, Texas
Favorite Performance: Repo Man ” - Hairy_Lime
Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. She was a blue-blood and a cosmopolitan from birth. Her mother, Ella van Heemstra, was a Dutch baroness; Audrey's father, Joseph Victor Anthony Hepburn-Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, of English and Austrian descent, and worked in business...
“ Audrey Hepburn's neck is possibly the single most perfect body part in screen history.

Favorite Movie: The Children's Hour
Favorite Performance: Love in the Afternoon ” - Hairy_Lime
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...
“ Granted, she had to sleep with the director to get her best roles.... She's always great in anyone's movies. And yes, I do actually slightly prefer Abbie to Marge, as much as I love Marge.

Favorite Movie: Fargo
Favorite Performance: Blood Simple ” - Hairy_Lime
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful. Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant banker...
“ Loved her since Lady Jane.

Favorite Movie: A Room With a View
Favorite Performance: Howards End ” - Hairy_Lime
Ralph Fiennes
Actor Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962 in Suffolk, England, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is the eldest of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus Fiennes...
“ I'm lukewarm to him as a romantic lead, but nobody does gleeful evil like Fiennes. No one. He makes the list for the "inanimate object" line reading in In Bruges alone.

Favorite Movie: Schindler's List
Favorite Performance: In Bruges ” - Hairy_Lime
Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness was an English actor. He is known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), Prince Faisal in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)...
“ Favorite Movie: Bridge on the River Kwai
Favorite Performance(s): Kind Hearts and Coronets ” - Hairy_Lime
Joe Pesci
Actor, Goodfellas
Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943 in Newark, New Jersey, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor, and by the mid-1950s, was starring on the series "Star Time Kids". In the mid-1960s...
“ Favorite Movie: Raging Bull
Favorite Performance: Goodfellas ” - Hairy_Lime
Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, 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 nomination in every decade from the 1960s through the early 2000s...
“ Oh, why not. Even if I do not like him as much as most, he's still been pretty great.

Favorite Movie: Chinatown
Favorite Performance: The Last Detail ” - Hairy_Lime
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...
“ Oh what the Hell. Even if I only like him in John Ford movies.

Favorite Movie: The Searchers
Favorite Performance: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance ” - Hairy_Lime
Alida Valli
Actress, The Third Man
Enigmatic, dark-haired foreign import Alida Valli was dubbed "The Next Garbo" but didn't live up to postwar expectations despite her cool, patrician beauty, remote allure and significant talent. Born in Pola, Italy (now Croatia), on May 3, 1921, the daughter of a Tridentine journalist and professor and an Istrian homemaker...
“ Favorite Movie: The Third Man
Favorite Performance: The Third Man ” - Hairy_Lime
Giulietta Masina
Born in San Giorgio di Piano, Giulietta Masina spent part of her teenage years living with a widowed aunt in Rome, where she cultivated a passion for the theater and studied for a degree in Philosophy. She began her career on the radio with the program "Terzoglio" (1942), about the adventures of newlyweds Cico and Pallina from scripts written by Federico Fellini...
“ Favorite Movie: La Strada
Favorite Performance: Nights of Cabiria ” - Hairy_Lime
Helen Mirren
Actress, The Queen
Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. Mirren attended St...
“ 60? I'd tap that.

Favorite Movie: Gosford Park
Favorite Performance: The Queen ” - Hairy_Lime
“ Ubiquitous if you watch Polish movies. I wonder if Poles ever play "Six Degrees of Daniel Olbrychski", or if they just consider it too damned easy.

Favorite Movie: Dekalog
Favorite Performance: Potop ” - Hairy_Lime
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...
“ Yeah, I know. Pretty boy. But every so often he flashes enough to make me realize why I thought he was such a good actor before he became famous.

Favorite Movie: Gangs of New York
Favorite Performance: What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ” - Hairy_Lime
Buster Keaton
Joseph Frank Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, to Joe Keaton and Myra Keaton. Joe and Myra were Vaudevillian comedians with a popular, ever-changing variety act, giving Keaton an eclectic and interesting upbringing. In the earliest days on stage, they traveled with a medicine show that included family friend...
“ Favorite Movie: The General
Favorite Performance: The General ” - Hairy_Lime
Groucho Marx
Actor, Duck Soup
From the late 1940s through 1961, he was the highly successful host of You Bet Your Life a quiz show on radio and television. His son, Arthur Marx, is a successful writer of biographies and TV scripts. Arthur complained about his father always being "on". If he asked Groucho about something serious or personal, Groucho would reply with one-liners.
“ All right, not really "actor".

Favorite Movie: Duck Soup
Favorite Performance: Horse Feathers ” - Hairy_Lime
Kirk Douglas
Actor, Spartacus
Kirk Douglas is an American actor, producer, director, and author. After an impoverished childhood with immigrant parents and six sisters, he had his film debut in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946) with Barbara Stanwyck. Douglas soon developed into a leading box-office star throughout the 1950s and 1960s...
“ Favorite Movie: Ace in the Hole
Favorite Performance: Spartacus ” - Hairy_Lime
Burt Lancaster
Burt Lancaster, one of five children, was born in Manhattan, to Elizabeth (Roberts) and James Henry Lancaster, a postal worker. All of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. He was a tough street kid who took an early interest in gymnastics. He joined the circus as an acrobat and worked there until he was injured...
“ Favorite Movie: Local Hero
Favorite Performance: The Leopard ” - Hairy_Lime
Jack Hawkins
Actor, Ben-Hur
In Britain, special Christmas plays called pantomimes are produced for children. Jack Hawkins made his London theatrical debut at age 12, playing the elf king in "Where The Rainbow Ends". At 17, he got the lead role of St. George in the same play. At 18, he made his debut on Broadway in "Journey's End"...
“ Favorite Movie: Lawrence of Arabia
Favorite Performance: Bridge on the River Kwai ” - Hairy_Lime
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...
“ Favorite Movie: Fargo
Favorite Performance: Fargo ” - Hairy_Lime
Julie Christie
Julie Christie, the British movie legend whom Al Pacino called "the most poetic of all actresses", was born in Chukua, Assam, India, on April 14, 1941, the daughter of a tea planter, Frank St. John Christie, and his wife, Rosemary (Ramsden), who was a painter. Her family was of English, and some Scottish...
“ She can't even comb her hair!

Favorite Movie: Technically, Nashville, but I'll go with McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Favorite Performance: Away From Her ” - Hairy_Lime
Kenneth Branagh
Actor, Valkyrie
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter born in 1930, and Frances (Harper) Branagh, also born in 1930. His brother, William Branagh Jr., was born in 1955 and sister, Joyce Branagh, was born in 1970...
“ Well, it's probably the Shakespearean in me. As a note: I've always loved Beatrice and Benedick.

Favorite Movie: Henry V
Favorite Performance: Much Ado About Nothing ” - Hairy_Lime
Tom Wilkinson
Popular British character actor Tom Wilkinson was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, and comes from a long line of urban farmers. He is the son of Marjorie (Percival) and Thomas Wilkinson. Economic hardships forced his family to move to Canada for a few years when Wilkinson was a child; after he had returned to England...