My 50 favourite actors/actresses

In order. I know there`s a lot more actors than actresses. I really don`t know exactly why, but all I can say is that all these are amazing in one or several films.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Edward Norton
Actor, Fight Club
Edward Norton is an American actor, filmmaker and activist. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards for his work in the films Primal Fear (1996), American History X (1998) and Birdman (2014). He also starred in other roles, such as Everyone Says I Love You (1996), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996)...
“ Nails every role he gets to perfection. My favourite actor. ” - b_havag
 
2.
Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck first film, Days of Glory, was released in 1944. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting: for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and Twelve O'Clock High (1949)...
“ One of my two favourites from the Golden Era. He shines in Mockingbird, the best performance of its time. ” - b_havag
 
3.
Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is best known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he won an Academy Award...
“ Gives perfection a new meaning as Hans Landa ” - b_havag
 
4.
Kevin Spacey
As enigmatic as he is talented, Kevin Spacey has always kept the details of his private life closely guarded. As he explained in a 1998 interview with the London Evening Standard, "the less you know about me, the easier it is to convince you that I am that character on screen. It allows an audience to come into a movie theatre and believe I am that person"...
“ Excels in everything he does. Undescribable greatness ” - b_havag
 
5.
Laura Linney
Laura Leggett Linney was born in New York City on February 5, 1964, into a theatre family. Her father was prominent playwright Romulus Linney, whose own great-grandfather was a congressman from North Carolina. Her mother, Miriam Anderson (Leggett), is a nurse. Although she did not live in her father's house (her parents having divorced when she was an infant)...
“ She may very well be my favourite actress. The Big C, The Truman Show and Love Actually. ” - b_havag
 
6.
“ I`ve only seen her in Bend it Like Beckham, but that part is just so FANTASTIC. ” - b_havag
 
7.
Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes is an English actor. A noted Shakespeare interpreter, he first achieved success onstage at the Royal National Theatre. Fiennes' portrayal of Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth in Schindler's List (1993) earned him nominations for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor...
“ The roles of Amon Göth and Harry in In Bruges shows the greatness of this actor. When a victim of the man you`re playing faints upon seeing the movie, you know you`ve done something extraordinary. ” - b_havag
 
8.
Hugh Laurie
Actor, House M.D.
Hugh was born in Oxford, England on June 11, 1959, to Patricia (Laidlaw) and William George Ranald Mundell "Ran" Laurie, a doctor, both of Scottish descent. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Son of an Olympic gold medalist in the sport, he rowed for the England youth team (1977) and for Cambridge (1980)...
“ So fantastic both in Blackadder and House ” - b_havag
 
9.
Richard Harris
A genuine star of cinema on screen and a fiery hell raiser off screen, Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family. He was the son of Mildred Josephine (Harty) and Ivan John Harris, and was an excellent rugby player, with a strong passion for literature...
“ Mostly because of his roles as Dumbledore and Marcus Aurelius. ” - b_havag
 
10.
James Stewart
James Stewart was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition for The Philadelphia Story (1940) and receiving an Academy Lifetime Achievement award. Stewart was named the third greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age Hollywood by the American Film Institute. He was a major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract star...
“ The second of my two favourite actors from the Golden Era. Rear Window and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are his best in my opinion. ” - b_havag
 
11.
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...
“ Good in The Phantom Menace, great in Love Actually and Schindler`s List ” - b_havag
 
12.
Hilary Swank
Hilary was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, to Judith Kay (Clough), a secretary, and Stephen Michael Swank, who served in the National Guard and was also a traveling salesman. Her maternal grandmother, Frances Martha Dominguez, was of Mexican descent, and her other roots include German, English, and Scottish...
“ Million Dollar Baby. (Of course) ” - b_havag
 
13.
Brad Pitt
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. But his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball, and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, also loom large in his filmography...
“ Really, really good in most of the parts I`ve seen him in. Mostly a dramatic actor, but I also loved him in the Friends episode he guest acted in. ” - b_havag
 
14.
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...
“ Perfect in both comedy and drama. ” - b_havag
 
15.
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...
“ Love Actually and of course The King`s Speech ” - b_havag
 
16.
“ One of the great parts in Superbad, the only great part in Night at the Museum 2. Very talented comedic actor ” - b_havag
 
17.
F. Murray Abraham
F. Murray Abraham was born on October 24, 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in El Paso, Texas. Primarily a stage actor, Abraham made his screen debut as an usher in the George C. Scott comedy They Might Be Giants. By the mid-1970s, Murray had steady employment as an actor, doing commercials and voice-over work...
“ He`s truly amazing as Salieri in Amadeus, and does a good job in Scarface too. ” - b_havag
 
18.
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...
“ Harry Potter and Love Actually. One of the best actresses out there. ” - b_havag
 
19.
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...
“ One of the best performances of our time as Bill the Butcher ” - b_havag
 
20.
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...
“ We all know which role sent him from good to great ” - b_havag
 
21.
David Morse
David Morse, a 6' 4" tall blue-eyed blond who performed on stage for 10 years before breaking into film, became established as a respected supporting, character actor and second lead. He was born the first of four children of Charles, a sales manager, and Jacquelyn Morse, a schoolteacher, on October 11...
“ I`ve seen him in many roles and he hasn`t dissapointed me yet. Best in the tv series House. ” - b_havag
 
22.
Richard Burton
Probably more frequently remembered for his turbulent personal life and multiple marriages, Richard Burton was nonetheless regarded as one of the great British actors of the post-WWII period. Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in Pontrhydyfen, Wales, to Edith Maude (Thomas) and Richard Walter Jenkins...
“ That he was unbelievable in Virginia Woolf, a movie I didn`t like that much, says something about how great he is. The movie bored me, but I LOVED Burton. Great in Where Eagles Dare too. ” - b_havag
 
23.
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...
“ Saruman and Count Dooku. Like Liam Neeson is the only great part of Episode I, Lee is the only great part of Episode II. I like Samuel L. Jackson too, but his part is very small. ” - b_havag
 
24.
Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell was the most successful German-speaking actor in English-language films since Emil Jannings, the winner of the first Best Actor Academy Award. Like Jannings, Schell won the Oscar, but unlike him, he was a dedicated anti-Nazi. Indeed, with the exception of Maurice Chevalier and Marcello Mastroianni...
“ Judgment at Nuremberg ” - b_havag
 
25.
Judd Nelson
Born in Portland, Maine to attorney Leonard Nelson and his wife, Merle Nelson, (attorney and state assemblywoman), Judd attended St. Paul's preparatory school in Concord, New Hampshire before majoring in philosophy at the prestigious Haverford College in Pennsylvania. The acting bug bit when he went to watch a friend's audition and was obliged to audition in order to stay. He won the role...
“ Just so amazing in The Breakfast Club. ” - b_havag
 
26.
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...
“ Undeniably very strong performances in Fargo and Almost Famous ” - b_havag
 
27.
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...
“ One of the greatest. Always excellent. ” - b_havag
 
28.
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)...
“ Loved him in GoldenEye and especially The Lord of the Rings. I`m probably gonna check out Game of Thrones because of him. He really made Boromir his. ” - b_havag
 
29.
Joaquin Phoenix
Actor, Gladiator
Joaquin Phoenix was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Arlyn (Dunetz) and John Bottom, and is the middle child in a brood of five. His parents, from the continental United States, were then serving as Children of God missionaries. His mother is from a Jewish family in New York, while his father, from California...
“ Signs, Gladiator and Walk the Line ” - b_havag
 
30.
Javier Bardem
Javier Bardem is the youngest member of a family of actors that has been making films since the early days of Spanish cinema. He was born in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain, to actress Pilar Bardem (María del Pilar Bardem Muñoz) and businessman José Carlos Encinas Doussinague. His maternal grandparents were actors Rafael Bardem and Matilde Muñoz Sampedro...
“ Good in Vicki Cristina Barcelona, great in No Country ” - b_havag
 
31.
Grace Kelly
Actress, Rear Window
Grace Patricia Kelly was born on November 12, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to wealthy parents. She was the daughter of Margaret Katherine (Majer), a phys ed instructor, and John Brendan Kelly, Sr., a three-time Olympic Gold winner for rowing. Her uncle was playwright George Kelly. She was of half Irish and half German descent...
“ I`m probably affected by her beauty, but I must say she`s at least a good actress regardless of it. ” - b_havag
 
32.
Michael Cera
Actor, Juno
Canadian actor Michael Cera was born in Brampton, Ontario, to parents who worked for Xerox. His mother, Linda, who is from Quebec, has English, Irish, Scottish, and Dutch ancestry, and his father, Luigi Cera, is Sicilian. Michael is the middle child between two sisters. He was educated at Conestoga Public School...
“ No one does awkward like Cera. ” - b_havag
 
33.
“ Such a brilliant comedian. ” - b_havag
 
34.
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...
“ More or less the same role in every movie I`ve seen him in, but he does it great. ” - b_havag
 
35.
Bill Murray
Bill, the fifth of nine children, was born 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, and John Murray. He and most of his siblings worked as caddies...
“ No one does deadpan like Bill Murray ” - b_havag
 
36.
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...
“ Has long since proved he`s a really good actor, and an even better director. I think he`s best in Gran Torino. ” - b_havag
 
37.
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 and Elrond ” - b_havag
 
38.
Charles Chaplin
Writer, Modern Times
Charles Chaplin was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the silent era. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. His career spanned more than 75 years...
“ He`s Chaplin. The crucial part of all his masterpieces. ” - b_havag
 
39.
Jeremy Irons
Elegant and handsome British actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island just off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. A typical islander, he used to go to mainland England only once a year...
“ Scar from the Lion King must be the best voice acting ever. It certainly is my favourite in that compartment. Great in Die Hard 3 also. ” - b_havag
 
40.
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...
“ The female Chaplin. She just has something completely unique to her. ” - b_havag
 
41.
Gary Sinise
Actor, CSI: NY
Gary Alan Sinise was born in Blue Island, Illinois, to Mylles S. (Alsip) and Robert L. Sinise, A.C.E., a film editor. He is of Italian (from his paternal grandfather), English, Scottish, Irish, French, German, and Swedish ancestry. His family moved to Highland Park, where he attended high school. He was something of a rebel, playing in bands but paying little attention to school...
“ Lieutenant Dan ” - b_havag
 
42.
Ethan Suplee
Ethan Suplee has established himself over the past decade as an actor of considerable talent and accomplishment. His diverse and eclectic resume ranges from hilarious roles in such comedies as Mallrats and Without a Paddle to hauntingly dramatic performances in intense features such as American History X...
“ Any guy who can pull of two roles as different as Randy Hickey and Seth Ryan is great in my book. ” - b_havag
 
43.
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His father had English, and some German, ancestry, while his mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese. Tom grew up in what he has called a "fractured" family...
“ Many, many roles. Always satisfying. ” - b_havag
 
44.
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...
“ Snape, Harry in Love Actually, and Hans Gruber ” - b_havag
 
45.
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...
“ Gandalf. ” - b_havag
 
46.
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...
“ The King`s Speech and Pirates. ” - b_havag
 
47.
Buster Keaton
When, at six months, he tumbled down a flight of stairs unharmed, he was given the name "Buster" by Harry Houdini who, along with W.C. Fields, Bill Robinson ("Bojangles"), Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson shared headlines with "The Three Keatons": Buster, his father Joe Keaton and mother Myra Keaton...
“ Insert Chaplin comment here. ” - b_havag
 
48.
Avery Brooks
Avery Franklin Brooks was born on October 2, 1948 in Evansville, Indiana to a musically talented family. His maternal grandfather, Samuel Travis Crawford, was a tenor who graduated from Tougaloo College in Mississippi in 1901. Crawford toured the country singing with the Delta Rhythm Boys in the 1930s...
“ American History X. Minor part, but he`s so good. ” - b_havag
 
49.
Mélanie Laurent
Mélanie Laurent was born in Paris, France. She is the daughter of Annick, a ballet teacher, and Pierre, a voice actor, who is most recognized for the French version of The Simpsons. She has a younger brother, Mathieu, and has both Sephardi Jewish (from Tunisia) and Ashkenazi Jewish (from Poland) ancestry...
“ Well, she`s pretty great as Shosanna ” - b_havag
 
50.
Steve Carell
Actor, The Office
Steve Carell, one of America's most versatile comics, was born Steven John Carell on August 16, 1962, in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the son of Harriet T. (Koch), a psychiatric nurse, and Edwin A. Carell, an electrical engineer. His mother is of Polish descent and his father is of Italian and German ancestry (Steve's grandfather had changed the surname from "Caroselli" to "Carrell")...
“ If you think this man only does comedy, watch Little Miss Sunshine. ” - b_havag