The best Actors of all time (In no particular order of talent)

A compilation of the people who I believe are the most talented stars of the Silver screen. These are actors who have made me laugh and cry...people who have brought some of the best characters to life and made them real to many of us.
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Harold Lloyd
Born in Buchard, Nebraska, USA to Elizabeth Fraser and 'J. Darcie 'Foxy' Lloyd' who fought constantly and soon divorced (at the time a rare event), Harold Clayton Lloyd was nominally educated in Denver and San Diego high schools and received his stage training at the School of Dramatic Art (San Diego)...
“ The first time I saw Harold Lloyd on screen I laughed 'til I cried and then I cried because I was so touched at his sincerity. He brought so much emotion to each part, whether it was riotous, love struck, naive or neighborly he was and will always be one of the best actors ever to grace us with his presence. ” - photochic
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...
“ Not just any actor can pull off roles such as a slimy con man, a one handed pirate and a transvestite, much less do them all. Dustin Hoffman not only manages, but succeeds. His talent is limitless and his characters are full of life and energy. I say thank you to one of the best actors ever to appear on the silver screen! ” - photochic
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...
“ Talk about one of the most talented actors to walk the planet. Emma Thompson's talent knows no bounds. From Shakespeare to Harry Potter, from tears to laughter, from acting to directing to writing. Comedy, Drama, Wit, Emotions. Emma Thompson not only does it all but does it impeccably well. I never tire of her performances and cannot wait to see what she does next. ” - photochic
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...
“ Many of us romantic girls fell in love with Colin Firth long before the world did from seeing him as Mr. Darcy...a role that was not only perfectly played, but that was also brimming with emotion and enough sexy to make it interesting. Since that time, Firth has continued to dazzle in everything he does, from the witty to the depressing, from gaiety to morose, the man can play on emotions from simply a glance. I was elated when he finally got the respect that he has long deserved in the 2011 Oscars. Congratulations to Colin Firth not only for his win, but also to his beautiful career. I hope to see much more! ” - photochic
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...
“ Is there an actor in all the world who could play the parts that Johnny Depp has? I think not. He has played so very many roles. Whether heartfelt, innocent, quirky, scandalous, or deranged he brings his characters to fruition in a larger than life way that no one has every been able to do and I doubt will be able to do again. I know that he has come a long way, but I have a feeling that we haven't even scratched the surface on this man's talent. Let's hope we see much more! ” - photochic
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...
“ Undoubtedly one of the best actors of our time, Kate Winslet has always held my undivided attention any time she gets in front of a camera. She shows so much diversity in her roles and her gambit of emoting talent that the sky is the limit for this goddess of the screen. From classical roles such as the bi-polar Ophelia to the starry eyed Rose. From the to the repressed, depressed housewife to the uneducated german guard Hanna Schmitz, Winslet never fails to impress. I for one can not wait to see what she comes out with next! ” - photochic
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...
“ There is no doubt that Kenneth Branagh is a good actor. But it takes someone truly genius to bring The Bard's characters to life in such a perfect way as many times as Branagh has. Not only can he pull off roles such as Benedick, Iago, Henry V and even Hamlet but the man directs it as well! It is very fitting that his latest movie is a portrayal of Sir Laurence Olivier, being that he himself is the modern day Olivier. Bravo to Branagh and his many talents. May he continue to impress us with his craft. ” - photochic
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...
“ Hugh Jackman was amazing in his big American debut as Wolverine. He was spectacular in the Prestige and was so very dashing in Kate and Leopold. And I know no one would ever deny that he is one of the best looking men on the planet. However, you cannot truly understand the magnitude of this man's talent without having seen him at his triple-threat best. Not only is he an insanely talented actor, but the man has a gorgeous voice and can definitely bust a move or three. When you see someone of his talent on the stage, he can't help but overshadow half the cast with his mere presence. Plus, he's apparently one of the nicest guys around. If you can't experience how talented he is in person, at least do yourself a favor and watch re-runs of the tony awards or buy a copy of Oklahoma on the West End from PBS. If you are a fan of raw talent, you will be ever so thankful you did. ” - photochic
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...
“ There are very few women that have the talent to be considered the best actress in the world. I believe Cate Blanchett is one of those special few. Each character is new and fresh and each part acted so brilliantly, as if each second was polished and shined to bring out it's brilliance. Her body of work is diverse and I hope to see it continuing to grow. ” - photochic
Russell Crowe
Actor, Gladiator
Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom catered movie sets. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Wemyss, was a cinematographer. Crowe's recent ancestry includes Welsh (where his paternal grandfather was born, in Wrexham), English...
“ I know that we all know that Russell Crowe has got talent, but I couldn't make a list without him. He is wonderful in everything he does. From a mentally unstable genius to a roman gladiator to a warrior of english legend, Crowe does it all...and we love him for it. ” - photochic
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)...
“ What is it about Britain and Actors? They seem to produce the best of the best. And Hugh Laurie is definitely one of the best of the best of the best. We know him here mostly as the jerk of a genius Dr. House, but they have known him as a legitimate actor for many years. Not only is he phenomenal with dramatic roles, but he is an incredibly gifted comedic actor as well. Just try an episode of "A bit of Fry and Laurie" and you will understand what I am talking about. Three cheers for a talented man who can not only do it all, but also impress us with it every time! ” - photochic
Amy Adams
Actress, Man of Steel
Amy Lou Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, to American parents Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, while her father was a U.S. serviceman. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado, and has English, as well as smaller amounts of Danish, Swiss-German, and Norwegian, ancestry...
“ Everyone knows her from her unforgettable portrayal of the quintessential disney princess in Enchanted, but I fell in love with her a bit earlier. June Bug is one of my favorite movies simply because of this wonderful actress. Her portrayal of the always optimistic, ever so sweet, very pregnant Ashley was not only endearing and heartbreaking but also unforgettable. Since that time I have loved the diversity I have seen in her work and I cannot wait to see what she does next. ” - photochic
Eddie Redmayne
Edward John David Redmayne was born and raised in London, England, the son of Patricia (Burke) and Richard Charles Tunstall Redmayne, a businessman. His great-grandfather was Sir Richard Augustine Studdert Redmayne, a noted civil and mining engineer. Eddie is one of five children. He has English, Irish...
“ I got to experience the joy of seeing Eddie Redmayne work his magic on screen as one of the main characters in the miniseries Pillars of the Earth. He was absolutely captivating. He is a breed of actor that I find to be very fascinating, in that he can convey emotion with simply a look. In having seen him in several movies from several different time periods, it seems as though he is a blank canvas on witch he portrays his characters and is never the same. I find him immensely entertaining and cannot wait to see what he does next and how his career takes off for him. I hope and pray he gets the respect that he very much deserves. ” - photochic
Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill is a British actor. Cavill began his career starring as Albert Mondego in the 2002 film adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo. He star in minor and supporting roles in television shows such as BBC's The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Midsomer Murders and The Tudors before transitioning to more mainstream Hollywood films such as Tristan & Isolde, Stardust and Immortals...
“ I was a pre teen when I saw Henry Cavill in The Count of Monte Cristo and of course I immediately fell in love with his beautiful countenance and his remarkable presence on the screen. It wasn't until much later when I was watching I capture the Castle that I understood the diversity of his talent. He is a truly remarkable actor with a true portrayal of emotions and a captivating presence. When I leaned he would be playing the Man of Steel, I was elated, hoping that this would give him the chance to be in the spotlight and gain some much deserved opportunities and respect. ” - photochic
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...
“ Being a fan of classic films, Bette Davis must be mentioned. I always knew she was a good actress, having seen her in All About Eve, The Petrified Forest and The Man Who Came To Dinner. But it wasn't until I saw her transform from the homely spinster to the gorgeous chameleon in Now, Voyager that I understood what all the fuss was about. She is indeed a goddess on screen and an unforgettable talent. ” - photochic
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...
“ The first time I remember seeing Phillip Seymour Hoffman was in the movie Twister and you couldn't help but watch him and his goofy character. He was captivating! And still is. Every character has such gusto and energy...even if they are sullen and depressed they still leap off the screen simply because of the magic Hoffman weaves. ” - photochic
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...
“ Gary Oldman has always been one of my favorite actors. He is such an incredible character actor that I often times do not recognize him in a role until quite a way through. It's like he morphs into his character and the Gary Oldman we know fades away. I find that to be an incredible talent and I hope many others feel the same. ” - photochic
Lauren Bacall
Actress, The Big Sleep
Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924, in New York City. She is the daughter of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, a Romanian Jewish immigrant, and William Perske, who was born in New Jersey, to Polish Jewish parents. Her family was middle-class, with her father working as a salesman and her mother as a secretary...
“ Lauren Bacall was destined to be an icon from her smooth opening line in her first film, "Anybody got a match?" Such a simple line and something very unoriginal. But Bacall took those four words, put sizzle and power behind them and made them her own. It takes someone with raw talent to do such a feat. And raw talent she has. ” - photochic
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...
“ James McAvoy brings a very real but very magical quality to all his parts. It's like he's part life and part imagination...he puts a veil of mist over the screen and pulls us into his wonderland. I hope to see much more out of this very talented actor ” - photochic
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...
“ Ewan McGregor is undoubtedly a very talented actor, in more than just one field. Comedy, Drama, Singing, Dancing...he can do it all. I have always enjoyed his work, but there was a defining moment for me that showed me just how talented he really was. In the film "Miss Potter" there is a moment...simply a moment after an intimate conversation has taken place that you see his character well up with emotions...many emotions all converging together to create perfect joy. This moment in the film stood out to me so much that a had to rewind to believe my eyes. McGregor expressed each one of those emotions so perfectly in such a short amount of time, that it culminated into the perfect acting moment. ” - photochic
Emily Blunt
Actress, Sicario
Emily Olivia Leah Blunt is a British actress known for her roles in The Young Victoria and The Devil Wears Prada. Blunt was born on February 23, 1983, in Roehampton, South West London, England, the second of four children in the family of Joanna Mackie, a former actress and teacher, and Oliver Simon Peter Blunt...
“ Ever since her show-stealing performance in The Devil Wears Prada, Emily Blunt has done nothing but impress. She is such a talented actress and such a huge presence on screen. Her roles have been very well chosen and acted to a T. I know there are many good things in store for Blunt, and I hope to see much more from her very soon! ” - photochic
Jim Caviezel
James Patrick Caviezel was born on September 26, 1968 in Mount Vernon, Washington. He was one of five children born to Margaret (Lavery), a former stage actress, and James Caviezel, a chiropractor. The Caviezels are a closely knit Catholic family. He is of Irish (mother) and Swiss and Slovak-Romansh (father) descent; the surname...
“ As a dramatic actor, Jim Caviezel is the cream of the crop. He brings so much depth of emotion and character to his roles. You can feel his emotion, his pain jump right off the screen and pull you in. He is a wonderfully talented actor and I do hope to see more from him. ” - photochic
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...
“ A truly all-american actor, Tom Hanks plays the roles that we tend to identify with the best. Roles that we can understand. Roles that touch our hearts. From comedy to drama, gut wrenching pain to lighthearted romance, Hanks can do it all. ” - photochic
Minnie Driver
Amelia Fiona J. Driver was born January 31, 1970 in Finsbury Park, London. Her mother, Gaynor Churchward, was a designer and former couture model and her father, Charles Ronald "Ronnie" Driver, was a businessman. She has a sister, Kate Driver, who is a model and a producer. Minnie's mother was her father's mistress...
“ What to say about this glorious goddess of the silver screen? Minnie Driver has always been one of my favorite actors because of the joy she brings to all her roles. She acts with such sincerity and ease, as if she was born for it. She's certainly not your damsel in distress type, choosing roles that are based upon strong, vivacious and witty women. I have loved every role she has played and can't wait to see more! ” - photochic
Claire Danes
New Yorker Claire Danes was born in Manhattan, the daughter of Carla (Hall), a day-care provider and artist, and Christopher Danes, a computer consultant and photographer. She has an older brother, Asa. Her paternal grandfather, Gibson Andrew Danes, was a Dean of the Yale School of Art and Architecture, and Claire has English, German, Scottish, Irish, and Austrian ancestry...
“ I first saw Claire Danes in Little Women and her performance was heartfelt and beautiful. Since then her performances have continued to grow, to sparkle and shine. When I watched Stage Beauty I was blown away by her robust performance and was thrilled to see the simplicity of emotion she portrayed as Temple Grandon. She has grown to incredible heights as an actor and I'm sure we will see so much more from this wonderful woman. ” - photochic
Romola Garai
Actress, Amazing Grace
Born in Hong Kong to father Adrian (banker) and mother Janet (journalist), Romola Garai's unusual name is the female version of Romolo, an Italian name for boys (from Latin Romulus, the founder of Rome). She grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong until she was eight when her family returned to lay roots in Wiltshire...
“ For someone as young as she is Romola Garai already has quite an accomplished body of work. She has been able to work with greats like Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh and has tackled some very heady roles. I know that there will be much more to come and I'm sure she will continue to impress! ” - photochic
Julie Andrews
Julia Elizabeth Wells was born on October 1, 1935, in England. Her mother, Barbara Ward (Morris), and stepfather, both vaudeville performers, discovered her freakish but undeniably lovely four-octave singing voice and immediately got her a singing career. She performed in music halls throughout her childhood and teens...
“ I fell in love with Julie Andrews and the magic she brought to the screen as a young girl. I would watch Mary Poppins over and over again, wishing that I could have a nanny just like her. Her silken voice and her bright smile captured my young heart and continues to hold it as I have grown, getting to know her body of work and the diverse talents that she possesses. ” - photochic
John Cleese
John Cleese was born on October 27, 1939, in Weston-Super-Mare, England, to Muriel Evelyn (Cross) and Reginald Francis Cleese. He was born into a family of modest means, his father being an insurance salesman; but he was nonetheless sent off to private schools to obtain a good education. Here he was often tormented for his height...
“ There's no denying that John Cleese is funny as hell. But to be funny as hell with perfect comedic timing and the ability to pull it off with such gusto you've got to be a talented genius. And a little bit insane. Cleese fits the bill on both parts and we love him for it! ” - photochic