My 50 favorite Actors

This isn't a list of who I think the best are, although I do think many of these actors are the best. This is a list of the actors I get most excited to see in movies and TV shows.
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1.
Tom Hardy
With his breakthrough performance as Eames in Christopher Nolan's science fiction thriller Inception, English actor Tom Hardy has been brought to the attention of mainstream audiences worldwide. But the versatile actor has been steadily working on both stage and screen since his television debut in the miniseries Band of Brothers...
 
2.
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...
 
3.
Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most acclaimed actors of his generation and has earned numerous awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Actor for his performances in My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood and Lincoln, making him the only male actor in history to have three wins in the lead actor category and one of only three male actors to win three Oscars...
 
4.
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...
 
5.
Gene Hackman
Actor, Unforgiven
Eugene Allen Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Anna Lyda Elizabeth (Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman, who operated a newspaper printing press. He is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German), English, and Scottish ancestry, partly by way of Canada, where his mother was born. After several moves...
 
6.
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...
 
7.
Idris Elba
Actor, Prometheus
An only child, Idris Elba was born and raised in Hackney, London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at a Ford motor factory. His mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting. He gained a place in the National Youth Music Theatre - thanks to a £1,500 Prince's Trust grant...
 
8.
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...
 
9.
Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer, and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the 2004 biographical film Ray. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral...
 
10.
Timothy Olyphant
Actor, Justified
From Timothy Olyphant's first screen appearances, such as his two-minute bit in The First Wives Club, to "Nicko", whose presence at times dwarfed the island in A Perfect Getaway, he has been a force to be reckoned with. Born in Hawaii, Timothy David Olyphant was raised in Modesto, California. He is the son of Katherine Lyon (Gideon) and John Vernon Bevan Olyphant...
 
11.
Vince Vaughn
Vincent Anthony Vaughn was born on March 28, 1970, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, and was raised in Lake Forest, Illinois. His parents are Vernon Vaughn, a salesman and character actor, and Sharon Vaughn (née Sharon Eileen DePalmo), a real-estate agent and stockbroker. They divorced in 1991. He has two older sisters...
 
12.
Leonardo DiCaprio
Actor, Inception
Since the 2000s, DiCaprio has received critical acclaim for his work in a wide range of film genres. His subsequent films include The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), the biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can (2002) and the epic historical drama Gangs of New York (2002) which also marked his first of many collaborations with director Martin Scorsese...
 
13.
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...
 
14.
Ryan Gosling
Actor, Drive
Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is the first millennial nominated for the Best Actor Oscar (for Half Nelson). He was born Ryan Thomas Gosling 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...
 
15.
Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender was born in Heidelberg, Germany, to a German father, Josef, and an Irish mother, Adele (originally from Larne, County Antrim, in Northern Ireland). Michael was raised in the town of Killarney, Co. Kerry, in south-west Ireland, where his family moved to when he was two years old. His parents ran a restaurant (his father is a chef)...
 
16.
Colin Farrell
Colin Farrelll is an Irish actor. He first appeared on the BBC's TV drama Ballykissangel in 1998, made his film debut in the Tim Roth-directed drama The War Zone a year later and was discovered by Hollywood when Joel Schumacher cast him in the lead in his war drama Tigerland. He then starred...
 
17.
Jon Hamm
Actor, Mad Men
 
18.
Dwayne Johnson
Actor, WWE Raw
Dwayne Douglas Johnson, also known as The Rock, was born on May 2, 1972 in Hayward, California, to Ata Johnson (born Feagaimaleata Fitisemanu Maivia) and Canadian-born professional wrestler Rocky Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles). His father is black (of Black Nova Scotian descent), and his mother is of Samoan background (her own father was Peter Fanene Maivia...
 
19.
Chris Evans
Christopher Robert Evans began his acting career in typical fashion: performing in school productions and community theater. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Lisa (Capuano), who worked at the Concord Youth Theater, and G. Robert Evans III, a dentist. His uncle is congressman Mike Capuano...
 
20.
Anthony Mackie
Anthony Mackie is an American actor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Martha (Gordon) and Willie Mackie, Sr., who owned a business, Mackie Roofing. Anthony has been featured in feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Drowning Crow...
 
21.
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...
 
22.
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...
 
23.
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetelu Umeadi Ejiofor was born on July 10, 1977 in Forest Gate, London, England, to Nigerian parents, Obiajulu (Okaford), a pharmacist, and Arinze Ejiofor, a doctor. Chiwetel attended Dulwich College in South-East London. By the age of 13 he was appearing in numerous school and National Youth Theatre productions and subsequently attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts...
 
24.
Oscar Isaac
Actor, Ex Machina
Oscar Isaac was born Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada in Guatemala, to a Guatemalan mother, Maria, and a Cuban father, Oscar Gonzalo Hernández-Cano, a pulmonologist. His maternal grandfather was of French origin. Oscar was raised in Miami, Florida. Before he became an actor, he played lead guitar and sang vocals in his band the Blinking Underdogs. He graduated from the Juilliard School in 2005...
 
25.
Daniel Craig
Actor, Skyfall
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...
 
26.
Walton Goggins
In the past few years, Walton Goggins has had pivotal roles in films by two of Hollywood's most important auteurs: Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg. His integral role as 'Chris Mannix,' a southern renegade who claims to be the new sheriff of Red Rock in Tarantino's THE HATEFUL EIGHT, marks his second collaboration with the Academy Award-winning writer/director...
 
27.
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...
 
28.
 
29.
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...
 
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)...
 
31.
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...
 
32.
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...
 
33.
 
34.
Ron Perlman
Actor, Hellboy
Ron Perlman is a classically-trained actor who has appeared in countless stage plays, feature films and television productions. Ronald N. Perlman was born April 13, 1950 in Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York. His mother, Dorothy (Rosen), is retired from the City Clerk's Office. His father, Bertram "Bert" Perlman...
 
35.
Cillian Murphy
Actor, Inception
Striking Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Douglas, the oldest child of Brendan Murphy, who works for the Irish Department of Education, and a mother who is a teacher of French. He has three younger siblings. Murphy was educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork. He went on to study law at University College Cork...
 
36.
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")...
 
37.
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...
 
38.
Robert De Niro
Actor, Goodfellas
Robert De Niro, thought of as one of the greatest actors of all time, was born in Greenwich Village, 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 Irish, German, Dutch, English, and French. He was trained at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop...
 
39.
John Krasinski
Actor, The Office
Tall, handsome American film and television star John Krasinski is probably best known for his role as sardonic nice guy "Jim Halpert" on NBC's popular TV series, The Office, for which he won a 2007 and 2008 Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series...
 
40.
Michael Kenneth Williams
Born in Brooklyn, to an African American father from South Carolina and a Bahamian mother from Nassau, Michael K. Williams was raised in the Vandaveer housing projects in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York City and attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School. According to a DNA analysis, he is descended partly from the Mende people of Sierra Leone...
 
41.
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...
 
42.
Nathan Fillion
Actor, Castle
Nathan Fillion was born on 27 March 1971, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He is the younger son of Cookie and Bob Fillion, both retired English teachers. He has an older brother, Jeff. In Canada, he attended Holy Trinity Catholic High School, Concordia University College of Alberta and University of Alberta...
 
43.
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...
 
44.
Aidan Gillen
Aidan Gillen is an Irish actor. He is best known for portraying Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones, CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises, Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk, John Boy in the RTÉ Television series Love/Hate, and Tommy Carcetti in the HBO series The Wire...
 
45.
Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage is an American actor. Since his breakout role in The Station Agent (2003), he has appeared in numerous films and theatre plays. Since 2011, Dinklage has portrayed Tyrion Lannister in the HBO series Game of Thrones. For this he won an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Series...
 
46.
Josh Brolin
Actor, W.
Rugged features and a natural charm have worked for Josh Brolin, the son of actor James Brolin. He has recently seen a massive surge in his career, finding well-known roles such as a policeman, a hunter, and the President of the United States. Brolin was born February 12, 1968 in Santa Monica, California...
 
47.
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...
 
48.
Joel McHale
Writer, The Soup
Joel Edward McHale was born in Rome, Italy, to a Canadian-born mother, Laurie (Jackson), and an American-born father, Jack McHale. His father, from Chicago, is of Irish descent, and his mother, from Vancouver, has Norwegian, Finnish, and English ancestry. Joel was raised in Seattle, Washington, and graduated from Mercer Island High School...
 
49.
Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen is a synonym to the great success the Danish film industry has had since the mid-1990s. He was born in Østerbro, Copenhagen, to Bente Christiansen, a nurse, and Henning Mikkelsen, a banker. Starting out as a low-life pusher/junkie in the 1996 success Pusher, he slowly grew to become one of Denmark's biggest movie actors...
 
50.
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...