The Greatest Male Stars of the 1920ies

by dziwnytenswiat | created - 01 Jul 2012 | updated - 07 Jul 2012 | Public

The average IMDb vote of the best 5 films of each star gives the ranking. Maximum 50 Persons.

1. Buster Keaton

Actor | The General

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 ...

Vote: 8,188

2. Joe Keaton

Actor | The General

Joe Keaton and wife Myra were grade-Z vaudeville performers in the early 1900s. Their son Buster joined the act when he was only a few months old. The act was a rough-and-tumble one, with Buster being thrown around on stage most of the time. As the years went by, Joe Keaton became an alcoholic, ...

Vote: 8,090

3. Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Actor | Metropolis

During the heyday of German silent cinema, Rudolf Klein-Rogge was the prototype for the master criminal, the irredeemable arch villain or mad scientist. Born in Cologne, he served as a cadet in a Prussian military academy before finishing his matriculation. He then began to attend acting classes ...

Vote: 8,064

4. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

Vote: 7,922

5. Harold Lloyd

Actor | The Sin of Harold Diddlebock

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 ...

Vote: 7,852

6. John Gilbert

Actor | The Big Parade

John Gilbert was born into a show-business family - his father was a comic with the Pringle Stock Company. By 1915 John was an extra with Thomas H. Ince's company and a lead player by 1917. In those days he was assistant director, actor or screenwriter. He also tried his hand at directing. By 1919 ...

Vote: 7,814

7. Emil Jannings

Actor | The Last Command

His real name was Theodor Friedrich Emil Janenz, and in the early 1900s, he was already working in the theater under Max Reinhardt's company. Important movies where he defined himself as a convincing actor were Madame DuBarry (1919) and Quo Vadis? (1924), followed by The Last Laugh (1924)(aka The ...

Vote: 7,766

8. Theodor Loos

Actor | M

Theodor Loos was born on May 18, 1883 in Zwingenberg, Hesse, Germany as August Konrad Loos. He was an actor and director, known for M (1931), Metropolis (1927) and Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924). He died on June 27, 1954 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Vote: 7,730

9. Alfred Abel

Actor | Metropolis

This elegant actor of the golden age of German cinema appeared in several masterpieces, before the cameras of such inspired geniuses as Lang, Lubitsch and Murnau. Vocation had come rather late in his life, though. Abel was indeed already 33 when he made his first film. Beforehand, he had been a ...

Vote: 7,694

10. Fritz Rasp

Actor | Metropolis

Fritz Heinrich Rasp was the thirteenth child of a county surveyor. He was schooled from 1908-1909 at the Theaterschule Otto Königin in Munich where, due to a speech impediment, Rasp developed a Frankish dialect. Rasp debuted on the stage in 1909, as Amandus in Max Halbe's "Skandalstück Jugend" as ...

Vote: 7,680

11. Lon Chaney

Actor | He Who Gets Slapped

Although his parents were deaf-mutes, Leonidas Chaney became an actor and also owner of a theatre company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast. Lon Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like e.g. Quasimodo in ...

Vote: 7,666

12. Snitz Edwards

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Snitz Edwards was born Edward Neumann in Hungary. Married first wife in 1889 and was divorced some time later. Although he was almost 20 years older than his wife, Edwards married Eleanor Taylor, an actress from Boston, in 1906. They had three children, Cricket (b. 1906), Evelyn (b. 1914) and ...

Vote: 7,616

13. Mack Swain

Actor | The Gold Rush

Mack Swain was born in 1876 and soon became a talented vaudevillian. In 1913 he was hired by Mack Sennett and appeared in a few Mabel Normand pictures until a year later he became even bigger when 'Charlie Chaplin' arrived at the Keystone Studio. Swain later created a character by the name of ...

Vote: 7,608

14. William Haines

Actor | Show People

Born in Staunton, Virginia, William Haines ran off to live life on his own terms while still in his teens, moving to New York City and becoming friends with such later Hollywood luminaries as designer Orry-Kelly and Cary Grant. His film career started slowly, but by the end of the silent era he was...

Vote: 7,598

15. Gibson Gowland

Actor | Greed

Gibson Gowland was born on January 4, 1877 in Spennymoor, Durham, England. He was an actor, known for Greed (1924), The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and Blind Husbands (1919). He was married to Beatrice Bird (English actress) and Sylvia Andrew. He died on September 9, 1951 in London, England.

Vote: 7,590

16. Charles Farrell

Actor | 7th Heaven

Popular Hollywood leading man of late silents and early talkies. He is best remembered for his teaming with Janet Gaynor in 12 screen romances between 1927 and 1934. He retired from films in the early 1940s, but TV audiences of the 1950s would see him as Gale Storm's widower dad in the popular ...

Vote: 7,568

17. Ernest Torrence

Actor | Steamboat Bill, Jr.

He was the man you loved to hiss. This towering (6' 4"), highly imposing character star with cold, hollow, beady eyes and a huge, protruding snout would go on to become one of the silent screen's finest arch villains. Born Ernest Thayson Torrence-Thompson on June 26, 1878, in Edinburgh, Scotland, ...

Vote: 7,564

18. Hobart Bosworth

Actor | The Big Parade

Hobart Bosworth--pioneering movie director, writer, producer and actor--was born Hobart Van Zandt Bosworth on August 11, 1867, in Marietta, OH. He was a direct descendant of Miles Standish and John and Priscilla Alden on his father's side and of New York's Van Zandt family, the first Dutch settlers...

Vote: 7,560

19. Richard Daniels

Actor | The Little Minister

Richard Daniels was born on January 23, 1864 in Gwubach, Wales. He was an actor, known for The Little Minister (1922), Girl Shy (1924) and Her Night of Nights (1922). He died on January 27, 1939 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Vote: 7,526

20. Conrad Veidt

Actor | Casablanca

Conrad Veidt attended the Sophiengymnasium (secondary school) in the Schoeneberg district of Berlin, and graduated without a diploma in 1912, last in his class of 13. Conrad liked animals, theater, cinema, fast cars, pastries, thunderstorms, gardening, swimming and golfing. He disliked heights, ...

Vote: 7,520

21. Lars Hanson

Actor | Captain Salvation

Lars Hanson was born on July 26, 1886 in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden. He was an actor, known for Captain Salvation (1927), The Saga of Gösta Berling (1924) and The Wind (1928). He was married to Karin Molander. He died on April 8, 1965 in Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden.

Vote: 7,520

22. Jean Hersholt

Actor | Greed

If ever there was a Great Dane in Hollywood it was Jean Hersholt - and one of its great hearts as well. He was from a well-known Danish stage and entertainment family that had toured throughout Europe performing with young Jean as an essential cast member. He graduated from the Copenhagen Art ...

Vote: 7,476

23. Ramon Novarro

Actor | Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ

Ramon Novarro was born José Ramón Gil Samaniego on February 6, 1899 in Durango, Mexico, to Leonor (Gavilan) and Dr. Mariano N. Samaniego Siqueiros, a prosperous dentist. Ramon and his family moved to Los Angeles in 1913, as refugees from the Mexican Revolution. After stints as a ballet dancer, ...

Vote: 7,440

24. Bert Roach

Actor | Yankee Doodle in Berlin

Chubby silent film comic Bert Roach began on the New York stage at the age of 17. In 1911, he headlined in the two-act musical farce Louisiana Lou and then spent several years in stock as a lead tenor. Two years later, he made his screen debut at Keystone in Mack Sennett's Fatty's Magic Pants (1914)...

Vote: 7,422

25. Dell Henderson

Actor | Show People

Dell Henderson was born on July 5, 1883 in St Thomas, Ontario, Canada as George Delbert Henderson. He was an actor and director, known for Show People (1928), The Servant Question (1920) and Outcast (1917). He was married to Florence Lee. He died on December 2, 1956 in Hollywood, California, USA.

Vote: 7,418

26. Montagu Love

Actor | Gunga Din

Montague Love - certainly an intriguing name - but his own - started his working life as a newspaper man in London. His primary expertise centered on being a field illustrator and cartoonist who covered the Boer War (1899-1902). His realistic battle sketches gained him popularity among readers, but...

Vote: 7,414

27. Werner Krauss

Actor | Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari

Werner Krauss was born on June 23, 1884 in Gestungshausen, Sonnefeld, Bavaria, Germany. He was an actor, known for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Robert Koch, der Bekämpfer des Todes (1939) and Tartuffe (1925). He was married to Liselotte Graf, Maria Bard and Paula Saenger. He died on ...

Vote: 7,386

28. Richard Barthelmess

Actor | Only Angels Have Wings

Richard Barthelmess was born into a theatrical family in which his mother was an actress. While attending Trinity College in Connecticut, he began appearing in stage productions. While on vacation in 1916, a friend of his mother, actress Alla Nazimova, offered him a part in War Brides (1916), and ...

Vote: 7,372

29. Gary Cooper

Actor | High Noon

Born to Alice Cooper and Charles Cooper (not in film business). Gary attended school at Dunstable school England, Helena Montana and Iowa College, Grinnell, Iowa. His first stage experience was during high school and college. Afterwards, he worked as an extra for one year before getting a part in a...

Vote: 7,354

30. Monte Blue

Actor | Key Largo

Stalwart, durable Monte Blue, a romantic leading man of the silent days, was born January 11, 1887, as Gerard Monte Blue (some sources indicate 1890, but his mother's application for his admission to the Soldier's and Sailor's Orphan's Home lists his birth date as January 11, 1887). Various sources...

Vote: 7,350

31. Max Schreck

Actor | Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens

Max Schreck was born in Berlin. He worked in an apprenticeship until his father's death before enrolling into a school for acting. He toured the country with his peers and was a member of several theaters until he became a part of Max Reinhardt's group of innovative German actors. He played mostly ...

Vote: 7,350

32. Douglas Fairbanks

Actor | The Mark of Zorro

Douglas Fairbanks was born Douglas Elton Thomas Ullman in Denver, Colorado, to Ella Adelaide (Marsh) and Hezekiah Charles Ullman, an attorney. His paternal grandparents were German Jewish immigrants, while his mother was from an Anglo family from the South. He was raised by his mother, who had ...

Vote: 7,346

33. George O'Brien

Actor | Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

George was the son of the San Francisco Chief of Police who became a college athlete. He was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the Pacific Fleet during World War I. In the early 1920s, George wound up in Hollywood where he worked as a stuntman and part time actor. In 1924, Director John Ford ...

Vote: 7,330

34. Rudolph Valentino

Actor | The Sheik

Hollywood's original Latin Lover, a term that was invented for Rudolph Valentino by Hollywood moguls. Alla Nazimova's friend,Natacha Rambova (nee Winifred Hudnut) became romantically involved with Rudy and they lived together in her bungalow, from 1921 (during the filming of Camille) until they ...

Vote: 7,320

35. Sam De Grasse

Actor | The Man Who Laughs

Born in Canada, Sam De Grasse entered films in 1912 and specialized in playing thoroughly disreputable, nasty, slimy bad guys. Douglas Fairbanks was so impressed with De Grasse's villainy that he used the actor in several of his more memorable productions. He wasn't the only member of the De Grasse ...

Vote: 7,304

36. Wallace Beery

Actor | Dinner at Eight

In 1902, 16-year-old Wallace Beery joined the Ringling Brothers Circus as an assistant to the elephant trainer. He left two years later after a leopard clawed his arm. Beery next went to New York, where he found work in musical variety shows. He became a leading man in musicals and appeared on ...

Vote: 7,300

37. Roy D'Arcy

Actor | La Bohème

Roy D'Arcy was born Roy Giusti in San Francisco in 1894 but educated in Europe. For a while he traveled with a band of gypsies throughout the Continent, but left to study art and painting in Paris. After several years of traveling and various business ventures in South America and Asia he returned ...

Vote: 7,292

38. Norman Kerry

Actor | The Unknown

Popular leading man or villain in the silent era. He often wore fancy wax mustaches. Made a sucessful transtion to sound. Retired from films in 1941 concluding a thirty five year career.

Vote: 7,288

39. Fritz Kortner

Actor | Die Büchse der Pandora

Fritz Kortner was born on May 12, 1892 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary as Fritz Nathan Kohn. He was an actor and director, known for Pandora's Box (1929), The Hands of Orlac (1924) and Somewhere in the Night (1946). He was married to Johanna Hofer. He died on July 22, 1970 in Munich, Bavaria, West ...

Vote: 7,246

40. William Powell

Actor | The Thin Man

William Powell was on the New York stage by 1912, but it would be ten years before his film career would begin. In 1924 he went to Paramount Pictures, where he was employed for the next seven years. During that time, he played in a number of interesting films, but stardom was elusive. He did ...

Vote: 7,222

41. Louis Wolheim

Actor | All Quiet on the Western Front

It was Lionel Barrymore who gave Louis Wolheim (Cornell '07) his start as an actor. Wolheim had had his face more or less smashed in and his nose nicely fractured while playing on a scrub Cornell football team. Later as a Cornell Instructor he found life none too easy. He had worked off and on as ...

Vote: 7,200

42. Gustav von Wangenheim

Actor | Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens

Gustav von Wangenheim was born on February 18, 1895 in Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany as Ingo Clemens Gustav Adolf Freiherr von Wangenheim. He was an actor and director, known for Nosferatu (1922), Woman in the Moon (1929) and Der Auftrag Höglers (1950). He was married to Inge von Wangenheim. He ...

Vote: 7,182

43. Walter James

Actor | The Monster

Walter James was born on June 3, 1882 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for The Monster (1925), Battling Butler (1926) and Street Scene (1931). He was married to Ida James (c.1880-1930). He died on June 27, 1946 in Gardena, California, USA.

Vote: 7,144

44. Paul Richter

Actor | Die Nibelungen: Siegfried

Paul Richter was born on April 1, 1895 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary as Paul Martin Edward Richter. He was an actor, known for Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924), Der Hexer (1932) and Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922). He was married to Elisabeth Hölzl and Aud Egede-Nissen. He died on December 30, 1961 in ...

Vote: 7,138

45. Albert Steinrück

Actor | Asphalt

Albert Steinrück was born on May 20, 1872 in Wetterburg, Bad Arolsen, Hesse, Germany. He was an actor, known for Asphalt (1929), The Golem (1920) and Zopf und Schwert - Eine tolle Prinzessin (1926). He died on February 10, 1929 in Berlin, Germany.

Vote: 7,128

46. Charles Lane

Actor | Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Charles Lane was born on January 25, 1869 in Madison, Illinois, USA as Charles Willis Lane. He was an actor, known for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), Sadie Thompson (1928) and The Canary Murder Case (1929). He died on October 17, 1945 in Van Nuys, California, USA.

Vote: 7,068

47. Harold Goodwin

Actor | All Quiet on the Western Front

Harold Goodwin was born on December 1, 1902 in Peoria, Illinois, USA. He is known for his work on All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), The Better 'Ole (1926) and Oliver Twist, Jr. (1921). He died on July 12, 1987 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Vote: 7,058

48. Richard Arlen

Actor | Island of Lost Souls

During World War I, Richard Arlen served in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps as a pilot, but he never saw combat. After the war he drifted round and eventually wound up in Los Angeles, where he got a job as a motorcycle messenger at a film laboratory. When he crashed into the gates of Paramount ...

Vote: 7,038

49. Lionel Barrymore

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

Famed actor, composer, artist, author and director. His talents extended to the authoring of the novel "Mr. Cartonwine: A Moral Tale" as well as his autobiography. In 1944, he joined ASCAP, and composed "Russian Dances", "Partita", "Ballet Viennois", "The Woodman and the Elves", "Behind the Horizon...

Vote: 7,016

50. H.B. Warner

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

Henry Byron Warner was the definitive cinematic Jesus Christ in Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings (1927). He was born into a prominent theatrical family on October 26, 1875 in London. His father was Charles Warner, and his grandfather was James Warner, both prominent English actors. He replaced ...

Vote: 7,010