Best Supporting Actor by Year (1934 - Present)

My choices for the best performance by a male actor in a supporting role by year, from 1934 to the present date, in descending order from 2016.
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1.
Ben Foster
Ben Foster was born October 29, 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Gillian Kirwan and Steven Foster, restaurant owners. His younger brother is actor Jon Foster. His paternal grandparents were from Russian Jewish families that immigrated to Massachusetts (his grandfather became a prominent judge in Boston), while his mother's family is from Maryland...
“ For: Hell or High Water (2016). ” - John Jacoby
 
2.
Mark Rylance
Widely regarded as the greatest stage actor of his generation, Mark Rylance has enjoyed an esteemed career on stage and on screen, and won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Rudolf Abel in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies. He is also the winner of 2 Olivier Awards and 3 Tony Awards...
“ For: Bridge of Spies (2015). ” - John Jacoby
 
3.
J.K. Simmons
Actor, Whiplash
J.K. Simmons is an American actor. He was born Jonathan Kimble Simmons in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Patricia (Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a music teacher. He attended the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; University of Montana, Missoula, MT (BA in Music). He had originally planned to be a singer and studied at the University of Montana to become a composer...
“ For: Whiplash (2014). ” - John Jacoby
 
4.
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)...
“ For: Twelve years a Slave (2013). ” - John Jacoby
 
5.
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...
“ For: The Master (2012). ” - John Jacoby
 
6.
Kenneth Branagh
Actor, Valkyrie
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family escaped The Troubles by moving to Reading...
“ For: My Week with Marilyn (2011). ” - John Jacoby
 
7.
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...
“ For: The King's Speech (2010). ” - John Jacoby
 
8.
Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained. For each performance, he won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award...
“ For: Inglorious Basterds. (2009). ” - John Jacoby
 
9.
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...
“ For: Doubt (2008). ” - John Jacoby
 
10.
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...
“ For: No Country for Old Men (2007). ” - John Jacoby
 
11.
“ For: Little Children (2006). ” - John Jacoby
 
12.
Matt Dillon
Matt Dillon's successful film career has spanned over three decades and has showcased his wide range of dramatic and comedic talents. Dillon displayed his versatility with an arresting performance co-starring as a racist cop in the critically acclaimed Paul Haggis film Crash. This role earned him nominations for an Academy award...
“ For: Crash (2005). ” - John Jacoby
 
13.
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...
“ For: Million Dollar Baby (2004). ” - John Jacoby
 
14.
Tim Robbins
Born in West Covina, California, but raised in New York City, Tim Robbins is the son of former The Highwaymen singer Gil Robbins and actress Mary Robbins (née Bledsoe). Robbins studied drama at UCLA, where he graduated with honors in 1981. That same year, he formed the Actors' Gang theater group...
“ For: Mystic River (2003). ” - John Jacoby
 
15.
Ed Harris
By transforming into his characters and pulling the audience in, Ed Harris has earned the reputation as one of the most talented actors of our time. Ed Harris was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, to Margaret (Sholl), a travel agent, and Robert Lee Harris, a bookstore worker who also sang professionally...
“ For: The Hours (2002). ” - John Jacoby
 
16.
Ethan Hawke
Actor, Gattaca
Ethan Green Hawke was born on November 6, 1970 in Austin, Texas, to Leslie Carole (Green), a charity worker, and James Steven Hawke, an insurance actuary. His parents were students at the University of Texas at the time but divorced when Ethan was 5 years old. His mother raised him alone for the next five years...
“ For: Training Day (2001). ” - John Jacoby
 
17.
Benicio Del Toro
Actor, Snatch
Benicio Del Toro emerged in the mid-1990s as one of the most watchable and charismatic character actors to come along in years. A favorite of film buffs, Del Toro gained mainstream public attention as the conflicted but basically honest Mexican policeman in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic. Benicio was born on February 19...
“ For: Traffic (2000). ” - John Jacoby
 
18.
Chris Cooper
Christopher Walton Cooper was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Mary Ann (Walton), a homemaker, and Charles Sherwood Cooper, a cattleman and internist who served as a doctor in the US Air Force. His parents were from Texas, where Cooper was raised. Educated at the University of Missouri school of drama...
“ For: American Beauty (1999). ” - John Jacoby
 
19.
Billy Bob Thornton
Actor, Armageddon
Billy Bob Thornton was born on August 4, 1955 in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Virginia Roberta (Faulkner), a psychic, and William Raymond (Billy Ray) Thornton, an educator, high school history teacher, and basketball coach (now deceased). He is the older brother of James Donald (Jimmy Don) (born in 1958 and now deceased) and John David (born in 1969)...
“ For: A Simple Plan (1998). ” - John Jacoby
 
20.
Greg Kinnear
Greg Kinnear was born on June 17, 1963, in Logansport, Indiana, USA to Edward Kinnear, a career diplomat with the US State Department, and Suzanne (Buck) Kinnear, a homemaker. Greg has two brothers--James, vice president-investments at Wachovia Securities in Arizona who was born in 1957, and Steve, a business manager with the Billy Graham Training Center in North Carolina who was born in 1959...
“ For: As Good As it Gets (1997). ” - John Jacoby
 
21.
“ For: Fargo (1996). ” - John Jacoby
 
22.
Ed Harris
By transforming into his characters and pulling the audience in, Ed Harris has earned the reputation as one of the most talented actors of our time. Ed Harris was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, to Margaret (Sholl), a travel agent, and Robert Lee Harris, a bookstore worker who also sang professionally...
“ For: Apollo 13. (1995). ” - John Jacoby
 
23.
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...
“ For: Forrest Gump (1994). ” - John Jacoby
 
24.
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...
“ For: Schindler's List (1993). ” - John Jacoby
 
25.
Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Mildred Burgess LaRue (Noel) and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of a doughnut company. His ancestry included Irish (from his paternal grandmother) and English. Jack attended Ward Elementary near his Newton, MA home. At age 9 he was sent to Rivers Country Day School...
“ For: Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). ” - John Jacoby
 
26.
Anthony Hopkins
Actor, Hannibal
Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, he moved to London and joined the National Theatre...
“ For: Silence of the Lambs (1991). ” - John Jacoby
 
27.
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...
“ For: Goodfellas (1990). ” - John Jacoby
 
28.
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University...
“ For: Glory (1989). ” - John Jacoby
 
29.
Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Margaret and Robert Joseph Kline, who owned several stores. His father was of German Jewish descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. After attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Kline studied at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1972, Kline joined the Acting Company in New York which was run by John Houseman...
“ For: A Fish Called Wanda (1988). ” - John Jacoby
 
30.
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at Fordham University...
“ For: Cry Freedom (1987). ” - John Jacoby
 
31.
Willem Dafoe
Actor, Spider-Man
Willem Dafoe was born in Appleton, Wisconsin, to Muriel Isabel (Sprissler), a nurse, and Dr. William Alfred Dafoe, a surgeon. He is of German, French, English, Irish, and Scottish descent. In 1979, Dafoe was given a small role in Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate from which he was fired. His first feature role came shortly after in Kathryn Bigelow's The Loveless...
“ For: Platoon (1986). ” - John Jacoby
 
32.
William Hickey
Son of Edward & Nora Hickey. Best known as the ancient Mafia don in Prizzi's Honor, Hickey had a long, distinguished career in film, television, and the stage. Began career as a child actor on the variety stage. Made Broadway debut as walk-on in George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan" (1951 production, starring Uta Hagen)...
“ For: Prizzi's Honor (1985). ” - John Jacoby
 
33.
Adolph Caesar
Born in the Harlem section of New York City, joined the Navy, then studied drama at New York University; was an announcer for then joined the Negro Ensemble Co. in 1970 for such productions as "The River Niger", "Square Root of the Soul" and "The Brownsville Raid"; worked with repertory groups such as the Minnesota Theater Co....
“ For: A Soldier's Story (1984). ” - John Jacoby
 
34.
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...
“ For: Terms of Endearment (1983). ” - John Jacoby
 
35.
Robert Preston
American leading man of vast charisma, Robert Preston was the son of a garment worker and a record store clerk and grew up in Los Angeles. He was a trained musician, playing several instruments, and in high school became interested in theatre. He joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse, taking classes and appearing in scores of plays alongside such soon-to-be-well-known actors as Dana Andrews...
“ For: Victor/Victoria (1982). ” - John Jacoby
 
36.
Howard E. Rollins Jr.
Howard E. Rollins Jr. was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1950. He was the youngest of four children born to Howard E. Rollins Sr. (steelworker) and Ruth R. Rollins (domestic worker). Rollins graduated from Towson State College, where he studied theater. His first break into acting came when a friend convinced him to try out for a role in "Of Mice and Men" at a local Baltimore theater...
“ For: Ragtime (1981) ” - John Jacoby
 
37.
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...
“ For: Raging Bull (1980). ” - John Jacoby
 
38.
Melvyn Douglas
Two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas was one of America's finest actors. In addition to his two Oscars, he also won a Tony Award and an Emmy. Douglas would enjoy cinema immortality if for no other reason than his being the man who made Greta Garbo laugh in Ernst Lubitsch's classic comedy Ninotchka, but he was much, much more...
“ For: Being There (1979). ” - John Jacoby
 
39.
Christopher Walken
Nervous-looking lead and supporting actor of the American stage and films, with sandy colored hair, pale complexion and a somewhat nervous disposition. He won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Deer Hunter, and has been seen in mostly supporting roles, often portraying psychologically unstable characters...
“ For: The Deer Hunter (1978). ” - John Jacoby
 
40.
Jason Robards
Powerful and highly respected American actor Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Hope Maxine (Glanville) and stage and film star Jason Robards Sr. He had Swedish, English, Welsh, German, and Irish ancestry. Robards was raised mostly in Los Angeles. A star athlete at Hollywood High School...
“ For: Julia (1977). ” - John Jacoby
 
41.
Jason Robards
Powerful and highly respected American actor Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Hope Maxine (Glanville) and stage and film star Jason Robards Sr. He had Swedish, English, Welsh, German, and Irish ancestry. Robards was raised mostly in Los Angeles. A star athlete at Hollywood High School...
“ For: All the President's Men (1976). ” - John Jacoby
 
42.
Brad Dourif
Character actor Brad Dourif was born Bradford Claude Dourif on March 18, 1950 in Huntington, West Virginia. He is the son of Joan Mavis Felton (Bradford) and Jean Henri Dourif, a French-born art collector who owned and operated a dye factory. His father died when Dourif was three years old, after which his mother married Bill Campbell...
“ For: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). ” - John Jacoby
 
43.
Robert De Niro
Actor, Goodfellas
One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro 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...
“ For: The Godfather, Part II (1974). ” - John Jacoby
 
44.
Jason Miller
Character actor and playwright Jason Miller had a variety of jobs before he started a writing career and wrote his own play, "That Championship Season", for which he received the Pulitzer Prize Award. Miller gave up his professional writing career in the early seventies to start acting. In 1973, he starred as a troubled priest in the horror film classic The Exorcist...
“ For: The Exorcist (1973). ” - John Jacoby
 
45.
Al Pacino
One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. Alfredo James Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family...
“ For: The Godfather (1972). ” - John Jacoby
 
46.
Timothy Bottoms
From a talented acting generation of brothers, Timothy James Bottoms, who was this close to out-and-out super-stardom in the 1970s, is the oldest of four acting siblings. All four boys were born in Santa Barbara, California (Timothy on August 30, 1951; some sources indicate 1950), as children of James "Bud" Bottoms...
“ For: The Last Picture Show (1971). ” - John Jacoby
 
47.
Karl Malden
Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago as Mladen Sekulovich, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden did not speak English until he was in kindergarten. After graduating from high school in the nearby steel town of Gary, Indiana, Malden worked in the industry for three years until 1934, when he was frustrated with the drudgery of manual labor...
“ For: Patton (1970). ” - John Jacoby
 
48.
Anthony Quayle
Anthony Quayle was born in Ainsdale in September 1913, the son of a Lancashire lawyer. He completed his education at Rugby School and had a brief spell at RADA, before treading the boards for the first time as the straight man in a music hall comedy act in 1931. Tall, burly, round-faced and possessed of a powerful and resonant voice...
“ For: Anne of the 1000 Days (1969). ” - John Jacoby
 
49.
Sidney Blackmer
Sidney Blackmer, the Tony-award winning actor who played Teddy Roosevelt in seven movies, is best remembered by today's movie audiences for his turn as the warlock/coven-leader Roman Castevet in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. Born and raised in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he made his debut on July 13...
“ For: Rosemary's Baby (1968). ” - John Jacoby
 
50.
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...
“ For: Bonnie and Clyde (1967). ” - John Jacoby
 
51.
Walter Matthau
Walter Matthau was best known for starting in many films which included Charade (1963), The Odd Couple (1968), Grumpy Old Men (1993) and Dennis the Meance (1993). He often worked with Jack Lemmon and the two were Hollywood's craziest stars. He was born Walter John Matthow in New York City, New York on October 1...
“ For: The Fortune Cookie (1966). ” - John Jacoby
 
52.
Tom Courtenay
Actor, 45 Years
Acting chameleon Sir Tom Courtenay, along with Sirs Alan Bates and Albert Finney, became front-runners in an up-and-coming company of rebel upstarts who created quite a stir in British "kitchen sink" cinema during the early 60s. An undying love for the theatre, however, had Courtenay channeling a different course than the afore-mentioned greats and he never...
“ For: Doctor Zhivago (1965). ” - John Jacoby
 
53.
Lee Tracy
Rangy, red-headed and straightforward to the bone while possessing distinctively adenoidal vocal tones, this actor with a voracious appetite for high living was a fine cinematic representation of the racy and race-paced style of pre-Code Hollywood. Lee Tracy patented with peerless skill the lightning...
“ For: The Best Man (1964). ” - John Jacoby
 
54.
Melvyn Douglas
Two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas was one of America's finest actors. In addition to his two Oscars, he also won a Tony Award and an Emmy. Douglas would enjoy cinema immortality if for no other reason than his being the man who made Greta Garbo laugh in Ernst Lubitsch's classic comedy Ninotchka, but he was much, much more...
“ For: HUD (1963). ” - John Jacoby
 
55.
Terence Stamp
Actor, Wanted
Terence Henry Stamp was born and lived in Canal Road, Bow, until German bombers forced his family to move to Plaistow. An icon of the 1960s, he dated the likes of Julie Christie, Brigitte Bardot and Jean Shrimpton. After an extremely successful early career, starring in Modesty Blaise, Poor Cow and Far from the Madding Crowd...
“ For: Billy Budd (1962). ” - John Jacoby
 
56.
George C. Scott
George C. Scott was an immensely talented actor, a star of screen, stage and television. He was born on October 18, 1927 in Wise, Virginia, to Helena Agnes (Slemp) and George Dewey Scott. At the age of eight, his mother died, and his father, an executive at Buick, raised him. In 1945, he joined the United States Marines and spent four years with them...
“ For: The Hustler (1961). ” - John Jacoby
 
57.
Jack Kruschen
Canadian-born Jack Kruschen entered films after years on the stage, and became a dependable character actor both in movies and on television. Often cast as ethnic comedy relief, Kruschen occasionally landed a role as a villain, but was more often the volatile, emotional Italian or Jewish neighbor patriarch. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Apartment.
“ For: The Apartment (1960). ” - John Jacoby
 
58.
Arthur O'Connell
Though veteran character actor Arthur O'Connell was born in New York City in 1908, he looked as countrified as apple pie, looking ever more comfy in overalls than he ever did in a suit. He made his stage debut in the mid 1930s and came into contact with Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre. As a result, he earned the bit role of a reporter in the final scenes of Citizen Kane (1941)...
“ For: Anatomy of a Murder (1959). ” - John Jacoby
 
59.
David Niven
David Niven was named after the Saint's Day on which he was born, St. David, patron Saint of Wales. He attended Stowe School and Sandhurst Military Academy and served for two years in Malta with the Highland Light Infantry. At the outbreak of World War II, although a top-line star, he re-joined the army (Rifle Brigade)...
“ For: Separate Tables (1958). ” - John Jacoby
 
60.
Sessue Hayakawa
Sessue Hayakawa was born in Chiba, Japan. His father was the provincial governor and his mother a member of an aristocratic family of the "samurai" class. The young Hayakawa wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a career officer in the Japanese navy, but he was turned down due to problems with his hearing...
“ For: Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). ” - John Jacoby
 
61.
“ For: Bus Stop (1956). ” - John Jacoby
 
62.
Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Mildred Burgess LaRue (Noel) and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of a doughnut company. His ancestry included Irish (from his paternal grandmother) and English. Jack attended Ward Elementary near his Newton, MA home. At age 9 he was sent to Rivers Country Day School...
“ For: Mister Roberts (1955). ” - John Jacoby
 
63.
Rod Steiger
Rodney Stephen Steiger was born in Westhampton, New York, to Augusta Amelia (Driver) and Frederick Jacob Steiger, both vaudevillians. He was of German and Austrian ancestry. After his parents' divorce, Steiger was raised by his mother in Newark, New Jersey. He dropped out of Westside High school at age 16 and joined the Navy...
“ For: On the Waterfront (1954). ” - John Jacoby
 
64.
Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner. Growing up on the gritty streets of Hoboken made Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. Starting out as a saloon singer in musty little dives (he carried his own P.A...
“ For: From Here to Eternity (1953). ” - John Jacoby
 
65.
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...
“ For: My Cousin Rachel (1952). ” - John Jacoby
 
66.
Kevin McCarthy
Handsome, chisel-jawed character actor Kevin McCarthy appeared in nearly 100 movies in a career that spanned seven decades. He also had some starring roles, most notably the horror cult classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers. He played the disillusioned son Biff Loman in the 1951 screen adaptation of Arthur Miller's classic Death of a Salesman...
“ For: Death of a Salesman (1951). ” - John Jacoby
 
67.
George Sanders
George Sanders was born of English parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked in a Birmingham textile mill, in the tobacco business and as a writer in advertising. He entered show business in London as a chorus boy, going from there to cabaret, radio and theatrical understudy. His film debut, in 1936...
“ For: All About Eve (1950). ” - John Jacoby
 
68.
Ralph Richardson
Sir Ralph Richardson was one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century English-language theater, ascending to the height of his profession in the mid-1930s when he became a star in London's West End. He became the first actor of his generation to be knighted. He became Sir Ralph in 1947, and was quickly followed Laurence Olivier in 1948...
“ For: The Heiress (1949). ” - John Jacoby
 
69.
Walter Huston
For many years Walter Huston had two passions: his career as an engineer and his vocation for the stage. In 1909 he dedicated himself to the theatre, and made his debut on Broadway in 1924. In 1929 he journeyed to Hollywood, where his talent and ability made him one of the most respected actors in the industry. He won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
“ For: The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). ” - John Jacoby
 
70.
Richard Widmark
Richard Widmark established himself as an icon of American cinema with his debut in the 1947 film noir Kiss of Death in which he won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination as the killer "Tommy Udo". Kiss of Death and other noir thrillers established Widmark as part of a new generation of American movie actors who became stars in the post-World War II era...
“ For: Kiss of Death (1947). ” - John Jacoby
 
71.
Harold Russell
Harold John Russell was born in Nova Scotia in 1914. His family moved to Cambridge Massachusetts when his father died in 1919. He was training paratroopers at Camp MacKall NC on June 6, 1944 when some TNT he was using exploded in his hands. He lost both hands. After receiving hooks, and training on them...
“ For: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). ” - John Jacoby
 
72.
James Dunn
Versatile actor of stage, screen and television, James Howard Dunn was the only child of a prominent New York stockbroker and homemaker. He grew up and attended public schools in New Rochelle, New York. Dunn's interest in pursuing a career in acting became apparent when he started playing hooky from high school...
“ For: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945). ” - John Jacoby
 
73.
Clifton Webb
Actor, Laura
Already trained in dance and theater, he quit school at age 13 to study music and painting. By 19 he was a professional ballroom dancer in New York, and by his mid-twenties he was performing in musicals, dramas on Broadway and in London, and in silent movies. His first real success in film came in middle age as the classy villain Waldo Lydecker in Laura...
“ For: Laura (1944). ” - John Jacoby
 
74.
Claude Rains
Actor, Casablanca
William Claude Rains, born in the Clapham area of London, was the son of the British stage actor Frederick Rains. The younger Rains followed, making his stage debut at the age of eleven in "Nell of Old Drury." Growing up in the world of theater, he saw not only acting up close but the down-to-earth business end as well...
“ For: Casablanca (1943). ” - John Jacoby
 
75.
Walter Huston
For many years Walter Huston had two passions: his career as an engineer and his vocation for the stage. In 1909 he dedicated himself to the theatre, and made his debut on Broadway in 1924. In 1929 he journeyed to Hollywood, where his talent and ability made him one of the most respected actors in the industry. He won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
“ For: Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). ” - John Jacoby
 
76.
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...
“ For: Citizen Kane (1941). ” - John Jacoby
 
77.
George Sanders
George Sanders was born of English parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked in a Birmingham textile mill, in the tobacco business and as a writer in advertising. He entered show business in London as a chorus boy, going from there to cabaret, radio and theatrical understudy. His film debut, in 1936...
“ For: Rebecca (1940). ” - John Jacoby
 
78.
Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell was one of the great American character actors, whose credits read like a list of the greatest films of the 20th century: Lost Horizon; Stagecoach; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Gone with the Wind; It's a Wonderful Life and High Noon. His portrayals are so diverse and convincing that most people don't even realize that one actor could have played them all...
“ For: Stagecoach (1939). ” - John Jacoby
 
79.
John Garfield
John Garfield was born Jacob Julius Garfinkle on the Lower East Side of New York City, to Hannah Basia (Margolis) and David Garfinkle, who were Jewish immigrants from Zhytomyr (now in Ukraine). Jules was raised by his father, a clothes presser and part-time cantor, after his mother's death in 1920, when he was 7...
“ For: Four Daughters (1938). ” - John Jacoby
 
80.
Freddie Bartholomew
One of the most popular child actors in film history, Freddie Bartholomew was born Frederick Cecil Bartholomew in London, England, in 1924. He was raised by his aunt, Millicent Bartholomew. Freddie had appeared on stage and in four minor British films when he was offered the title role in David Copperfield by MGM...
“ For: Captain's Courageous (1937). ” - John Jacoby
 
81.
Mischa Auer
Mischa Auer, the American screen's supreme exponent of the "Mad Russian" stereotype so dear to Yankee hearts before and after World War II, was born Mischa Ounskowsky on November 17, 1905, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the grandson of violinist Leopold Auer, whose surname he took when he became a professional actor in the U.S...
“ For: My Man Godfrey (1936). ” - John Jacoby
 
82.
Franchot Tone
President of the Dramatic Club at Cornell University, Franchot Tone gave up the family business for acting, making his Broadway debut in "The Age of Innocence". Tone then went into movies for MGM, making his film debut in The Wiser Sex. With his theatrical background, Tone became one of the most talented movie actors in Hollywood.
“ For: Mutiny on the Bounty (1935). ” - John Jacoby
 
83.
Frank Morgan
Jovial, somewhat flamboyant Frank Morgan (born Francis Wuppermann) will forever be remembered as the title character in The Wizard of Oz, but he was a veteran and respected actor long before he played that part, and turned in outstanding performances both before and after that film. One of 11 children of a wealthy manufacturer...
“ For: The Affairs of Cellini (1934). ” - John Jacoby