The List of 50 Artists who give Mind blowing performance On Screen

by agentgvp-420-287216 | created - 01 Oct 2012 | updated - 11 Jan 2014 | Public

Criteria for the Artist Selection: #Star Quality: An actor's charisma and unique personal characteristics that create a strong on- and off-screen presence which is often embraced by audiences as a separate, mythic persona. #Craft: An actor's ability to embody distinctly different characters through the use of strong acting techniques and other creative methods. #Legacy: An actor's body of work that enriches entertainment industry heritage and continues to inspire artists and audiences today. #Historical Context: The role of world events, politics, and changing social mores in shaping, promoting or curtailing a legend's status and career.

1. Marlon Brando

Actor | Apocalypse Now

Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in ...

An enduring cultural icon, Brando became a box office star during the 1950s, during which time he racked up five Oscar nominations as Best Actor, along with three consecutive wins of the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. He initially gained popularity for recreating the role as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a Tennessee Williams play that had established him as a Broadway star during its 1947-49 stage run; and for his Academy Award-winning performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954), as well as for his iconic portrayal of the rebel motorcycle gang leader Johnny Strabler in The Wild One (1953), which is considered to be one of the most famous images in pop culture. Brando was also nominated for the Oscar for playing Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata! (1952); Mark Antony in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1953 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; and as Air Force Major Lloyd Gruver in Sayonara (1957), Joshua Logan's adaption of James Michener's 1954 novel. Brando made the Top Ten Money Making Stars, as ranked by Quigley Publications' annual survey of movie exhibitors, three times in the decade, coming in at number 10 in 1954, number 6 in 1955, and number 4 in 1958.

2. 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 ...

"I wanted everything to be a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight, the hat small and the shoes large ... I added a small moustache, which, I reasoned, would add age without hiding my expression. I had no idea of the character. But the moment I was dressed, the clothes and the makeup made me feel the person he was. I began to know him, and by the time I walked on stage he was fully born." Sir Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, KBE (16 April 1889 – 25 December 1977) became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I. Chaplin used mime, slapstick and other visual comedy routines, and continued well into the era of the talkies, though his films decreased in frequency from the end of the 1920s. His most famous role was that of The Tramp, which he first played in the Keystone comedy Kid Auto Races at Venice in 1914. From the April 1914 one-reeler Twenty Minutes of Love onwards he was writing and directing most of his films, by 1916 he was also producing them, and from 1918 he was even composing the music for them. With Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith, he co-founded United Artists in 1919. Chaplin was one of the most creative and influential personalities of the silent-film era. He was influenced by his predecessor, the French silent film comedian Max Linder, to whom he dedicated one of his films. His working life in entertainment spanned over 75 years, from the Victorian stage and the music hall in the United Kingdom as a child performer, until close to his death at the age of 88. His high-profile public and private life encompassed both adulation and controversy. Chaplin was identified with left-wing politics during the McCarthy era and he was ultimately forced to resettle in Europe from 1952. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Chaplin the 10th greatest male screen legend of all time. In 2008, Martin Sieff, in a review of the book Chaplin: A Life, wrote: "Chaplin was not just 'big', he was gigantic. In 1915, he burst onto a war-torn world bringing it the gift of comedy, laughter and relief while it was tearing itself apart through World War I. Over the next 25 years, through the Great Depression and the rise of Adolf Hitler, he stayed on the job. ... It is doubtful any individual has ever given more entertainment, pleasure and relief to so many human beings when they needed it the most". George Bernard Shaw called Chaplin "the only genius to come out of the movie industry".

3. Robert De Niro

Actor | Raging Bull

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...

De Niro's first movie role, in collaboration with Brian De Palma, was in 1963, at the age of 20, when he appeared opposite his friend Jill Clayburgh in The Wedding Party; however, the film was not released until 1969. He then played in Roger Corman's 1970 Bloody Mama, which starred Shelly Winters as Ma Barker. He gained popular attention with his role as a dying Major League Baseballplayer in Bang the Drum Slowly (1973). That same year, he began his collaboration with Martin Scorsese, when he played the smalltime crook Johnny Boy, alongside Harvey Keitel's Charlie, inMean Streets (1973). In 1974, De Niro had a pivotal role in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part II, playing the young Vito Corleone – the director having remembered his previous auditions for the roles of Sonny Corleone, Michael Corleone, Carlo Rizzi and Paulie Gatto, in The Godfather. His performance earned him his first Academy Award, for Best Supporting Actor, although Coppola accepted the award, as De Niro was not present at the Oscar ceremony. He became the first actor to win an Academy Award speaking mainly a foreign language, in this case, multiple Sicilian dialects (although he delivered a few lines in English). De Niro and Marlon Brando, who played the older Vito Corleone in the first film, are the only actors to have won Oscars portraying the same fictional character. Brando and De Niro came together onscreen for the only time in The Score (2001).

4. Al Pacino

Actor | Serpico

One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of cinema's most vibrant 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 Manhattan, New York City, to an ...

It was the 1971 film The Panic in Needle Park, in which he played a heroin addict, that brought Pacino to the attention of director Francis Ford Coppola, who cast him as Michael Corleone in the blockbuster Mafia film The Godfather (1972). Although several established actors – including Robert Redford,Warren Beatty, and then little-known Robert De Niro – also tried out for the part, Coppola selected the relatively unknown Pacino, much to the dismay of studio executives. Pacino was even teased on the set because of his short stature. Pacino's performance earned him an Academy Award nomination, and offered a prime example of his early acting style, described by Halliwell's Film Guide as "intense" and "tightly clenched".

5. Jack Nicholson

Actor | Chinatown

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...

He made his film debut in a low-budget teen drama The Cry Baby Killer, in 1958, playing the title role. For the following decade, Nicholson was a frequent collaborator with the film's producer, Roger Corman. Corman directed Nicholson on several occasions, most notably in The Little Shop of Horrors, as masochistic dental patient Wilbur Force, and also in The Raven, The Terror, and The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. He worked frequently with director Monte Hellman as well on low-budget westerns, though two in particular, Ride in the Whirlwind and The Shooting, initially failed to find interest from any US film distributors but gained cult success on the art house circuit in France and were later sold to television. With his acting career heading nowhere, Nicholson seemed resigned to a career behind the camera as a writer/director. His first real taste of writing success was the LSD-fueled screenplay for the 1967 film, The Trip (directed by Corman), which starred Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. Nicholson also co-wrote, with Bob Rafelson, the movie Head, which starredThe Monkees. In addition, he also arranged the movie's soundtrack. However, after a spot opened up in Fonda and Hopper's Easy Rider, it led to his first big acting break. Nicholson played hard-drinking lawyer George Hanson, for which he received his first Oscar nomination. The part of Hanson was a lucky break for Nicholson—the role had in fact been written for actor Rip Torn, who was a close friend of screen writer Terry Southern, but Torn withdrew from the project after a bitter argument with the film's director and co-star Dennis Hopper, during which the two men almost came to blows. In interview, Nicholson later acknowledged the importance of being cast in Easy Rider: "All I could see in the early films, before Easy Rider, was this desperate young actor trying to vault out of the screen and create a movie career."

6. Raj Kapoor

Actor | Sangam

Raj Kapoor was the son of well-known Indian actor Prithviraj Kapoor, who acted both in film and on stage. After apprenticing in the Bollywood production studios of the 1940's, at 24 years of age Raj Kapoor produced, directed and acted in Aag (1948), with his new company, RK Films. His next ...

Raj Kapoor is appreciated both by film critics and movie fans. Film historians and movie buffs speak of him as the "Charlie Chaplin of Indian cinema," since he often portrayed a tramp-like figure, who, despite adversity, was still cheerful and honest. His fame spread worldwide. He was adored by audiences in large parts of Africa, the Middle East, the former Soviet Union, China, and Southeast Asia; his movies were global commercial successes. Raj had the knack of getting the best out of any one, since he had mastered all departments of film making and even marketing them. When Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru died in 1964 coinciding with release of Sangam, he took the opportunity to create a scene when Gopal ashes were immersed in Ganges, like Pandit Nehru described in his poetic will. His films reflected the Era in which it was made. He had a great understanding of the public taste and a great sense of Box-Office. He was one of the pioneers of the Indian cinema, who talked about the potential of Hindi cinema emerging as a great revenue earner from the world market in fifties, which has become a reality today. Many of Raj Kapoor's movies had a patriotic theme. His films Aag, Shree 420 and Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai (In the country where the Ganges flows) celebrated the newly independent India, and encouraged film-goers to be patriots. Raj Kapoor commissioned these famous lyrics for Mera Joota Hai Japani, a song from the movie Shree 420: Mera joota hai Japani (My shoes are Japanese) Ye patloon Inglistani (These trousers are English) Sar pe lal topi Roosi (The red cap on my head is Russian) Phir bhi dil hai Hindustani (But still, however, my heart is Indian) The song is still extremely popular and has been featured in a number of movies since Shree 420 was released. Indian author Mahasweta Devi stopped the show with her inaugural speech at the 2006 Frankfurt Book Fair when she used these lyrics to express her own heartfelt patriotism and debt to her country. Raj Kapoor was a canny judge of filmi music and lyrics. Many of the songs he commissioned are evergreen hits. He introduced the music directors Shankar-Jaikishan and the lyricists Hasrat Jaipuri and Shailendra. He is also remembered for his strong sense of visual style. He used striking visual compositions, elaborate sets, and dramatic lighting to complete the mood set by the music. He introduced the actresses Nimmi, Dimple Kapadia, and Mandakini, as well as launching and reviving the careers of his sons Rishi, Randhir and Rajiv. He was also famous for making his actresses wear revealing clothing which was not very common in Indian cinema. A postage stamp, bearing his face, was released by India Post to honour him on 14 December 2001. To honour him, a brass statue of his was unveiled at Walk of the Stars at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai in March 2012.

7. Meryl Streep

Actress | Out of Africa

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 21 times, and has won it three times. Meryl was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, to Mary Wolf (Wilkinson), a commercial artist, and Harry William ...

Streep made her professional stage debut in The Playboy of Seville (1971), before her screen debut in the television movie The Deadliest Season(1977). In that same year, she made her film debut with Julia (1977). Both critical and commercial success came quickly with roles in The Deer Hunter (1978) and Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), the former giving Streep her first Academy Award nomination and the latter her first win. She later won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in Sophie's Choice (1982) and The Iron Lady (2011). Streep has received 17 Academy Award nominations, winning three, and 26 Golden Globe nominations, winning eight, more nominations than any other actor in the history of either award. Her work has also earned her two Emmy Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Cannes Film Festivalaward, five New York Film Critics Circle Awards, two BAFTA awards, an Australian Film Institute Award, five Grammy Award nominations, and a Tony Award nomination, amongst others. She was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2004 and the Kennedy Center Honor in 2011 for her contribution to American culture through performing arts, the youngest actress in each award's history.

8. Michael Caine

Actor | The Quiet American

Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in London, to Ellen Frances Marie (Burchell), a charlady, and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, a fish-market porter. He left school at age 15 and took a series of working-class jobs before joining the British army and serving in Korea during the Korean ...

Sir Michael Caine, CBE (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite on 14 March 1933) is a British actor and author. Renowned for his distinctive Cockneyaccent, Caine has appeared in over one hundred films and is one of Britain's most recognisable actors. He made his breakthrough in the 1960s with starring roles in a number of British films, including, Zulu (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), Alfie (1966),The Italian Job (1969), and Battle of Britain (1969). His most notable roles in the 1970s included, Get Carter (1971), The Man Who Would Be King(1975), and A Bridge Too Far (1978). He achieved critical success in the 1980s, with Educating Rita (1983) earning him the BAFTA and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, and in 1986 he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Hannah and Her Sisters. Caine played a British con-man in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), and Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). He received his second Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for The Cider House Rules (1999). Caine played Nigel Powers in the 2002 parody Austin Powers in Goldmember, and more recently portrayed Alfred Pennyworth, the butler in Christopher Nolan's the Dark Knight trilogy. He also appeared as supporting characters in Nolan's 2006 film The Prestige and 2010 film Inception. He provided his voice for two animated films in 2011, Gnomeo and Juliet and Cars 2. Caine is one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s (the other one being Jack Nicholson). In 2000, Caine was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his contribution to cinema.

9. Guru Dutt

Actor | Pyaasa

Considered to be a man ahead of his time, Guru Dutt was one of the greatest icons of commercial Indian cinema. Although he made less than fifty films, they are believed to be the best to come from Bollywood's Golden Age, known both for their ability to reach out to the common man and for their ...

Guru Dutt was at first mourned as a matinee idol but as the years passed, it became ever clearer that it was as a director that he would be remembered. Starting in 1973, his films were shown at film festivals throughout India and the rest of the world. Despite being a commercial director, he appealed to the same intelligentsia who made Satyajit Ray an international favorite. He also has a place in the hearts of many ordinary Indians for his song picturisations and the many vivid characters sketched in his films. Contrary to a general belief about the viability of his film projects, Guru Dutt more or less produced commercially successful films. Over the years the commercial nature of his projects saw a trade-off with his creative aspirations. Movies like C.I.D., Baazi, Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Chaudhvin Ka Chand and Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam were rightfully the first of their kind in Hindi cinema. The only movie produced by Guru Dutt and termed a box-office disaster was Kaagaz Ke Phool, now a cult classic. He lost over 1.7 million producing that film, a large amount by the standards of the time, which was more than recovered by his next project, Chaudhvin Ka Chand. He never lost faith in his team or in the distributors of his films. Once a project was over, he would begin anew - with little concern about the commercial success of the previous project. He was part of an exclusive school of Indian film directors, including the likes of Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan and Bimal Roy, who were able to achieve a healthy blend of artistic and commercial success between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s. Pyaasa was rated as one of the best 100 films of all time by Time Magazine. In the 2002 Sight & Sound critics' and directors' poll, two of his films, Pyaasa and Kaagaz Ke Phool, were among the top 160 greatest films of all time. The same 2002 Sight & Sound poll ranked Dutt at #73 in its list of all-time greatest directors, thus making him the eighth highest-ranking Asian filmmaker in the poll.

10. Mohanlal

Actor | Dasharatham

Mohanlal was born to Viswanathan Nair (father) and Santhakumari (mother) in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, in the southern part of India on 21st May 1960. Starting his career with a classic villain role, he has now become an outstanding actor of Malayalam Cinema in Kerala. Without no doubt, ...

Mohanlal is regarded as one of the finest actors in Indian cinema and is a cultural icon.He was elected as most popular Keralite in a 2006 online poll conducted by CNN-IBN on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Kerala's formation. In 2001, the Government of India honoured him with thePadma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, for his contributions to Indian cinema. In 2009, he became the first actor to be given the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army of India and in 2010 received anhonorary doctorate from Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kerala The late 1980s and early 1990s are widely regarded as the golden age of Malayalam cinema, with films characterised by detailed screenplays, lucid narration and fresh ideas narrowing the gap between art and commercial films. Mohanlal played very different roles in films "made by the great masters" like G. Aravindan, Hariharan, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, Padmarajan, Bharathan and Lohithadas. Mohanlal, along with the actor and scriptwriter Sreenivasan who played his sidekick in several movies, showcased the angst of unemployed, educated Malayali youth forced to adapt to hostile environments in many realistic social satires, some of which were written by Sreenivasan himself. 1986 was a significant year in Mohanlal's career. He starred in T. P. Balagopalan M.A., directed by Sathyan Anthikad, for which he received his first Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor. He portrayed an unemployed young man who shoulders the responsibility of his family. His performance in Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam as a harassed house-owner won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Malayalam) also. Mohanlal was touted as the new Malayalam superstar after the box-office success of Rajavinte Makan in which he played an underworld don He also starred in the tragedy Thalavattom, an uncredited adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, playing Vinod, a young man who becomes mentally ill upon witnessing his girlfriend's death. Thoovanathumbikal, directed by Padmarajan, in which he portrayed a person torn between his twin love interests, broke many stereotypes in Indian films, such as the leading man falling in love with a second woman immediately after he is rejected by the first. The romantic comedy, Chithram, released in 1988, played for 365 days in a theatre, becoming the longest running Malayalam movie still which plays full shows daily. Mohanlal won a Kerala State Special Jury Award in 1988 for his acting in the movies Padamudra, Aryan, Vellanakalude Nadu, Ulsavapittennu and Chithram. In 1989, The combination of writer Lohitha Das and director Sibi Malayil is considered to have produced some of his most haunting roles, his role of Sethu Madhavan, who dreams of becoming a police officer but ends up as a criminal, in the tragedy Kireedam, earned him a National Film Special Jury Award. Mohanlal later recalled that his portrayal of Sethumadhavan's mental agony, commended as a natural performance, was spontaneous and that he "did what Sethumadhavan, my character, would have done in such a situation", adding that acting was "akin to entering another person’s body." In the early 1990s, Mohanlal acted in a number of notable commercial movies, such as His Highness Abdullah, Midhunam and No.20 Madras Mail. His Highness Abdullah was the first movie produced by Mohanlal, under the banner of Pranavam Arts. His role inBharatham as a Carnatic singer who is burdened by a jealous brother, earned him the National Award for Best Actor in 1991. Although not trained in classical dance, he portrayed aBharatanatyam dancer in Kamaladalam(1992). He took help from his choreographer and his co-actors Vineeth and Monisha for enacting the dance scenes. Rajashilpi, Sadayam, Yoddha andVietnam Colony were the other successful movies of Mohanlal in the same year. The 1993 drama Devaasuram, written by Ranjith and directed by I. V. Sasi, was one of Mohanlal's most successful films and is regarded as a cult classic.[10] In 1994, Mohanlal starred along with Shobana and Suresh Gopi in Fazil's Manichitrathazhu in the lead role as a psychiatrist. The film was a critical and commercial success, and became one of the highest grossing Malayalam films. Sphadikam was his major commercial success in 1995. Mohanlal won his third Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor and fifth Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Malayalam) for his portrayal as a young man who becomes a thug, estranged from his father, upon failing to meet the latter's high expectations. Priyadarshan's Kaalapani, an epic film about the prisoners in Cellular Jail of Port Blair and Lohithadas's Kanmadam (1998) are among the notable commercial successes in the second half of the decade. Mohanlal's first non-Malayalam movie was the Tamil biopic Iruvar directed by Mani Ratnam in which he starred opposite debutant Aishwarya Rai. The controversial film, in which Mohanlal depicted an actor who turns politician (based on M. G. Ramachandran), was a critical success and won many awards including Best Film award at the Belgrade International Film Festival and two National Film Awards.In 1997, he played the lead role in Guru, which was the official entry to oscars from India that year. Mohanlal depicted a Kathakali artist whose personal life is a tragedy in the 1999 Indo-French period drama Vanaprastham directed by Shaji N. Karun. Since Mohanlal was not trained in Kathakali – a dance-drama form indigenous to Kerala, he took tips from reputed Kathakali dancers to essay the role, for which he received his second National Film Award for Best Actor, fourth Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor and sixth Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Malayalam). It was also adjudged the best feature film of the year and won the best editing award at National Film Awards. The film was also selected for the competitive section at the Cannes Film Festival and several other international film festivals and won six Kerala State Film Awards

11. Kamal Haasan

Actor | Vishwaroopam

Kamal Haasan was born November 7, 1954 in Paramakudi, Tamil Nadu. He debuted as a child artiste in the film "Kalathoor Kannamma" (1960), which was released in the year 1960. Since then, he has starred in nearly 200 films in the major Indian languages - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. ...

Kamal Haasan (born 7 November 1954) is an Indian film actor, screenwriter, producer and director, considered to be one of the leading method actorsof Indian cinema. He is widely acclaimed as an actor and is well known for his versatility in acting. Kamal Haasan has won several Indian film awards, including four National Film Awards and numerous Filmfare Awards, and is known for having starred in the largest number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In addition to acting, screenwriting and directing, he has also featured in films as a songwriter, playback singer and choreographer. His film production company, Rajkamal International, has produced several of his films. In 1990, he was awarded the Padma Shri for his contributions to Indian cinema. Kamal Haasan is also a recipient of an Honorary doctorate. In 2009, he became one of very few Indian actors to have completed 50 years in cinema. After several projects as a child artist, Kamal Haasan's breakthrough into lead acting came with his role in the 1975 drama Apoorva Raagangal, in which he played a rebellious youth in love with an older woman. He secured his second Indian National Film Award for his portrayal of a guileless school teacher who tends a childlike amnesiac in 1982's Moondram Pirai. He was particularly noted for his performance in Mani Ratnam'sGodfatheresque Tamil film Nayagan (1987), which was ranked by Time magazine as one of the best films of all time

12. Dustin Hoffman

Actor | Tootsie

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, ...

Hoffman began his acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse, alongside future Academy Award-winner Gene Hackman. After two years there, Hackman headed for New York City, with Hoffman soon following. During this time period, he got an occasional bit television role, but left acting briefly to teach in order to support himself. Hoffman also occasionally performed television commercials; an oft-replayed segment on programs that explore actors' early work is a clip showing Hoffman touting the Volkswagen Fastback. In 1960, Hoffman was cast in a role in an Off-Broadway production and followed with a walk-on role in a Broadway production in 1961. Hoffman then studied at Actors Studio and became a dedicated method actor. Sidney W. Pink, a producer and 3D-movie pioneer, discovered him in one of his off-Broadway roles and cast him in Madigan's Millions. His first critical success was inEh? by Henry Livings, which had its US premiere at the Circle in the Square Downtown on October 16, 1966. Through the early and mid-1960s, Hoffman made appearances in television shows and movies, including Naked City, The Defenders and Hallmark Hall of Fame. Hoffman made his theatrical film debut in The Tiger Makes Out in 1967, alongside Eli Wallach. In 1967, immediately after wrapping up principal filming on The Tiger Makes Out, Hoffman flew from New York City to Fargo, North Dakota, where he directed a production of William Saroyan's The Time of Your Life for the Emma Herbst Community Theatre. The $1,000 he received for the eight-week contract was all he had to hold him over until the funds from the movie materialized

13. Katharine Hepburn

Actress | The Lion in Winter

Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was ...

Katharine Houghton Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003) was an American actress of film, stage, and television. Known for her headstrong independence and spirited personality, Hepburn was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60 years. She appeared in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and received four Academy Awards for Best Actress—a record for any performer. In 1999, Hepburn was named by the American Film Institute as the greatest female star in Hollywood history. Raised in Connecticut by wealthy, progressive parents, Hepburn began to act while studying at Bryn Mawr College. After four years in the theatre, favorable reviews of her work on Broadway brought her to the attention of Hollywood. Her early years in the film industry were marked with success, including an Academy Award for her third picture, Morning Glory (1933), but this was followed by a series of commercial failures. In 1938 she was labeled "box office poison". Hepburn masterminded her own comeback, buying out her contract with RKO Radio Pictures and acquiring the film rights to The Philadelphia Story, which she sold on the condition that she be the star. In the 1940s she was contracted to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where her career focused on an alliance with Spencer Tracy. The screen-partnership spanned 25 years, and produced nine movies. Hepburn challenged herself in the latter half of her life, as she regularly appeared in Shakespeare stage productions and tackled a range of literary roles. She found a niche playing middle-aged spinsters, such as in The African Queen (1951), a persona the public embraced. Three more Oscars came for her work in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981). In the 1970s she began appearing in television movies, which became the focus of her career in later life. She remained active into old age, making her final screen appearance in 1994 at the age of 87. After a period of inactivity and ill-health, Hepburn died in 2003 at the age of 96. Hepburn famously shunned the Hollywood publicity machine, and refused to conform to society's expectations of women. She was outspoken, assertive, athletic, and wore trousers before it was fashionable for women to do so. She married once, as a young woman, but thereafter lived independently. A 26-year affair with her co-star Spencer Tracy was hidden from the public. With her unconventional lifestyle and the independent characters she brought to the screen, Hepburn came to epitomize the "modern woman" in 20th-century America and is remembered as an important cultural figure.

14. Anthony Hopkins

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

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, ...

Hopkins made his first professional stage appearance in the Palace Theatre, Swansea, in 1960 with Swansea Little Theatre's production of Have A Cigarette. In 1965, after several years in repertory, he was spotted by Sir Laurence Olivier, who invited him to join the Royal National Theatre. Hopkins became Olivier's understudy, and filled in when Olivier was struck with appendicitis during a production of August Strindberg's The Dance of Death. Olivier later noted in his memoir, Confessions of an Actor, that, "A new young actor in the company of exceptional promise named Anthony Hopkins was understudying me and walked away with the part of Edgar like a cat with a mouse between its teeth." Despite his success at the National, Hopkins tired of repeating the same roles nightly and yearned to be in films. He made his small-screen debut in a 1967 BBC broadcast of A Flea in Her Ear. In 1968, he got his break in The Lion in Winter playing Richard I, along with Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, and future James Bond star Timothy Dalton, who played Philip II of France. Although Hopkins continued in theatre (most notably at the National Theatre as Lambert Le Roux in Pravda by David Hare and Howard Brenton and as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra oppositeJudi Dench as well as in the Broadway production of Peter Shaffer's Equus, directed by John Dexter) he gradually moved away from it to become more established as a television and film actor. His Pierre Bezukhov for the BBC War and Peace (1972) was particularly memorable. He has since gone on to enjoy a long career, winning many plaudits and awards for his performances. In 1980 he starred opposite Shirley MacLaine in A Change of Seasons and famously said “she was the most obnoxious actress I have ever worked with." Hopkins was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1987, and a Knight Bachelor in 1993. In 1988, Hopkins was made an Honorary D.Litt and in 1992 was awarded Honorary fellowship from the University of Wales, Lampeter. A few years later in a The Tonight Show with Jay Leno appearance, Hopkins humbly admitted that he liked his American fans and friends to call him "Sir Tony". Hopkins was Britain's highest paid performer in 1998, starring in The Mask of Zorro and Meet Joe Black, and also agreed to reprise his role as Dr Hannibal Lecter for a fee of £15million. Hopkins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003

15. Daniel Day-Lewis

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Nicholas Blake, Poet Laureate of the U.K., and his second wife, actress Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and head of the famous Ealing ...

Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis (born 29 April 1957) is an English actor with both British and Irish citizenship. Born and raised in London, he is the son of Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and actress Jill Balcon, and the son-in-law of American playwright Arthur Miller. Despite his traditional actor training at the Bristol Old Vic, he is considered to be a method actor, known for his constant devotion to and research of his roles. He often remains completely in character for the duration of the shooting schedules of his films, even to the point of adversely affecting his health. He is known as being one of the most selective actors in the film industry, having starred in only five films since 1998, with as many as five years between each role. Day-Lewis has earned numerous awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Actor, for his portrayals of Christy Brown in My Left Foot (1989), Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood (2007), and Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln (2012), a feat which makes him to date one of three male actors to win three Oscars (the other two being Walter Brennan and Jack Nicholson), and the only male actor in history to garner three wins in the lead actor category. Day-Lewis has also won four BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards.

16. Morgan Freeman

Actor | Se7en

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...

Although his first credited film appearance was in 1971's Who Says I Can't Ride a Rainbow?, Freeman first became known in the American media through roles on the soap opera Another World and the PBS kids' show The Electric Company, (notably as Easy Reader, Mel Mounds the DJ, and Vincent the Vegetable Vampire). Beginning in the mid-1980s, Freeman began playing prominent supporting roles in many feature films, earning him a reputation for depicting wise, fatherly characters.[5] As he gained fame, he went on to bigger roles in films such as the chauffeur Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy, and Sergeant Major Rawlins in Glory (both in 1989). In 1994, he portrayed Red, the redeemed convict in the acclaimed The Shawshank Redemption. In the same year he was a member of the jury at the 44th Berlin International Film Festival

17. Gene Hackman

Actor | The French Connection

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 ...

In 1956, Hackman began pursuing an acting career; he joined the Pasadena Playhouse in California. It was there that he forged a friendship with another aspiring actor, Dustin Hoffman. Already seen as outsiders by their classmates, Hackman and Hoffman were later voted "The Least Likely To Succeed."Determined to prove them wrong, Hackman hopped on a bus bound for New York City. A 2004 article in Vanity Fair described how Hackman, Hoffman and Robert Duvall were all struggling actors and close friends while living in New York City in the 1960s. Hackman was working as a doorman when he ran into an instructor whom he had despised at the Pasadena Playhouse. Reinforcing "The Least Likely To Succeed" vote, the man had said, "See, Hackman, I told you you wouldn't amount to anything."

18. John Wayne

Actor | True Grit

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. He was of English, Ulster-Scots, and Irish ancestry.

Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, ...

Marion Mitchell Morrison (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 – June 11, 1979), better known by his stage name John Wayne, was an American film actor, director and producer. An Academy Award-winner, Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. An enduring American icon, he epitomized rugged masculinity and is famous for his demeanor, including his distinctive calm voice, walk, and height. Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa but his family relocated to the greater Los Angeles area when he was four years old. He found work at local film studios when he lost his football scholarship to USC as a result of a bodysurfing accident.[4] Initially working for the Fox Film Corporation, he mostly appeared in small bit parts. His first leading role came in the widescreen epic The Big Trail (1930), which led to leading roles in numerous films throughout the 1930s, many of them in the western genre. His career rose to further heights in 1939, with John Ford's Stagecoach making him an instant superstar. Wayne would go on to star in 142 pictures, primarily typecast in Western films. Among his best known later films are The Quiet Man (1952), which follows him as an Irish-American boxer and his love affair with a fiery spinster played by Maureen O'Hara; The Searchers (1956), in which he plays a Civil War veteran who seeks out his abducted niece, played by Natalie Wood, in order to murder her for having lived with a Native American; Rio Bravo (1959), playing a Sheriff with Dean Martin; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), portraying a gunslinging rancher competing with Eastern lawyer James Stewart for a woman's hand in marriage; True Grit (1969), playing a humorous U.S. Marshal who sets out to avenge a man's death in the role that won Wayne an Academy Award; and The Shootist (1976), his final screen performance, in which he plays an aging gunfighter battling cancer. Wayne moved to Orange County, California in the 1960s, and was a prominent Republican in Hollywood, supporting anti-communist positions. In June 1999, the American Film Institute named Wayne 13th among the Greatest Male Screen Legends of All Time.

19. Tom Hanks

Producer | Cast Away

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese, while his father was of mostly English ancestry. Tom grew up in what he has ...

In 1979, Hanks moved to New York City, where he made his film debut in the low-budget slasher film He Knows You're Alone (1980)[2] and got a part in the television movie Mazes and Monsters. Early in 1979, Hanks was cast in the lead role of Callimaco in the Riverside Shakespeare Company's production of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Mandrake, directed by Daniel Southern. This remains Hanks's only New York stage performance to date; as a high profile Off Off Broadway showcase, the production helped Tom land an agent, Joe Ohla with the J. Michael Bloom Agency. The next year, Hanks landed a lead role on the ABC television pilot of Bosom Buddies, playing the role of Kip Wilson. Hanks moved to Los Angeles, where he and Peter Scolari played a pair of young advertising men forced to dress as women so they could live in an inexpensive all-female hotel. In 1984 Hanks got the lead role and a career boost from Splash, which went on to become a box office hit, grossing more than US$69 million. He also had a sizable hit with the sex comedy Bachelor Party, also in 1984. With Nothing in Common (1986) – about a young man alienated from his parents who must re-establish a relationship with his father, played by Jackie Gleason – Hanks began to establish the credentials of not only a comic actor but of someone who could carry a serious role. "It changed my desires about working in movies," Hanks told Rolling Stone. "Part of it was the nature of the material, what we were trying to say. But besides that, it focused on people's relationships. The story was about a guy and his father, unlike, say, The Money Pit, where the story is really about a guy and his house." After a few more flops and a moderate success with Dragnet, Hanks succeeded with the fantasy comedy Big (1988), both at the box office and within the industry. The film established Hanks as a major Hollywood talent. It was followed later that year by Punchline, in which he and Sally Field co-starred as struggling comedians. Hanks's character, Steven Gold, a failing medical student trying to break into stand-up, was somewhat edgy and complex. Hanks' portrayal of Gold offered a glimpse of the far more dramatic roles Hanks would master in films to come

20. 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...

Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (April 5, 1908 – October 6, 1989) was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic, sardonic characters, she was highly regarded for her performances in a range of film genres, from contemporary crime melodramas to historical and period films and occasional comedies, although her greatest successes were her roles in romantic dramas. After appearing in Broadway plays, Davis moved to Hollywood in 1930, but her early films for Universal Studios (and as loanout to other studios) were unsuccessful. She joined Warner Bros. in 1932 and established her career with several critically acclaimed performances. In 1937, she attempted to free herself from her contract and although she lost a well-publicized legal case, it marked the beginning of the most successful period of her career. Until the late 1940s, she was one of American cinema's most celebrated leading ladies, known for her forceful and intense style. Davis gained a reputation as a perfectionist who could be highly combative, and confrontations with studio executives, film directors and costars were often reported. Her forthright manner, clipped vocal style and ubiquitous cigarette contributed to a public persona which has often been imitated and satirized. Davis was the co-founder of the Hollywood Canteen, and was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, was the first person to accrue 10 Academy Award nominations for acting, and was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Her career went through several periods of eclipse, and she admitted that her success had often been at the expense of her personal relationships. Married four times, she was once widowed and thrice divorced, and raised her children as a single parent. Her final years were marred by a long period of ill health, but she continued acting until shortly before her death from breast cancer, with more than 100 films, television and theater roles to her credit. In 1999, Davis was placed second on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest female stars of all time.

21. Russell Crowe

Actor | Les Misérables

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),...

After initial success in Australia, Crowe began acting in American films. He co-starred with Denzel Washington in Virtuosity and with Sharon Stone in The Quick and the Dead in 1995. He went on to become a three-time Oscar nominee, winning the Academy Award as Best Actor in 2001 for Gladiator.[7] Crowe was awarded the (Australian) Centenary Medal in 2001 for "service to Australian society and Australian film production." Crowe received three consecutive best actor Oscar nominations, for The Insider, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind. Crowe won the best actor award for A Beautiful Mind at the 2002 BAFTA award ceremony, as well as the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for the same performance. However, he failed to win the Oscar that year, losing to Denzel Washington. It has been suggested by the Guardian and Entertainment Weekly that his attack on television producer Malcolm Gerrie for cutting short his acceptance speech may have turned voters against him. All three films were also nominated for best picture, and both Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind won the award. Within the six year stretch from 1997–2003, he also starred in two other best picture nominees, L.A. Confidential and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. In 2005, he re-teamed with A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard for Cinderella Man. In 2006 he re-teamed with Gladiator director Ridley Scott for A Good Year, the first of two consecutive collaborations (the second being American Gangster co-starring again with Denzel Washington,(released in late 2007). While the light romantic comedy of A Good Year was not greatly received, Crowe seemed pleased with the film, telling STV in an interview that he thought it would be enjoyed by fans of his other films.

22. Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor | Inception

Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains (1985) and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3 (1991), to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s,...

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio ( born November 11, 1974) has been nominated for the Golden Globe Award eight times as an actor, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor for his performance in The Aviator (2004). He has also been nominated by the Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild, Satellite Awards, and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, DiCaprio started his career by appearing in television commercials prior to landing recurring roles in TV series such as the soap opera Santa Barbara and the sitcom Growing Pains in the early 1990s. He made his film debut in the comedic sci-fi horror film Critters 3 (1991) and received first notable critical praise for his performance in This Boy's Life (1993). DiCaprio obtained recognition for his subsequent work in supporting roles in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) and Marvin's Room (1996), as well as leading roles in The Basketball Diaries (1995) and Romeo + Juliet (1996), before achieving international fame in James Cameron's Titanic (1997). Since the 2000s, DiCaprio has been nominated for awards for his work in such films as Catch Me If You Can (2002), Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004), Blood Diamond (2006), The Departed (2006), and Revolutionary Road (2008). His films Shutter Island (2010) and Inception (2010) rank among the biggest commercial successes of his career.[2] DiCaprio owns a production company named Appian Way Productions, whose productions include the films Gardener of Eden (2007) and Orphan (2009).

23. Christian Bale

Actor | The Dark Knight

Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Charles Howard Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different ...

Bale first caught the public eye at the age of 13, when he was cast in the starring role of Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (1987). Based on the original story by J. G. Ballard, Bale played an English boy who is separated from his parents and subsequently finds himself lost in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. In 2000, Bale gained acclaim for his portrayal of serial killer Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. Bale went on to receive greater commercial recognition for his role as Bruce Wayne / Batman in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). He also portrayed Dicky Eklund in the biopic The Fighter (2010), for which he received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role.

24. Brad Pitt

Actor | Twelve Monkeys

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 (1999). However, his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball (2011), and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven (...

Pitt has received four Academy Award nominations and five Golden Globe Award nominations, winning one Golden Globe. He has been described as one of the world's most attractive men, a label for which he has received substantial media attention. Pitt first gained recognition as a cowboy hitchhiker in the road movie Thelma & Louise (1991). His first leading roles in big-budget productions came with A River Runs Through It (1992), Interview with the Vampire (1994), and Legends of the Fall (1994). In 1995, he gave critically acclaimed performances in the crime thriller Seven and the science fiction film 12 Monkeys, the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination. Four years later, Pitt starred in the cult hit Fight Club. He then starred in the major international hit Ocean's Eleven (2001) and its sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). His greatest commercial successes have been Troy (2004) andMr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). Pitt received his second and third Academy Award nominations for his leading performances in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011). In addition, Pitt owns a production company, Plan B Entertainment, whose productions include The Departed (2006), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Moneyball, which garnered a Best Picture nomination.

25. Ben Kingsley

Actor | Gandhi

Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Bhanji on December 31, 1943 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was a Kenyan-born medical doctor, of Gujarati Indian descent, and his mother, Anna Lyna Mary (Goodman), was an English actress. Ben began to act in stage plays during ...

Sir Ben Kingsley, CBE (born Krishna Pandit Bhanji; 31 December 1943) is an English actor who has won an Oscar,BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards in his career. He is known for starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the film Gandhi in 1982, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.Kingsley was born in Snainton, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, the son of Anna Lyna Mary (née Goodman), an actress and model, and Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, a Nizari Ismaili Muslim medical doctor. Kingsley's father, is of Gujarati Indian descent; Kingsley's paternal grandfather was a spice trader who had moved from India toZanzibar, where Kingsley's father lived until moving to England at the age of 14. Kingsley's mother, born out of wedlock, was "loath to speak of her background" Kingsley's first film role was a supporting turn in Fear Is the Key, released in 1972. Kingsley continued starring in bit roles in both film and television, including a role as Ron Jenkins on the soap opera Coronation Street from 1966 to 1967 and regular appearances as a defence counsel in the long-running British legal programme Crown Court. In 1975, he starred as Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the BBCs historical drama The Love School. He found fame only years later, starring as Mohandas Gandhi in the Academy Award-winning film Gandhi in 1982, his best-known role to date. Kingsley won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal.

26. Samuel L. Jackson

Actor | Pulp Fiction

Samuel L. Jackson is an American producer and highly prolific actor, having appeared in over 100 films, including Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Unbreakable (2000), Shaft (2000), Formula 51 (2001), Black Snake Moan (2006), Snakes on a Plane (2006), and the Star Wars prequel trilogy (1999-2005), ...

Samuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) after becoming involved with the Civil Rights Movement, moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films. He had several small roles such as in the film Goodfellas before meeting his mentor, Morgan Freeman, and the director Spike Lee. After gaining critical acclaim for his role in Jungle Fever in 1991, he appeared in films such as Patriot Games, Amos & Andrew, True Romance and Jurassic Park. In 1994, he was cast as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and his performance received several award nominations and critical acclaim. Jackson has since appeared in over 100 films including Die Hard with a Vengeance, The 51st State, Jackie Brown, Unbreakable, The Incredibles, Black Snake Moan, Shaft, Snakes on a Plane, as well as the Star Wars prequel trilogy and small roles in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Inglourious Basterds. He played Nick Fury in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Marvel's The Avengers, the first five of a nine-film commitment as the character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Jackson's many roles have made him one of the highest-grossing actors at the box office. Jackson has won multiple awards throughout his career and has been portrayed in various forms of media including films, television series, and songs.

27. Naseeruddin Shah

Actor | The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Naseeruddin Shah was born on July 20, 1950 in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh, India. He is an actor, known for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), A Wednesday (2008) and Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983). He has been married to Ratna Pathak Shah since April 1, 1982. They have three children.

Naseeruddin Shah (born 20 July 1950) is widely considered to be one of the finest Indian stage and film actors. He is an influential actor of the Indian Parallel (New Wave) Cinema. Shah has won numerous awards in his career, including three National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards for Best Actor, and a Best Actor Award (The Volpi Cup) at the Venice Film Festival. The Government of India has honored him with both the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan civilian awards for his contributions to Indian cinema. In the very early stages of his career he acted in the film Dil Aakhir Dil Hai directed by noted director Ismail Shroff, with Rakhi where she played the character of Naseer's elder girlfriend Kusumji whom he was forced to marry unwillingly because he is quite younger than her (in the film). One of his most important films, Masoom (1983) was shot at St Joseph's College, Nainital. He became active in mainstream Bollywood cinema with the 1980 film Hum Paanch. His next major success in mainstream films was the 1986 multi-starrer film Karma where he acted alongside veteran Dilip Kumar. Starring roles for films such as Ijaazat (1987), Jalwa (1988) and Hero Hiralal (1988) followed. In 1988 he played opposite his wife Ratna Pathak as Inspector Ghote, the fictional detective of H. R. F. Keating's novels in the Merchant-Ivory English language film The Perfect Murder. He has acted in several multi-starrer Bollywood films as well, such as Ghulami (1985), Tridev (1989) and Vishwatma (1992). In 1994, he acted as the villain in Mohra, his 100th film as an actor. He forayed into Malayalam cinema the same year, through T. V. Chandran's critically well acclaimed drama Ponthan Mada. The film portrayed the irrational bonding of a feudal serf (played byMammootty) and a colonial landlord (played by Shah). He strongly believed that the distinction between art and commercial films had largely reduced, especially with the directors of the former also making commercial films. In 2000 his dream of playing Mahatma Gandhi was realized when he played Gandhi in Kamal Hassan's critically acclaimed Hey Ram which focused on the assassination of Gandhi from the assailant's point of view. He won a lot of critical acclaim by playing the role of Mohit, the drunken coach to a deaf and mute boy in Iqbal, which was written byVipul K Rawal with Shah specially in mind. He also worked in Neeraj Pandey's critically acclaimed A Wednesday (2008). Later, he starred in international projects such as Monsoon Wedding in 2001 and a Hollywood comic book adaptation The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003 (co-starring Sean Connery) where he played the role of Captain Nemo. His portrayal of Nemo was very close to the design of the graphic novel, although his Nemo was far less manic. He worked in an Indian adaptation ofShakespeare's Macbeth, titled Maqbool. He then went on to work in The Great New Wonderful (2005). He was most recently seen in The Dirty Picture (2011). Shah's upcoming films include The Hunt where he plays a recluse growing marijuana in his forest retreat. He made his Pakistani film debut in Khuda Ke Liye by Shoaib Mansoor where he played a short cameo.

28. Geoffrey Rush

Actor | The King's Speech

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. ...

Geoffrey Roy Rush (born 6 July 1951) is one of the few people who has won the "Triple Crown of Acting": an Academy Award, a Tony Award and an Emmy Award. He has won one Academy Award for acting (from four nominations), three British Academy Film Awards (from five nominations), two Golden Globe Awards and four Screen Actors Guild Awards. He is the foundation President of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. He is the 2012 Australian of the Year

29. Heath Ledger

Actor | Brokeback Mountain

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. His work comprised ...

For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the 2005 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and the 2006 Best International Actor award from the Australian Film Institute, and was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor and the 2006 BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Posthumously he shared the 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the rest of the ensemble cast, the director, and the casting director for the film I'm Not There, which was inspired by the life and songs of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. In the film, Ledger portrayed a fictional actor named Robbie Clark, one of six characters embodying aspects of Dylan's life and persona. Ledger received numerous accolades for his critically acclaimed portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Best Actor International Award at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards, for which he became the first actor to win an award posthumously, the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor. Ledger died on 22 January 2008 from an accidental "toxic combination of prescription drugs". A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his penultimate performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. His death occurred during editing of the film and cast a shadow over the subsequent promotion of the $180 million production. At the time of his death, he had completed about half of his final film performing the role of Tony in Terry Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

30. Johnny Depp

Actor | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

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 ...

John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol. Dissatisfied with that status, Depp turned to film for more challenging roles; he played the title character of Edward Scissorhands (1990) and later found box office success in films such as Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Rango (2011) and the Pirates of the Caribbean film series (2003–present). He has collaborated with director and friend Tim Burton in eight films through Dark Shadows (2012). Depp has gained acclaim for his portrayals of such people as Ed Wood, in Ed Wood, Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco, Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, George Jung in Blow, and the bank robber John Dillinger in Michael Mann's Public Enemies. Films featuring Depp have grossed over $3.1 billion at the United States box office and over $7.6 billion worldwide. He has been nominated for top awards many times, winning the Best Actor Awards from the Golden Globes for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and from the Screen Actors Guild for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He also has garnered a sex symbol status in American cinema, being twice named as the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine in 2003 and 2009. He has been listed in the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records as the highest paid actor, with $75 million.

31. Amitabh Bachchan

Actor | Black

Son of well known poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Teji Bachchan. He has a brother named Ajitabh. He completed his education from Uttar Pradesh and moved to Bombay to find work as a film star, in vain though, as film-makers preferred someone with a fairer skin, and he was not quite fair enough. But ...

Amitabh Bachchan (born Amitabh Harivansh Bachchan on 11 October 1942) first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the "angry young man" of Hindi cinema, and has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning more than four decades. Bachchan is regarded as the greatest and most influential actor in the history of Indian cinema. Bachchan has won numerous major awards in his career, including three National Film Awards as Best Actor, and fourteen Filmfare Awards. He is the most-nominated performer in any major acting category at Filmfare, with 37 nominations overall. In addition to acting, Bachchan has worked as aplayback singer, film producer and television presenter. He also had a stint in politics in the 1980s. He has received both the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan civilian awards from the Indian government.

32. Kevin Spacey

Actor | The Usual Suspects

Kevin Spacey Fowler, better known by his stage name Kevin Spacey, is an American actor of screen and stage, film director, producer, screenwriter and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in...

Kevin Spacey, CBE (born Kevin Spacey Fowler; July 26, 1959) began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s, before being cast in supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in the early 1990s, culminating in his first Academy Award for The Usual Suspects (Best Supporting Actor), followed by a Best Actor Academy Award win for American Beauty (1999). His other starring roles in Hollywood include Seven, L.A. Confidential, Pay It Forward, K-PAX, and Superman Returns in a career which has earned him several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Since 2003, he has been artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London.

33. Mammootty

Actor | Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha

Malayalam film actor Mammootty was born to Ismail (an agriculturist) and Fatima (a homemaker). He had two younger brothers Ibrahim and Zakariah; and three sisters, Ameena, Sauda and Shafina. He did his high school (pre-degree) at Maharaja's College, Thevara and then studied law at Ernakulam ...

Mammootty (born Muhammad Kutty Ismail Paniparambil; 7 September 1951), is an Indian film actor and producer who has mainly worked in Malayalam cinema. He has also acted in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, and Kannada films. During a career spanning more than three decades, he has acted in more than 360 films, and is only next to Prem Nazir in the number of lead roles in Indian films. He has also appeared in the highest number of dual roles (nine) in Malayalam films. Mammootty's debut was an uncredited appearance in the 1971 film Anubhavangal Paalichakal directed by K. S. Sethumadhavan, which starred Sathyan, Prem Nazir and Sheela in the lead roles. Mammootty then was a student at the Maharajas College. His second film was Kaalachakram, a 1973 Malayalam film directed by K. Narayanan, and starring Prem Nazir and Jayabharathi. This was the first dialogued appearance of Mammootty, who appeared only in one scene in the film. He acted under the screen name Sajin, but later dropped it. His professional film career began in 1979, when he played his first lead role in Devalokam, directed by veteran M. T. Vasudevan Nair. However, this film was never completed. Mammootty with Ramachandra Babu, who served as cinematographer in his debut film and actor Saiju Kurup. His next film was the 1980 film, Vilkkanundu Swapnangal, directed by Azad, written by M. T. Vasudevan Nair, and starring Sukumaran in the lead role. The film featured Mammootty, as an antagonist in a supporting role. The voice for Mammootty in this film was dubbed by Sreenivasan. Mammootty's first full length character was in the 1980 film Mela which was written and directed by K. G. George and starred Raghu and Anjali Naidu as other lead actors. Mammootty played the antagonist in this film. In a period of five years from 1982 to 1987 Mammootty acted in more than 150 films in the lead role. In 1986 alone, he acted in about 35 films in the lead role. In the mid 80s he collaborated in what became known as the 'Mammootty-Kutty-Petty' films. These films had Mammootty as the protagonist, a husband and a father, with a 3–4-year old daughter, and employed in a top ranking post in a company. Mammootty has acted in a few non-Malayalam movies and these include some Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and English films. In 1990, he made his Tamil debut in Maunam Sammatham, directed by K. Madhu. He has acted in Tamil films for directors including K. Balachander (Azhagan), Mani Ratnam (Thalapathy), N. Linguswamy ("Aanandham") and Rajiv Menon (Kandukondain Kandukondain). Kilippechu Kekkavaa (1993), directed by Fazil, had Mammootty as a romantic hero. He played the role of Anantha Sharma in K. Vishwanath's Telugu film Swathi Kiranam (1992). He acted in the Kannada film Shikari in 2011. He made his debut into Hindi films through Thriyathri which was released in 1989, though his first film as a leading actor was Dhartiputra. He starred in the biographical film Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar directed by Jabbar Patel which was in the English language. He also appeared in Sau Jhooth Ek Sach (2004). During the 2006 IIFA Awards ceremony held at Dubai, he openly criticised the organizers of the IIFA Awards for completely ignoring South Indian film by stating that the Bollywood film industry should stand up to competition from the South Indian film industry before calling itself international. Mammootty is involved in more than half a dozen philanthropic projects aimed at helping needy people. Mammootty is the patron of the Pain and Palliative Care Society, a charitable organisation in Kerala formed with the aim of improving the quality of life among patients with advanced cancer. He has been working with the Pain and Palliative Care Centre situated in Kozhikode, India. He has been awarded the National Film Award for Best Actor three times. He has also won five Kerala State Film Awards and eleven Filmfare Awards. In 1998, he was awarded the Padma Shri for his contributions towards the arts. He was also honoured a Doctor of Letters by the University of Kerala in January 2010 and by the University of Calicut in December 2010.

34. Kate Winslet

Actress | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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...

Kate Elizabeth Winslet CBE (born 5 October 1975) was the youngest person to accrue six Academy Award nominations, and won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Reader (2008). She has won awards from the Screen Actors Guild, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association among others, and has been nominated twice for an Emmy Award for television acting, winning once for her role as Mildred Pierce in the 2011 mini-series of the same name. Since 2000, Winslet's performances have continued to draw positive comments from film critics, and she has been nominated for various awards for her work in such films as Quills (2000), Iris (2001), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Finding Neverland (2004), Little Children (2006), The Reader (2008) and Revolutionary Road (2008). Her performance in the last of these prompted New York magazine critic David Edelstein to describe her as "the best English-speaking film actress of her generation".[2] The romantic comedy The Holiday and the animated film Flushed Away (both 2006) are among the biggest commercial successes of her career. Winslet was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children in 2000. She has been included as a vocalist on some soundtracksof works she has performed in, and the single "What If" from the soundtrack for Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001), was a hit single in several European countries.

35. Matt Damon

Actor | Good Will Hunting

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, Kyle, a sculptor. His father was of English and ...

Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon (born October 8, 1970) is an American actor, screenwriter, and philanthropist whose career was launched following the success of the film Good Will Hunting (1997) from a screenplay he co-wrote with friend Ben Affleck. The pair won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and a Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay for their work. Damon alone received multiple Best Actor nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for his lead performance in the film. Damon has since starred in commercially successful films such as Saving Private Ryan (1998); the Ocean's trilogy; and the first three films in the Bourne series, while also gaining critical acclaim for his performances in dramas such as Syriana (2005), The Good Shepherd (2006), and The Departed (2006). He garnered a Golden Globe nomination for portraying the title character in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Invictus (2009). He is one of the top-40 highest-grossing actors of all time. In 2007, Damon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine.

36. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

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 ...

Washington spent the summer of 1976 in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in summer stock theater performing Wings of the Morning, the Maryland State play. He also filmed a series of commercials in the Fruit of the Loom ensemble, as Grapes. Shortly after graduating from Fordham, Washington made his professional acting debut in the 1977 made-for-television film Wilma with his first Hollywood appearance in the 1981 film Carbon Copy. Washington shared a 1982 Distinguished Ensemble Performance Obie Award for playing Private First Class Melvin Peterson in the Off-Broadway Negro Ensemble Company production A Soldier's Play which premiered November 20, 1981. A major career break came when he starred as Dr. Phillip Chandler in the television hospital drama St. Elsewhere which ran from 1982 to 1988 on NBC. He was one of only a few African American actors to appear on the series for its entire six-year run. Washington also appeared in several television, film and stage roles such as the films A Soldier's Story (1984), Hard Lessons (1986) and Power (1986). In 1987 Washington starred as South African anti-apartheid political activist Steven Biko in Richard Attenborough's Cry Freedom for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 1989 Washington won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing a defiant self-possessed ex-slave soldier in the filmGlory. Also that year he appeared in the film The Mighty Quinn, and as the conflicted and disillusioned Reuben James, a British soldier who, despite a distinguished military career, returns to a civilian life where racism and inner city life leads to vigilantism and violence in For Queen and Country.

37. Ken Watanabe

Actor | The Last Samurai

Ken Watanabe was born on October 21, 1959 in Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. Both of his parents were teachers: his mother taught general education and his dad taught calligraphy. He became interested in acting at the age of 24, when a director of England's National Theatre Company, where he was...

After graduating from high school in 1978, Watanabe moved to Tokyo to begin his acting career, getting his big break with the Tokyo-based theater troupe En. While with the troupe, he was cast as the hero in the play Shimodani Mannencho Monogatari, under Yukio Ninagawa's direction. The role attracted critical and popular notice.In 1982, he made his first TV appearance in Michinaru Hanran (Unknown Rebellion), and his first appearance on TV as a samurai in Mibu no koiuta. He made his feature-film debut in 1984 withMacArthur's Children. Watanabe is mostly known in Japan for playing samurai, as in the 1987 Dokuganryu Masamune (One eyed dragon, Masamune) the 50-episode NHK drama for which he is now best known. He played the lead character, Matsudaira Kurō, in the television jidaigeki Gokenin Zankurō, which ran for several seasons. He has gone on to earn acclaim in such historical dramas as Oda Nobunaga, Chushingura, and the movie Bakumatsu Junjo Den. In 1989, while filming Haruki Kadokawa's Heaven and Earth, Watanabe was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. He returned to acting while simultaneously undergoing chemotherapytreatments, but in 1991 suffered a relapse. As his health improved his career picked back up. He co-starred with Koji Yakusho in the 1998 Kizuna, for which he was nominated for the Japanese Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. In 2002, he quit the En (Engeki-Shudan En) theatre group where he had his start and joined the K-Dash agency. The film Sennen no Koi (Thousand-year Love, based on The Tale of Genji) earned him another Japanese Academy Award nomination. In 2006, he won Best Lead Actor at the Japanese Academy Awards for his role in Memories of Tomorrow (Ashita no Kioku), in which he played a patient with Alzheimer's Disease. Watanabe was introduced to most Western audiences by the 2003 film The Last Samurai. His performance as Katsumoto earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.Watanabe appeared in the 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha, playing Chairman Iwamura. In 2006, he starred in Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, playing Tadamichi Kuribayashi. He has voiced Ra's Al Ghul in the Batman Begins video game. He has filmed advertisements for American Express, Yakult, and NTT DoCoMo. In 2004, he was featured in People Magazine 's 50 Most Beautiful People edition. In 2009, he appeared in The Vampire's Assistant. In 2010, he co-starred in Inception, where he stars as Saito, a mark-turned-benefactor businessman of the film's heist team.

38. Javier Bardem

Actor | Skyfall

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 ...

Javier Ángel Encinas Bardem ( born 1 March 1969) won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as psychopathic assassin Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, and has also garnered critical acclaim for roles in films such as Jamón, jamón, Carne trémula, Boca a boca, Los Lunes al sol and Mar adentro. As well as the Academy Award, Bardem has been awarded a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA, five Goya awards, two European Film Awards, a Prize for Best Actor at Cannes and two Coppa Volpis at Venice for his work. He is the first Spaniard to be nominated for an Oscar (Best Actor, 2000, for Before Night Falls, lost to Russell Crowe for Gladiator), as well as the first Spanish actor to win an Academy Award. He received his third Academy Award nomination, and second Best Actor nomination, for the film Biutiful.

39. Nicole Kidman

Actress | Moulin Rouge!

Elegant blonde Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas.

Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and ...

Nicole Mary Kidman AC (born 20 June 1967) is an Australian-American actress, singer and film producer. Kidman's film career began in 1983. She starred in various Australian film and television productions until her breakthrough in the 1989 thriller Dead Calm. Following several films over the early 1990s, she came to worldwide recognition for her performances in Days of Thunder (1990), Far and Away (1992), and Batman Forever (1995). She followed these with other successful films in the late 1990s. Her performance in the musical, Moulin Rouge! (2001) earned her second Golden Globe Award and first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Her performance as Virginia Woolf in the drama film The Hours (2002) received critical acclaim and earned Kidman the Academy Award for Best Actress. Kidman's other notable films include To Die For (1995), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Cold Mountain (2003), The Interpreter (2005), and Australia (2008). Her performance in 2010's Rabbit Hole (which she also produced) earned Kidman further accolades including a third Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. In 2012, she earned her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role in Hemingway & Gellhorn.

40. Edward Norton

Actor | American History X

American actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Harrison Norton was born on August 18, 1969, in Boston, Massachusetts, and was raised in Columbia, Maryland.

His mother, Lydia Robinson "Robin" (Rouse), was a foundation executive and teacher of English, and a daughter of famed real estate developer ...

In 1996, his supporting role in the courtroom drama Primal Fear garnered him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Two years later, his lead role as a reformed white power skinhead in American History X earned a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor. His other films include Fight Club (1999), 25th Hour (2002), Red Dragon (2002), The Illusionist (2006), The Incredible Hulk (2008), and The Bourne Legacy (2012). In addition to acting, Norton has experience writing and directing films. He made his directorial debut with the film Keeping the Faith (2000). In addition to this, he performed uncredited work on the scripts for The Score, Frida, and The Incredible Hulk.

41. Robin Williams

Actor | Mrs. Doubtfire

Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford ...

Robin McLaurin Williams[2][3] (born July 21, 1951) raised to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy, and later stand-up comedy work, Williams has performed in many feature films since 1980. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting. He has also won two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and five Grammy Awards

42. Marion Cotillard

Actress | La môme

Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard was born on September 30, 1975 in Paris. Cotillard is the daughter of Jean-Claude Cotillard, an actor, playwright and director, and Niseema Theillaud, an actress and drama teacher. Her father's family is Breton.

Raised in Orléans, France, she made her ...

Marion Cotillard (born 30 September 1975) garnered critical acclaim for her roles in films such as La Vie en Rose, My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument, Taxi, Furia and Jeux d'enfants. She has also appeared in such films as Big Fish, A Good Year, Public Enemies, Nine, Inception, Midnight in Paris, Contagion and The Dark Knight Rises. In 2007, Cotillard starred as the French singer Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, for which she received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award, the BAFTA Award, the César Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. She made film history by becoming the first person to win an Academy Award for a French language performance. In 2010, she received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the musical Nine.

43. Jude Law

Actor | The Talented Mr. Ripley

Jude Law is an English actor. Law has been nominated for two Academy Awards and continues to build a prolific body of work that spans from early successes such as Gattaca (1997) and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) to more recent turns as Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes:...

David Jude Heyworth Law (born 29 December 1972), known professionally as Jude Law, is an English actor, film producer and director. He began acting with the National Youth Music Theatre in 1987, and had his first television role in 1989. After starring in films directed by Andrew Niccol, Clint Eastwood and David Cronenberg, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1999 for his performance inAnthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley. In 2000 he won a Best Supporting Actor BAFTA Award for his work in the film. In 2003, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in another Minghella film, Cold Mountain. In 2006, he was one of the top ten most bankable movie stars in Hollywood. In 2007, he received an Honorary César and he was named a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. He was a member of the main competition jury at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

44. Clint Eastwood

Actor | Million Dollar Baby

Clint Eastwood was born May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, the son of Clinton Eastwood Sr., a manufacturing executive for Georgia-Pacific Corporation, and Ruth Wood, a housewife turned IBM operator. He had a comfortable, middle-class upbringing in nearby Piedmont. At school Clint took interest in music...

Clinton "Clint" Eastwood, Jr. (born May 31, 1930) first came to prominence as a supporting cast member in the TV series Rawhide (1959–1965). He rose to fame for playing the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy of spaghetti westerns (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) during the late 1960s, and as Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry films (Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, and The Dead Pool) throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, have made him an enduring cultural icon of a certain type of masculinity. For his work in the films Unforgiven (1992) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), Eastwood won Academy Awards for Best Director and Producer of the Best Picture, as well as receiving nominations for Best Actor. These films in particular, as well as others including Play Misty for Me (1971), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), Escape from Alcatraz (1979), Tightrope (1984), Pale Rider (1985), Heartbreak Ridge (1986), In the Line of Fire (1993), The Bridges of Madison County (1995), and Gran Torino (2008), have all received commercial success and critical acclaim. Eastwood's only comedies have been Every Which Way but Loose (1978) and its sequel Any Which Way You Can (1980), which are his two most commercially successful films after adjustment for inflation. In addition to directing many of his own star vehicles, Eastwood has also directed films in which he did not appear, such as Mystic River (2003) and Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), for which he received Academy Award nominations, and Changeling (2008). He has received considerable critical praise in France, including for several films which were not well received in the United States, and he has been awarded two of France's highest honors: in 1994 he became a recipient of the French Republic's Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and in 2007 he was awarded the Légion d'honneur medal. In 2000, he was awarded the Italian Venice Film Festival Golden Lion for lifetime achievement.

45. Robert Downey Jr.

Actor | Iron Man

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 ...

Robert John Downey, Jr. (born April 4, 1965) made his screen debut at the age of five, appearing in his father's filmPound. He has appeared in roles associated with the Brat Pack, such as Less Than Zero and Weird Science. Other films he has starred in includeAir America, Soapdish, and Natural Born Killers. He starred as the title character in the 1992 film Chaplin, earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. After being released from the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in 2000 for drug charges, Downey joined the cast of the TV series Ally McBeal playing Calista Flockhart's love interest. His performance was praised and he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting in a Series, Miniseries, or Television Film.His more recent films include The Singing Detective, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, A Scanner Darkly, Gothika, Zodiac and Tropic Thunder.

46. Hilary Swank

Actress | Boys Don't Cry

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 ...

Swank made her movie debut in 1992 in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film) in a small role, after which she acted in the direct-to-video drama Quiet Days in Hollywood, where she co-starred with her future husband Chad Lowe. Her first leading film role was in The Next Karate Kid (1994), which utilized her gymnastics background and paired her with Pat Morita. It was the fourth movie in theKarate Kid series. In 1995 she appeared with British actor Bruce Payne in Kounterfeit. In September 1997 Swank was cast as single mother Carly Reynolds on Beverly Hills, 90210. She was initially promised it would be a two-year role, but saw her character written out after 16 episodes in January 1998.[6] Swank later stated that she was devastated at being cut from the show, thinking, "If I'm not good enough for 90210, I'm not good enough for anything." The firing freed her to audition for the role of Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry. Swank reduced her body fat to seven percent in preparation for the role. Many critics hailed her as the best female performance of 1999, and Swank's work ultimately won her the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actress. Swank had earned only $75 per day for her work on Boys Don't Cry, culminating in a total of $3,000. Her earnings were so low that she had not even earned enough to qualify for health insurance. Swank again won the Best Actress Oscar, and another Golden Globe, for playing a female boxer in Clint Eastwood's 2004 film Million Dollar Baby, a role for which she underwent extensive training in the ring and weight room gaining 19 pounds of muscle aided by professional trainer Grant L Roberts. With her second Oscar, she had joined the ranks of Vivien Leigh, Helen Hayes, Sally Field, and Luise Rainer as the only actresses to have been nominated for Academy Awards twice and win both times. After winning her second Oscar, she said, "I don't know what I did in this life to deserve this. I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.

47. Adrien Brody

Actor | The Pianist

Adrien Nicholas Brody was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the only child of retired history professor Elliot Brody and Hungarian-born photographer Sylvia Plachy. He accompanied his mother on assignments for the Village Voice, and credits her with making him feel comfortable in front of the ...

Taking acting classes as a youth, by age thirteen, he appeared in an Off-Broadway play and a PBS television film. Brody hovered on the brink of stardom, receiving an Independent Spirit Award nomination for his role in the 1998 film Restaurant and later praise for his roles in Spike Lee's Summer of Sam and Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line. He received widespread recognition when he was cast as the lead in Roman Polanski's The Pianist(2002). To prepare for the role, Brody withdrew for months, gave up his apartment and his car, was left by his then-girlfriend, learned how to play Chopin on the piano, and lost 29 lbs (13 kg). The role won him an Academy Award for Best Actor, making him, at 29, the youngest actor ever to win the award, and to date the only winner under the age of 30. He also won a César Award for his performance.

48. Charlize Theron

Actress | Monster

Charlize Theron was born in Benoni, a city in the greater Johannesburg area, in South Africa, the only child of Gerda Theron (née Maritz) and Charles Theron. She was raised on a farm outside the city. Theron is of Afrikaner (Dutch, with some French Huguenot and German) descent, and Afrikaner ...

Charlize Theron ( born 7 August 1975) is a South African actress. She started her acting career in the United States and rose to fame in the late 1990s following roles in The Devil's Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and The Cider House Rules (1999). Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster (2003), becoming the first South African to win an Academy Award in a major acting category. She received further Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for her performance in North Country in 2005, and a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Young Adult in 2011.

49. Roberto Benigni

Actor | La vita è bella

Roberto Benigni was born on October 27, 1952 in Manciano La Misericordia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany, Italy as Roberto Remigio Benigni. He is an actor and writer, known for Life Is Beautiful (1997), La tigre e la neve (2005) and Down by Law (1986). He has been married to Nicoletta Braschi since...

Roberto Remigio Benigni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI ( born 27 October 1952) is an Academy Award winning Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter and director of film, theatre and television.Benigni is probably best known outside Italy for his 1997 tragicomedy Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella), filmed in Arezzo, also written by Cerami. Critics praised Benigni's artistic daring and skill to create a sensitive comedy involving the tragedy, a challenge that Charles Chaplin confessed he would not have done with The Great Dictator had he been aware of the horrors of the Holocaust. In 1998, the film was nominated for seven Academy Awards. At the 1999 ceremony Benigni received the award for Best Actor (the first for a male performer in a non-English-speaking role, and only the third overall acting Oscar for non-English-speaking roles), the score by Nicola Piovani won Best Original Dramatic Score, and the film was awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, which Benigni accepted as the film's director.

50. Nandita Das

Writer | Firaaq

Nandita Das was born on November 7, 1969 in Delhi, India. She is known for her work on Firaaq (2008), Bawandar (2000) and Fire (1996). She has been married to Subodh Maskara since January 5, 2010. They have one child. She was previously married to Saumya Sen.

A highly talented performer who often scorches the screen with her intensity, Das is as well known for her smoldering sensuality as for her eclectic filmography. Last seen in Onir's I Am, the actress has had a short but always exciting career, with films like Fire, Earth, Bawandar and Amaar Bhuvan ranking as her own very best.



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