The Best Actors Ever - 1950s

by dziwnytenswiat | created - 9 months ago | updated - 1 week ago | Public

Points from my "The Best Films Ever Made"-Lists. Only Actors in films from 1950s. Vol. 1 = 100%, Vol. 2 = 50%, Vol. 3 = 33%, Vol. 4 = 25%, Vol. 5 = 20 %, Vol. 6 = 17%

1. Chishû Ryû

Actor | Tôkyô monogatari

What an amazing career! Few can boast a longer one (64 years of activity). Few have been able to have to relate to three generations. And it is pretty sure that no one can compare with him in terms of faithfulness to a director: Chishu Ryu indeed appeared in no fewer than fifty-two out of ...

5362 points

2. James Stewart

Actor | Vertigo

James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English, descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he ...

3762 points

3. William Holden

Actor | Stalag 17

William Holden was born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois, to Mary Blanche (Ball), a schoolteacher, and William Franklin Beedle, Sr., an industrial chemist. He came from a wealthy family (the Beedles) that moved to Pasadena, California, when he was three. In 1937, while studying ...

3736 points

4. Kirk Douglas

Actor | Spartacus

Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema who rose from being "the ragman's son" (the name of his best-selling 1988 autobiography) to become a bona fide superstar, Kirk Douglas, also known as Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was born on December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York. ...

3705 points

5. Humphrey Bogart

Actor | Casablanca

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy ...

3121 points

6. Karl Malden

Actor | On the Waterfront

Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago as Mladen Sekulovich, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden did not speak English until he was in kindergarten. After graduating from high school in the nearby steel town of Gary, Indiana, Malden worked in the industry for three years until 1934, when...

2929 points

7. Takashi Shimura

Actor | Shichinin no samurai

Japanese character actor Takashi Shimura was one of the finest film actors of the 20th century and a leading member of the "stock company" of master director Akira Kurosawa. A native of southern Japan, Shimura was a descendant of the samurai warrior class. Following university training, he founded ...

2889 points

8. Kamatari Fujiwara

Actor | Shichinin no samurai

Kamatari Fujiwara was born on January 15, 1905 in Tokyo, Japan. He was an actor, known for Seven Samurai (1954), The Hidden Fortress (1958) and Yojimbo (1961). He died on December 21, 1985 in Tokyo.

2799 points

9. Tony Curtis

Actor | Some Like It Hot

Tony Curtis was born Bernard Schwartz, the eldest of three children of Helen (Klein) and Emanuel Schwartz, Jewish immigrants from Hungary. Curtis himself admits that while he had almost no formal education, he was a student of the "school of hard knocks" and learned from a young age that the only ...

2589 points

10. Sô Yamamura

Actor | Tora! Tora! Tora!

Sô Yamamura was born on February 24, 1910 in Tenri, Japan as Hirosada Koga. He was an actor and director, known for Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), Kuroi ushio (1954) and Gung Ho (1986). He was married to Yuriko Yamamura. He died on May 26, 2000 in Suginami, Tokyo, Japan.

2561 points

11. Burt Lancaster

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Burt Lancaster, one of five children, was born in Manhattan, to Elizabeth (Roberts) and James Henry Lancaster, a postal worker. All of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. He was a tough street kid who took an early interest in gymnastics. He joined the circus as an acrobat and ...

2544 points

12. 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 ...

2534 points

13. James Mason

Actor | Lolita

James Mason was a great English actor of British and American films. He was born in Yorkshire, and attended Marlborough and Cambridge, where he discovered acting on a lark, and abandoned a planned career as an architect. Following work in stock companies, he joined the Old Vic under the guidance of...

2517 points

14. Minoru Chiaki

Actor | Shichinin no samurai

Japanese character actor equally adept at comic or seriously unsavory roles. Chiaki graduated from the University of Chuo with degrees in economics and commerce, but almost immediately found that his interest lay more with the theatre. In 1937, he began to study with the Shin-Tsukiji Gekidan ("The ...

2500 points

15. John Williams

Actor | Sabrina

John Williams was a tall, urbane Anglo-American actor best known for his role as Chief Inspector Hubbard in Dial M for Murder (1954), a role he played on Broadway, in Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1954 film, and on television in 1958. Playing Hubbard on the Great White Way brought him the 1953 Tony ...

2480 points

16. Montgomery Clift

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta (1920-2014) and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg; 1888-1988) and William Brooks Clift (1886-...

2471 points

17. Eijirô Tôno

Actor | Yôjinbô

Eijirô Tôno was born on September 17, 1907 in Gunma, Japan. He was an actor, known for Yojimbo (1961), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and Tokyo Story (1953). He died on September 8, 1994.

2241 points

18. Lee J. Cobb

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Lee J. Cobb, one of the premier character actors in American film for three decades in the post-World War II period, was born Leo Jacoby in New York City's Lower East Side on December 8, 1911. The son of a Jewish newspaper editor, young Leo was a child prodigy in music, mastering the violin and the...

2211 points

19. Bokuzen Hidari

Actor | Shichinin no samurai

Bokuzen Hidari was born on February 20, 1894 in Saitama, Japan as Ichiro Mikasima. He was an actor, known for Seven Samurai (1954), Ikiru (1952) and The Lower Depths (1957). He died on May 26, 1971 in Tokyo, Japan.

2205 points

20. Sterling Hayden

Actor | Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Born to George & Frances Simonson Walter, and named Sterling Relyea Walter. Father died in 1925. Adopted by stepfather 'James Hayden' renamed Sterling Walter Hayden. Grew up in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Maine. Though very poor, attended prep school at ...

2184 points

21. Jean Gabin

Actor | La grande illusion

Jean-Alexis Moncorge started his career with 15 years at the theatre and debuted at the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris in 1929. Despite of his rude aspect he knew to be the gentleman of the French cinema in the time between the two World Wars. One of his most popular personalities was inspector Maigret. ...

2140 points

22. Gunnar Björnstrand

Actor | Det sjunde inseglet

Being the son of an acting father, Oscar Johanson, it isn't surprising that he wanted to be an actor already as a child. However, he first worked as a baker's apprentice, in a barber shop or in the docks. After the conscription he got his first role, a bit part on the theater Lilla Teatern in ...

2117 points

23. Toshirô Mifune

Actor | Yôjinbô

Toshiro Mifune achieved more worldwide fame than any other Japanese actor of his century. He was born in Tsingtao, China, to Japanese parents and grew up in Dalian. He did not set foot in Japan until he was 21. His father was an importer and a commercial photographer, and young Toshiro worked in ...

2049 points

24. Ichirô Sugai

Actor | Shiosai

Ichirô Sugai was born on July 25, 1907 in Kyoto, Japan. He was an actor and director, known for Shiosai (1964), Dorodarake no seishun (1954) and Gamera vs. Barugon (1966). He died on August 11, 1973.

2048 points

25. Jack Warden

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Jack Warden was born John Warden Lebzelter, Jr. on September 18, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey, to Laura M. (Costello) and John Warden Lebzelter. His father was of German and Irish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry. Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of seventeen, young Jack ...

2019 points

26. Ward Bond

Actor | The Quiet Man

Gruff, burly American character actor. Born in 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska (confirmed by Social Security records; sources stating 1905 or Denver, Colorado are in error.) Bond grew up in Denver, the son of a lumberyard worker. He attended the University of Southern California, where he got work as ...

2010 points

27. Alec Guinness

Actor | Star Wars

Alec Guinness was an English actor. He is known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), Prince Faisal in Lawrence...

2001 points

28. Ed Begley

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Charismatic character star Edward James Begley was born in Hartford, Connecticut of Irish parents and educated at St.Patrick's school. His interest in acting first surfaced at the age of nine, when he performed amateur theatricals at the Hartford Globe Theatre. Determined to make his own way, he ...

2001 points

29. Leo G. Carroll

Actor | North by Northwest

One of the most indispensable of character actors, Leo G. Carroll was already involved in the business of acting as a schoolboy in Gilbert & Sullivan productions. Aged 16, he portrayed an old man in 'Liberty Hall'. In spite of the fact, that he came from a military family, and , perhaps, because of...

1969 points

30. Ernest Borgnine

Actor | Marty

Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Anna (Boselli), who had emigrated from Carpi (MO), Italy, and Camillo Borgnino, who had emigrated from Ottiglio (AL), Italy. As an only child, Ernest enjoyed most sports, especially boxing, ...

1967 points

31. Jean Brochard

Actor | Les diaboliques

Jean Brochard was born on March 12, 1893 in Nantes, Loire-Atlantique, Pays-de-la-Loire, France. He is known for his work on Diabolique (1955), I Vitelloni (1953) and Angel and Sinner (1945). He died on June 17, 1972 in Nantes.

1946 points

32. Orson Welles

Actor | Citizen Kane

His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr....

1888 points

33. Lee Marvin

Actor | The Dirty Dozen

Prematurely white-haired character star who began as a supporting player of generally vicious demeanor, then metamorphosed into a star of both action and drama projects, Lee Marvin was born in New York City, the son of Courtenay Washington (Davidge), a fashion writer, and Lamont Waltman Marvin, an ...

1810 points

34. Richard Widmark

Actor | The Alamo

Richard Widmark established himself as an icon of American cinema with his debut in the 1947 film noir Kiss of Death (1947) in which he won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination as the killer "Tommy Udo". Kiss of Death (1947) and other noir thrillers established Widmark as part of a new ...

1773 points

35. Anthony Quinn

Actor | Alexis Zorbas

Anthony Quinn was born Antonio Rudolfo Oaxaca Quinn on April 21, 1915, in Chihuahua, Mexico, to Manuela (Oaxaca) and Francisco Quinn, who became an assistant cameraman at a Los Angeles (CA) film studio. His paternal grandfather was Irish, and the rest of his family was Mexican. After starting life ...

1767 points

36. Gary Merrill

Actor | All About Eve

Gary Merrill was born August 2, 1915, in Hartford, Connecticut. He began his career acting in summer stock plays. He married Barbara Leeds, an actress, and then served a brief stint in the army. After the army, he landed in New York, where he was chosen to join the already popular play "Born ...

1765 points

37. Tatsuya Nakadai

Actor | Kagemusha

Japanese leading man, an important star and one of the handful of Japanese actors well known outside Japan. Nakadai was a tall handsome clerk in a Tokyo shop when director Masaki Kobayashi encountered him and cast him in The Thick-Walled Room (1956). Nakadai was subsequently cast in the lead role in...

1764 points

38. Glenn Ford

Actor | Superman

Legendary actor Glenn Ford was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Quebec, Canada, to Hannah Wood (Mitchell) and Newton Ford, a railroad executive. His family moved to Santa Monica, California when he was eight years old. His acting career began with plays at high school...

1760 points

39. Jay C. Flippen

Actor | The Killing

Jay C. Flippen could probably be characterized these days as one of those distinctive faces you know but whose name escapes you while viewing old 50s and 60s movies and TV. His distinctive bulldog mug, beetle brows, bulky features, and silver-white hair were ideally suited for roles as criminals ...

1738 points

40. E.G. Marshall

Actor | 12 Angry Men

With over 150 Film and TV appearances to his credit, E.G. Marshall was arguably most well known as the imperturbable Juror No. 4 in the Sidney Lumet mystery 12 Angry Men (1957).

Some of his stand-out performances are in Creepshow (1982), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), and Nixon (1995).

...

1734 points

41. Peter Graves

Actor | Airplane!

Peter Graves was born Peter Duesler Aurness on March 18, 1926 on Minneapolis, Minnesota. While growing up in Minnesota, he excelled at sports and music (as a saxophonist), and by age 16, he was a radio announcer at WMIN in Minneapolis. After two years in the United States Army Air Force, he studied...

1707 points

42. Emil Karewicz

Actor | Cien

Emil Karewicz was born on March 13, 1923 in Wilno, Wilenskie, Poland. He is an actor, known for Cien (1956), Lalka (1978) and Der ungebetene Gast (1981). He was previously married to Teresa.

1706 points

43. Keiji Sada

Actor | Anata kaimasu

Keiji Sada was born on December 9, 1926 in Kyoto City, Japan as Kanichi Nakai. He was an actor and producer, known for I Will Buy You (1956), Typhoon (1956) and The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959). He died on August 17, 1964 in Nirazaki, Japan.

1698 points

44. Eddie Albert

Actor | Roman Holiday

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Eddie Albert was a circus trapeze flier before becoming a stage and radio actor. He made his film debut in 1938 and has worked steadily since, often cast as the friendly, good-natured buddy of the hero but occasionally being cast as a villain; one of his ...

1678 points

45. Cary Grant

Actor | Charade

Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant", Grant is said to have replied, "So would I."

Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 18, 1904 in Horfield, Bristol, England, to Elsie Maria (Kingdon) and Elias James Leach, who worked in a factory. His early years...

1629 points

46. Gregory Peck

Actor | To Kill a Mockingbird

Eldred Gregory Peck was born on April 5, 1916 in La Jolla, California, to Bernice Mary (Ayres) and Gregory Pearl Peck, a chemist and druggist in San Diego. He had Irish (from his paternal grandmother), English, and some German, ancestry. His parents divorced when he was five years old. An only ...

1612 points

47. Jean Servais

Actor | Le plaisir

Jean Servais was born on September 24, 1910 in Antwerp, Belgium. He was an actor and writer, known for Le Plaisir (1952), Rififi (1955) and The Longest Day (1962). He was married to Gilberte Graillot and Dominique Blanchar. He died on February 17, 1976 in Paris, France.

1612 points

48. Eitarô Shindô

Actor | Onna no issho

Eitarô Shindô was born on November 10, 1899 in Fukuoka, Japan as Tatsugoro Shindo. He was an actor, known for Onna no issho (1953), A Geisha (1953) and Sisters of the Gion (1936). He died on February 18, 1977 in Tokyo, Japan.

1599 points

49. Wendell Corey

Actor | Rear Window

Wendell Corey was a hard-working American character actor who appeared in numerous movies and television productions in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Born on March 20, 1914 in Dracut, Massachusetts, in the northeastern part of the Commonwealth near the New Hampshire border, Corey was the son of a ...

1566 points

50. Raymond Burr

Actor | Rear Window

Born Raymond William Stacy Burr on 21 May 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Burr spent most of his early life traveling. As a youngster, his father moved his family to China, where the elder Burr worked as a trade agent. When the family returned to Canada, Raymond's parents separated. He ...

1562 points

51. Richard Basehart

Actor | Moby Dick

Despite many a powerful performance, this actor's actor never quite achieved the stardom he deserved. Ultimately, Richard Basehart became best-known to television audiences as Admiral Harriman Nelson, commander of the glass-nosed nuclear submarine 'S.S.R.N Seaview' in Irwin Allen's Voyage to the ...

1559 points

52. Hugh Marlowe

Actor | All About Eve

Marlowe was born Hugh Hipple in Philadelphia, and began his stage career in the 1930s at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. He performed extensively on radio, stage, television and film with credits including off-Broadway productions of "The Deer Park" in 1967 and "All My Sons" in 1974.

1545 points

53. Ray Collins

Actor | Citizen Kane

Ray Bidwell Collins was an American actor in film, stage, radio and television. One of his best remembered roles was that of Lt. Arthur Tragg in the long-running series Perry Mason (1957). Collins was born in Sacramento, California, to Lillie Bidwell and William C. Collins, a newspaper drama editor...

1508 points

54. Max von Sydow

Actor | Flash Gordon

Max von Sydow was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Skåne, Sweden, to a middle-class family. He is the son of Baroness Maria Margareta (Rappe), a teacher, and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist and folklore professor. His surname traces back to his father's partial German ...

1501 points

55. Robert Mitchum

Actor | Out of the Past

Robert Mitchum was an underrated American leading man of enormous ability, who sublimated his talents beneath an air of disinterest. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Ann Harriet (Gunderson), a Norwegian immigrant, and James Thomas Mitchum, a shipyard/railroad worker. His father died in a ...

1488 points

56. John McIntire

Actor | Psycho

John McIntire possessed the requisite grit, craggy features and crusty, steely-eyed countenance to make for one of television and film's most durable supporting players of western settings. Born in Spokane, Washington in 1907 and the son of a lawyer, he grew up in Montana where he learned to raise ...

1479 points

57. James Dean

Actor | East of Eden

James Byron Dean was born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, to Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton A. Dean, a farmer turned dental technician. His mother died when Dean was nine, and he was subsequently raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to ...

1470 points

58. Burl Ives

Actor | The Big Country

Burl Ives was one of six children born to a Scottish-Irish farming family. He first sang in public for a soldiers' reunion when he was age 4. In high school, he learned the banjo and played fullback, intending to become a football coach when he enrolled at Eastern Illinois State Teacher's College ...

1450 points

59. John Mills

Actor | The Family Way

Sir John Mills, one of the most popular and beloved English actors, was born Lewis Ernest Watts Mills on February 22, 1908, at the Watts Naval Training College in North Elmham, Norfolk, England. The young Mills grew up in Felixstowe, Suffolk, where his father was a mathematics teacher and his ...

1450 points

60. Robert Ryan

Actor | The Wild Bunch

Distinguished U.S. actor and longtime civil rights campaigner Robert Bushnell Ryan was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Mable Arbutus (Bushnell), a secretary, and Timothy Aloysius Ryan, whose wealthy family owned a real estate firm. His father was of Irish ancestry, and his mother was of English and ...

1440 points

61. 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, ...

1427 points

62. Frank Sinatra

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrants Natalina Della (Garaventa), from Northern Italy, and Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, a Sicilian boxer, fireman, and bar owner. Growing up on the gritty streets of Hoboken made Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. ...

1425 points

63. Louis Calhern

Actor | Duck Soup

Tall, distinguished, aristocratic Louis Calhern seemed to be the poster boy for old-money, upper-crust urban society, but he was actually born Carl Vogt, to middle-class parents in New York City. His family moved to St. Louis when he was a child, and it was while playing football in high school ...

1424 points

64. Alberto Sordi

Actor | Tutti a casa

One of Italy's most captivating and talented cinematic comedy stars, Italian veteran Alberto Sordi was known for satirizing his country's social mores in pungent black comedies, farcical tales and grim drama. He, along with peers Vittorio Gassman, Ugo Tognazzi and Nino Manfredi, arguably represent ...

1416 points

65. Carl Möhner

Actor | Du rififi chez les hommes

Carl Möhner was born on August 11, 1921 in Vienna, Austria as Carl Martin Rudolf Möhner. He was an actor and writer, known for Rififi (1955), Callan (1974) and The Istanbul Adventure (1958). He was married to Wilma Langhamer. He died on January 14, 2005 in McAllen, Texas, USA.

1405 points

66. Arthur Kennedy

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

Arthur Kennedy, one of the premier character actors in American film from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, achieved fame in the role of Biff in Elia Kazan's historic production of Arthur Miller's Pultizer-Prize winning play "Death of a Salesman." Although he was not selected to recreate the ...

1400 points

67. Charlton Heston

Actor | Ben-Hur

With features chiseled in stone, and renowned for playing a long list of historical figures, particularly in Biblical epics, the tall, well built and ruggedly handsome Charlton Heston was one of Hollywood's greatest leading men and remained active in front of movie cameras for over sixty years. As ...

1381 points

68. Adolphe Menjou

Actor | Paths of Glory

The words "suave" and "debonair" became synonymous with the name Adolphe Menjou in Hollywood, both on- and off-camera. The epitome of knavish, continental charm and sartorial opulence, Menjou, complete with trademark waxy black mustache, evolved into one of Hollywood's most distinguished of artists...

1376 points

69. Jack Carson

Actor | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

When Jack Carson arrived in Hollywood in 1937, he found work at RKO as an extra. His first major acting role came alongside Humphrey Bogart in the romantic comedy Stand-In (1937). After a few years, he developed into a popular character actor who would be seen in a large number of comedies, ...

1348 points

70. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with ...

1341 points

71. Everett Sloane

Actor | Citizen Kane

Everett Sloane, the actor most known for playing Mr. Bernstein in Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane (1941) as a member of Welles' Mercury Players, was born in New York, New York on October 1, 1909. Sloane was bitten by the acting bug quite early, and first went on-stage when he was seven years old....

1333 points

72. Anthony Franciosa

Actor | A Hatful of Rain

Franciosa was born Anthony Papaleo on October 25, 1928, in New York City. The son of a construction worker and seamstress who divorced when he was a year old, he seldom saw his father after this and never man really got to know the other. After graduating high school, during a visit to a YMCA to ...

1323 points

73. Paul Meurisse

Actor | Les diaboliques

Paul Meurisse was the son of a bank manager and it first looked as if he would follow in his father's footsteps when he became a solicitor's clerk in Aix-en-Provence. But his passion was elsewhere and he soon did the splits appearing as a chorus boy in music-hall revues. Leaving Aix for Paris, with...

1302 points

74. Fredric March

Actor | The Best Years of Our Lives

Fredric March began a career in banking but in 1920 found himself cast as an extra in films being produced in New York. He starred on the Broadway stage first in 1926 and would return there between screen appearances later on. He won plaudits (and an Academy Award nomination) for his send-up of ...

1300 points

75. Martin Balsam

Actor | All the President's Men

Martin Henry Balsam was born on November 4, 1919 in the Bronx, New York City, to Lillian (Weinstein) and Albert Balsam, a manufacturer of women's sportswear. He was the first-born child. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, and his mother was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. ...

1288 points

76. Lee Van Cleef

Actor | Escape from New York

One of the great movie villains, Clarence Leroy Van Cleef, Jr. was born in Somerville, New Jersey, to Marion Lavinia (Van Fleet) and Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef, Sr. His parents were both of Dutch ancestry. Van Cleef started out as an accountant. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard minesweepers and sub ...

1270 points

77. James Gleason

Actor | Arsenic and Old Lace

James Gleason was born in New York City to William Gleason and Mina Crolius, who were both in the theatre. He was married to Lucile Gleason (born Lucile Webster), and had a son, Russell Gleason. As a young man James fought in the Spanish-American War. After the war he joined the stock company at ...

1262 points

78. Dean Martin

Soundtrack | Rio Bravo

If there had to be an image for cool, the man to fit it would be Dean Martin.

Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio, to Angela (Barra) and Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti, a barber. His father was an Italian immigrant, and his mother was of Italian descent. He spoke only Italian until ...

1261 points

79. Rod Steiger

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

Rodney Stephen Steiger was born in Westhampton, New York, to Augusta Amelia (Driver) and Frederick Jacob Steiger, both vaudevillians. He was of German and Austrian ancestry. After his parents' divorce, Steiger was raised by his mother in Newark, New Jersey. He dropped out of Westside High school at...

1255 points

80. Jack Lemmon

Actor | The Apartment

Jack Lemmon was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Mildred Lankford Noel and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of a doughnut company. His ancestry included Irish (from his paternal grandmother) and English. Jack attended Ward Elementary near his Newton, MA home. At age 9 he was sent to Rivers ...

1252 points

81. Harry Morgan

Actor | M*A*S*H

Harry Morgan was a prolific character actor who starred in over 100 films and was a stage performer. Known to a younger generation of fans as "Col. Sherman T. Potter" on M*A*S*H (1972). Also known for his commanding personality throughout his career, he tackled movies and television in a way no ...

1245 points

82. Maurice Ronet

Actor | Le feu follet

Maurice Ronet was born on April 13, 1927 in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France as Maurice Julien Marie Robinet. He was an actor and director, known for The Fire Within (1963), Elevator to the Gallows (1958) and Purple Noon (1960). He was married to Maria Pacôme. He died on March 14, 1983 in Paris, ...

1240 points

83. Richard Jaeckel

Actor | Starman

Stocky tough-guy character actor Richard Jaeckel was one of Hollywood's most prolific supporting stars. Born in Long Island, New York, on October 10, 1926, Jaeckel's family moved to Los Angeles when he was still in his teens. After graduation from Hollywood High School, Jaeckel was discovered by a ...

1236 points

84. Walter Matthau

Actor | The Odd Couple

Walter Matthau was best known for starring in many films which included Charade (1963), The Odd Couple (1968), Grumpy Old Men (1993), and Dennis the Menace (1993). He often worked with Jack Lemmon and the two were Hollywood's craziest stars.

He was born Walter Jake Matthow in New York City, New York...

1229 points

85. Shin'ichi Himori

Actor | Ikiru

Shin'ichi Himori was born on January 10, 1907 in Tokyo, Japan as Kazuo Moriyama. He was an actor, known for Ikiru (1952), The Masseurs and a Woman (1938) and The Only Son (1936). He died on September 12, 1959.

1228 points

86. Henry Fonda

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Henry Jaynes Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Elma Herberta (Jaynes) and William Brace Fonda, who worked in advertising and printing. His recent ancestry included Dutch, English, and Scottish.

Fonda started his acting debut with the Omaha Community Playhouse, a local amateur theater ...

1218 points

87. Franco Interlenghi

Actor | Sciuscià

Franco Interlenghi was born on October 29, 1931 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. He was an actor and writer, known for Shoeshine (1946), The Big Night (1959) and I Vitelloni (1953). He was married to Antonella Lualdi. He died on September 10, 2015 in Rome.

1215 points

88. Jim Backus

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Jim Backus was born James Gilmore Backus on February 25, 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was one of the few actors to do it all: radio, Broadway, movies, television and cartoons. After attending preparatory school in his hometown Cleveland, Backus enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Art, to ...

1198 points

89. Walter Brennan

Actor | To Have and Have Not

In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and ...

1193 points

90. Akim Tamiroff

Actor | Touch of Evil

Though born in Russia and having a Russian-sounding name, Akim Tamiroff is actually of Armenian descent. At 19 he decided to pursue acting as a career and was chosen from among 500 applicants to the Moscow Art Theater School. There he studied under the great Konstantin Stanislavski, and launched a ...

1191 points

91. Gene Kelly

Soundtrack | Singin' in the Rain

Eugene Curran Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the third son of Harriet Catherine (Curran) and James Patrick Joseph Kelly, a phonograph salesman. His father was of Irish descent and his mother was of Irish and German ancestry.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was the largest and most powerful studio in...

1182 points

92. Charles Vanel

Actor | Les diaboliques

Charles Vanel was born on August 21, 1892 in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, France as Charles-Marie Vanel. He was an actor and director, known for Diabolique (1955), The Wages of Fear (1953) and To Catch a Thief (1955). He was married to Arlette Mauricette Bailly. He died on April 15, 1989 in Cannes, ...

1159 points

93. George Sanders

Actor | All About Eve

George Sanders was born of English parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked in a Birmingham textile mill, in the tobacco business and as a writer in advertising. He entered show business in London as a chorus boy, going from there to cabaret, radio and theatrical understudy. His film debut, in ...

1143 points

94. Charles Laughton

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent, respectively. He was educated at Stonyhurst (a highly esteemed Jesuit college in England) and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). ...

1136 points

95. Lino Ventura

Actor | L'armée des ombres

One of France's most beloved character stars from the 1950s through and including the 1980s was the Italian-born Lino Ventura. Born Angiolino Joseph Pascal Ventura to Giovanni Ventura and Luisa Borrini, on July 14, 1919, in Parma (northern) Italy, young Lino moved with his family at a young age to ...

1135 points

96. Rock Hudson

Actor | Giant

Rock Hudson was born Roy Harold Scherer, Jr. in Winnetka, Illinois, to Katherine (Wood), a telephone operator, and Roy Harold Scherer, an auto mechanic. He was of German, Swiss-German, English, and Irish descent. His parents divorced when he was eight years old. He failed to obtain parts in school ...

1131 points

97. Frank Faylen

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

American character actor who specialized in average-guy parts and who could be equally effective in sympathetic or unlikeable roles. His parents, the vaudeville team of Ruf and Cusik, took him onstage with them when he was a baby, and Faylen grew up in the theatre. He attended St. Joseph's ...

1131 points

98. Kokuten Kôdô

Actor | Shichinin no samurai

Kokuten Kôdô was born on January 29, 1887 in Takasago, Hyogo, Japan as Saichirô Tanigawa. He was an actor, known for Seven Samurai (1954), Godzilla (1954) and The Hidden Fortress (1958). He died on January 22, 1960.

1123 points

99. Leif Erickson

Actor | On the Waterfront

Leif Erickson was born on October 27, 1911 in Alameda, California, USA as William Y. Wycliffe Anderson. He was an actor, known for On the Waterfront (1954), The High Chaparral (1967) and The Carpetbaggers (1964). He was married to Ann Diamond, Margaret Hayes and Frances Farmer. He died on January ...

1095 points

100. Marcel Dalio

Actor | Sabrina

Sunday, November the 20th is the anniversary of Marcel Dalio's death in 1983. It was the end of a serendipitous life. You know him. He was a citizen of the world. Born Israel Moshe Blauschild, in Paris, in 1900, he became a much sought-after character actor. His lovely animated face with its great ...

1093 points



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