IMDb Polls

Poll: Most Versatile Actors

Which of these actors has been most memorable not only to appear in a variety of roles but also to play them with an enormous intensity and credibility (ruling out cameos and simple caricatures)?

(NOTE: The descriptions for each actor are only rough reminders of their range; they do not seek to be exhaustive resumes. Vote according to your own best knowledge.)

Discuss here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Christian Bale

    *narcissistic yuppie (American Psycho) *muscular heroes (Equilibrium, Dark Knight trilogy) *insomniatic, mentally unstable and skeletal (The Machinist) *slimy, fat con man (American Hustle)
  2. Vote!

    Jeff Bridges

    -established an image as "The Underappreciated Actor" to avoid being typecast in any way *abnormally ambitious inventor (Tucker) *slacker par excellence (The Big Lebowski) *power hungry villain (The Contender) *curious alien inside a human body (Starman) *doctor who doesn't believe in aliens (K-PAX) *age-stricken western hero (True Grit)
  3. Vote!

    Michael Caine

    *charming seducer (Alfie) *clinical gangster (Get Carter) *snotty love rival of an older man (Sleuth/1972) as well as the cuckolded and piqued old man (Sleuth/2007) *benign mentor (The Cider House Rules)
  4. Vote!

    Willem Dafoe

    *despicable villain (To Live and Die in L.A.) *heroic mentor (Platoon) *doubtful and mentally tormented Jesus Christ (The Last Temptation of Christ)
  5. Vote!

    Daniel Day-Lewis

    *chic philistine (A Room with a View) *native American warrior (The Last Mohican) *charismatic and violent mix of mentor and adversary (Gangs of New York) *greedy misanthrope (There Will Be Blood) *wise and eloquent liberator of the slaves (Lincoln)
  6. Vote!

    Ben Kingsley

    *personified benevolence (Gandhi) *personified evil (Sexy Beast) *wretched and miserable leader of thieves (Oliver Twist)
  7. Vote!

    Mads Mikkelsen

    *wannabe idiot gangster (Pusher trilogy) *stubborn prick in eccentric comedies (Adam's Apples) *mute Viking fighter (Valhalla Rising) *amicable victim of circumstances (The Hunt) *highly intelligent, psychopathic murderer (Hannibal)
  8. Vote!

    Gary Oldman

    *ambivalent, lusting, shape-shifting vampire (Bram Stoker's Dracula) *corrupt villain (Léon) *caring godfather (Harry Potter films) *impersonal bureaucrat (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
  9. Vote!

    Sean Penn

    *sluggish high school stoner (Fast Times at Ridgmont High) *nervous and addicted gangster lawyer (Carlito's Way) *pathetic and dense murderer (Dead Man Walking) *self-assertive and erratic musician (Sweet and Lowdown) *upright but vengeful father (Mystic River)
  10. Vote!

    Peter Sellers

    *awkward and comically clumsy French inspector (The Pink Panther) *megalomaniac Nazi scientist (Dr. Strangelove) *self-absorbed Italian master thief (After the Fox!) *shy and socially awkward TV-addict (Being There) *a wide variety of nationalities (Indian, German, French, Italian, Chinese, among others)
  11. Vote!

    Christopher Walken

    *disturbed Vietnam veteran (The Deer Hunter) *dedicated hero (The Dead Zone) *quirky gangsters or villains (A View to a Kill; King of New York; Seven Psychopaths) *unfortunate little working man (Catch Me If You Can)
  12. Vote!

    Peter O'Toole

    *eccentric cosmpolite (Lawrence of Arabia) *ruthless Nazi general (The Night of the Generals) *lofty monarchs (Becket; The Lion in the Winter; Imperium: Augustus) *diffident teachers (Goodbye Mr. Chips; The Last Emperor) *egalomaniacal film director (The Stunt Man)

    -suggested by cocoken

  13. Vote!

    Jack Lemmon

    *nervous mob-evader forced to cross-dress (Some Like It Hot) *executive who gives in to alcoholism (Days of Wine and Roses) *congenial comedic duo with Walter Matthau *conscientious or persistent characters in serious dramas (Missing; The China Syndrome)

    • suggested by ElMaruecan82 and jalapenoman
  14. Vote!

    Omar Sharif

    -various nationalities *Mexican western killer (McKenna's Gold) *Russian lover and poet (Dr. Zhivago) *German military officer who resists his Nazi colleagues (The Night of the General)

    -suggested by cocoken

  15. Vote!

    Alec Guinness

    -called "the Man with a Thousand Faces" *wretched leader of thieves (Oliver Twist) *various eccentric comedic roles, sometimes within the same film (Kind Hearts and Coronets) *Adolf Hitler (The Last Ten Days) *stiff and stubborn British officer (The Bridge on the River Kwai) *benign mentor (Star Wars)

    • suggested by otter68
  16. Vote!

    Anthony Quinn

    -various nationalities *Mexican revolutionary (Viva Zapata!) *French painter (Lust for Life) *brutish street performer (La Strada) *Quasimodo (hunchback of Notre Dame) *optimistic vagrant (Zorba the Greek)

    • suggested by otter68
  17. Vote!

    Russell Crowe

    *violent skinhead (Romper Stomper) *vengeful general-turned gladiator (Gladiator) *insociable math genius (A Beautiful Mind)
    • heroes (Robin Hood) as well as villains (3:10 to Yuma)
  18. Vote!

    Gérard Depardieu

    *classical tragic lover (Cyrano de Bergerac; dialogue entirely in Alexandrine verses) and historical characters (Camille Claudel) *funny dimwit (Obélix; Tais-toi!) *corrupted cop (36 Quai des Orfèvres) *sleazy gangster (Mesrine)
    • played heroes who could be sensible, shy, or brash
  19. Vote!

    Philip Seymour Hoffman

    *miserable loser (Magnolia) *Truman Capote (Capote) *manipulating sect leader (The Master)
    • a range from comedy to drama, small to lead roles, insecure to self-assertive as well as introverted and extroverted
  20. Vote!

    Edward Norton

    *ripped and vile neo-nazi (American History X) *feeble conformist and consumerist (Fight Club) *romantic-comedy priest (Keeping the Faith) *twisted villains (Primal Fear; The Italian Job)
  21. Vote!

    Robert De Niro

    *wannabe idiot gangster (Mean Streets) *unstable cab driver (Taxi Driver) *self-controlled, dominant and affable gangster (The Godfather: Part II) *amicable sufferer from enciphalites who begins to discovers the world (Awakenings) *Strict pensioners in comedies (Meet the Parents, Silver Linings Playbook) (suggested by The-Social-Introvert)
  22. Vote!

    Al Pacino

    *progress from a nerdy outsider in a mafia family to an extremely self-controlled and ice cold gangster (The Godfather trilogy) *morally conflicted but deeply honest cop (Serpico) *foul-mouthed and violent Cuban immigrant gangster (Scarface) *contemplative, aging, embittered blind Colonel (Scent of a Woman) *Shakespearean roles (Looking for Richard; The Merchant of Venice) -mastered radical underacting as well as radical overacting

    (suggested by expectmiracles)

  23. Vote!

    Timothy Dalton

    *James Bond *Byronic romantic hero (Jane Eyre) *passionate and bitter anti-hero (Wuthering Heights) *gleeful villains (The Rocketeer; Hot Fuzz) *Shakespearean roles and sophisticated royals (The Lion in the Winter)

    (suggested by cc-16143 and tim-xy)

  24. Vote!

    Jake Gyllenhaal

    *morose and hallucinating teenager (Donnie Darko) *secretly gay cowboy (Brokeback Mountain) *introverted academic/promiscuous extrovert (Enemy) *highly intelligent and ambitious psychopath (Nightcrawler)

    (suggested by kbayless-1)

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