Great Performancesby filmcriticla | created - 27 May 2012 | updated - 01 Jun 2012 | Public
Great actors, performances, or acting moments -
Some Famous / Some Not
VERY partial list
(Please excuse any duplicates)
1. 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 ...
Possibly the greatest actress ... ever
Every role she has created has been masterful but number 1? Still is in Sophie's Choice.
Actor | There Will Be Blood
Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Cecil Day-Lewis (pseudonym 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 ...
Too many great performances to mention but two that stand out .... My Left Foot & who could forget him as Bill the Butcher
3. Gary Oldman
Actor | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Gary Oldman is a talented English movie star and character actor, renowned for his expressive acting style. One of the most celebrated thespians of his generation, with a diverse career encompassing theatre, film and television, he is known for his roles as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy (1986), ...
One of the best actors ever!
Watched almost all of Nobody's Baby before I even knew it was him!
Actress | Carol
Cate Blanchett was born on May 14, 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, to June (Gamble), an Australian teacher and property developer, and Robert DeWitt Blanchett, Jr., an American advertising executive, originally from Texas. She has an older brother and a younger sister. When she was ten ...
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...
prize goes to Max Cady
6. Chris Cooper
Actor | Adaptation.
Christopher Walton Cooper was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to Mary Ann (Walton), a homemaker, and Charles Sherwood Cooper, a cattleman and internist who served as a doctor in the US Air Force. His parents were from Texas, where Cooper was raised.
Educated at the University of Missouri school of ...
Brilliant in everything he does but honorable mention to his subtle performance in Seabiscuit and he unforgettable moment in the garage in American Beauty
7. Ben Kingsley
Actor | Sexy Beast
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 ...
Actor | The Sopranos
James Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey, to Santa (Penna), a high school lunchlady, and James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr., a bricklayer and head school janitor. His parents were both of Italian origin. Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. His Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival ...
Will anyone ever match the character that he created as Tony? It's doubtful
9. Sean Penn
Actor | Mystic River
Sean Penn is a powerhouse film performer capable of intensely moving work, who has gone from strength to strength during a colourful film career, and who has drawn much media attention for his stormy private life and political viewpoints.
Sean Justin Penn was born in Los Angeles, California, the ...
Always great but gotta say ... Spicoli deserves some major credit!
10. 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 ...
The look of love and loss in his face when he hugs Rita goodbye in Education Rita
11. Liam Neeson
Actor | Kinsey
Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952 in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, to Katherine (Brown), a cook, and Bernard Neeson, a school caretaker. He was raised in a Catholic household. During his early years, Liam worked as a forklift operator for Guinness, a truck driver, an assistant architect and an ...
Schindler & Taken
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,...
What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
13. Kevin Kline
Actor | Wild Wild West
Kevin Kline was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Margaret and Robert Joseph Kline, who owned several stores. His father was of German Jewish descent and his mother was of Irish ancestry. After attending Indiana University in Bloomington, Kline studied at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1972, ...
Sophie's Choice and Fish Called Wanda
14. 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),...
Gladiator & Cinderella Man & so many more
15. Ralph Fiennes
Actor | The Grand Budapest Hotel
Actor Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes was born on December 22, 1962 in Suffolk, England, to Jennifer Anne Mary Alleyne (Lash), a novelist, and Mark Fiennes, a photographer. He is the eldest of six children. Four of his siblings are also in the arts: Martha Fiennes, a director; Magnus ...
16. Angelina Jolie
Actress | Maleficent
Angelina Jolie is an Academy Award-winning actress who became popular after playing the title role in the "Lara Croft" blockbuster movies, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Wanted (2008), Salt (2010) and Maleficent (2014). Off-screen, Jolie has become prominently involved in international ...
17. Elias Koteas
Actor | The Thin Red Line
Elias Koteas was born on March 11, 1961, in Montreal, Canada. Both his parents are of Greek descent. Elias attended Vanier College in Montreal before leaving to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in 1981, of which he is a graduate. He also attended the Actors Studio in ...
18. 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, ...
Hannibal goes without saying.
Book moment with Emma in Remains of the Day is heartbreaking
19. Albert Finney
Actor | Erin Brockovich
The son of a Lancashire bookmaker, Albert Finney came to motion pictures via the theatre. In 1956, he won a scholarship to RADA where his fellow alumni included Peter O'Toole and Alan Bates. He joined the Birmingham Repertory where he excelled in plays by William Shakespeare. A member of the Royal ...
His performance in Erin Brockovich was one of the most natural and authentic ever screened.
Actress | Hairspray
Michelle Pfeiffer was born in Santa Ana, California, to Donna Jean (Taverna) and Richard Pfeiffer, a heating and air-conditioning contractor. She has an older brother and two younger sisters - Dedee Pfeiffer and Lori Pfeiffer, who both dabbled in acting and modeling but decided against making it ...
Always great. The bathtub moment in What Lies Beneath ...
21. 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 ...
Good will hunting Awakenings
22. Jeff Bridges
Actor | The Big Lebowski
Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, the son of well-known film and TV star Lloyd Bridges and his long-time wife Dorothy Dean Bridges (née Simpson). He grew up amid the happening Hollywood scene with big brother Beau Bridges. Both boys popped up, without ...
23. Kevin Costner
Actor | The Postman
Kevin Michael Costner was born on January 18, 1955 in Lynwood, California, the third child of Bill Costner, a ditch digger and ultimately an electric line servicer for Southern California Edison, and Sharon Costner (née Tedrick), a welfare worker. His older brother, Dan, was born in 1950. A middle ...
24. Kathy Bates
Actress | Misery
Multi-talented Kathleen Doyle Bates was born on June 28, 1948, and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the youngest of three girls born to Bertye Kathleen (Talbot), a homemaker, and Langdon Doyle Bates, a mechanical engineer. Her grandfather was author Finis L. Bates. Kathy has English, as well as...
Misery ... And let's not forget James Caan in that movie too. Another great performance
26. Greg Kinnear
Actor | Little Miss Sunshine
Greg Kinnear was born on June 17, 1963, in Logansport, Indiana, USA to Edward Kinnear, a career diplomat with the US State Department, and Suzanne (nee Buck) Kinnear, a homemaker. He has two brothers -- James, vice president-investments at Wachovia Securities in Arizona who was born in 1957, and ...
As Good As It Gets
27. 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, ...
Tootsie and ....Last Chance Harvey - one of his lesser known
28. Gene Wilder
Gene Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Jeanne (Baer) and William J. Silberman, who manufactured miniature whiskey and beer bottles. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, while his Illinois-born mother was of Russian Jewish descent.
Wilder caught his first big break ...
29. 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...
Everything he does
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 ...
31. Steve Martin
Writer | Roxanne
Steve Martin was born on August 14, 1945 in Waco, Texas, USA as Stephen Glenn Martin to Mary Lee (née Stewart; 1913-2002) and Glenn Vernon Martin (1914-1997), a real estate salesman and aspiring actor. He was raised in Inglewood and Garden Grove in California. In 1960, he got a job at the Magic ...
32. Judi Dench
Actress | Skyfall
Dame Judi Dench was born Judith Olivia Dench in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with the ...
33. Eddie Murphy
Actor | The Nutty Professor
Edward Regan Murphy was born April 3, 1961 in Brooklyn, New York, to Lillian Lynch (born: Lillian Laney), a telephone operator, and Charles Edward Murphy, a transit police officer who was also an amateur comedian and actor. After his father died, his mother married Vernon Lynch, a foreman at a ...
34. Mike Myers
Michael John Myers was born in 1963 in Scarborough, Ontario, to Alice E. (Hind), an officer supervisor, and Eric Myers, an insurance agent. His parents were both English, and had served in the Royal Air Force and British Army, respectively.
Myers' television career really started in 1988, when he ...
Austin & Dr Evil 54
35. 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 ...
36. Ryan Reynolds
Actor | Deadpool
Ryan Rodney Reynolds was born on October 23, 1976 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the youngest of four children. His father, James Chester Reynolds, was a food wholesaler, and his mother, Tamara Lee "Tammy" (Stewart), worked as a retail-store saleswoman. He has Irish and Scottish ancestry. ...
37. Renée Zellweger
Actress | Chicago
Renée Kathleen Zellweger was born on April 25, 1969, in Katy, Texas, USA. Her mother, Kjellfrid Irene (Andreassen), is a Norwegian-born former nurse and midwife, of Norwegian, Kven (Finnish), and Swedish descent. Her father, Emil Erich Zellweger, is a Swiss-born engineer. The two married in 1963. ...
Bridget Jones's Diary & Chicago
38. Colin Firth
Actor | A Single Man
Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. His mother, Shirley Jean (Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University, and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's...
39. Emma Thompson
Actress | Sense and Sensibility
Emma Thompson was born in London on April 15, 1959, into a family of actors - her father was Eric Thompson, who has passed away, and her mother, Phyllida Law, has co-starred with Thompson in several films (her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well). Her father was English-born and her mother...
Her breakdown in Sense and Sensibility is priceless
40. Hugh Grant
Actor | Love Actually
Hugh Grant, one of Britain's best known faces, has been equally entertaining on-screen as well as in real life, and has had enough sense of humor to survive a media frenzy. He is known for his roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), with Andie MacDowell, Notting Hill (1999), opposite Julia ...
About A Boy
41. Brad Pitt
Actor | Mr. & Mrs. Smith
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 (...
42. John Cusack
Actor | Grosse Pointe Blank
John Cusack is, like most of his characters, an unconventional hero. Wary of fame and repelled by formulaic Hollywood fare, he has built a successful career playing underdogs and odd men out--all the while avoiding the media spotlight. John was born in Evanston, Illinois, to an Irish-American ...
Underrated - A truly great actor
43. Jeremy Piven
Actor | Serendipity
44. 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 ...
45. Vera Farmiga
Actress | Up in the Air
Vera Farmiga is an American actress who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Up in the Air (2009) and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Bates Motel (2013).
She was born Vera Ann Farmiga, the ...
Up in the Air
46. 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...
47. Bruce Willis
Actor | Die Hard
Actor and musician Bruce Willis is well known for playing wisecracking or hard-edged characters, often in spectacular action films. Collectively, he has appeared in films that have grossed in excess of $2.5 billion USD, placing him in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts.
Walter Bruce ...
Gotta love him in Pulp
48. Edward Norton
Actor | Keeping the Faith
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 ...
American History X
49. Ewan McGregor
Actor | Moulin Rouge!
Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents ...
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 ...
Man on Fire
51. Paul Giamatti
Actor | Sideways
Paul Giamatti is an American actor who has worked steadily and prominently for over twenty years, and is best known for leading roles in the films American Splendor (2003), Sideways (2004), and Barney's Version (2010) (for which he won a Golden Globe), and supporting roles in the films Cinderella ...
52. Jeff Goldblum
Actor | The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jeffrey Lynn Goldblum was born October 22, 1952 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of four children of Shirley (Temeles), a radio broadcaster who also ran an appliances firm, and Harold L. Goldblum, a doctor. His father was of Russian Jewish descent and his mother was of Austrian Jewish ancestry.
Actor | Hairspray
Nervous-looking lead and supporting actor of the American stage and films, with sandy colored hair, pale complexion and a somewhat nervous disposition. He won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Deer Hunter (1978), and has been seen in mostly character roles, often ...
54. Ryan Gosling
Actor | Blue Valentine
Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is the first person born in the 1980s to have been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar (for Half Nelson (2006)).
He was born Ryan Thomas Gosling on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, Canada. He is the son of Donna (Wilson), a secretary, and Thomas Ray Gosling, a ...
Lars and the Real Girl
55. Hugh Jackman
Actor | Les Misérables
Hugh Michael Jackman is an Australian actor, singer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer and producer. Jackman has won international recognition for his roles in major films, notably as superhero, period, and romance characters. He is best known for his long-running role as Wolverine in the X-Men film ...
56. James Franco
Actor | 127 Hours
Known for his breakthrough starring role on Freaks and Geeks (1999), James Franco was born April 19, 1978 in Palo Alto, California, to Betsy Franco, a writer, artist, and actress, and Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco, who ran a Silicon Valley business. His mother is Jewish and his father was of ...
127 Hours / Pineapple Express
57. Christoph Waltz
Actor | Django Unchained
Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is known for his works with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he ...
Actor | The Green Mile
Michael Clarke Duncan was born on December 10, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by his single mother, Jean, a house cleaner, on Chicago's South Side, Duncan grew up resisting drugs and alcohol, instead concentrating on school. He wanted to play football in high school, but his mother wouldn't let ...
Great work in The Green Mile. - Along with the rest of the cast
59. David Morse
Actor | The Green Mile
David Morse, a 6' 4" tall blue-eyed blond who performed on stage for 10 years before breaking into film, has become established as a respected supporting, character actor and second lead.
He was born the first of four children of Charles, a sales manager, and Jacquelyn Morse, a schoolteacher, on ...
60. James Cromwell
Actor | The Green Mile
Born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie-Mellon University, James Cromwell is the son of film director John Cromwell and actress Kay Johnson. He studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon, and went into the theatre (like his parents) doing everything from ...
Actor | Good Will Hunting
Stellan Skarsgård was born in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden, to Gudrun (Larsson) and Jan Skarsgård. He became a star in his teens through the title role in the TV-series Bombi Bitt och jag (1968). Between the years 1972-88 he was employed at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, where...
62. 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 ...
63. Jason Bateman
Actor | Arrested Development
Jason Bateman is an American film and television actor, known for his role as Michael Bluth on the television sitcom Arrested Development (2003), as well as his role on Valerie (1986).
He was born in Rye, New York. His father, Kent Bateman, from a Utah-based family, is a film and television director...
64. Melissa McCarthy
Actress | The Heat
Melissa McCarthy was born in Plainfield, Illinois, to Sandra and Michael McCarthy, and was raised on her family's corn and soybean farm. She began her performing career as a stand-up comedian in New York where she appeared at the famous clubs, Stand Up New York and The Improv. She worked on her ...
66. Liev Schreiber
Actor | Spotlight
Liev (pronounced Lee-ev) Schreiber was born in San Francisco. His mother, Heather (Milgram), is a painter, and his father, Tell Schreiber (Tell Carroll Schreiber III), is a theatrical actor who had a small role in The Keeper (1976). His mother is from a working-class Jewish family from Poland and ...
67. Benicio Del Toro
Actor | Sicario
Benicio Del Toro emerged in the mid-1990s as one of the most watchable and charismatic character actors to come along in years. A favorite of film buffs, Del Toro gained mainstream public attention as the conflicted but basically honest Mexican policeman in Steven Soderbergh's Traffic (2000).
68. Annette Bening
Actress | American Beauty
Annette Carol Bening was born on May 29, 1958 in Topeka, Kansas, the youngest of four children of Shirley (Ashley), a soloist and church singer, and Arnett Grant Bening, an insurance salesman. She is of German and British Isles ancestry. Her family moved to California when she was young, and she ...
69. Kenneth Branagh
Actor | Henry V
Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...
Actor | Watchmen
Jeffrey Dean Morgan endeared himself to audiences with his recurring role on ABC's smash hit series, Grey's Anatomy (2005). His dramatic arc as heart patient "Denny Duquette", who wins the heart of intern "Izzie Stevens" (Katherine Heigl) in a star-crossed romance, made him a universal fan favorite...
71. Tom Wilkinson
Actor | Michael Clayton
Popular British character actor Tom Wilkinson was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, and comes from a long line of urban farmers. He is the son of Marjorie (Percival) and Thomas Wilkinson. Economic hardships forced his family to move to Canada for a few years when Wilkinson was a child; after ...
72. Milla Jovovich
Actress | The Fifth Element
Milla Jovovich is an Ukrainian-born actress, supermodel, fashion designer, singer and public figure, who was on the cover of more than a hundred magazines, and starred in such films as The Fifth Element (1997), Ultraviolet (2006), and the Resident Evil (2002) franchise.
Milica Bogdanovna Jovovich ...
73. Alfred Molina
Actor | Spider-Man 2
Alfred Molina was born in 1953 in London, England. His mother, Giovanna (Bonelli), was an Italian-born cook and cleaner, and his father, Esteban Molina, was a Spanish-born waiter and chauffeur. He studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. His stage work includes two major Royal ...
74. Judy Greer
Actress | 13 Going on 30
Judy Greer was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, as Judith Therese Evans. She is the daughter of Mollie Ann (née Greer), a hospital administrator and former nun, and Richard Evans, a mechanical engineer. She has German, Irish, English, Welsh, and Scottish ancestry. After training for ...
75. Sam Neill
Actor | Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Sam Neill was born in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, to army parents, an English-born mother, Priscilla Beatrice (Ingham), and a New Zealand-born father, Dermot Neill. His family moved to the South Island of New Zealand in 1954. He went to boarding schools and then attended the universities ...
Actress | Blue Valentine
A small-town girl born and raised in rural Kalispell, Montana, Michelle Ingrid Williams is the daughter of Carla Ingrid (Swenson), a homemaker, and Larry Richard Williams, a commodity trader and author. Her ancestry is Norwegian, as well as German, British Isles, and other Scandinavian. She was ...
Actor | The Master
Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ...
78. 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...
79. Juliette Lewis
Actress | Natural Born Killers
Juliette Lewis has been recognized as one of Hollywood's most talented and versatile actors of her generation since she first stunned audiences and critics alike with her Oscar-nominated performance as "Danielle Bowden" in Cape Fear (1991). To date, she has worked with some of the most revered ...
80. Bryan Cranston
Actor | Breaking Bad
Bryan Lee Cranston was born on March 7, 1956 in Hollywood, California, to Audrey Peggy Sell, a radio actress, and Joe Cranston, an actor and former amateur boxer. His maternal grandparents were German, and his father was of Irish, German, and Austrian-Jewish ancestry. He was raised in the Canoga ...
81. Jeremy Renner
Actor | The Hurt Locker
Jeremy Lee Renner was born in Modesto, California, the son of Valerie (Tague) and Lee Renner, who managed a bowling alley. After a tumultuous yet happy childhood with his four younger siblings, Renner graduated from Beyer High School and attended Modesto Junior College. He explored several areas of...
82. Joaquin Phoenix
Actor | Walk the Line
Joaquin Phoenix was born Joaquin Rafael Bottom in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Arlyn (Dunetz) and John Bottom, and is the middle child in a brood of five. His parents, from the continental United States, were then serving as Children of God missionaries. His mother is from a Jewish family in New York,...
83. Leelee Sobieski
Actress | 88 Minutes
Liliane Rudabet Gloria Elsveta Sobieski was born June 10, 1983 in New York City, New York. She is the daughter of Elizabeth Sobieski (née Salomon), a writer, and Jean Sobieski, a painter who has also acted. She has a younger brother, Robert. Her father, born in France, is of Polish and Swiss ...
Tortured moment across her face in Eyes Wide Shut where she is smiling but screaming for help on the inside.
Actor | Dallas Buyers Club
American actor and producer Matthew David McConaughey was born in Uvalde, Texas. His mother, Mary Kathleen (McCabe), is a substitute school teacher originally from New Jersey. His father, James Donald McConaughey, was a Mississippi-born gas station owner who ran an oil pipe supply business. He is ...
A Time To Kill / Amistad
85. Joshua Jackson
Actor | The Affair
Joshua Carter Jackson was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. His Irish mother, Fiona Jackson, is a casting director originally from Dublin. His American father, John Carter Jackson, is from Texas. Josh spent the first eight years of his life in California before returning to Canada. At the age of...
86. 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 ...
87. Julia Ormond
Actress | The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The dark and classically beautiful British actress Julia Ormond was born into privileged surroundings as the daughter of a well-to-do laboratory technician. Her parents divorced when she was young; she was the second of five children. She attended Cranleigh, a private school, and showed interest in...
88. Michael Douglas
Actor | Wall Street
An actor with over forty years of experience in theatre, film, and television, Michael Douglas branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny ...
Actress | The Green Mile
This remarkable, one-of-a-kind actress has, since the early 1990s, intrigued film and TV audiences with her glowing, yet careworn eccentricity and old world-styled glamour. Very much in demand these days as a character player, Patricia Clarkson nevertheless continues to avoid the temptation of ...
90. Cliff Curtis
Actor | Sunshine
Cliff Curtis was born in Rotorua, New Zealand, on July 27, 1968.
He is of New Zealand Maori descent (with Ngati Hauiti and Te Arawa tribal affiliations). He enrolled at the New Zealand Drama School, and then the Teatro Dmitri Scoula in Switzerland.
After returning to New Zealand from Europe, he was ...
91. David Strathairn
Actor | Good Night, and Good Luck.
David Russell Strathairn was born on January 26, 1949 in San Francisco, California. He is the son of Mary Frances (Frazier), a nurse, and Thomas Scott Strathairn, Jr., a physician. He has two siblings, Tom and Anne. His ancestry includes English, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and ...
92. Uma Thurman
Actress | Kill Bill: Vol. 1
Uma Karuna Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, into a highly unorthodox and Eurocentric family. She is the daughter of Nena Thurman (née Birgitte Caroline von Schlebrügge), a fashion model and socialite who now runs a mountain retreat, and of Robert Thurman (Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman),...
Her work in the Kill Bill movies was staggering. Her performance did not get the notice it deserved just because they were action films.
93. Guy Pearce
Actor | Memento
Guy Edward Pearce was born 5 October, 1967 in Cambridgeshire, England, UK to Margaret Anne and Stuart Graham Pearce. His father was born in Auckland, New Zealand, to English and Scottish parents, while Guy's mother is English. Pearce and his family initially traveled to Australia for two years, ...
94. Chazz Palminteri
Actor | The Usual Suspects
Bronx-born and raised Chazz Palminteri was a natural choice to continue the Italianate torch in film. In the tradition set forth in the 1970s by such icons as director Martin Scorsese and actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, John Cazale and Joe Pesci, Palminteri has brought grit, muscle and an ...
95. Tony Shalhoub
Actor | Monk
Anthony Marcus Shalhoub was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. His father, Joseph Shalhoub, who owned a grocery chain, emigrated from Lebanon to the United States as an orphan at age ten, later marrying Shalhoub's mother, Helen (Seroogy), who herself was born in Wisconsin, to Lebanese parents...
96. William H. Macy
Actor | Fargo
William H. Macy was born on March 13, 1950 in Miami, Florida, USA as William Hall Macy Jr. He is an actor and writer, known for Fargo (1996), Shameless (2011) and Magnolia (1999). He has been married to Felicity Huffman since September 6, 1997. They have two children.
97. Richard Jenkins
Actor | The Shape of Water
Richard Jenkins was born on May 4, 1947 in DeKalb, Illinois, USA. He is an actor, known for The Shape of Water (2017), The Visitor (2007) and Step Brothers (2008). He has been married to Sharon R. Friedrick since August 23, 1969. They have two children.
98. Ian McKellen
Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors, both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (...
99. Allison Janney
Actress | The Help
Allison Janney is an award-winning actress who has earned a solid reputation in stage productions and in many supporting roles on screen, and who more recently has become prominent by portraying one of the major characters in the popular TV series The West Wing (1999).
Entertainment Weekly magazine ...
100. Emile Hirsch
Actor | Into the Wild
Emile Davenport Hirsch was born in Palms, California, to Margaret Esther (Davenport), a teacher and visual artist, and David M. Hirsch, an entrepreneur and producer. He grew up in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and having been introduced to acting while still at school, he got his first ...