My List of the Greatest Male Film Actors

by Gov_William_J_LePetomane | created - 16 Jun 2012 | updated - 1 month ago | Public

(Note: I keep a separate list for female actors) I'm sure I'll never be completely happy with this list. The only thing harder than ranking movies is ranking those in them. There will probably always be greats that I'm overlooking, or someone who should be ranked higher than someone else, etc. But, for the most part, these are in order of greatness starting with the greatest of 'em all - Jack, of course!

1. 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...

Greatest performances:

1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 2. The Shining 3. Carnal Knowledge 4. Ironweed 5. The Witches of Eastwick 6. As Good as It Gets 7. A Few Good Men 8. Chinatown 9. About Schmidt 10. Heartburn 11. Five Easy Pieces 12. The Last Detail 13. Hoffa 14. Batman 15. The Passenger 16. Terms of Endearment 17. Reds 18. The Departed 19. Easy Rider 20. The Postman Always Rings Twice

2. Dustin Hoffman

Actor | Rain Man

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, ...

Greatest performances:

1. Tootsie 2. Rain Man 3. Little Big Man 4. Marathon Man 5. Kramer vs. Kramer 6. The Graduate 7. All the President’s Men 8. Midnight Cowboy 9. Hook 10. Sleepers 11. Straw Dogs 12. Family Business 13. Agatha 14. Stranger Than Fiction 15. Dick Tracy 16. Papillon 17. I Heart Huckabees

3. Robert De Niro

Actor | Cape Fear

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...

Greatest performances:

1. Cape Fear 2. Taxi Driver 3. The Godfather: Part II 4. Raging Bull 5. Goodfellas 6. Awakenings 7. The King of Comedy 8. This Boy's Life 9. Mean Streets 10. The Untouchables 11. Heat 12. Once Upon a Time in America 13. Silver Linings Playbook 14. Jackie Brown 15. The Deer Hunter 16. The Score 17. Analyze This 18. Casino 19. The Mission 20. Angel Heart 21. Brazil 22. Sleepers 23. American Hustle

4. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Philadelphia 2. Saving Private Ryan 3. Forrest Gump 4. Apollo 13 5. Road to Perdition 6. Cast Away 7. Cloud Atlas 8. Catch Me If You Can 9. Saving Mr. Banks 10. Captain Phillips 11. The Terminal 12. The Ladykillers 13. A League of Their Own 14. Sully 15. The Post 16. Big 17. The Green Mile 18. Charlie Wilson’s War 19. Joe Versus the Volcano 20. Bridge of Spies 21. You've Got Mail 22. Sleepless in Seattle

5. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Dog Day Afternoon 2. The Godfather: Part II 3. The Godfather 4. Serpico 5. The Panic in Needle Park 6. The Devil’s Advocate 7. Heat 8. Scent of a Woman 9. Scarface 10. ...And Justice For All. 11. The Godfather: Part III 12. Insomnia 13. Glengarry Glen Ross 14. Dick Tracy

6. Daniel Day-Lewis

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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. There Will Be Blood 2. Gangs of New York 3. My Left Foot 4. In the Name of the Father 5. Lincoln 6. Phantom Thread 7. A Room With a View 8. The Unbearable Lightness of Being 9. The Crucible 10. The Boxer 11. The Age of Innocence 12. The Last of the Mohicans 13. My Beautiful Laundrette

7. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Godfather 2. Apocalypse Now 3. On the Waterfront 4. Last Tango in Paris 5. A Streetcar Named Desire 6. Mutiny on the Bounty 7. Viva Zapata! 8. The Wild One 9. The Freshman 10. The Score

8. 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, ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Silence of the Lambs 2. Shadowlands 3. The Remains of the Day 4. Magic 5. Amistad 6. The Elephant Man 7. Dracula 8. Hannibal 9. Howard’s End 10. Meet Joe Black 11. Proof 12. A Bridge Too Far 13. The Human Stain 14. Legends of the Fall 15. Red Dragon 16. Chaplin 17. Bobby

9. Paul Newman

Actor | The Hustler

Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Theresa (Fetsko) and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Paul's father was Jewish, the son of emigrants from Poland and Hungary; he owned...

Greatest performances:

1. The Hustler 2. The Verdict 3. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 4. Road to Perdition 5. Hud 6. Slap Shot 7. The Long, Hot Summer 8. Exodus 9. Cool Hand Luke 10. Absence of Malice 11. The Color of Money 12. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 13. The Sting 14. The Hudsucker Proxy

10. William Hurt

Actor | A History of Violence

William McChord Hurt was born in Washington, D.C., to Claire Isabel (McGill) and Alfred McChord Hurt, who worked at the State Department. He was trained at Tufts University and The Juilliard School and has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including the most recent nomination for his ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Accidental Tourist 2. Kiss of the Spider Woman 3. The Big Chill 4. Broadcast News 5. Body Heat 6. Altered States 7. Dark City 8. I Love You to Death 9. The Doctor 10. Children of a Lesser God 11. A History of Violence 12. Into the Wild 13. A.I. Artificial Intelligence 14. The Village

11. 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), ...

Greatest performances:

1. Darkest Hour 2. Prick Up Your Ears 3. Léon: The Professional 4. Dracula 5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 6. Sid and Nancy 7. Hannibal 8. The Fifth Element 9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire/Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 10. True Romance 11. The Dark Knight 12. Lost in Space 13. Air Force One 14. JFK

12. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Conversation 2. Mississippi Burning 3. The Royal Tenenbaums 4. The Birdcage 5. Unforgiven 6. The Firm 7. Hoosiers 8. Bonnie and Clyde 9. The French Connection 10. The Poseidon Adventure 11. Postcards from the Edge 12. A Bridge Too Far 13. Runaway Jury 14. No Way Out 15. Young Frankenstein 16. Reds

13. Peter O'Toole

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

A leading man of prodigious talents, Peter O'Toole was raised in Leeds, Yorkshire, England, the son of Constance Jane Eliot (Ferguson), a Scottish nurse, and Patrick Joseph O'Toole, an Irish metal plater, football player and racecourse bookmaker. Upon leaving school, he decided to become a ...

Greatest performances:

1. Lawrence of Arabia 2. Man of La Mancha 3. My Favorite Year 4. The Last Emperor

14. 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. ...

Greatest performances:

1. Shine 2. Elizabeth 3. Quills 4. The King’s Speech 5. The Best Offer 6. The Book Thief 7. Munich 8. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 9. Shakespeare in Love 10. Mystery Men 11. Intolerable Cruelty

15. F. Murray Abraham

Actor | The Grand Budapest Hotel

Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham was born on October 24, 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in El Paso, Texas. His father, Frederick Abraham, was from an Assyrian Christian (Antiochian) family, from Syria. His mother, Josephine (Stello) Abraham, was the daughter of Italian ...

Greatest performances:

1. Amadeus 2. The Grand Budapest Hotel 3. Scarface 4. Mighty Aphrodite 5. The Name of the Rose

16. Robert Duvall

Actor | The Apostle

Veteran actor and director Robert Selden Duvall was born on January 5, 1931, in San Diego, CA, to Mildred Virginia (Hart), an amateur actress, and William Howard Duvall, a career military officer who later became an admiral. Duvall majored in drama at Principia College (Elsah, IL), then served a ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Godfather 2. The Judge 3. The Godfather: Part II 4. Apocalypse Now 5. Network 6. The Apostle 7. A Civil Action 8. Thank You for Smoking 9. Secondhand Lions 10. Deep Impact 11. MASH 12. Bullitt 13. To Kill a Mockingbird

17. James Stewart

Actor | Anatomy of a Murder

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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. It’s a Wonderful Life 2. The Philadelphia Story 3. Harvey 4. Vertigo 5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 6. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 7. Rope 8. Bell, Book and Candle 9. The Shop Around the Corner 10. How the West Was Won 11. You Can't Take It With You 12. Rear Window 13. The Man Who Knew Too Much 14. The Spirit of St. Louis 15. The Greatest Show On Earth

18. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Gandhi 2. Sexy Beast 3. Schindler’s List 4. Hugo 5. Shutter Island 6. Bugsy 7. The Walk 8. Dave

19. Spencer Tracy

Actor | Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Spencer Tracy was born four years after his brother Carroll to truck salesman John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy. He attended Marquette Academy along with Pat O'Brien and the two left school to enlist in the Navy at the start of World War I. He was still at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia at the ...

Greatest performances:

1. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 2. Judgment at Nuremberg 3. Inherit the Wind 4. Woman of the Year 5. Bad Day at Black Rock 6. Adam's Rib 7. Father of the Bride 8. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 9. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

20. Peter Sellers

Actor | Being There

Often credited as the greatest comedian of all time, Peter Sellers was born Richard Henry Sellers to a well-off acting family in 1925 in Southsea, a suburb of Portsmouth. He was the son of Agnes Doreen "Peg" (Marks) and William "Bill" Sellers. His parents worked in an acting company run by his ...

Greatest performances:

1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 2. Being There 3. The Party 4. The Return of the Pink Panther 5. Murder by Death 6. The Pink Panther Strikes Again 7. The Pink Panther 8. Revenge of the Pink Panther 9. Lolita

21. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. I Am Sam 2. Milk 3. Mystic River 4. Dead Man Walking 5. At Close Range 6. The Assassination of Richard Nixon 7. 21 Grams 8. The Thin Red Line 9. Casualties of War 10. The Falcon and the Snowman 11. The Tree of Life 12. Fast Times at Ridgemont High 13. Taps

22. 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...

Greatest performances:

1. The Bridge on the River Kwai 2. Oliver Twist 3. A Passage to India 4. Lawrence of Arabia 5. Doctor Zhivago 6. Scrooge 7. Murder by Death 8. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope 9. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

23. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Apartment 2. Glengarry Glen Ross 3. The China Syndrome 4. Days of Wine and Roses 5. Missing 6. The Odd Couple 7. Some Like It Hot 8. Bell, Book and Candle 9. Grumpy Old Men

24. Kevin Spacey

Actor | L.A. Confidential

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...

Greatest performances:

1. American Beauty 2. Se7en 3. The Usual Suspects 4. Pay It Forward 5. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 6. The Life of David Gale 7. L.A. Confidential 8. A Time to Kill 9. Glengarry Glen Ross 10. The Men Who Stare at Goats 11. K-PAX 12. Henry & June

25. Harrison Ford

Actor | Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford was born on July 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois, to Dorothy (Nidelman), a radio actress, and Christopher Ford (born John William Ford), an actor turned advertising executive. His father was of Irish and German ancestry, while his maternal grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Minsk, ...

Greatest performances:

1. Witness 2. Presumed Innocent 3. The Mosquito Coast 4. Regarding Henry 5. The Fugitive 6. Patriot Games 7. Blade Runner 8. Raiders of the Lost Ark 9. Blade Runner: 2049 10. What Lies Beneath 11. American Graffiti 12. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 13. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back 14. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope 15. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 16. Working Girl 17. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 18. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

26. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird 2. Gentleman's Agreement 3. Roman Holiday 4. The Boys From Brazil 5. The Guns of Navarone 6. The Omen 7. Cape Fear (1962) 8. How the West Was Won 9. Cape Fear (1991)

27. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. The World According to Garp 2. Dead Poets Society 3. The Fisher King 4. Awakenings 5. The Birdcage 6. Insomnia 7. Mrs. Doubtfire 8. One Hour Photo 9. Good Morning, Vietnam 10. Hook 11. Cadillac Man 12. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen 13. Night at the Museum 14. Good Will Hunting 15. The Final Cut

28. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Wonder Boys 2. Wall Street 3. Fatal Attraction 4. A Perfect Murder 5. Traffic 6. Falling Down 7. The Game 8. Disclosure 9. The Ghost and the Darkness 10. Basic Instinct 11. The China Syndrome

29. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. On Golden Pond 2. The Grapes of Wrath 3. Young Mr. Lincoln 4. 12 Angry Men 5. Jezebel 6. Fail Safe 7. How the West Was Won 8. The Longest Day

30. 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,...

Greatest performances:

1. What's Eating Gilbert Grape 2. Revolutionary Road 3. The Wolf of Wall Street 4. Shutter Island 5. J. Edgar 6. The Revenant 7. The Aviator 8. Gangs of New York 9. This Boy's Life 10. Catch Me If You Can 11. Django Unchained 12. Blood Diamond 13. Inception 14. The Departed 15. Romeo + Juliet 16. Titanic

31. 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...

Greatest performances:

1. Driving Miss Daisy 2. Invictus 3. Se7en 4. The Shawshank Redemption 5. Glory 6. Nurse Betty 7. The Dark Knight 8. Unforgiven 9. Million Dollar Baby 10. Lean on Me 11. Amistad 12. Along Came a Spider 13. Deep Impact 14. Kiss the Girls 15. Brubaker

32. 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, ...

Greatest performances:

1. Sophie’s Choice 2. A Fish Called Wanda 3. Cry Freedom 4. A Midsummer Night's Dream 5. The Ice Storm 6. Soapdish 7. I Love You to Death 8. The Big Chill 9. Grand Canyon 10. Chaplin 11. Dave 12. In & Out 13. Beauty and the Beast

33. John Hurt

Actor | Nineteen Eighty-Four

This transatlantic talent was born John Vincent Hurt on January 22, 1940 in Shirebrook, a coal mining village near the busy market town of Chesterfield, in Derbyshire, England. He is the son of Phyllis (Massey), an engineer and one-time actress, and Arnold Herbert Hurt, an Anglican clergyman and ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Elephant Man 2. 1984 3. Beyond the Gates 4. V for Vendetta 5. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues 6. Midnight Express 7. Rob Roy 8. Owning Mahowny 9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 10. A Man for All Seasons 11. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 12. The Skeleton Key 13. Alien 14. Melancholia 15. Contact 16. Dead Man 17. Aria

34. Philip Seymour Hoffman

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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Charlie Wilson’s War 2. Doubt 3. The Savages 4. Synecdoche, New York 5. The Master 6. Capote 7. Boogie Nights 8. Owning Mahowny 9. Red Dragon 10. The Ides of March 11. The Talented Mr. Ripley 12. Magnolia 13. Punch-Drunk Love 14. Along Came Polly 15. Scent of a Woman 16. The Big Lebowski 17. Cold Mountain 18. Almost Famous

35. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. True Grit 2. The Fabulous Baker Boys 3. The Fisher King 4. The Big Lebowski 5. The Last Picture Show 6. Hell or High Water 7. Tucker: The Man and His Dream 8. Blown Away 9. K-PAX 10. Iron Man 11. The Men Who Stare at Goats 12. Jagged Edge

36. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

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

Greatest performances:

1. In the Heat of the Night 2. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 3. A Raisin in the Sun 4. To Sir, With Love 5. The Defiant Ones 6. Blackboard Jungle

37. Tom Cruise

Actor | Top Gun

In 1976, if you had told fourteen year-old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not too distant future he would be Tom Cruise, one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to join the priesthood. ...

Greatest performances:

1. Born on the Fourth of July 2. War of the Worlds 3. The Firm 4. Collateral 5. A Few Good Men 6. Magnolia 7. Eyes Wide Shut 8. Vanilla Sky 9. Rain Man 10. Risky Business 11. Jerry Maguire 12. Minority Report 13. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles 14. Tropic Thunder 15. The Color of Money 16. The Outsiders 17. Taps

38. John Cazale

Actor | Dog Day Afternoon

John Cazale was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to an Irish-American mother, Cecilia (Holland), and an Italian-American father, John Cazale. Cazale only made five feature films in his career, all which many fans and critics alike call classics. But before his film debut, the short The American Way (...

Greatest performances:

1. Dog Day Afternoon 2. The Godfather: Part II 3. The Godfather 4. The Deer Hunter 5. The Conversation

39. Nicolas Cage

Actor | Face/Off

Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola in Long Beach, California, the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (whose brother is director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang. He is of Italian (father) and Polish, German, and English (mother) descent. Cage ...

Greatest performances:

1. Raising Arizona 2. Leaving Las Vegas 3. Adaptation. 4. Moonstruck 5. Birdy 6. Wild at Heart 7. The Cotton Club 8. 8MM 9. Guarding Tess 10. Peggy Sue Got Married 11. Rumble Fish 12. City of Angels

40. Johnny Depp

Actor | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas 2. From Hell 3. Ed Wood 4. Black Mass 5. Dead Man 6. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 7. Finding Neverland 8. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape 9. Chocolat 10. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 11. Sleepy Hollow 12. Alice in Wonderland 13. Into the Woods 14. Edward Scissorhands 15. Dark Shadows 16. The Ninth Gate 17. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

41. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Hurricane 2. Cry Freedom 3. Philadelphia 4. Glory 5. Flight 6. American Gangster 7. Training Day 8. Man on Fire 9. The Pelican Brief 10. The Bone Collector

42. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Primal Fear 2. American History X 3. Birdman, Or: (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 4. Fight Club 5. The Score 6. Kingdom of Heaven 7. The People vs. Larry Flynt 8. Moonrise Kingdom 9. Red Dragon 10. The Grand Budapest Hotel

43. Jeremy Irons

Actor | Dead Ringers

British actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. He visited mainland England only once a year. He wound up ...

Greatest performances:

1. Dead Ringers 2. Reversal of Fortune 3. The French Lieutenant's Woman 4. Damage 5. The Mission 6. Lolita 7. Inland Empire 8. Die Hard: With a Vengeance 9. Kingdom of Heaven

44. Sean Connery

Actor | The Rock

The tall, handsome and muscular Scottish actor Sean Connery is best known for being the original actor to portray the character of James Bond in the hugely successful movie franchise, starring in seven films between 1962 and 1983. Some believed that such a career-defining role might leave him ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Untouchables 2. The Man Who Would Be King 3. The Hunt for Red October 4. The Hill 5. Murder On the Orient Express 6. A Bridge Too Far 7. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 8. The Name of the Rose 9. Family Business 10. Time Bandits

45. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 2. Casablanca 3. Key Largo 4. The Caine Mutiny 5. The Big Sleep 6. The Maltese Falcon 7. Sabrina 8. The African Queen

46. Tim Roth

Actor | Rob Roy

Often mistaken for an American because of his skill at imitating accents, actor Tim Roth was born Timothy Simon Roth on May 14, 1961 in Lambeth, London, England. His mother, Ann, was a teacher and landscape painter. His father, Ernie, was a journalist who had changed the family name from "Smith" to ...

Greatest performances:

1. Reservoir Dogs 2. Rob Roy 3. Funny Games 4. Pulp Fiction 5. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover 6. The Hateful Eight 7. Selma

47. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Wild Strawberries 2. The Seventh Seal 3. Pelle the Conqueror 4. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 5. Hannah and Her Sisters 6. The Exorcist 7. Minority Report 8. Three Days of the Condor 9. Needful Things 10. Shutter Island 11. Awakenings 12. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 13. Dune

48. Richard Harris

Actor | Unforgiven

Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family, one of nine children born to Mildred Josephine (nee Harty) and Ivan John Harris. He attended Crescent College, a Jesuit school, and was an excellent rugby player, with a strong passion for literature. ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Field 2. Gladiator 3. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets/Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 4. Unforgiven 5. Patriot Games 6. Mutiny on the Bounty

49. Laurence Olivier

Actor | Sleuth

Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett, who met Olivier in 1927.

Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High ...

Greatest performances:

1. Hamlet 2. Marathon Man 3. A Little Romance 4. The Boys From Brazil 5. Rebecca 6. Spartacus 7. A Bridge Too Far 8. War Requiem

50. Stephen Rea

Actor | The Crying Game

Stephen Rea was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He attended Belfast High School and the Queen's University, where he studied English. He later trained at the Abbey Theatre School in Dublin. In 1970s, he acted in the Focus Company in Dublin with the talented Gabriel Byrne and Colm Meaney. After ...

Greatest performances:

1. V for Vendetta 2. The Crying Game 3. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles 4. Breakfast on Pluto

51. Martin Sheen

Actor | The Departed

Multiple Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner Martin Sheen is one of America's most celebrated, colorful, and accomplished actors. Moving flawlessly between artistic mediums, Sheen's acting range is striking.

Sheen was born Ramón Antonio Gerard Estevez in Dayton, Ohio, to Mary-Ann (Phelan), an Irish ...

Greatest performances:

1. Apocalypse Now 2. Badlands 3. Gettysburg 4. Wall Street 5. Catch Me If You Can 6. The Believers 7. Catch-22 8. The Departed 9. The Dead Zone 10. Gandhi 11. Selma 12. Bobby

52. Ian Holm

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Sir Ian Holm is one of the world's greatest actors, a Laurence Olivier Award-winning, Tony Award-winning, BAFTA-winning and Academy Award-nominated British star of films and the stage. He was a member of the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company and has played more than 100 roles in films and on ...

Greatest performances:

1. Dreamchild 2. The Sweet Hereafter 3. Alien 4. From Hell 5. Garden State 6. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 7. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 8. Brazil 9. The Fifth Element 10. Chariots of Fire 11. Naked Lunch 12. The Aviator 13. Time Bandits

53. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Under the Volcano 2. Murder On the Orient Express 3. Erin Brockovich 4. Big Fish 5. The Browning Version 6. Scrooge 7. Miller's Crossing 8. Tom Jones

54. Claude Rains

Actor | Casablanca

William Claude Rains, born in the Clapham area of London, was the son of the British stage actor Frederick Rains. The younger Rains followed, making his stage debut at the age of eleven in "Nell of Old Drury." Growing up in the world of theater, he saw not only acting up close but the down-to-earth...

Greatest performances:

1. Notorious 2. Casablanca 3. Now, Voyager 4. Lawrence of Arabia 5. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

55. Joaquin Phoenix

Actor | Her

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 from New ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Master 2. Inherent Vice 3. Her 4. Gladiator 5. Walk the Line 6. Quills 7. To Die For 8. Hotel Rwanda 9. Signs 10. The Village 11. Parenthood 12. 8MM

56. John Malkovich

Actor | Being John Malkovich

John Gavin Malkovich was born in Christopher, Illinois, to Joe Anne (Choisser), who owned a local newspaper, and Daniel Leon Malkovich, a state conservation director. His paternal grandparents were Croatian. In 1976, Malkovich joined Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, newly founded by his friend Gary ...

Greatest performances:

1. Of Mice and Men 2. Empire of the Sun 3. Dangerous Liaisons 4. Places in the Heart 5. Being John Malkovich 6. Rounders 7. The Killing Fields 8. Shadow of the Vampire 9. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 10. Burn After Reading 11. Changeling 12. Bird Box 13. In the Line of Fire

57. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Chaplin 2. Tropic Thunder 3. Zodiac 4. Wonder Boys 5. The Judge 6. Sherlock Holmes 7. Natural Born Killers 8. Soapdish 9. Less Than Zero 10. Iron Man 11. Good Night, and Good Luck. 12. Bowfinger

58. Alan Rickman

Actor | Die Hard

Alan Rickman was born on a council estate in Acton, West London, to Margaret Doreen Rose (Bartlett) and Bernard Rickman, who worked at a factory. He had English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Alan had an older brother David, a younger brother Michael and a younger sister Sheila. When Alan was 8 years ...

Greatest performances:

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone/Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets/Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire/Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix/Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 & 2 2. Die Hard 3. Sense and Sensibility 4. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 5. Galaxy Quest 6. Love Actually

59. Harvey Keitel

Actor | Reservoir Dogs

American actor and producer Harvey Keitel was born on May 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York City, to Miriam (Klein) and Harry Keitel. An Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee, he has appeared in films such as Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets (1973) and Taxi Driver (1976), Ridley Scott's The Duellists (...

Greatest performances:

1. The Last Temptation of Christ 2. Mean Streets 3. The Piano 4. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore 5. From Dusk Till Dawn 6. Reservoir Dogs 7. Bad Lieutenant 8. Bugsy 9. Pulp Fiction 10. Taxi Driver 11. The Grand Budapest Hotel 12. Red Dragon 13. Moonrise Kingdom 14. Point of No Return 15. Thelma & Louise 16. Sister Act

60. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. The English Patient 2. Quiz Show 3. The Grand Budapest Hotel 4. Schindler’s List 5. Red Dragon 6. In Bruges 7. The Reader 8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire/Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix/Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts 1 & 2 9. Strange Days 10. The Hurt Locker

61. 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),...

Greatest performances:

1. Cinderella Man 2. A Beautiful Mind 3. Gladiator 4. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 5. American Gangster 6. L.A. Confidential 7. Les Misérables 8. Proof of Life

62. Christopher Guest

Actor | This Is Spinal Tap

U.S.-born actor, director, writer, musician, and composer best known for his mockumentaries, poking fun at heavy metal music, small town theatre, dog shows, folk music and film-making itself, Christopher Haden-Guest was born February fifth, 1948, in New York City. His mother, Jean Pauline (Hindes),...

Greatest performances:

1. This Is Spinal Tap 2. The Princess Bride 3. Waiting for Guffman 4. Best in Show 5. A Mighty Wind 6. A Few Good Men 7. Little Shop of Horrors

63. Tim Robbins

Actor | Mystic River

Born in West Covina, California, but raised in New York City, Tim Robbins is the son of former The Highwaymen singer Gil Robbins and actress Mary Robbins (née Bledsoe). Robbins studied drama at UCLA, where he graduated with honors in 1981. That same year, he formed the Actors' Gang theater group, ...

Greatest performances:

1. Jacob’s Ladder 2. The Shawshank Redemption 3. The Player 4. Mystic River 5. The Hudsucker Proxy 6. Bull Durham 7. Cadillac Man 8. High Fidelity

64. Jason Robards

Actor | All the President's Men

Powerful and highly respected American actor Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Hope Maxine (Glanville) and stage and film star Jason Robards Sr. He had Swedish, English, Welsh, German, and Irish ancestry. Robards was raised mostly in Los Angeles. A star athlete at ...

Greatest performances:

1. Long Day's Journey Into Night 2. Magnolia 3. Johnny Got His Gun 4. All the President’s Men 5. Parenthood 6. Philadelphia 7. Tora! Tora! Tora! 8. Julia 9. Something Wicked This Way Comes

65. 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...

Greatest performances:

1. The King's Speech 2. A Single Man 3. The English Patient 4. Love Actually 5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 6. Bridget Jones’s Diary 7. Nanny McPhee 8. Shakespeare in Love

66. George C. Scott

Actor | Patton

George C. Scott was an immensely talented actor, a star of screen, stage and television. He was born on October 18, 1927 in Wise, Virginia, to Helena Agnes (Slemp) and George Dewey Scott. At the age of eight, his mother died, and his father, an executive at Buick, raised him. In 1945, he joined the...

Greatest performances:

1. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 2. Patton 3. The Hustler 4. The Hindenburg 5. The Changeling 6. The Exorcist III 7. Taps 8. Malice

67. Willem Dafoe

Actor | Spider-Man

Having made over one hundred films in his legendary career, Willem Dafoe is internationally respected for bringing versatility, boldness, and dare to some of the most iconic films of our time. His artistic curiosity in exploring the human condition leads him to projects all over the world, large ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Last Temptation of Christ 2. Antichrist 3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 4. Shadow of the Vampire 5. Mississippi Burning 6. Platoon 7. The Florida Project 8. The English Patient 9. Wild at Heart 10. The Grand Budapest Hotel 11. Born on the Fourth of July 12. Clear and Present Danger 13. Spider-Man 14. To Live and Die in L.A.

68. Richard Dreyfuss

Actor | The Goodbye Girl

Richard Dreyfuss is an American leading man, who has played his fair share of irritating pests and brash, ambitious hustlers.

He was born Richard Stephen Dreyfus in Brooklyn, New York, to Geraldine (Robbins), an activist, and Norman Dreyfus, a restaurateur and attorney. His paternal grandparents ...

Greatest performances:

1. Close Encounters of the Third Kind 2. The Goodbye Girl 3. American Graffiti 4. Jaws 5. Mr. Holland’s Opus 6. W. 7. Postcards from the Edge

69. James McAvoy

Actor | Filth

McAvoy was born on 21 April 1979 in Glasgow, Scotland, to Elizabeth (née Johnstone), a nurse, and James McAvoy senior, a bus driver. He was raised on a housing estate in Drumchapel, Glasgow by his maternal grandparents (James, a butcher, and Mary), after his parents divorced when James was 11. He ...

Greatest performances:

1. Split 2. The Last King of Scotland 3. Atonement 4. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

70. Malcolm McDowell

Actor | A Clockwork Orange

Malcolm John Taylor was born on June 13, 1943 in Leeds, England, to working-class parents Edna (McDowell), a hotelier, and Charles Taylor, a publican. His father was an alcoholic. Malcolm hated his parents' ways. His father was keen to send his son to private school to give him a good start in life...

Greatest performances:

1. A Clockwork Orange 2. If... 3. The Artist

71. Omar Sharif

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

Omar Sharif, the Egyptian actor best known for playing Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and the title role in Doctor Zhivago (1965), was born Michel Demitri Shalhoub on April 10, 1932 in Alexandria, Egypt to Joseph Shalhoub, a lumber merchant, and his wife, Claire (Saada). Of Lebanese and ...

Greatest performances:

1. Doctor Zhivago 2. Lawrence of Arabia

72. Michael Caine

Actor | The Dark Knight

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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Alfie 2. The Cider House Rules 3. Interstellar 4. Deathtrap 5. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 6. Hannah and Her Sisters 7. Get Carter 8. The Dark Knight 9. Quills 10. The Man Who Would Be King 11. A Bridge Too Far 12. Children of Men 13. The Prestige 14. Secondhand Lions 15. Austin Powers in Goldmember

73. Jake Gyllenhaal

Actor | Nightcrawler

Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, California, to producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner (née Achs) and director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played his sister in Donnie Darko (2001). His godmother is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His mother is from...

Greatest performances:

1. Zodiac 2. Nightcrawler 3. Prisoners 4. Brokeback Mountain 5. Brothers 6. Proof 7. Donnie Darko 8. Jarhead 9. October Sky 10. The Day After Tomorrow

74. James Caan

Actor | The Godfather

A masculine and enigmatic actor whose life and movie career have had more ups and downs than the average rollercoaster and whose selection of roles has arguably derailed him from achieving true superstar status, James Caan is New York-born and bred.

He was born in the Bronx, to Sophie (Falkenstein) ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Godfather 2. Misery 3. A Bridge Too Far 4. Bottle Rocket 5. Honeymoon in Vegas 6. Elf 7. Dogville

75. Bill Murray

Actor | Lost in Translation

Bill Murray is an American actor, comedian, and writer. The fifth of nine children, he was born William James Murray in Wilmette, Illinois, to Lucille (Collins), a mailroom clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray II, who sold lumber. He is of Irish descent. Among his siblings are actors Brian Doyle-Murray, ...

Greatest performances:

1. Groundhog Day 2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou 3. Ghostbusters 4. Tootsie 5. Hyde Park on Hudson 6. Lost in Translation 7. Rushmore 8. Stripes 9. Ed Wood 10. The Royal Tenenbaums 11. Wild Things 12. Moonrise Kingdom 13. Kingpin 14. Caddyshack 15. Coffee and Cigarettes 16. The Grand Budapest Hotel 17. Little Shop of Horrors 18. Scrooged 19. Zombieland

76. Christopher Walken

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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Deer Hunter 2. Catch Me If You Can 3. At Close Range 4. True Romance 5. Pulp Fiction 6. Biloxi Blues 7. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore 8. Batman Returns 9. The Stepford Wives 10. Wedding Crashers 11. Sleepy Hollow 12. Brainstorm

77. Tommy Lee Jones

Actor | The Fugitive

Tommy Lee Jones was born in San Saba, Texas, the son of Lucille Marie (Scott), a police officer and beauty shop owner, and Clyde C. Jones, who worked on oil fields. Tommy himself worked in underwater construction and on an oil rig. He attended St. Mark's School of Texas, a prestigious prep school ...

Greatest performances:

1. No Country for Old Men 2. Coal Miner's Daughter 3. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada 4. Men in Black 5. Lincoln 6. The Fugitive 7. JFK 8. The Client 9. Double Jeopardy 10. Natural Born Killers

78. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Network 2. The Wild Bunch 3. The Bridge on the River Kwai 4. Sunset Blvd. 5. Sabrina 6. Damien: Omen II

79. Robert Redford

Actor | The Natural

Charles Robert Redford, Jr. was born on August 18, 1936, in Santa Monica, California, to Martha (Hart), from Texas, and Charles Robert Redford, an accountant for Standard Oil, who was originally from Connecticut. He is of English, Scottish, Cornish, and Irish ancestry. Robert's mother died in 1955,...

Greatest performances:

1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 2. All the President’s Men 3. The Sting 4. Jeremiah Johnson 5. Out of Africa 6. Three Days of the Condor 7. Brubaker 8. The Natural 9. A Bridge Too Far 10. Indecent Proposal

80. 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...

Greatest performances:

1. North by Northwest 2. Notorious 3. The Philadelphia Story 4. Holiday 5. To Catch a Thief 6. Suspicion 7. Arsenic and Old Lace 8. Bringing Up Baby

81. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Trainspotting 2. Big Fish 3. August: Osage County 4. Black Hawk Down 5. The Men Who Stare at Goats 6. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

82. Gabriel Byrne

Actor | The Usual Suspects

Byrne was the first of six children, born in Dublin, Ireland. His father was a cooper and his mother a hospital worker. He was raised Catholic and educated by the Irish Christian Brothers. He spent five years of his childhood in a seminary training to be a Catholic priest. He later said, "I spent ...

Greatest performances:

1. Miller’s Crossing 2. The Usual Suspects 3. Gothic 4. Excalibur 5. Stigmata 6. Point of No Return 7. Dead Man

83. Ed Harris

Actor | The Truman Show

By transforming into his characters and pulling the audience in, Ed Harris has earned a reputation as one of the most talented actors of our time.

Ed Harris was born in Tenafly, New Jersey, to Margaret (Sholl), a travel agent, and Robert Lee Harris, a bookstore worker who also sang professionally. ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Hours 2. The Way Back 3. The Firm 4. The Abyss 5. Glengarry Glen Ross 6. Apollo 13 7. The Right Stuff 8. A Beautiful Mind 9. Enemy at the Gates 10. Places in the Heart 11. The Truman Show 12. A History of Violence 13. Mother! 14. Needful Things

84. John Turturro

Actor | Barton Fink

Highly talented, lightly built American actor who always looks unsettled and jumpy has become a favourite of cult/arthouse film aficionados with his compelling performances in a broad range of cinematic vehicles.

Turturro was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian-American parents, Katherine (...

Greatest performances:

1. Quiz Show 2. Miller’s Crossing 3. O Brother, Where Art Thou? 4. Barton Fink 5. The Big Lebowski 6. To Live and Die in L.A. 7. Rounders 8. The Color of Money

85. George Clooney

Actor | Michael Clayton

George Timothy Clooney was born on May 6, 1961, in Lexington, Kentucky, to Nina Bruce (née Warren), a former beauty pageant queen, and Nick Clooney, a former anchorman and television host (who was also the brother of singer Rosemary Clooney). He has Irish, English, and German ancestry. Clooney ...

Greatest performances:

1. O Brother, Where Art Thou? 2. The Descendants 3. Up in the Air 4. Good Night, and Good Luck. 5. The Men Who Stare at Goats 6. Michael Clayton 7. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 8. The Ides of March 9. Ocean’s Eleven 10. The Perfect Storm 11. Burn After Reading 12. Intolerable Cruelty 13. From Dusk Till Dawn 14. Gravity 15. Three Kings

86. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Schindler’s List 2. Rob Roy 3. Love Actually 4. Breakfast on Pluto 5. Kingdom of Heaven 6. The Mission 7. Gangs of New York 8. Batman Begins 9. Darkman 10. Excalibur

87. Ian McKellen

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

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 (...

Greatest performances:

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 5. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 6. X-Men 7. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

88. 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:...

Greatest performances:

1. Cold Mountain 2. The Talented Mr. Ripley 3. A.I. Artificial Intelligence 4. Sherlock Holmes 5. Road to Perdition 6. Closer 7. I Heart Huckabees 8. Gattaca 9. Enemy at the Gates 10. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus 11. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil 12. Hugo 13. The Grand Budapest Hotel

89. Warren Beatty

Actor | Heaven Can Wait

Since starring in his first film, Splendor in the Grass (1961), Warren Beatty has been said to have demonstrated a greater longevity in movies than any actor of his generation. Few people have taken so many responsibilities for all phases of the production of films as producer, director, writer, ...

Greatest performances:

1. Bonnie and Clyde 2. Reds 3. Bugsy 4. Heaven Can Wait 5. Bulworth 6. Dick Tracy

90. Joe Pesci

Actor | Goodfellas

Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943 in Newark, New Jersey, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor, and by the mid-1950s, was starring on the series "Star Time Kids"....

Greatest performances:

1. Goodfellas 2. My Cousin Vinny 3. Casino 4. Raging Bull 5. Once Upon a Time in America 6. Home Alone 7. JFK 8. The Super

91. Danny Glover

Actor | Lethal Weapon

Actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover has been a commanding presence on screen, stage and television for more than 35 years.

Glover was born in San Francisco, California, to Carrie (Hunley) and James Glover, postal workers who were also active in civil rights. Glover trained at the Black ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Color Purple 2. Witness 3. Grand Canyon 4. Places in the Heart 5. The Royal Tenenbaums

92. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. In the Bedroom 2. Michael Collins 3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 4. Selma 5. The Exorcism of Emily Rose 6. The Patriot 7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

93. Karl Malden

Actor | A Streetcar Named Desire

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...

Greatest performances:

1. On the Waterfront 2. Baby Doll 3. How the West Was Won 4. Patton 5. A Streetcar Named Desire

94. Benedict Cumberbatch

Actor | The Imitation Game

Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch was born and raised in London, England. His parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton (born Timothy Carlton Congdon Cumberbatch), are both actors. He is a grandson of submarine commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch, and a great-grandson of diplomat Henry Arnold ...

Greatest performances:

1. The Imitation Game 2. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 3. Black Mass 4. Atonement 5. War Horse 6. August: Osage County 7. 12 Years a Slave

95. John Goodman

Actor | 10 Cloverfield Lane

John Stephen Goodman is a U.S. film, television, and stage actor. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Virginia Roos (Loosmore), a waitress and saleswoman, and Leslie Francis Goodman, a postal worker who died when John was a small child. He is of English, Welsh, and German ancestry. John is best ...

Greatest performances:

1. Raising Arizona 2. The Big Lebowski 3. Barton Fink 4. Argo 5. O Brother, Where Art Thou? 6. True Stories 7. Flight 8. Trumbo 9. Arachnophobia 10. The Artist

96. Graham Chapman

Writer | Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Graham Chapman was born on January 8, 1941 in Leicester, England while a German air raid was in progress. Graham's father was a chief police inspector and probably inspired the constables Graham often portrayed later in comedy sketches. Graham studied medicine in college and earned an M.D., but he ...

Greatest performances:

1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail 2. Life of Brian 3. The Meaning of Life

97. 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 (...

Greatest performances:

1. Fight Club 2. Twelve Monkeys 3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 5. A River Runs Through It 6. Se7en 7. Legends of the Fall 8. Snatch. 9. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles 10. The Tree of Life 11. Meet Joe Black 12. Ocean’s Eleven 13. The Big Short 14. Babel 15. Inglourious Basterds 16. Sleepers 17. Burn After Reading 18. 12 Years a Slave 19. Thelma & Louise 20. True Romance

98. Brad Dourif

Actor | One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Gaunt character actor Brad Dourif was born Bradford Claude Dourif on March 18, 1950 in Huntington, West Virginia. He is the son of Joan Mavis Felton (Bradford) and Jean Henri Dourif, a French-born art collector who owned and operated a dye factory. His father died when Dourif was three years old, ...

Greatest performances:

1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 2. The Exorcist III 3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 4. Mississippi Burning 5. Wise Blood 6. Ragtime 7. Dune 8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 9. Alien: Resurrection

99. 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 ...

Greatest performances:

1. Sideways 2. American Splendor 3. Cinderella Man 4. 12 Years a Slave 5. Saving Mr. Banks 6. Man on the Moon 7. The Ides of March 8. Private Parts 9. The Truman Show 10. Saving Private Ryan

100. Roy Scheider

Actor | Jaws

Lean, angular-faced and authoritatively spoken lead / supporting actor Roy Scheider obviously never heard the old actor's axiom about "never appearing with kids or animals" lest they overshadow your performance. Breaking that rule did him no harm, though, as he achieved pop cult status by finding, ...

Greatest performances:

1. All That Jazz 2. Jaws 3. Sorcerer 4. Marathon Man 5. Klute 6. 2010 7. The French Connection

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