Top 25 Actors of 1900-1909by comeonfcdaniel | created - 4 months ago | updated - 2 months ago | Public
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 ...
Top 10: 1. It's a Wonderful Life 2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 3. Rear Window 4. Rope 5. Vertigo 6. The Philadelphia Story 7. Anatomy of a Murder 8. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 9. The Man Who Knew Too Much 10. You Can't Take It with You
2. Peter Lorre
Actor | Casablanca
Peter Lorre was born László Lowenstein on Rózsahegy, Hungary. He was educated in elementary and secondary schools in Vienna, Austria. As a youth, he ran away from home, worked as a bank clerk and, after stage training in Vienna, made his acting debut in Zurich. He remained unknown, traveling for ...
Top 5: 1. M 2. The Maltese Falcon 3. Casablanca 4. Arsenic and Old Lace 5. Mad Love
3. 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 ...
Top 5: 1. 12 Angry Men 2. Once Upon a Time in the West 3. The Grapes of Wrath 4. On Golden Pond 5. My Name Is Nobody
4. John Wayne
Actor | True Grit
John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. He was of English, Ulster-Scots, and Irish ancestry.
Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, ...
Top 5: 1. Stagecoach 2. The Searchers 3. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 4. The Longest Day
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 ...
Top 5: 1. Hamlet 2. Sleuth 3. Rebecca 4. Marathon Man 5. Spartacus
6. 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...
Top 5: 1. Arsenic and Old Lace 2. North by Northwest 3. Notorious 4. His Girl Friday 5. Bringing Up Baby
7. James Mason
Actor | Lolita
James Mason was a great English actor of British and American films. He was born in Yorkshire, and attended Marlborough and Cambridge, where he discovered acting on a lark, and abandoned a planned career as an architect. Following work in stock companies, he joined the Old Vic under the guidance of...
Top 5: 1. Lolita 2. North by Northwest 3. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 4. The Reckless Moment 5. Yellowbeard
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 ...
Top 5: 1. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 2. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 3. It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
9. Clark Gable
Actor | It Happened One Night
William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, to Adeline (Hershelman) and William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller. He was of German, Irish, and Swiss-German descent. When he was seven months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle ...
Top 5: 1. Gone with the Wind 2. It Happened One Night
10. Gary Cooper
Actor | High Noon
Born to Alice Cooper and Charles Cooper (not in film business). Gary attended school at Dunstable school England, Helena Montana and Iowa College, Grinnell, Iowa. His first stage experience was during high school and college. Afterwards, he worked as an extra for one year before getting a part in a...
Top 5: 1. High Noon
11. Ralph Richardson
Actor | Doctor Zhivago
Sir Ralph Richardson was one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century English-language theater, ascending to the height of his profession in the mid-1930s when he became a star in London's West End. He became the first actor of his generation to be knighted. He became Sir Ralph in 1947, and was ...
Top 5: 1. Doctor Zhivago 2. Exodus 3. Battle of Britain 4. Time Bandits
12. Elisha Cook Jr.
Actor | Rosemary's Baby
Although this pint-sized actor started out in films often in innocuous college-student roles in mid-30s rah-rahs, playing alongside the likes of a pretty Gloria Stuart or a young, pre-"Oz" Judy Garland, casting directors would soon enough discover his flair for portraying intense neurotics or ...
Top 5: 1. The Killing 2. The Maltese Falcon 3. Shane 4. The Big Sleep 5. Rosemary's Baby
13. Bing Crosby
Actor | White Christmas
Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen "Kate" (Harrigan) and Harry Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in ...
Top 5: 1. The Country Girl 2. High Society
14. John Gielgud
Actor | Arthur
Born in London, England, John Gielgud trained at Lady Benson's Acting School and RADA, London. Best known for his Shakespearean roles in the theater, he first played Hamlet at the age of 26. He worked under the tutelage of Lilian Bayliss with friend and fellow performer Laurence Olivier and other ...
Top 5: 1. Becket 2. Secret Agent 3. Shine 4. Murder on the Orient Express 5. Hamlet
15. Jean Gabin
Actor | La grande illusion
Jean-Alexis Moncorge started his career with 15 years at the theatre and debuted at the "Moulin Rouge" in Paris in 1929. Despite of his rude aspect he knew to be the gentleman of the French cinema in the time between the two World Wars. One of his most popular personalities was inspector Maigret. ...
Top 5: 1. La grande illusion 2. Touchez pas au grisbi
16. Joseph Cotten
Actor | The Third Man
Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Jr. was born in Petersburg, Virginia, into a well-to-do Southern family. He was the eldest of three sons born to Sally Whitworth (Willson) and Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Sr., an assistant postmaster.
Jo (as he was known) and his brothers Whit and Sam spent their summers at their...
Top 5: 1. The Third Man 2. Citizen Kane 3. Shadow of a Doubt 4. The Abominable Dr. Phibes 5. Soylent Green
17. George Sanders
Actor | All About Eve
George Sanders was born of English parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked in a Birmingham textile mill, in the tobacco business and as a writer in advertising. He entered show business in London as a chorus boy, going from there to cabaret, radio and theatrical understudy. His film debut, in ...
Top 5: 1. All About Eve 2. Rebecca 3. The Jungle Book 4. Foreign Correspondent 5. The Black Swan
18. Errol Flynn
Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood
Errol Flynn was born to parents Theodore Flynn, a respected biologist, and Marrelle Young, an adventurous young woman. Young Flynn was a rambunctious child who could be counted on to find trouble. Errol managed to have himself thrown out of every school he was enrolled in. In his late teens he set ...
Top 5: 1. The Adventures of Robin Hood 2. Captain Blood 3. The Sea Hawk
19. Fred MacMurray
Actor | Double Indemnity
Fred MacMurray was likely the most underrated actor of his generation. True, his earliest work is mostly dismissed as pedestrian, but no other actor working in the 1940s and 50s was able to score so supremely whenever cast against type.
Frederick Martin MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois, to ...
Top 5: 1. Double Indemnity 2. The Apartment
20. Michael Redgrave
Actor | The Lady Vanishes
Sir Michael Redgrave was of the generation of English actors that gave the world the legendary John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, Britain three fabled "Theatrical Knights" back in the days when a knighthood for thespian was far more rare than it is today. A superb actor, Redgrave ...
Top 5: 1. The Lady Vanishes 2. Battle of Britain
21. Colin Clive
Actor | Frankenstein
Who could forget Colin Clive's "It's Alive! It's Alive!" as he melted to the floor mumbling the same over and over in ecstasy after his success at animating the Monster in the first sound version of Frankenstein (1931). Film history - horror film history - but part of a short history for actor ...
Top 5: 1. Frankenstein 2. Mad Love
22. Ward Bond
Actor | The Quiet Man
Gruff, burly American character actor. Born in 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska (confirmed by Social Security records; sources stating 1905 or Denver, Colorado are in error.) Bond grew up in Denver, the son of a lumberyard worker. He attended the University of Southern California, where he got work as ...
Top 5: 1. The Searchers 2. The Maltese Falcon 3. It's a Wonderful Life 4. My Darling Clementine 5. Gone with the Wind
23. Richard Haydn
Actor | The Sound of Music
Inimitable London-born character actor, noted for his put-on nasal delivery and pompous, fussy manner. Richard Haydn had a laborious start to his show business career, selling tickets in the box office of London's Daly Theatre. This was followed by an unsuccessful stint with a comedy act in musical...
Top 5: 1. The Sound of Music 2. Alice in Wonderland 3. The Return of Edwin Carp 4. Young Frankenstein
Actor | Det sjunde inseglet
Being the son of an acting father, Oscar Johanson, it isn't surprising that he wanted to be an actor already as a child. However, he first worked as a baker's apprentice, in a barber shop or in the docks. After the conscription he got his first role, a bit part on the theater Lilla Teatern in ...
Top 5: 1. The Seventh Seal 2. Persona
25. Pierre Brasseur
Actor | Les enfants du paradis
Pierre Brasseur was born on December 22, 1905 in Paris, France as Pierre Espinasse. He was an actor and writer, known for Children of Paradise (1945), Eyes Without a Face (1960) and Gates of the Night (1946). He was married to Lina Magrini and Odette Joyeux. He died on August 14, 1972 in Bruneck, ...
Top 5: 1. Les enfants du paradis 2. Les yeux sans visage