Top 25 Actors of 1900-1909

by comeonfcdaniel | created - 4 months ago | updated - 2 months ago | Public

1. 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 ...

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

5. 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 ...

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

8. 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 ...

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

24. Gunnar Björnstrand

Actor | Det sjunde inseglet

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

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



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