Many of the great titles in celluloid history owe their success, at least in part, to the participating acting cast. For this reason, with our list today we want to make known which are the 40 best-known famous actors in cinema.
As it is difficult to make a list with the most famous actors in history, we have divided it into two parts, with the second being a compilation of actors that are difficult to place in the first, but that equally deserve the title of famous actors.
- You can also read: The 25 best actors in Hollywood and the most famous.
The 30 Most Famous Actors of All Time
You probably know most of the following most famous actors, since almost all of them are still active. However, we have also included stars already deceased who also received maximum recognition in their day.
As always, apologies in advance for any absences you may encounter.
30. Christoph Waltz
Austrian Christoph Waltz won over the public and critics alike for his role as Colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino’s celebrated Inglourious Basterds (2009).
Since then, he has become one of the most famous and acclaimed actors of recent times.
29. Charlton Heston (1923 – 2008)
He has been Moses in the massive The Ten Commandments (1956), Juda Ben-Hur in Ben-Hur (1959) and even Cid Campeador himself. Charlton Heston starred in dozens of movies, being one of the actors of the last century with one of the longest professional careers.
28. Sidney Poitier Sidney Poitier
‘s professional career throughout the history of cinema has made him, without a doubt, one of the most talented and well-loved famous actors by the public.
Poitier is also a representative icon of the African-American community, which helped to make this group visible.
27. Nicolas Cage
He does not go through his best professional or economic moment, but Nicolas Cage is one of the most emblematic famous actors, especially if we take into account his career during the 90s and early 2000s
. Despite being meme fodder, we remember his work with fondness.
26. John Hurt (1940 – 2017)
John Hurt, father of also actor William Hurt, appeared in several outstanding films, both as a protagonist, secondary and even villain.
He had the “privilege” of being the first victim of the deadliest alien species in cinema in Alien (1979), but we could also see this famous actor in the Harry Potter saga playing Ollivander, the wand seller; in Hellboy (2004) and even in V for Vendetta (2005), as the ruthless Supreme Leader.
25. Sylvester Stallone
Many are not convinced by his inexpressiveness when it comes to acting, but the truth is that he has made this trait his most characteristic sign of identity.
One of the tough guys of the eighties action movies (fame that he has managed to keep alive thanks to the Mercenaries saga, in which he recovers the spirit of that time ) and one of the “phoenix” of the seventh art, who has resurrected a career that seemed to be in the doldrums.
24. Dustin Hoffman
“Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me
?” With this great famous quote from The Graduate (1967), Dustin Hoffman’s career would begin its ascent and would last until today, making him one of the most famous and prestigious actors of recent decades.
23. Steve Mcqueen (1930 – 1980)
For several years he monopolized the leading role in many titles, being common to see him in such mythical films as The Great Escape (1963) , Bullitt (1968) or Papillon (1973).
22. Will Smith
After the popular series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith rose to stardom immediately, becoming a famous actor all over the world, thanks not only to his movies (many of which have been great successes) , but also to his good treatment with the fans and in the interviews.
21. Antonio Banderas
They call him “the most international Spanish actor” and rightly so . Antonio Banderas started working in the cinema of his country, but soon the ‘cinematographic giant’ would notice him.
Since he crossed the pond, one of the most famous actors in Spain, has built a great reputation in the great film industry, without ever forgetting or denying his roots.
Without a doubt, a pride for his country.
20. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
His beginnings did not seem very promising, especially when he only appeared in minor movies. However, and although his filmography is irregular compared to others on this list, currently “the Johnson mole” is the highest paid actor in today’s great film industry.
19. Gregory Peck (1916 – 2003)
One of the most remembered leading men of classic cinema was the famous actor Gregory Peck, whom we saw in To Kill a Mockingbird (1952) as Atticus Finch and as deranged Captain Ahab in Moby Dick (1956).
18. Morgan Freeman
His presence is almost always synonymous with resounding success; and his voice, very frequently heard as an off narrator in many movies.
Morgan Freeman is one of the most famous and veteran actors today. Whether as a protagonist or secondary, we are always happy to see him on screen.
The Welshman has been delighting us since the late 1960s with his magnificent art. Everyone remembers him for his role as Doctor Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and its sequels, but in his filmography he also stands out for having been Van Helsing in Coppola’s Dracula (1992) and even the almighty god Odin. in Thor (2011) and the rest of sequels.
16. Brad Pitt
Now he is already one of the most tanned, but in the 90s he became one of the most desired actors, when he charmed the audience thanks to his blue eyes, his blond hair and his good boy face .
Leaving aside his physique, Brad Pitt is a great actor and very versatile in his work: he is as capable of becoming a tough guy, as making us laugh, or convincing us of his madness (let’s not forget his role in 12 monkeys (1995) 15.
Samuel L. Jackson
Never has a passage from the Bible intimidated us so much. Blame it on Samuel L. Jackson and his mythical scene in Pulp Fiction (1994).
This iconic African-American actor, a regular in Tarantino’s movies, He has also appeared in the Star Wars prequels, in the third part of Jungle Glass (1995) and in many secondary films
14. Paul Newman (1925 – 2008)
Both for his impressive big blue eyes, and for the multiple successes films in which I play the main character,Paul Newman was one of the most respected famous actors in cinema .
Some of his best films were: The Legend of the Wild (1967), The Blow (1973) or Road to Perdition (2002).
13. Tom Cruise
Not many are lucky enough to say that they have worked with one of the best film directors of all time (Kubrick, for the clueless). Tom Cruise yes he can.
But that’s not why we gave him a place on our list, but because of his heterogeneous variety of roles (from a fearless special agent Ethan Hunt, through a vampire, a hitman, an arms dealer or an airline pilot) .
Although he stands out for being another of the most representative tough guys, Clint Eastwood has managed to combine it with acting skills in which he has highlighted his dramatic side, as he demonstrated in Million Dollar Baby (2004).
Clint Eastwood is also a prodigious director, with incredible proposals such as Mystic River (2003) or Letters from Iwo Jima (2006).
11. Denzel Washington
Another of the most famous and beloved actors is Denzel Washington, whom the Academy recognized for his work in Training Day (2001), awarding him the Oscar for best actor.
We have seen him as a detective (Hidden Plan, 2006), an action hero (The Guest, 2012), a drug addict lifeguard pilot (The Flight, 2012) and even a mobster (American Gangster, 2007).
10. Harrison Ford
He has embodied three of the most well-known and cheeky characters of the seventh art (Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Rick Deckard the “skin hunter”), something that in itself would be a reason to raise him to the Olympus of the most famous actors.
However, Harrison Ford is quite a long-distance actor. And seniority is a degree that not everyone enjoys.
9. Jack Nicholson
Now he is retired, but fortunately, we have an extensive filmography of Jack Nicholson with some of the best movies and of all possible varieties: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), The Shining (1980) , The honor of the Prizzi (1985), Batman (1989) or Better… Impossible (1997).
8. Robin Williams (1951 – 2014)
Robin Williams was known worldwide as one of the funniest famous actors of the 90s, thanks to his humorous facet in movies like Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) or A Cage of Crickets (1996).
However, this beloved comedian was also in charge of making us cry in The Dead Poets Society (1989) or Good Will Hunting (1997), which would earn him the Oscar for best secondary. He left us too soon in 2014.
7. Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis is one of those famous actors who has best represented the role of the tough guy in cinema.
Of the variety of punches and beatings that he has distributed in his films, we are left with his most iconic character: the atypical police officer John Mcclane.
6. Daniel Day-Lewis
Not long ago he informed us of his retirement from acting, one of the saddest news we could receive.
Fortunately, Daniel Day-Lewis has helped to remind the audience what a cinematic gem is, for his superb work on titles like My Left Foot (1989), In the Name of the Father (1993) or Gangs of New York (2004). ), among many others.
For many, he is the best actor today.
5. Sean Connery
“The name is Bond, JAMES BOND” What can we say about Sean Connery that we don’t already know?
For nostalgics, he has been the best 007 agent , but he was also the father of the archaeologist Indiana Jones in the third installment of the saga. He even escaped from Alcatraz prison!
Any doubt why Sean Connery deserves a place of honor as one of the best famous actors?
4. Javier Bardem
began making his debut in Spanish cinema with High Heels (1991) and his leap across the pond occurred for the first time in Collateral (2004), where he had a small supporting role.
Since the Coens turned him into ruthless hit man Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men (2007), a performance that would earn him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor; We have enjoyed Bardem’s talent in many other films, being one of the best-known and most sought-after famous actors today.
3. Robert de Niro
Robert de Niro is the movie mobster we love the most.
We don’t know which of his titles to stay with, becauseHe has starred in great masterpieces : The Godfather: Part II (1974), Taxi Driver (1974), Raging Bull (1980) or One of Us (1990). Of course, we are certain that he is one of the most prestigious famous actors of our era.
2. Tom Hanks
The nice Tom Hanks is one of the famous actors whom we have seen grow professionally since he was a beardless young man in the eighties, to consecrate himself as a monster of interpretation.
He has worked with some of the most important film directors : Ron Howard, Robert Zemeckis or Steven Spielberg, among others. With the latter he has achieved resounding successes such as Saving Private Ryan (1998), reminding us why he is one of the best.
1. Marlon Brando (1924 – 2004)
He took his first steps in the world of theater, but his talent led him to be considered one of the best known actors of his time .
From A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Savage (1954), The Godfather: Part I (1972), not forgetting Apocalypse Now (1979); The versatile Marlon Brando is considered by many to be the best actor in the history of cinema.
Other 10 famous actors that you have to know
As being exhaustive is a difficult task when making lists, here is a quick selection with other names of great famous actors (now deceased) and some of their outstanding films.
1. Boris Karloff (1887- 1969): Doctor Frankenstein (1931), The Mummy (1932), The Terror (1936).
two.Humphrey Bogart (1899 – 1957): The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), The African Queen (1951).
3. Clark Gable (1901 – 1960): Gone with the Wind (1939), Mogambo (1957), Capri (1960).
4. Cary Grant (1904 – 1986): The beast of my nina (1938), With death at the heels (1959), Charade (1963).
5. James Stewart (1908 – 1997): The Philadelphia Story (1940), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) or Vertigo (1958).
6. Peter Cushing (1913 – 1994): Alexander the Great (1956), The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Mystery on Monster Island (1981).
7. Alec Guinness(1914 – 2000): The Ladykillers (1955), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope (1977).
8. Christopher Lee (1922 – 2015): Dracula (1958), Sherlock Holmes and the Necklace of Death (1962), The Lord of the Rings saga (2001 – 2003).
9. Francois Truffaut (1932 – 1984): The Little Savage (1970), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), The Green Room (1978).
10. Peter O’Toole (1932 – 2013): Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Man of La Mancha (1972), Troy (2002).
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