Best Actors of All Time!

 

The actors on this list are ranked according to their lifetime success (awards & nominations), along with their acting skills, versatility and role transformation. To me, accuracy when making a Top 10 all time list is extremely important.

My lists are not based on my own personal favorites; they are based on the true greatness and/or success of the person, place or thing being ranked. In other words, an actor’s commercial success (Oscars & BAFTA Awards), and influential greatness through their acting skill and role transformation, is how I ranked the actors on this list.

 

Jack Nicholson

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

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 5 Stars Role Transformation – 5 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 3 Oscar Nominations: 12 BAFTA Awards: 4 BAFTA Nominations: 8 Golden Globes: 6 Golden Globe Nominations: 17

Greatest Performances:

“The Shining” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “As Good as It Gets” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars “One Flew…….Cuckoo’s Nest” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars

 

Marlon Brando

2. 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 …

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 5 Stars Role Transformation – 5 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 2 Oscar Nominations: 8 BAFTA Awards: 3 BAFTA Nominations: 8 Golden Globes: 2 Golden Globe Nominations: 6

Greatest Performances:

“The Godfather” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “On the Waterfront” – Level of Difficulty – 4.9 Stars “A Street Car Named Desire” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars

 

Robert De Niro

3. Robert De Niro

Actor | Raging Bull

One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is Irish, English, Dutch, German, and French. He was trained …

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 4.8 Stars Role Transformation – 4.9 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 2 Oscar Nominations: 7 BAFTA Awards: 0 BAFTA Nominations: 6 Golden Globes: 1 Golden Globe Nominations: 8

Greatest Performances:

“Raging Bull” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “The Deer Hunter” – Level of Difficulty – 4.7 Stars “The Godfather: Part II” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars

 

Al Pacino

4. Al Pacino

Actor | Serpico

Alfredo James “Al” ‘Pacino established himself as a film actor during one of cinema’s most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

He was born April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York City, to Italian-American parents, Rose (nee Gerardi)

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 4.8 Stars Role Transformation – 4.9 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 1 Oscar Nominations: 8 BAFTA Awards: 2 BAFTA Nominations: 5 Golden Globes: 4 Golden Globe Nominations: 15

Greatest Performances:

“Scent of a Woman” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “Dog Day Afternoon” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars “The Godfather: Part II” – Level of Difficulty – 4.6 Stars

 

Daniel Day-Lewis

5. 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

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 5 Stars Role Transformation – 5 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 3 Oscar Nominations: 5 BAFTA Awards: 4 BAFTA Nominations: 6 Golden Globes: 2 Golden Globe Nominations: 7

Greatest Performances:

“Lincoln” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “My Left Foot” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “There Will Be Blood” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars

 

Dustin Hoffman

6. Dustin Hoffman

Actor | Tootsie

Dustin Lee Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California, to Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who was a furniture salesman and prop supervisor for Columbia Pictures. He was raised in a Jewish family (from Ukraine, Russia-Poland, and Romania). Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 5 Stars Role Transformation – 5 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 2 Oscar Nominations: 7 BAFTA Awards: 4 BAFTA Nominations: 10 Golden Globes: 5 Golden Globe Nominations: 13

Greatest Performances:

“Rain Man” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “Midnight Cowboy” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars “Kramer vs. Kramer” – Level of Difficulty – 4.6 Stars

 

Tom Hanks

7. 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 …

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 5 Stars Role Transformation – 5 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 2 Oscar Nominations: 5 BAFTA Awards: 0 BAFTA Nominations: 4 Golden Globes: 4 Golden Globe Nominations: 8

Greatest Performances:

“Forrest Gump” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “Philadelphia” – Level of Difficulty – 4.9 Stars “Saving Private Ryan” – Level of Difficulty – 4.7 Stars

 

Anthony Hopkins

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.

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 5 Stars Role Transformation – 5 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 1 Oscar Nominations: 4 BAFTA Awards: 3 BAFTA Nominations: 9 Golden Globes: 0 Golden Globe Nominations: 6

Greatest Performances:

“Nixon” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars “Silence of the Lambs” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars “The Remains of the Day” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars

 

Paul Newman

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 Arthur Sigmund Newman (died 1950) and Theresa Fetsko (died 1982). His elder brother was , Arthur S. Newman Jr.

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 4.8 Stars Overall Versatility – 4.7 Stars Role Transformation – 4.8 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 1 Oscar Nominations: 10 BAFTA Awards: 1 BAFTA Nominations: 5 Golden Globes: 3 Golden Globe Nominations: 12

Greatest Performances:

“The Verdict” – Level of Difficulty – 4.7 Stars “Road to Perdition” – Level of Difficulty – 4.7 Stars “The Color of Money” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars

 

Denzel Washington

10. 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.

Acting Abilities:

Acting Skill – 5 Stars Overall Versatility – 4.7 Stars Role Transformation – 4.9 Stars

Awards & Nominations:

Oscars: 2 Oscar Nominations: 8 (1 for Producing) BAFTA Awards: 0 BAFTA Nominations: 0 Golden Globes: 2 Golden Globe Nominations: 8

Greatest Performances:

“Glory” – Level of Difficulty – 4.6 Stars “Malcolm X” – Level of Difficulty – 4.8 Stars “Training Day” – Level of Difficulty – 5 Stars

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