Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Best Actor of the 20th Century

Recommended Posts

> {quote:title=Jenetico wrote:}{quote}

> I have to echo all those who wrote MARLON BRANDO


> For the ones still living, I will name Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Denzel Washington and Al Pacino


Dear lord! You managed to mention 4 of my least favorite actors in your post! But a lot of people love all of them!


The more I think of it, I like far more than I don't. It would be easier for me to list the ones I don't like.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, geeze, this could be quite the task......


I would have to say that listing the greatest actor of the 20th century one could list actors in several different genre's. That way you could cover quite a few actors. Of course one could also mention that the list should also just cover the "classic" period of film, say from the silents to the end of the studio era. We have covered this subject a lot in other threads.


So, what I am going to do is list the top twenty five of each category of male and female actors, and see where the list takes shape.


Male 25:

Humphrey Bogart

James Cagney

Lee J. Cobb

Ronald Coleman

Gary Cooper

Robert DeNiro

Kirk Douglas

Robert Duvall

Henry Fonda

Clark Gable

Alec Guinness

Cary Grant

Anthony Hopkins

Burt Lancaster

Fredric March

James Mason

Robert Mitchum

Jack Nicholson

Laurence Olivier

Gregory Peck

Sidney Poitier

George C. Scott

James Stewart

Spencer Tracy

John Wayne



Female 25:

Jean Arthur

Ingrid Bergman

Claudette Colbert

Joan Crawford

Bette Davis

Olivia De Havilland

Jane Fonda

Jodie Foster

Greta Garbo

Ava Gardner

Judy Garland

Audrey Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

Deborah Kerr

Frances McDormand

Patricia Neal

Maureen O'Hara

Donna Reed

Debbie Reynolds

Norma Shearer

Barbara Stanwyck

Meryl Streep

Emma Thompson

Joanne Woodward

Loretta Young


Well, that in a nutshell is a fairly interesting list. Not many actors from the modern era, but I am guessing that is the way it ought to be.


Edited by Fxreyman

Link to post
Share on other sites

*I always got the impression that Stewart, Cagney, Bogart, and Robinson were basically playing themselves*


It's often easier to dismiss actors like Stewart, Cagney, Bogart and Robinson as playing themselves when, in fact, they were capable of delivering of some incredible performances filled with depth, sometimes played to success against type and often delivered their best work as characters that hit a bit close to home.


The same thing is often said about John Wayne. But one look at *The Searchers*, *Yellow Ribbon* and *Liberty Valance* proves that he was capable of creating characters that were much different than his own persona as well as characters of great depth.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rusty, Brando said that as a young man, and obviously he became too round later on, and died because of it. Maybe we live longer if we're square. Or, rectangular. And look better that way ... I smell an Old Navy commercial in the works.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Matt,


Long time no...hmm, like two ships passing in the night. Slow, slow boats. Tramp steamers. Leaky rust bucket...well, you get the idea.


Break time's over. I must get back to thinking about who put the ram in the rama lama ding dong. I think its the same guy who put the dip in the dip dee dip dee dip. Later.



Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of tremendous talent has been cited. I agree wholeheartedly on the incomparable Tracy, consistently matched by his formidable partner. What little I?ve seen of Alistair Sim has impressed me beyond description. The all too short career of Carol Lombard shows almost unbelievable depth and range. The quiet intensity of Deborah Kerr brings so much to a character, I bet even the authors were surprised.


But James Stewart embodies the best of all those qualities. The personal quirks, the impressive reach, the almost frightening volatility. Any over-playing he may be guilty of is surely excused by his gentle Elwood P. Dowd, his tenacious Paul Biegler, and the frustrated, desperate, yet ultimately devoted George Bailey; learning, and teaching us, so much about what really matters in a life. This actor, more than any other, moves me to laughter, tears, and whatever exists in between.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello. The list of great actors, both of stage and screen is seemingly endless.Some of the greatest actors were never recognized fully for their depth and breadth of talent. I always thought that someone like James Whitmore or Burt Lancaster should have been recognized more for their work than others.A career's worth of acting is in many ways a better tribute to a rare talent.

British actors should be given equal consideration as should those of other nations.But some actors don't lend themselves as readily to the screen as they do to the stage.Olivier was quite electrifying in nearly everything he did, but he was , primarily a great stage thespian. Alec Guinness was a more accessible type of genius, equally at home in films or stage, or even television.If I had to pick the greatest actor of the 20th century, it wouldn't necessarily be an American.regards, B.G.

Link to post
Share on other sites

jenetico wrote:

> have to echo all those who wrote MARLON BRANDO


>For the ones still living, I will name Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Denzel Washington and Al Pacino.


Wonderful actors and have seen mvoies with each I liked very much...


jenetico wrote:

>The Immortal John Wayne


>I have to disagree. Sorry. He made many movies, but a good actor he was not.


Opinions vary...


John Wayne in The Searchers, Red River and Rio Grande, just to name a few, delivers some of the best acting Hollywood has ever produced. There are many more movies, too...


When you say John Wayne was not a good actor, you are right. He was not a good actor. He was a great, great actor who to this day is listed as one of America's favorites when polls are conducted asking who is a person's favorite actor--still, after all these years. I guess you just think the people are stupid, eh?


Please come close and listen:


*The Immortal John Wayne*

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
  • Create New...