In providing such a list with such a popular title like 'greatest Hollywood actors of all time' one always runs the risk of crushing under loads of criticism from all corners, especially as it concerns one of the most iconic genres of popular culture, Hollywood movies. Direction, cinematography, musical score or other technical areas of proficiency remain in the backstage while actors and actresses with their charismatic appearances become the embodiment of our passions and expectations. Hollywood actors from its present avatar to the golden age of sixties to the thirties have presented so many cult figures in every genre of films and knowing that selecting the greatest from these arching figures over the history of the film is a stupendous task, we tried to be as inclusive as possible. But in spite of all our considerations this list of Top Hollywood film actors of all time is bound to lift many eye brows.
He is one personality in the whole Hollywood who is simultaneously one of the directors of rarest brilliance in world cinema and one of the greatest directors of all time. With the likes of world famous hits like A fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and Good, Bad and the Ugly he with his prodigious acting almost single handedly established a genre called Spaghetti Westerns in Hollywood cinema
Robert De Niro
This versatile actor gave life to many cult characterizations in Hollywood films with his typical method acting for which he never hesitated to use any extreme tactic to come out with the best performance in the portrayal of the characters. Just imagine his enigmatic role in Taxi Driver or his superb acting maneuver in the leading role of Raging Bull that earned him best actor Oscar or just visualize his mesmerizing role as the young Vito Corleone in Godfather Part II that gave him first Academy award as an actor for his supporting role.
If you want to choose from the star studded Hollywood acting scene a few actors who produced some sublimely powerful characters with their compelling performance this enigmatic is definitely to be one of them. With close to dozens of sensational box office hits and critically acclaimed roles in some of the greatest movies of our time he is simply irreplaceable. He has been nominated number of times for Academy award as best actor but won once for his role in Million Dollar Baby in 2005. Some of the greatest films that goes to his credit for crucial acting performances include Shawshank Redemption, Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, Invictus, Unforgiven, Sum of All Fears, Glory, Dark Night Trilogy, Red and many more.
Hollywood Actor Dustin Hoffman
Actor Dustin Hoffman like many others great actors in the world cinema started his career in theatre that even gave him world recognition before he made his appearance in the film. In his long and star spangled acting career he received volumes of rewards and recognitions for his acting performances that made him a cult hero for generations. Hoffman apart from several Golden Globe awards, BFTA awards and other awards of international recognition was awarded twice with Academy award for best actor for his enigmatic performance in Kramer vs. Kramer and Rain Man. Some of his most brilliance performances in the Hollywood films include films like Marathon Man, Midnight Cowboy, Little Big Man, Lenny, All the President's Man, Tootsie and the two films that earned him Oscar besides several others.
No list of greatest actors in the world cinema can be completed without the mention of this legendary actor just as like introduction to the best Hollywood actors of all time. He is one of the few living legends in the art of acting who produced such wide range of cult characters in almost all genres of contemporary cinema. His iconoclastic role with his portrayal of the sadist psycho serial character of Hannibal Lecter in the Silence of the Lambs is considered to be an asset for the world film. Just consider his another legendary performance in The Mask of Zoro or films like The Elephant Man, Legends of the Fall, Lion in Winter, Magic, Nixon, Magic, The Remains of the Day and many more that only exemplifies his mesmerizing acting that took audience under the spell for so long time.
This acting genius and cult figure of Hollywood is one of the chosen three persons from the world of acting besides Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe to be named as one of the 100 persons of the century selected by Time magazine. As great director Martin Scorsese rightly put it in his comment that Hollywood film is so much influenced by his presence that we can as well say putting his marking enigma in the middle, there's two age of Hollywood acting, before Brando and after Brando. This cultural icon and legendary actor who gifted world cinema some of the greatest heroic roles of all time Though he has been awarded Oscar for best actor for his cult performance only once in his lifetime for his role as Charismatic Mafia Don Vito Corleone in Godfather, his cult acting made many all time great movies of world cinema like A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata, On the Waterfront, Apocalypse Now and many more.
Hollywood Actor Charles Chaplin is the virtually the only prolific genius in the world film who can rightly be regarded as most versatile, so much so that his contribution in the world cinema and culture can be attributed to his fluid roles as an actor, director and composer for his silent films of extraordinary brilliance. He is the greatest film prodigy of the silent era and he directed and played lead characters in films that have influenced world cinema and culture to the ultimate extent. Silent era gone and now even in the age of most advanced film technology his films still enjoy great appreciation in popularity and critical viewership for their brilliant comedy, ironic gesture to crucial social and political themes and artistic exposure of modern man with the superb all round acting of Chaplin. City Lights, Great Dictator, Modern Times, Gold Rush, The Circus, only to name a few of all his masterpieces that comes to mind. Chaplin as an actor have been awarded twice as the best actor for Academy award besides several other awards and Oscars for other achievement in film.
Name one actor in the Hollywood film for his quintessential Mobster role; it is Al Pacino, the most prolific actor in the mobster roles that spans from Michael Corleone in Godfather trilogy to his emphatic role as Tony Montana in Scarface. He has been nominated several times as best actor for Academy award until he won it in 1992 with his role as Frank Slade in 1992 drama feature Scent of a woman.
Gregory Peck is not just one of the greatest Hollywood actors of all time, but as almost all reviews consider him including that of American Film Institute he is the greatest movie stars of all time in the world cinema considering his great influential role as the heroic actor for two long decades, from 1940 to 1960. He had been nominated five times for Academy award as best actor and won once for his role in 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird. He is the cult Hollywood actor with astounding popularity and success all through his career with dozens of great films like The Keys of the Kingdom, Spellbound, Yearling, Duel in The Sun, Gentleman's Agreement, Twelve O'clock High, The Gunfighter, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Roman Holiday, Mackenna's Gold, Guns of Navarone, Cape Fear, How the west was Won and many more.
Russell Crowe's prolific acting in the historical epic role in one of the greatest successful and critically acclaimed film of all time Gladiator made him to prominence in the world film for the first time. During his career Russell Crowe produced great many brilliant show of acting that showcased him as one of the greatest Hollywood actors for ever. Apart from several nominations he won the Oscar as best actor for his role in epic film Gladiator in the year 2000. Several other honours and accolades are attributed to him for his great acting performance in several films of worldwide acclamation and box office success like A Beautiful Mind, L.A. Confidential, Robin Hood and many others.
Jack Nicholson made his place as one of the greatest Hollywood actors of all time is very special with highest number of Oscar nominations for best actor that amounts to 12 nominations in total. Name one legendary living actor in the Hollywood who is a specialist in the portrayal of dark and neurotic character you are likely to stumble upon this name, yes, Jack Nicholson is quint essentially an actor who can portray such complex characters with most natural flair and style. He has been awarded Oscar for best actor twice besides huge number of nominations. With dozens of accolades and awards for his wide variety of acting performances that spans more than four decades he is undoubtedly the few all time legends that Hollywood ever produced. Some of the greatest character portrayal of Jack Nicholson can be found in the films like Chinatown, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Batman, A Few Good Men, About Schmidt, The Departed and many more.
Can anybody think of Hollywood film without spy thrillers featuring James Bond? With Sean Connery in the middle as most prolific actor in the James Bond role Hollywood produced many blockbusters that mesmerized the audience for so long. He has acted in the James Bond role in seven films from 1962 to 1983 and is considered as the greatest actor in the role. Connery received Academy award for his role in The Untouchables. Great many films of outstanding merit go to his credit like Dr No, From Russia with Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You only Live Twice, Diamonds are Forever, Never Say Never Again, Outland, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade and many more.
Can anybody name an actor who has produced most inspirational characters of huge influence in our time? The answer may include many names, but nobody would miss Tom Hanks to feature with bold letters. Just imagine his role as the enigmatically innocent, naïve and at once profoundly spirited Forest Gump in the movie of the same name or take his inspiring solo role in the deserted island in Cast Away, you never faced an actor who can create such awe inspiring deep penetrating characters. Apart from several other awards and Oscar nominations for number of times he has been awarded Academy award for best actor for his role in Philadelphia. Great many films of outstanding merit are attributed to his credit like Forest Gump, Cast Away, Philadelphia, The Green Mile, You've Got Mail, The Vinci Code and many more.
Nicholas Cage seems to be a surprise entry in our list of greatest Hollywood actors of all time in consideration to so many great names that he overtakes to have a place in this list. But, simply by the volumes of the number of roles that can be attributed to this prolific actor his name is decided among the formidable ones. He has been awarded the Academy award for best actor in 1995 for his sensational role in Leaving Las Vegas. Some of the most notable films to his credit among the 60 plus films that he appeared in include Raising Arizona, The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds, Ghost Rider and many more.
You are really shocked in seeing how inconsiderate I am in not including so many prolific acting geniuses and legends of your favorite films and your most cherished heroic roles in this list of greatest Hollywood actors of all time, isn't it? But believe me, in excluding such stalwarts like Carry Grant or Tom Cruise or Leonardo DiCaprio we really had to endure enough pain on our conscience! At the end of the day a selection has to take sides sometimes against the selectors own will and nonetheless the risk of being criticized always runs amok.