Top Movie Stars of all time

Star_Walk.jpgYou know top lists are about debate, there’s not a closure on them, and none of them are right and yet all of them are. Your list is right for you, mine for me, the Movie Blog’s for everyone. The fun is in debating and remembering some of those great performances you’ve seen and been touched by. So here’s another Top List, the Top 50 Movie Stars of all time.

Film Fodderare carrying the story from Premiere Magazine who, I think, have done a superb job of gathering an excellent list. See if you agree. Terry points out a few things for those statisticians amongst you…

Of the 50, 20 are currently or recently working. Of the top 20, only 5 are still making films; of the top 15, only one is still making films.

Remember too that this list is about Movie Stardom, although for me that goes hand in hand with performance. Still I think they’ve got a really good list, although I would quibble on a few points.

  • Steve McQueen should be higher
  • Al Pacino is after Sean Connery?
  • Denzil Washington should be higher
  • Peter Sellars should be higher
  • Meryl Streep should be higher
  • Wil Smith shouldn’t be so high
  • …and controversy beyond belief – Russel Crowe before Brad Pitt?

Not so sure. Go and have a look at the list and come back to discuss. Do they have the top five right? How many of your top five match, and what are your top five?

15 thoughts on “Top Movie Stars of all time

  1. I defiantly think that Tom Cruise deserve to be in top 10. I have seen all his films and I only didn’t like Cocktail. He chooses the right script, plays different character and delivers every time. I don’t know about you but that is what I want from an actor to entertain me and he does that every time!!! He is very likeable too and I DO NOT care about his religion and private life as long as I get my $10 worth out of his films. I agree there are some actors missing from the list and I don’t think Will smith and Brad pitt deserve a place in the list. May be Will Smith because he has a audience pulling power and makes a blockbuster.

  2. I have to go along with David’s opinion about James Dean. He actually only made 3 crappy movies and he became an icon. His ‘acting’ consisted of appearing permanently constipated….if he wouldn’t have killed himself when he did the movie world would quickly have forgotten about him. Tom Cruise?? Oh well, everyone to their own taste.

  3. As Richard pointed out this list is about stardom not great actors.

    If that is the case why is James Dean on this list he made only 7 films, one made for TV and the first three of them he was an uncredited extra. He may have been a great star for 2 years. But of all time?

    Jane Fonda and Nicole Kidman? If they had kept all their clothes on in their early films no one would have ever paid any attention to them. Both Jane and Nicole belong on the eye candy list, not top stars list.

    I agree with most of the rest of the contents of the list. Just not the order. Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts should both be in the 20s or 30s. No way they belong in the top 10.

    Top of my list would be:

    John Wayne

    Jimmy Stewart

    Katharine Hepburn

    Cary Grant

    Humphrey Bogart

    James Cagney

    Marilyn Monroe

    Harrison Ford

    Sean Connery

    Ingrid Bergman

    Notable exclusions that should be on the list:

    Olivia deHavallind

    Elvis Presley (it’s about stardom remember, not acting ability)

    Mel Gibson

    Basil Rathbone

    Morgan Freeman

    Gene Kelly

    Lionel Barrymore

    Douglas Fairbanks

    Maureen O’Hara

    Claudette Colbert

  4. The thing a lot of people are forgetting is that it’s about Stardom, not about great actors. So in my eyes Cary Grant is a huge star, as is Tom Cruise. He’s bankable, gets huge space on the posters and trailers, commands the movies, commands respect in Hollywood, has that air of stardom about him. So I’m not so sure it’s far off the mark.

    Morgan Freeman, for example, shuns most of the trappings of movie stardom, but he’s still quite a name and has that air.

    Another list would look at how good an actor is, this doesn’t. That’s what I reckon the list is more about. Still not perfect, but not as off as many of the others.

  5. I for one think Cruise deserves to be in the top 3. I don’t understand the backlash against his professional resume just because he’s acting all certifiable lately. Risky Business, Born of the Fourth of July, Collateral… come on, guys!

    And doesn’t Julia Roberts (No 7) count as someone who’s still making movies? Or not ’cause she said she was retiring… She was in two movies last year, and has two coming out next year.

    Other thoughts:

    Henry Fonda should be No 1 or 2… Marilyn Monroe (No 2) should switch with Elizabeth Taylor (No freaking 40!??)… Jack Nicholson should be higher… Tom Hanks should be way higher… Steve McQueen should be way, way higher… Denzel should be higher… Eastwood should be in the top 20… Meryl Streep should be higher… Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt shouldn’t be on the list

    And where are: Sigourney Weaver, Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, Natalie Wood, William Holden, Montgomery Clift, Diane Keaton, Faye Dunaway, Michelle Pfieffer, Mel Gibson, Barbara Stanwyck… they’re all way more awesome than some of the jokers on this list…

  6. The reason Cruise is so high is that he is the biggest contemporary movie star. He’s the guy who every studio wants(at least before the Scientology crap).

  7. Such lists are obviously contentious, but any top ten that doesn’t have either Pacino, De Niro, Spacey or Hopkins in it, should be treated with contempt. As for Tom Cruise at no. 3!! Even the man himself would be embarassassed by that, assuming he still inhabits planet Earth that is.

  8. Harrison Ford is #35? After Warren Beatty?


    He’s in 6 of the Top Ten grossing films of all time (or at some point he was.)

    What a load of crap. I stopped reading the list once I found his position. If it was TOP 50 ACTORS, I would not complain. But this TOP 50 STARS. He is probably in the top 3 stars of the last 25 years easy.


  9. Tom Cruise definitely deserves to be in the top 50, but top 5? Come on. Probably not even top 10.

    Also, i would probably bump Robert Redford back a few spots. ANd as much as i “like” to watch him in films, Will Smith should not be on there. (I mean William Shatner is a hoot in some movies, and im a big fan, but he couldnt get in this list with a fake ID.) And i never thought of Shirley Temple as such a long lasting “star”, but i am after her time, so who knows…

    Overall, the list is good, but in my opinion i think missing a few names. First and foremost is Morgan Feeman. And what about Edward Norton? And i have a soft spot for Samuel L. Jackson.

    In general, a good list. Mine would be weighted a little towards more recent actors since i have yet to reach 30.

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