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September 18, 2003

Top 10 Best actors living today

— Posted by John Campea

And now, for your reading and debating pleasure, I’d like to present my top 10 list of best actors living today. Fell free to leave your comments to let me know who you didn’t think should be on it, or who you thought I left out. Although this list is a subjective one, I’m always right. :)

Read the List…

#10 – Edward Norton
Hitting the ground running in his first major film Primal Fear, Ed Norton hasn’t stopped. Great performances in Fight Club, The Score and Rounders all pale in comparrision to one of the most powerful performances ever given by an actor in the film American History X.

#9 – Johnny Depp
Even though this guy is probably forever cursed to be known as “That guy from 21 Jump Street”, Depp has rounded into a fantastic actor. His performance in Blow was just amazing, and I always thought it was a crime that he didn’t get nominated for an Oscar for Chocolat.

#8 – Anthony Hopkins
Ok, even if you take away all the Hannibal Lecter stuff, Sir Anthony still has a long enough list of top notch performances to get him into any Acting Hall of Fame (if such a thing existed).

#7 – Jack Nicholson
I’m trying to remember why on earth I don’t have this guy rated higher on the list. As The Joker in Batman he gave us the best comic villain in film history. In As Good As It Gets he took home an Oscar for making rudeness fun again. He gave us “You can’t handle the truth!!!” in A Few Good Men. Terms Of Endearment, The Shining, Hoffa, man the list goes on and on.

#6 – Daniel Day-Lewis
This guy plays a role with power and passion like few ever have. He’s the sole reason why The Gangs Of New York was nominated for anything at all, and In The Name Of The Father totally hinged on his pure talent. This guy does NOT get the credit he deserves, and I predict he’ll get at least 2 more Oscars before his fantastic career (which is still just starting) is done.

#5 – Russell Crowe
Love him or hate him, you have to bend your knee and acknowledge that this guy has more pure talent in one finger than many other Oscar winners have in their entire bodies. I first had to sit up and take notice of him in The Insider, a film in which he completely out performed Al Pachino (not an easy task). Almost everything he’s been in since has been worthy of Oscars. Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind are wonderful, but many people forget the job he did in films like Mystery Alaska and L.A. Confidential. Like it or not, he’s going to be around for a long time to come.

#4 – Kevin Spacey
Spacey is the kind of actor thats good enough to almost make you think a bad film is actually good just because of his performance in it (films like The Life Of David Gale, Pay It Forward and K-Pax). His role in The Usual Suspects will always be on my top ten of all time. Oh yeah, and he was in that little film American Beauty too that bagged him his second Oscar.

#3 – Brad Pitt
This guy’s worst enemy is his own good looks. A lot of people just can’t seem to see past the “hunk” exterior enough to realize he is one of the finest actors on the planet today. I myself didn’t realize this until I saw 12 Monkeys for the first time. WOW! I also thought it was outrageous that he didn’t get an Oscar nomination for his role in Snatch. Se7en, Legends Of The Fall, A River Runs Through It, Interview With A Vampire, Seven Years In Tibet, Meet Joe Black, Fight Club… he’s just plain good in everything he’s in. Very rare.

#2 – Tom Hanks
This man already has 2 Oscars, a couple of other nominations, the AFI Lifetime award and yet I still get the feeling we have yet to see the best of Tom Hanks. Breaking out of the “Comic Actor” stereotype that Jim Carrey can’t budge from, Tom is almost universally acknowledged as the finest actor in the industry today (except on this list). He is the man, and if you don’t think so, you’re dumb.

#1 – Robin Williams
Ok, I know this one caught you by surprise. Many people think of comedy when they see Robin Williams, and that’s fair. But we often forget that this man has more pure range and as actor than I think I’ve ever seen. He can be wild and wacky (Death to Smoochy, The Bird Cage, Mrs. Doubtfire) but he can turn it on and floor you in a dramatic role too (Good Morning Vietnam, Good Will Hunting which he won an Oscar for, Dead Poets Society) and he can freaky you out as a villain (One Hour Photo or the much underrated Insomnia). There is literally nothing that this man can’t do as an actor. He’s been nominated for Oscars 3 times, winning once. And with all due respect to Mike Myers or Jim Carrey, he is still hands down the funniest man in Hollywood.

So there you have it. That’s my list of the top 10 actors living today. What do you think? Is there anyone I left off that should have been on it?

Honorable Mention goes to:
Mel Gibson
Denzel Washington
Peter O’Tool
Ben Kingsley

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76 thoughts on “Top 10 Best actors living today

  1. I agree with alot of the actors that are listed here , but I was wondering why no one has mentioned Christian Bale … He is definately someone to look out for in the future . Batman is basically his biggest movie to date , but he has some amazing acting skills . He is still young , but I am sure he will be worthy watching out for in the future . Anyone who has seen American Psycho will agree with me … ???

  2. What an impossible task you’ve given yourself here John. It is possibly the most difficult task to attempt. Naming the top ten actors. For one thing living or dead. That would help immensely. Also is it only on screen?

    T.V. or movies or both? Being a movie blog site I would assume you mean only in films. Its not like sports where you can look at stats and say well this guy is better than that guy. Do we consider the bankability of the actor? Do you look at how many great roles the actor has done or the greatness of the roles the character has done. Take Dicaprio, I would say he was absolutely amazing in Gilbert Grape and as Howard Hughes and good in a few others but an actor like Jack Nicholson who continuously gives great performances but is also a bit of a caricature of himself now. Also shall we consider how many times the actor has reinvented himself or even herself for the screen? Has Kurt Russell ever played the same type of character? Then again Harrison Ford brought some of the best characters alive for the screen and possibly saved some films that could have been lame b-movies and made them the legendary movies the world loves.

    An impossible undertaking and good luck with it.

  3. Denzel Washington???????….where is he, pretty good list though, but you have left out the inspirational man Denzel….and others already mentioned like Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro

  4. just had 15 rounds w/ my bro over who’s better pitt or cruise. happy to see cruise wasn’t on your list where he definatly doesn’t belong. although he’ll have a good point if he notices deniro isn’t either (big blunder). the argument started when i mentioned “range” where i believe it’s not even close. his favorite movies r born on the 4th & magnolias, great fliks but pitt stretches himself in everything he does. agree anyone?

  5. I believe that the sexiest actor alive today is Heath Ledger. He is the best Aussie actor i’ve seen in a long, long time. Keep it up Heath.

    luv Courtney.

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