From the silver screen to Blu-ray, watching movies has been one of America’s favorite pass-time for almost 100 years. When technology couldn’t keep up with good writing, what made older films believable heavily weighed on the believability of the actors and actresses. Under great direction, these men and women helped shape some of the greatest stories ever told. Let’s take a look at the top ten actors in history.
10. Alec Guinness — Here is a name you don’t see very often. Most reading this won’t even know who this is, but this actor was given the opportunity to help build a culture that would be followed for generations. As Ben Kanobi in “Star Wars,” Guinness successfully turned a script into an obsession for many.
9. Gregory Peck — Born in 1916, this man won an academy award for perfectly portraying a man who would challenge the way of the world. Peck, known for his role as Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” was seen as an icon of great character, morals and courage for viewers then and now.
8. Michael Caine — Although famous for his role as Alfred in the “Batman” series, Michael Caine’s greatest performances can be seen in “Educated Rita,” “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “The Cider House Rules.” Caine can pretty much make an audience cry at the drop of a hat with his shaky voice, enthusiasm and dramatic presence in front of a camera.
7. Morgan Freeman — Geez, this guy. We all knew it was coming. As we all know, Freeman could read the phonebook and draw us in. What makes Freeman a good actor isn’t just his voice, but the variety of roles he has played. From providing a dominating presence, to standing on the sidelines, Freeman always brings his best.
6. Paul Newman — Aside from salad dressings, Newman has starred in dozens of films from the 40’s and 50’s. The sheer amount of films Newman participated in set this man apart from the armatures.
5. Marlon Brando — Brando destroyed The Godfather. No one will argue with that. Brando introduced a new level of intimidation and power when he used his stout body and hushed voice to the screen.
4. Daniel Day-Lewis — Never will you ever find a more dedicated actor in the industry. Day-Lewis is known for being an “always-on” actor. When filming his role as Abraham Lincoln, Day-Lewis never stopped acting like Lincoln, even after the cameras turned off.
3. Jack Nicholson — I’m a little afraid of Jack Nicholson. He was the original Johnny Depp. By taking on unconventional roles like the Joker and Jack in “The Shining,” it’s hard to know if Nicholson is actually insane or not. Either way, the man is a legend.
2. Robin Williams — Many might disagree, but Williams was the only actor who has made an impact on the globe as large as he did. When Williams died, it was because of his friendly, relatable characters that we all felt like we had just lost a member of our family.
1. James Stewart — Stewart reigns supreme simply because of his work in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I firmly believe that families have stayed together because of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Even if you aren’t a fan of the black-and-white mushy story, there is a level of respect all living things have for this champ.