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America's 50 favorite actors of all time

  • America's 50 favorite actors of all time

    Audiences know them from long-running TV series, big-time movie openings, and indelible stage performances. They’ve made viewers laugh, cry, and jump from their seats in fright. The best actors in the world have the power to move audiences in ways that few others can—which is why making a list of the absolute best is never an easy task.

    Any list of the best needs to be backed up by numbers. So in order to compile a set of America’s 50 favorite actors of all time, Stacker analyzed data from YouGov, with polling conducted between November 2017 and October 2018. First, they measured the level of online activity related to a set of actors to determine which 50 should be included in a survey, with responses weighted to be nationally representative. Then, they ranked those 50 actors from low to high by a percentage of survey respondents with a positive opinion of said actors. Ties were broken by the actor with a lower percentage of negative opinion responses and a higher percentage of “have heard of” responses.

    The result is a list of thespians, including Oscar winners, box office juggernauts, and some of the “sexiest men alive.”

  • #50. Brad Pitt

    Positive opinion: 64%
    Negative opinion: 11%
    Neutral opinion: 22%
    Have heard of: 97%

    Hollywood heartthrob Brad Pitt has built a name for himself among audiences worldwide. Outside of his starring roles in "Ocean’s 11” and "Fight Club,” as well as his tabloid-heavy relationships with Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie, fans might be surprised to learn that Pitt is also a big-time movie producer. His Plan B production company spearheaded giant blockbuster hits such as "World War Z,” "Moneyball,” and "Eat, Pray, Love,” and has won best picture Oscars for "Moonlight” and "12 Years a Slave.”

  • #49. Sylvester Stallone

    Positive opinion: 64%
    Negative opinion: 9%
    Neutral opinion: 23%
    Have heard of: 96%

    Sylvester Stallone is one of the biggest action stars in Hollywood history. With blockbuster hits like "Rocky,” "First Blood,” "Demolition Man,” and "The Expendables,” Stallone has become a household name. But Stallone isn’t just a muscular celebrity. In addition to his explosive roles, he's also written more than two dozen of his movies and been nominated for three Academy Awards (including Best Writing for "Rocky”).

  • #48. Danny Glover

    Positive opinion: 64%
    Negative opinion: 8%
    Neutral opinion: 17%
    Have heard of: 89%

    Danny Glover started acting in 1979, but international fame didn’t come until he starred opposite Mel Gibson in the blockbuster "Lethal Weapon” movies. Glover has continued working over the past four decades and has amassed nearly 200 actor credits over the course of his career. Outside of Hollywood, Glover is a political activist who lends his celebrity to causes regarding civil rights.

  • #47. John Ritter

    Positive opinion: 64%
    Negative opinion: 3%
    Neutral opinion: 16%
    Have heard of: 84%

    John Ritter had an illustrious TV and film career that spanned more than 30 years before his death in 2003. He was most well-known for his laugh-out-loud role on the hit TV series "Three’s Company,” but he also starred in films such as "Stay Tuned” and "Sling Blade.” Ritter is the son of the singing cowboy Tex Ritter; both father and son have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame right next to one another.

  • #46. Christopher Walken

    Positive opinion: 65%
    Negative opinion: 5%
    Neutral opinion: 17%
    Have heard of: 86%

    Although he’s primarily known as a very serious actor (he won an Oscar for best supporting actor in "The Deer Hunter”), it’s Christopher’s Walken’s lighter side that has made him a fan favorite across generations. Whether it was his classic "More Cowbell” sketch on "Saturday Night Live” or his unforgettable segment in "Pulp Fiction,” Walken has proven time and time again to be one of the most versatile performers in the world.  

  • #45. Hugh Jackman

    Positive opinion: 65%
    Negative opinion: 3%
    Neutral opinion: 19%
    Have heard of: 87%

    Australian actor Hugh Jackman burst into international stardom with his starring role as Wolverine in the blockbusting "X-Men” franchise. Since his ferocious performance, Jackman has gone on to star in comedies such as "Eddie the Eagle,” musicals like "The Greatest Showman,” and dramas such as "The Front Runner.” Jackman is also a frequent performer on Broadway in productions such as "A Steady Rain,” "The River,” and his self-titled, "Hugh Jackman: Back on Broadway.”

  • #44. Matt Damon

    Positive opinion: 65%
    Negative opinion: 11%
    Neutral opinion: 19%
    Have heard of: 95%

    Matt Damon is one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood, as he has moved between between action, comedy, and drama roles. Damon has been nominated for an Oscar five times and won the Best Writing award for "Good Will Hunting.” Some of his most popular movies include "Rounders,” "The Bourne Identity” franchise, "The Departed,” and "The Martian.” In total, his films have grossed nearly $7 billion at the box office.

  • #43. Tom Selleck

    Positive opinion: 65%
    Negative opinion: 6%
    Neutral opinion: 20%
    Have heard of: 90%

    Esquire gave Tom Selleck the honor of one of the most famous mustaches in the world, but Selleck is just as well-known for his long TV and film career. He started acting in the late 1960s, but his breakout role was in the classic 1980s TV show "Magnum, P.I.” Since then, Selleck has gone on to star in movies like "3 Men and a Baby,” "In & Out,” and the "Jesse Stone” TV movie franchise, as well as TV hits such as "Las Vegas” and "Blue Bloods.” He has earned multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his work, and won each award once for "Magnum, P.I.”.

  • #42. Nicolas Cage

    Positive opinion: 65%
    Negative opinion: 10%
    Neutral opinion: 22%
    Have heard of: 96%

    Nicolas Cage has one of the most prolific careers, starring in more than 90 movies since the early 1980s. One of his most famous roles is for his award-winning turn in "Leaving Las Vegas,” for which he garnered an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Actor. Casual fans of the quirky star might be surprised to learn that Cage is actually the nephew of famed director Francis Ford Coppola, which also makes him cousins to fellow celebs Sofia Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Roman Coppola.

  • #41. Tim Allen

    Positive opinion: 65%
    Negative opinion: 12%
    Neutral opinion: 18%
    Have heard of: 95%

    Before comedian Tim Allen got his breakout role as Tim Taylor on the hit show, "Home Improvement,” he had a little bit of legal trouble. Back in 1978, Allen was arrested for selling cocaine and spent nearly three years in prison. Fortunately for him, he found the stand-up comedy stage. That led to "Home Improvement,” in addition to a number of movie roles like "Toy Story 2,” "Galaxy Quest,” and the hit TV show "Last Man Standing.”

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