The Most Famous Actor to Have Ever Lived: Exploring Hollywood's Legendary Figures

Choose the actor you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 16, 2024 07:00
Step right up and make your voice heard in the ultimate showdown of cinematic legends! Here at StrawPoll, we're on a quest to crown the most famous actor to have ever graced the silver screen, and we need your vote to settle the debate once and for all. From Hollywood's Golden Age to the contemporary era of blockbusters, our star-studded lineup features the biggest names in the industry, but the power to decide who takes the top spot lies with you! So, grab some popcorn, put on your critics' hat, and join thousands of other movie buffs as you vote for your favorite icon or even suggest a missing maestro who deserves a place in this prestigious ranking. Ready, set, action!

Who Is the Most Famous Actor to Have Ever Lived?

  1. 1
    Widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time, Marlon Brando's performances in movies like The Godfather and A Streetcar Named Desire have cemented his place in cinematic history.
    Marlon Brando in other rankings
  2. 2
    Charlie Chaplin
    Strauss-Peyton Studio · Public domain
    Known for his iconic character "The Tramp," Charlie Chaplin's contributions to the film industry as both an actor and director have solidified his status as a legend.
    Charlie Chaplin in other rankings
  3. 3
    With his iconic voice and tough-guy persona, Humphrey Bogart was a dominant force in Hollywood during the 1940s and 1950s. His performances in films like Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon have become cinematic classics.
  4. 4
    One of the most iconic actresses of all time, Marilyn Monroe's beauty, talent, and tragic life have made her a cultural icon. Her performances in films like Some Like It Hot and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes continue to captivate audiences today.
    Marilyn Monroe in other rankings
  5. 5
    James Dean
    Trailer screenshot · Public domain
    Though his career was brief, James Dean's performances in films like Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden have made him a cultural icon. His tragic death at a young age only added to his legend.
    James Dean in other rankings
  6. 6
    Known for her grace, elegance, and timeless beauty, Audrey Hepburn was a beloved actress and humanitarian. Her performances in films like Breakfast at Tiffany's and Roman Holiday have made her an enduring cinematic icon.
    Audrey Hepburn in other rankings
  7. 7

    Al Pacino

    Al Pacino
    With his intense performances in films like The Godfather and Scarface, Al Pacino has become one of the most respected actors of his generation.
    Al Pacino is a highly successful American actor known for his powerful and intense performances. He has been active in the entertainment industry for over five decades and is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in cinema history.
    • Age: 81
    • Birthdate: April 25, 1940
    • Nationality: American
    • Academy Awards: 1 (Best Actor - 'Scent of a Woman')
    • Golden Globe Awards: 4
    Al Pacino in other rankings
  8. 8

    Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep herself
    Widely regarded as one of the greatest actresses of all time, Meryl Streep has won three Academy Awards and been nominated for a staggering 21. Her versatility and talent have made her a beloved figure in Hollywood.
    Meryl Streep is considered one of the most successful and highly acclaimed actors in the film industry. With a career spanning over four decades, she has garnered numerous awards and accolades for her exceptional talent and versatility. Streep is known for her ability to immerse herself in a wide range of complex characters, bringing them to life with remarkable depth and authenticity.
    • Number of Academy Award nominations: 21
    • Number of Academy Award wins: 3
    • Number of Golden Globe nominations: 32
    • Number of Golden Globe wins: 8
    • Number of Primetime Emmy Award nominations: 4
    Meryl Streep in other rankings
  9. 9
    Robert De Niro
    Georges Biard · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro
    With his powerful performances in films like Raging Bull and The Godfather: Part II, Robert De Niro has become one of the most respected actors of his generation.
    Robert De Niro is an American actor, producer, and director. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest actors of all time, known for his intense performances and ability to fully immerse himself in his roles.
    • Date of Birth: August 17, 1943
    • Place of Birth: New York City, New York, United States
    • Nationality: American
    • Height: 5 feet 9.5 inches (1.77 meters)
    • Film Debut: Greetings (1968)
    Robert De Niro in other rankings
  10. 10
    Tom Hanks
    U.S. Department of State · Public domain
    With his impressive range and likable persona, Tom Hanks has become one of the most beloved actors of his generation. From Forrest Gump to Saving Private Ryan, his performances have captivated audiences for decades.
    The 'Tom Hanks' voice is a popular voice used in various media applications, known for its warm and friendly tone. It is named after the renowned American actor Tom Hanks, whose voice is widely recognized and admired.
    • Clarity: Clear and articulate
    • Tone: Warm and friendly
    • Emotional range: Versatile, capable of conveying a wide range of emotions
    • Naturalness: Smooth and natural sounding
    • Soothing: Creates a sense of calmness and comfort
    Tom Hanks in other rankings

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Ranking factors for famous actor

  1. Box office success
    How many blockbuster movies has the actor appeared in? How much money have those movies made at the box office?
  2. Critical acclaim
    Has the actor won any major acting awards like an Academy Award or a Golden Globe? Have they consistently received positive reviews from film critics?
  3. Legacy
    Has the actor had a lasting impact on the film industry? Have they influenced other actors, filmmakers, or film audiences?
  4. Popularity
    How recognizable is the actor's face or name? Are they widely known and adored by fans around the world?
  5. Versatility
    Has the actor demonstrated a wide range of acting ability by successfully playing a variety of roles and genres?
  6. Longevity
    How long has the actor's career spanned? Have they made significant contributions to the film industry over a long period of time?
  7. Cultural impact
    Has the actor represented or influenced a particular culture or society through their work in film?

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous actor to have ever lived. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or actor is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 141 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each actor once every 24 hours. The rank of each actor is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous actor to have ever lived

Background Information: Acting has been a popular form of entertainment for centuries, and the film industry has produced some of the most iconic and memorable actors of all time. From the early days of silent films to the modern era of blockbusters, there have been countless actors who have captured the hearts of audiences around the world. But who is the most famous actor to have ever lived? This is a question that has been debated by film enthusiasts and critics alike for years, and there is no definitive answer. Some might argue that it is Marlon Brando, widely considered one of the greatest actors of all time, while others might argue for more contemporary stars like Tom Hanks or Leonardo DiCaprio. Ultimately, the answer to this question is subjective, as fame and popularity are constantly shifting and evolving. However, one thing is certain: the world of cinema has produced countless talented and unforgettable actors who will continue to captivate audiences for generations to come.

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