There are plenty of great actors to choose from when thinking about the greatest actors of all time. This list is compiled of some of the greatest actors based off of awards and nominations from prestigious ceremonies like the Oscars and the Golden Globes. The actors listed are in no specific order.


Jack Nicholson


Arguably the best actor to ever live is Jack Nicholson. Born in 1937 Nicholson premiered in his first film in 1958. After his first film, Nicholson went on to co-write several other movies in the 1960s before getting his big break in 1969 in the movie Easy Rider. Easy Rider gave Nicholson his first Oscar nomination which then launched him into stardom in the 1970s. From there on, Nicholson earned himself two more Oscars for best actor and solidified himself in acting history for his performances.


Robert De Niro


Born in 1943 in Manhattan, New York, Robert De Niro started being noticed for his acting in the 1970s. De Niro received multiple Academy Awards for his roles in The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, The Deer Hunter, and Cape Fear. De Niro studied acting at the Stella Adler Conservatory and the American Workshop. De Niro continues to work with filmmakers today to create brilliantly talented movies to the big screen.


Daniel Day-Lewis


Born in London, England, Daniel Day-Lewis is known to be extremely selective in the roles that he accepts for films. Day-Lewis was born in 1957 and made his film debut in 1971 with Sunday, Bloody Sunday and did not appear back on the big screen until 1982. Daniel Day-Lewis is notable for both of his acting on the big screen and stage acting in performances like Shakespeare. Daniel Day-Lewis’ highlight performance was in My Left Foot, where he portrayed Christy Brown, a painter, and writer with cerebral palsy who could only write with one of his feet. The role as Christy Brown won him several awards and nominations.   


Tom Hanks


Tom Hanks was born in Concord California and is a household name in classic movies. Hanks had no previous acting experience when he first sought out acting. He was cast in the 1984 film Splash and after that gained more experience film acting. Later in the 80s, Hanks acted in the movies Dragnet and Big which put him on the map for top Hollywood film actors. The 1990s is when Tom Hanks saw his career take off. Hanks landed the part of Forrest Gump. Hanks became one of two actors in the world to receive Oscars for best actor two years in a row.