Who are the best American actors currently acting ? See our list of those who are killing it in Hollywood right now.
We managed to create a list of the best American actors in Hollywood, however – selecting them was no easy task, what with there being so many legends of the big screen to choose from.
So how did we do it?
Firstly, we chose not to rely solely on the number of awards and nominations an actor has received, although that was a consideration. It is possible for an actor to star in only one good film in their entire career and go on to receive a number of awards for it and so we didn’t feel that this alone was fair selection criteria or even an indicator of their true capabilities. Instead, we considered versatility, longevity in the industry and their ability to accurately portray the characters that were intended for them.
10. Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, now 75, is a legend. Not only in Hollywood but also across the globe. Born in New York, De Niro’s catalogue of movies stretches a mile long. Best known for starring in a variety of gangster movies, he’s known for his roles in Heat, Goodfellas and Casino which are all firm favorites amongst his fans.
But De Niro isn’t just excellent being cast as a mobster. He’s proven his worth as an outstanding actor in a variety of roles including in Dirty Grandpa where he showed us his funny side. It’s clear that wherever Robert De Niro is cast, be it drama, thriller or even comedy – the film is all the better for him for being in it, making one of the best American actors in Hollywood.
Since Robert De Niro has been acting, he’s starred in 107 movies for which he received 55 awards out of 97 nominations for. His major awards are two Academy Awards (one for best supporting actor in the (1975) movie The Godfather Part 2 and the other for best actor in the (1981) movie Raging Bull). Others include one Golden Globe Award and also one AACTA Award. See the full list of nominations and awards on Wikipedia
9. Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson, aged 81 and born in New Jersey is the oldest actor in our group of best American actors. Nicholson certainly has the ability to scale from one end to the other another, demonstrated by his diverse catalogue (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Departed to name a couple). Nicholson is best known for his role in the unforgettable horror The Shining and for portraying the joker in DC movie Batman.
In every movie that Nicholson is casted in, his character is somewhat unpredictable and complex. You really can’t be sure what you’re going to get with Nicholson – his ability to surprise his audience and to adapt to such challenging and unusual characters is what makes Nicholson such a pleasure to watch. Not to mention that he plays likeable roles, giving him an easy spot on our list of the best American actors in Hollywood.
Since Nicholson has been in acting, he’s starred in 56 movies for which he has received 87 awards and 101 nominations. Major ones are three Academy Awards (two for best actor for his roles in the (1976) movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the (1998) film As Good as it Gets and one for best supporting actor in the (1984) film Terms of Endearment). Others include three British Academy Film Awards and six Golden Globe Awards. You can view the full list of achievements on Wikipedia
8. Brad Pitt
Next on our list of best American actors is Brad Pitt, now 55 and born in Oklahoma. He’s best known for his roles in Fight Club, Troy, Seven and his more recent film; Fury. What we like about Pitt is his ability to offer the industry diversity, given the work he’s done across a broad spectrum of genres (and playing parts you wouldn’t expect to see him in….think World War Z and Snatch). Still, Pitt manages to pull it off every time, no matter what he’s been cast in.
Since Pitt has been acting, he’s starred in 69 movies of which he has received 61 awards and 148 nominations for. Major ones include one Academy Award for Best Picture for the (2013) movie 12 Years a Slave, two Golden Globe Awards and one BAFTA. See the full list of awards on Wikipedia
7. Will Smith
Will Smith is well known for comedy. Early on in his career, he starred in TV series Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and then went on to action comedy roles (Men in Black and Independence Day). But Smith didn’t want to stop there. It wasn’t long we got to see him in more serious and dramatic castings such as Pursuit of Happiness and Seven Pounds where he delivered powerful performances. Smith goes above and beyond in front of camera, whatever he’s filming, earning him a firm place on our list of best American actors.
Since Smith has been acting, he’s he starred in 43 movies, for which he has received 45 awards and 86 nominations. Major ones include one Hollywood Film Award for best actor for his role in the (2015) movie Concussion and four MTV movie awards. See his full list on Wikipedia
6. Al Pacino
Next on our list is the legendary Al Pacino, now 78 and born in New York. Pacino is godfather of the some of the best gangster movies released. Well known for starring in crime and thrillers, he’s often seen portraying mob boss or cop in films such as Heat, The Godfather and Carlito’s Way…but he’s likely best known for his role in hit film Scarface. Pacino is more than capable of doing other roles but why the hell should he when he’s so good at this type of character? Pacino is one of the best American actors there is going.
Since Pacino has been acting, he’s starred in 57 movies which he has received 46 awards and 70 nominations for. His major ones include one Academy Award for best actor for his role in the (1993) movie Scent of a Woman, four Golden Globe Awards and one British Academy Film Award. His full list of nominations and awards can be found on Wikipedia
5. Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks, now 62 and born in California, is likely someone that springs to mind when you’re thinking of good actors. Hanks started his acting career in comedy type films in the 80s such as The Money Pit, Splash and Big. But it wasn’t long before Hanks decided to take on more challenging and dramatic roles which proved to his audiences how versatile an actor he really is (consider his roles in Saving Private Ryan or Bridge Over Spice). He’s best known for outstanding performance for his role as Forrest Gump.
Hanks is more than just good actor…he’s one of the best around (hence why he’s also made second place on the richest actors in Hollywood list).
Since Hanks has been acting, he’s starred in 76 movies for which he has received 84 awards and 151 nominations. Major ones include two Academy Awards for best actor for his roles in the (1993) movie Philadelphia and (1994) Forrest Gump. Other awards include four Golden Globes and 7 Emmy Awards. See the full list on Wikipedia
4. Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington, now 64, was born in New York and has become one of the most successful American actors of all time. We’re sure that if you asked people to name their most favourite actors, it wouldn’t be long before Washington gets a mention. He’s starred in movies such as Hurricane, Training Day, American Gangster and an endless list of other great movies where he hasn’t failed to deliver an outstanding performance. We don’t just judge Washington on his good movies…more so on his bad for which there are very few. Washington is truly an outstanding actor and, not to mention, one of the coolest guys in Hollywood.
Since Washington has been acting, he’s starred in 50 movies for which he has received 39 awards and 96 nominations for. His major ones include two Academy Awards (one for best supporting actor for his role in (1990) movie Glory and one for best actor for the (2002) movie Training Day). Others include three Golden Globes and one Screen Actors Guild Awards. See the full list of achievements on Wikipedia
3. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp, now 55, born in Kentucky is one of the most recognised names in Hollywood. Depp has so much depth and, apparently, has no limits when it comes to roles. Depp’s starred in movies across a wide range of genres including drama, comedy, fantasy and even musical. It’s this ability to adapt that makes him one of the most talented actors there is.
Depp doesn’t shy from more challenging parts either, as demonstrated by the roles he portrayed in Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He’s best known for his character Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and for his more serious roles in Public Enemy and Blow.
He’s been well known as a power actor for some time now, earning him a definite spot on our list of the best American actors around.
Since Depp has been acting, he’s starred in 67 movies which he has received 41 awards and 72 nominations for. His major ones include one Golden Globe Award for best actor for his role in (2008) movie Sweeney Todd. Other awards include one Screen Actors Guild Awards and one Empire Award. See his full list on Wikipedia
2. Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey, now 49, was born in Texas. McConaughey is well known for starring in a variety of different genres including his stints in romantic comedy (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days). Although McConaughey has been in some movies that aren’t really anything to write home about (think Lincoln Lawyer), there is just no denying his sheer talent and passion for the industry. He portrays roles in a convincing and natural way, never scripted.
The roles he picked up in the likes of the Dallas Buyers Club, Free State of Jones and Interstellar required more than just your average actor and McConaughey did not disappoint. In the last 10 years, we’ve got to know just how talented he really is.
Since McConaughey has been acting, he’s starred in 51 films which he has received 37 awards and 89 nominations for. His major awards include one Academy Award for best actor for his role in (2013) movie Dallas Buyers Club. Others received include one Golden Globe and one Screen Actors Guild Award. See the full list on Wikipedia
1. Leonardo DiCaprio
The youngest on our list and the one to take centre stage is Leonardo DiCaprio, aged 44. Without a shadow of doubt, DiCaprio is the best American actor in Hollywood. He’s made every movie he’s been in a raging success including Gangs Of New York, Blood Diamonds, Revenant and our firm favorite – The Wolves of Wall Street.
DiCaprio has become a favorite performer of Martin Scorsese, starring in number of his movies. We always look forward to what’s coming next for DiCaprio as, whatever it is, it will be magnificent.
Since DiCaprio has been acting, he’s starred in 45 films of which he has received 54 and 162 nominations major for. Major awards include one Academy Award for best actor for his role in (2016) movie The Revenant, three Golden Globes and one British Academy Film Award. See his full list on Wikipedia