Hello world, you guessed it: another list!
This time the rundown features my favorite actors, the guys who have given me the inspiration to do what I love best- acting! Often times these individuals are more than just legends of the screen, but genuine decent men off stage as well. All except Brando are role models for anybody, not just actors. But since I happen to be an actor as well as a man it works out even better.
1. Errol Flynn (1909-1959)
In the spirit of Adventure! Flynn’s real life adventures were more than any Michael Bay film could ever hope to be. Gold mining in Papua New Guinea, wars in China and Spain, sailing the world, and all while enjoying the comfort of many a good woman. However, Flynn was also a damn fine actor at the height of Hollywood’s Golden Age despite being unfortunately typecast as the swashbuckling pirate or cowboy.
Vincent’s Picks: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and They Died With Their Boots On (1941).
2. Paul Newman (1925-2008)
Now earlier when I talked about these guys being more than just role models for actors, I was talking about Paul Newman. I will say that he is perhaps the world’s greatest actor and that’s in large part for what he did with his talents. Philanthropy, charity, humanitarianism, and a fantastic line of sauces. This is the guy every celebrity should aspire to be.
Vincent’s Picks: Cool Hand Luke (1967) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Verdict (1982)
3. Marlon Brando (1924-2004)
Oh boy, Brando is Brando. What can I say? This actor literally revolutionized Hollywood by summoning the end of the Golden Age. Guys like Errol Flynn were outdated over night by Brando and The Method acting brought over from the New York stage. His career may have fizzled and his personal life and attitudes may have been a total wreck, but his lasting influence and ultimate greatness can never be disputed.
Vincent’s Picks: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) On the Waterfront (1954) and Sayonara (1957)
4. James Dean (1931- 1955)
Along with Brando, Dean helped usher in the Method to movie audiences. Look past his larger than life cultural image and you will truly witness a great actor. His role in East of Eden is by far one of the most captivating performances of the past century and with his other two films, he established a legacy of quality that it many ways outshines that of his contemporary, Brando.
Vincent’s Picks: East of Eden (1955) Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956)
5. Clark Gable (1901-1960)
Gable was nicknamed “The King of Hollywood” and for good reason. During the Golden Age of film he was number one. But his popularity was not based necessarily on good looks and charm. Gable had perfect comedic timing and a natural sense of dramatic emotion. People often label George Clooney as the modern Clark Gable and that is totally accurate.
Vincent’s Picks: It Happened One Night (1934) Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) Gone With the Wind (1939) The Misfits (1961)
6. Leonardo DiCaprio (1974-)
Without a doubt the most hardworking and talented actor today, DiCaprio rose above his teen-idol image and turned himself into a gritty dramatic actor who throws himself entirely into his characters. Like the Method Actors, DiCaprio is someone I truly wish to emulate when it come to my own career.
Vincent’s Picks: The Aviator (2004) The Departed (2006) Revolutionary Road (2008)
7. James Cagney (1899-1986)
Out of all of the actors of the Golden Age (including Bogart, Gable, Stewart, Grant) I would put money on Cagney as being the greatest. His approach, unlike the others’ was almost like that of modern day actors. And not only was he a powerfully subtle dramatic actor but he could give Astaire and Kelly a run for their money when it came to tapping. Comedy too, Cagney was extremely versatile and today I put him up there with Brando, Newman, and DiCaprio.
Vincent’s Picks: Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) White Heat (1949)
Cruise, 26/37 70%
Bogart, 21/73 29%
Hanks, 22/47 47%
Flynn, 21/53 40%
De Niro, 18/85 21%
Newman, 18/57 32%
Nicholson, 16/63 25%
Gable, 15/68 22%
Robinson, 15/86 17%
Cagney, 15/62 24%
Hoffman, 14/53 26%
DiCaprio, 12/26 44%
Brando, 12/39 31%
Stewart, 12/78 15%
Grant, 11/73 15%
Tracy, 10/73 14%