It is no easy task trying to pick our top 10 Hollywood movie legends out of the enormous number of great performers who have worked in the industry over the years. While it would be great to mention all of the top actors, we only have time to talk about our top 10.
Actor and director Morgan Freeman has appeared in such films as ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ ‘Glory,’ ‘The Shawshank Redemption,’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ trilogy. Morgan Freeman is the recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Freeman was the recipient of numerous awards, including a Kennedy Center Honor in 2008 and the Cecil B. DeMille Award (a Golden Globe for lifetime achievement) in 2012.
Meryl Streep is an American actress. Often described as the “best actress of her generation”. She is best known for her roles in “Sophie’s Choice” (1982), “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006), and “Mamma Mia” (2008). Streep’s highest-rated films include “Everything Is Copy” (2016) and “Everybody Knows … Elizabeth Murray” (2017).
She has received a number of accolades, including being nominated for a record 21 Academy Awards, of which she has won three, and receiving a record 33 Golden Globe nominations, winning nine. In November 2014, President Barack Obama bestowed upon Streep the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Actor Denzel Washington has earned popular and critical acclaim for his roles in an array of feature films, including ‘Glory,’ ‘Malcolm X,’ ‘Training Day’ and ‘Fences.’ He has received seventeen NAACP Image Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, one Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for playing Union Army soldier Private Trip in the historical drama film Glory (1989), and Best Actor for his role as corrupt detective Alonzo Harris in the crime thriller Training Day (2001).
He went on to appear in several hit movies, including Philadelphia, Man on Fire, The Book of Eli, American Gangster and Flight, and won Oscars for his roles in Glory and Training Day. In 2016, he received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.
In 2002, Washington made his directorial debut with the biographical film Antwone Fisher. His second directorial effort was The Great Debaters (2007). His third film, Fences (2016), in which he also starred, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Jack Nicholson’s career has spanned more than 60 years. He is known for having played a wide range of starring or supporting roles, including comedy, romance, and darkly comic portrayals of anti-heroes and villainous characters. He’s renowned for films such as the road drama Easy Rider (1969); the dramas Five Easy Pieces (1970), As Good as It Gets (1997), and About Schmidt (2002); the neo-noir mystery Chinatown (1974); the horror film The Shining (1980); the biopic Reds (1981); the fantasy comedy The Witches of Eastwick (1987); the superhero film Batman (1989); the legal drama A Few Good Men (1992).
Nicholson’s 12 Academy Award nominations make him the most nominated male actor in the Academy’s history. He has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and As Good as It Gets (1997), and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Terms of Endearment (1983). He has won six Golden Globe Awards and received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In 1994, at 57, he became one of the youngest actors to be awarded the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.
Angela Evelyn Bassett is an American actress, director, producer, and activist. Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett’s presence has been felt in theaters and on stages and television screens throughout the world.
Bassett earned nominations for her roles in films such as The Score (2001), Akeelah and the Bee (2006), Meet the Browns (2008) and Jumping the Broom (2011) and won awards for her performances in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and Music of the Heart (1999), among others. Bassett’s performance as Rosa Parks in the 2002 film The Rosa Parks Story was honored with her first Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
Viola Davis is an American actress and producer. Having won an Academy Award, an Emmy Award (Primetime), and two Tony Awards, she is the first African-American actress to achieve the “Triple Crown of Acting”. Davis began playing lawyer Annalise Keating in the ABC television drama series How to Get Away with Murder, and in 2015, she became the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
According to Rotten Tomatoes and The Numbers, Davis’s most commercially successful and critically acclaimed films include Traffic (2000), Doubt (2008), Law Abiding Citizen (2009), Knight and Day and Eat Pray Love (2010); The Help (2011), Suicide Squad and Fences (2016).
Davis was awarded an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from her undergraduate alma mater, Rhode Island College, in 2002. She holds the distinction of becoming the first actress of color to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series and is the first African-American to win five Screen Actors Guild Awards. Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2012 and 2017.
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon is an American actress, producer, and entrepreneur. The recipient of various accolades, including an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award, she is one of the highest-paid actresses in the world as of 2019.
Her portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk the Line, which earned her an Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. In 2005, she garnered critical acclaim for her portrayal of June Carter Cash in the biographical musical film Walk the Line, which won her the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Witherspoon has since begun work in television, by producing and starring in the HBO drama series Big Little Lies (2017–2019), the Apple TV+ drama series The Morning Show (2019–present), and the Hulu miniseries Little Fires Everywhere (2020). For the first of these, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Limited Series.
Samuel L Jackson
Samuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American actor and producer. Widely regarded as one of the most popular actors of his generation, the films in which he has appeared have collectively grossed over $27 billion worldwide, making him the highest-grossing actor of all time.
He rose to fame with films such as Goodfellas (1990), Jungle Fever (1991), Patriot Games (1992), Amos & Andrew (1993), True Romance (1993), and Jurassic Park (1993), and has especially been noted for his roles in the Quentin Tarantino films Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Django Unchained (2012), and The Hateful Eight (2015). For his role in Pulp Fiction, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Leonardo DiCaprio rose to international stardom in the epic romance Titanic (1997), which became the highest-grossing film to that point. After a few commercially unsuccessful films, DiCaprio starred in two successful features in 2002: the biographical crime drama Catch Me If You Can and the historical drama Gangs of New York.
He starred in Blood Diamond (2006), the Departed (2006), the science fiction thriller Inception (2010), the western Django Unchained (2012), the biopic The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), the survival drama The Revenant (2015), and the comedy-drama Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), all of which were critical and commercial successes. His accolades include an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe Award for The Revenant as well as two other Golden Globes for The Aviator and The Wolf of Wall Street.
William Brad Pitt has won multiple awards, including two Golden Globe Awards and an Academy Award for his acting, in addition to another Academy Award, another Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award as producer under his production company, Plan B Entertainment.
Pitt starred in Fight Club (1999) and the heist film Ocean’s Eleven (2001), as well as its sequels, Ocean’s Twelve (2004) and Ocean’s Thirteen (2007). His greatest commercial successes have been Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Troy (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), World War Z (2013), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), for which he won a second Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Pitt’s other Academy Award nominated performances were in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011). He produced The Departed (2006) and 12 Years a Slave (2013)