Famous 20th Century American Film & Theater Personalities

Find out more about the greatest 20th Century American Film & Theater Personalities, including Hedy Lamarr, Paul Walker, Ronda Rousey, Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio
69
Famous As: Actor, Producer
Birthdate: November 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Leonardo DiCaprio is a name every movie lover reveres. An Oscar, a BAFTA, and 3 Golden Globes does not do justice to DiCaprio’s immensely skilful performances and his top-notch portrayals of addicts, historical figures and business tycoons. From epic dramas and romances to crime and political thrillers, DiCaprio has constantly left a mark in each of his films.

 2 Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp
63
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States

Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and successful actors in Hollywood today. He wanted to become a musician and became actor by chance.  The star of Pirates of the Caribbean film series is known for selecting challenging roles that have the potential to amaze both audience and critics.

 3 Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston
73
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 11, 1969
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

An American actress, film producer, and businesswoman, Jennifer Aniston began her acting career pretty early but gained stardom with her portrayal of Rachel Green in the popular television sitcom Friends. Her film career demonstrated her wide range and impressed both critics and audience. The star of The Good Girl and Bruce Almighty also went ahead to launch her own perfume.

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 4 Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
63
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, United States

Actor-producer, Tom Cruise, is an international superstar, heartthrob of millions and is a recipient of numerous awards. The Mission: Impossible star has been one of the most bankable and versatile Hollywood actors since 1980s. Interestingly, he once aspired to be a priest but is now amongst the highest paid actors in the world.

 5 Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie
64
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

A fashion icon, acclaimed actress, influential humanitarian and Special Envoy for the UNHCR, Angelina Jolie is a highly noted celebrity in Hollywood. She has been hailed for her philanthropic efforts around the globe and praised for her power packed performances. Mother of six, of whom three are adopted, Angelina Jolie is a role model for the women of this generation.

 6 Will Smith

Will Smith
36
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 25, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

The charismatic, versatile and bankable American artist, Will Smith, tasted early success with rapping. A successful transition into films and television soon followed and made Smith a phenomenal success. With solid earnings, he has also frequently secured himself a place in the list of highest paid actors in world.

 7 Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe
60
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: August 5, 1962

A legendary American actress, model, comedienne and singer, Marilyn Monroe emerged as a major sex symbol in Hollywood in the 1950s. Amongst the most successful actresses of her time, she also won critical acclaim for her acting in movies like Some Like It Hot. Her personal and professional life, though from the beginning, were marked by hardships, struggles and controversies.

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 8 Robin Williams

Robin Williams
36
Famous As: American stand-up comedian
Birthdate: July 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: August 11, 2014

One of the finest comedians of all time, Robin Williams began his career as a stand-up comedian and soon moved to act in television and films. Though widely recognised for his comedic skills, the immensely talented Williams proved his versatility by taking up and successfully performing more serious roles in films like Good Will Hunting and The Fisher King.

 9 Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr.
15
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manhattan,New York, United States
Robert Downey, Jr is an American actor who is best known for his performances in the movie Chaplin as well a in the Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes film series. The son of filmmaker Robert Downey, Sr, he entered the world of acting early, fought a successful battle with drug and alcohol addiction and proved his talent and versatility with his impressive body of work.

 10 Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt
26
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Shawnee, Oklahoma, United States

Counted among the most influential and powerful people in the American entertainment industry, Brad Pitt is an actor and film producer who has appeared in many big-budget productions. He was cited as the world’s most attractive man for several years. He is also involved in various philanthropic and humanitarian endeavors.

 11 Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence
22
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 15, 1990
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Indian Hills, Kentucky, United States

One of the extremely talented and successful actresses of Hollywood, Jennifer Lawrence is known for her performances in movies like Silver Linings Playbook, Hunger Games and Joy. The acclaimed actress, who supports numerous charitable causes, made her debut as a teenage actor in television and soon gained recognition with series, The Bill Engvall Show, and the movie, The Poker House.

 12 Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
26
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada

Canadian American actor, Jim Carrey worked as a janitor and a stand-up comedian at club and on stage before entering films and television. His big Hollywood break came with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective which catapulted him to comedy star status. His later films like The Truman Show and Bruce Almighty proved his versatility and won him critical and commercial success.

 13 Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler
42
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Actor, comedian, and filmmaker, Adam Sandler, is best known for his comedic roles in Hollywood movies. Despite being a popular actor he also has the ignominious distinction of having appeared in numerous widely panned movies and is the holder of three Golden Raspberry Awards! He has released a few comedy albums as well.

 14 Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford
15
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 13, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

With an extensive career spanning six decades, veteran actor Harrison Ford is a major figure in Hollywood. The recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award, he is one of the highest-grossing domestic box office stars of all time. Besides acting, he is a licensed pilot of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

 15 Judy Garland

Judy Garland
20
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 10, 1922
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Minnesota, United States
Died: June 22, 1969
American actress and singer, Judy Garland, was one of the most iconic artists of Hollywood's Golden Era. In a career that spanned forty five years, her exceptional talent shone brightly, especially in movies like The Wizard of Oz and A Star Is Born. The personal life of the superstar though, was full of struggles including drugs, alcohols and unsuccessful marriages.

 16 Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood
24
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 31, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
The quintessential Western man in the Hollywood movies, Clint Eastwood is regarded as the cultural icon of masculinity. Eastwood’s brilliant portrayal of tough, rugged, ruthless guy in the Western movies endeared him to the masses and brought him international fame.

 17 Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts
31
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Smyrna, Georgia, United States

Julia Roberts is one of the most popular Hollywood actresses. She came to limelight in the 1990, when she played the female lead in the movie, Pretty Woman. In 2000, she won the Academy Award for best actress for her role in Erin Brockovich in 2000. She has been named the most beautiful woman in the world, a record five times, by the People magazine.

 18 Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron
23
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 7, 1975
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Benoni, South Africa

Charlize Theron is a former model and was an aspiring ballerina whose career came to a halt after a knee injury. However, an unexpected encounter brought her in the world of acting and she went on achieve tremendous success including winning an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. She is currently one of the world's highest-paid actresses.

 19 Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey
26
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Uvalde, Texas, United States

Born into a family of mixed ancestry in Texas, actor Matthew McConaughey had an interesting childhood. He played sports as a young boy and aspired to become a lawyer. However, he ultimately changed course to venture into acting, a field where he was able to make a mark with his brilliant performances. He is also a producer.

 20 Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock
19
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 26, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arlington County, Virginia, United States

One of the highest-paid actresses in the world, actress Sandra Bullock is the recipient of several accolades, including an Academy Award. After making her debut in the late 1980s, she became extremely popular in the 1990s with her roles in dramatic movies. She is also the founder of the production company Fortis Films.

 21 Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix
17
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 28, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix is widely regarded as one of the most talented actors of his generation. In his career of four decades, he has starred in numerous films playing characters that have become memorable. These include movies like Gladiator, Joker, Walk the Line and Her. The acclaimed actor is also a social activist, environmentalist, animal rights activist and producer.

 22 Betty White

Betty White
33
Famous As: Actress, Comedian
Birthdate: January 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States

Betty White, American actress and comedian, is considered as the pioneer of television and has had the longest television career of any entertainer, straddling more than 80 years. She’s known for her award-winning performances in shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland

 23 Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman
31
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Honolulu

Australian actress and producer Nicole Kidman is one of the world's highest-paid actresses. She is the founder of the production company Blossom Films. She was twice named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Besides acting, she has been a Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF since 1994.

 24 Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze
11
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 18, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze, the American actor, dancer, singer and songwriter, was very popular during the 1980s. His movie the ‘Dirty Dancing’ catapulted him to stardom. Ghost was another of his hit films. Swayze died in September, 2009, at the age of 57 due to pancreatic cancer. His final role was that of a FBI Agent in the television series ‘The Beast’.

 25 Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher
21
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 21, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Burbank, California, United States
Died: December 27, 2016

Carrie Fisher was an American actress best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Some of her other films notable film wereShampoo, Soapdish, The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally and The Women. She had issues with bipolar disorder and drug addiction and spoke publicly about it. She died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest while on a transatlantic flight.

 26 Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon
14
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 22, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Orleans
Acclaimed actress, Reese Witherspoon, shot to fame with her film Legally Blonde and continued her successful journey working in films and television shows like Walk the Line, Wild and Big Little Lies. In process, she became one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood and also one of the world’s highest paid actresses. Witherspoon has her own production company too.

 27 Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal
18
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Beginning his career as a child star, actor Jake Gyllenhaal has been active in the entertainment industry for almost three decades. The son of a director and screenwriter, he inherited his parents’ love for Hollywood. His career progressed in the 2000s as he proved his mettle by taking up versatile roles. He is considered a male sex symbol.

 28 Matt Damon

Matt Damon
17
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 8, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

One of the biggest Hollywood stars of his time, Matt Damon is one of the highest-grossing actors of all time. Saving Private Ryan, The Talented Mr Ripley, The Martian and The Departed are some of his notable films. He has also been part of the highly successful Bourne franchise and the Ocean's trilogy.

 29 Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks
13
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 9, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Concord, California, United States

One of the most popular and recognizable film stars worldwide, Tom Hanks is known for both his comedic and dramatic roles. Making his breakthrough with leading roles in the 1980s, he went on to further cement his place in Hollywood in the 1990s by taking up poignant and sensitive roles. He is also a director, producer, and screenwriter. 

 30 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
16
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Actor and comedian, Eddie Murphy, is one of the highest-grossing actors in the United States. Beginning his career as a comedian on the TV show Saturday Night Live, he went on to become a bankable movie actor. Also a singer, he has released many studio albums. He has been awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

 31 Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
21
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: SummitSummit, New Jersey, United States

Often described as the "best actress of her generation," Meryl Streep is acclaimed for her versatility. After debuting in the 1970s, she built a solid reputation by portraying challenging roles in dramatic films. In a career spanning over half a century, she has received numerous awards, including three Academy Awards and eight Golden Globe Awards.

 32 Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman
13
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 1, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Prominent character actor, Morgan Freeman, has appeared in a range of film genres playing versatile roles. He is known for his distinctive deep voice. In a career spanning over half a century, he has received various accolades, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Besides acting, he is an advocate of environmental causes.

 33 Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 7, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ballymena, Northern Ireland

The recipient of multiple awards, actor Liam Neeson has been ranked among  the '100 Sexiest Stars in Film History'. One of the highest-grossing actors of all time, he first rose to prominence in the 1990s with his title role in the epic drama film Schindler's List. Since then, he has appeared in many other critically acclaimed films.

 34 Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington
16
Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: December 28, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States

Actor, director, and producer, Denzel Washington, is famous for portraying strong real-life characters like anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko, and human rights activist, Malcolm X, in films. Well-built and ruggedly handsome, he became the first black star to be named the Sexiest Man Alive in 1996. 

 35 Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson
12
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Actor and producer, Samuel L. Jackson is widely regarded as one of the most popular actors of his generation. A highly prolific actor, he has appeared in over 150 films and is especially known for his roles in Quentin Tarantino films. Besides acting, he has voiced for several animated films, television series, and video games.

 36 Amy Adams

Amy Adams
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 20, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Caserma Ederle, Italy

An aspiring dancer, Amy Adams began working for theatre companies and eventually decided to pursue acting. She hit it big with movies, such as Catch Me If You Can, Junebug and Enchanted. She enriched her acting profile further with American Hustle and Big Eyes, both of which earned her the Golden Globe Awards. Her other notable films are Doubt and Julie & Julia.

 37 Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner
19
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

Active in the entertainment industry since the mid-1990s, actress Jennifer Garner gained international fame her supporting role in Pearl Harbor. The daughter of conservative middle-class parents, she was determined to achieve big things and decided to become an actress. Besides acting, she is also an entrepreneur and is the co-founder of a baby food company.

 38 Al Pacino

Al Pacino
11
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 25, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: East Harlem, New York, United States

Considered one of the greatest actors, Al Pacino gained wide acclaim and recognition for his portrayal of Michael Corleone in the movie, The Godfather in 1972. He’s been a part of many successful and iconic films and won an Oscar for playing a blind military veteran in the movie Scent of a Woman. Pacino has three children, but has never been married.

 39 Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro
14
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 17, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Greenwich Village, New York, United States

Amongst the best actors of his generation, Robert De Niro is known for his exceptional method acting skills. His formidable acting talent has impressed audience and critics alike in movies like Mean Streets, The Godfather Part II and Meet the Parents. The talented actor has also been applauded for his directorial skills in A Bronx Tale and The Good Shepherd.

 40 Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg
9
Famous As: film director
Birthdate: December 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Film director, producer, and screenwriter Steven Spielberg is one of the most popular directors and producers in film history. A pioneer of the New Hollywood era, he popularized the genre of escapist films. As of 2020, he is the highest-grossing film director in history. He has won the Academy Award for Best Director twice.

 41 Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz
22
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 30, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

A former actress best known for her appearances in comedy films, Cameron Diaz is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a New York Film Critics Award. She began modeling as a teenager and was soon flooded with acting offers. Over the years, she became a successful actress and has since retired from acting. She is known for her environmental activism.

 42 Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson
9
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 3, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Peekskill, New York, United States

Actor and director, Mel Gibson is famous for action films like Lethal weapon. His directorial venture, Braveheart, in which he acted too, won him the Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture. However, his alcoholism issues, drunken driving arrest and his anti-Jew statements landed him in trouble due to which he took a hiatus from Hollywood for a decade.

 43 Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas
14
Famous As: Actor, Producer
Birthdate: September 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States

One of the most decorated American actors, Michael Douglas is popular for playing a variety of roles. Apart from acting, Michael Douglas has received attention for his political activism and humanitarianism. A cancer survivor, Douglas serves as an inspiration to those suffering from the disease; he recovered from stage IV tongue cancer.

 44 John Wayne

John Wayne
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Winterset, Iowa, United States
Died: June 11, 1979

Famous for his roles in Western films in the mid-20th century, actor John Wayne was among the top box office draws for three decades. In a career spanning over half a century, he starred in 142 motion pictures. Upon his death, he came to be recognized as “an enduring icon who symbolized and communicated American values and ideals.”

 45 Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Neptune Township, New Jersey, United States

An award-winning actor, Danny DeVito overcame a rare genetic disorder called Fairbank's disease to become an influential figure in the American film industry. Along with Michael Shamberg, he founded a production company called Jersey Films, which went on to produce films like Pulp Fiction. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011.

 46 Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino
5
Famous As: Fimmaker
Birthdate: March 27, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Popular film director, screenwriter, and producer, Quentin Tarantino, first rose to fame as an independent filmmaker in the early 1990s. His films are known for their nonlinear story-lines and neo-noir elements and have garnered both critical and commercial success. He is the winner of two Academy Awards and has been called "the single most influential director of his generation."

 47 Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis
13
Famous As: Actress, Author
Birthdate: November 22, 1958
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

After making her film debut in the horror film, Halloween, James Lee Curtis went on to establish herself as a scream queen, appearing in a number of horror films. Curtis is also an author, having released several children's books, including books that have made The New York Times' best-seller list. She is also a well-known philanthropist.

 48 Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn
16
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 21, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Goldie Hawn is one of the most prolific actresses of Hollywood with a career spanning decades. Death Becomes HerPrivate BenjaminOverboardThe First Wives ClubThe Banger Sisters and The Sugarland Express are some of her notable films. She won an Oscar for the 1969 film Cactus Flower. She has been in a long relationship with actor Kurt Russel.

 49 Halle Berry

Halle Berry
15
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 14, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

Halle Berry is one of the most popular actresses of the current generation. During the 2000s, she was one of the highest-paid Hollywood actresses. Halle is also known for her activism for which she was honored with the 2006 Woman of The Year award by the Hasty Pudding Theatricals. She also gets featured in several Sexiest Women lists.

 50 Bill Murray

Bill Murray
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Evanston, Illinois, United States

Famous American actor, Bill Murray, began as a comedic performer and gained fame with the variety show, Saturday Night Live, and movies, Caddyshack and Ghostbusters. Later, his seriocomic roles in movies like Rushmore, Lost in Translation and St. Vincent earned him rave reviews. The actor has also lent his voice to many animation movies like Garfield and The Jungle Book.