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.

Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century American Film & Theater Personalities

 1 Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp
69
Famous As: Actor, Producer & Musician
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.

 2 Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio
77
Famous As: Famous for His Work in Biopics & Period Films
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.

 3 Will Smith

Will Smith
51
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.

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 4 Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston
87
Famous As: Known For Her Role of Rachel Green on TV Sitcom 'Friends'
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.

 5 Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie
78
Famous As: Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actress In Her Hey Days
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 Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
76
Famous As: One of the Highest-Grossing Box Office Stars of All Time
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.

 7 Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe
65
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: August 4, 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
46
Famous As: Actor, Comedian
Birthdate: July 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
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.
22
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
28
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 Betty White

Betty White
41
Famous As: First Lady of Television
Birthdate: January 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: December 31, 2021

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

 12 Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
34
Famous As: Known for His Slapstick Performances
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 Judy Garland

Judy Garland
25
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.

 14 Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock
23
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.

 15 Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler
47
Famous As: Known for His Leading Roles in Auteur Films
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.

 16 Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts
36
Famous As: Famous for Her Role in the Romantic Comedy 'Pretty Woman'
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.

 17 Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford
24
Famous As: One of The Highest-Grossing Actors in North America
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.

 18 Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey
30
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.

 19 Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron
29
Famous As: First South African To Win An Oscar In Acting
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.

 20 Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman
37
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.

 21 Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon
19
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 22, 1976
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
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.

 22 Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal
25
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.

 23 Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix
25
Famous As: One of the Greatest Actors of the 21st Century
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.

 24 Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze
15
Famous As: Known For His Role in 'Dirty Dancing' & 'Ghost'
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 Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage
14
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, United States

Counted among the top movie stars in the late 1990s, actor Nicolas Cage continues to be a key figure in Hollywood. In a career spanning around four decades, he has appeared in a variety of mainstream films. The recipient of numerous awards, he has won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe among others. He often donates to charities.

 26 Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
26
Famous As: Considered as 'The Best Actress of Her Generation'
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.

 27 Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson
11
Famous As: Starred as Oskar Schindler in 'Schindler's List'
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.

 28 Matt Damon

Matt Damon
21
Famous As: One of the Highest-grossing Actors of All Time
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 Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington
17
Famous As: 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. 

 30 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
17
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 Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro
17
Famous As: Vito Corleone in Crime Epic The Godfather Part II
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.

 32 Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner
23
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.

 33 Al Pacino

Al Pacino
14
Famous As: One of the Few Actors To Achieve the 'Triple Crown of Acting'
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.

 34 Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson
16
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.

 35 George Clooney

George Clooney
18
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 6, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky, United States
Multiple award winning actor, producer, writer and director, George Clooney rose to fame with a medical drama ER and has since then established himself as a bigtime star with movies like Syriana, Good Night, and Good Luck and Ocean's Eleven trilogy. The living legend is also known for his humanitarian work and support to numerous social and political causes.

 36 Amy Adams

Amy Adams
16
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 20, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vicenza, 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 Rachel Weisz

Rachel Weisz
22
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: March 7, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England

One of the most popular and decorated British-American actresses, Rachel Weisz is the recipient of many awards, such as the Academy Award. One of the most beautiful actresses, she has been featured on several magazine covers. In 2010, Rachel Weisz was named the global ambassador for L'Oréal. She has also served as fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez's muse.

 38 Carrie Fisher

Carrie Fisher
29
Famous As: Famous for Playing Princess Leia in the 'Star Wars' Films
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.

 39 Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz
29
Famous As: One of the Highest-Grossing US Actresses of All-Time
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.

 40 Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson
14
Famous As: The Most Nominated Male Actor (Academy Awards)
Birthdate: April 22, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Neptune City, New Jersey, United States

From being a stage and B movie actor, Jack Nicholson went on to become one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors and a huge star. The three time Academy award winning legendary actor has, in his six decades career, delivered performances that have become iconic. His notable performances include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and As Good as It Gets.

 41 Walt Disney

Walt Disney
4
Famous As: Founder of Disneyland & Disney Brothers Studio
Birthdate: December 5, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hermosa, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: December 15, 1966

Walt Disney is considered to be the forerunner of the American animation industry. He has won 22 Oscars and holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual as a film producer. His The Walt Disney Company‍ has produced many successful animation films. He later established amusement theme park, Disneyland, in 1955, which has since grown manifold.

 42 Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore
28
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 22, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Culver City, California, United States

Actress, producer, and director Drew Barrymore is daughter of prominent actor, John Drew Barrymore, and was introduced to show business as a baby. In the wake of her early stardom, she went through a difficult phase as a teenager and struggled with drug abuse. She was eventually able to resurrect her career and proceeded to act in many popular films.

 43 Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito
12
Famous As: Actor, Director, Producer
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.

 44 John Wayne

John Wayne
11
Famous As: A Popular Icon During Hollywood's Golden Age
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 Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis
17
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.

 46 Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson
14
Famous As: Known For His Action Hero Roles
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.

 47 Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas
15
Famous As: Actor
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.

 48 Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: December 4, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

American actress, Marisa Tomei, gained fame when she starred in the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny. She received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for the film. She was also appreciated for in the movies In the Bedroom and The Wrestler. What Women Want, Anger Management, The Ides of March, Cyrus, The Big Short and Avengers: Endgame are some of her other notable films.

 49 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx
15
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Terrell, Texas, United States

Actor, singer-songwriter, and comedian, Jamie Foxx became internationally famous for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray, a role that earned him an Academy Award. He is also known for hosting his own television sitcom, The Jamie Foxx Show. Besides acting, he is also a Grammy Award-winning musician who has released four albums.

 50 Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando
6
Famous As: One of the Most Influential Actors of the 20th Century
Birthdate: April 3, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Died: July 1, 2004

One of the greatest movie actors of all time, heartthrob of millions of women around the world, and a cultural icon, who had immense influence on actors of future generations, there are very few like Marlon Brando. In a career spanning six decades, Marlon Brando delivered critical and commercial successes in movies like A Streetcar Named Desire and The Godfather.