Famous 21st Century Actors

Find out more about the greatest 21st Century Actors, including Michael J. Fox, Chris Pratt, Shah Rukh Khan, Daniel Craig and Charlie Sheen

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 Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves.
26
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 2, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Beirut, Lebanon

The star of John Wick, Speed and The Matrix films, Keanu Reeves has displayed his wide range as an actor, time and again. The humble Canadian actor has also famously given away his money to recognise the work of crew and to enable the production team to hire good actors.

 2 Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise.
32
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.

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 3 Will Smith

Will Smith.
17
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.

 4 Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr..
12
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.

 5 Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt.
20
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.

 6 Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey.
14
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.

 7 Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix.
35
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.

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 8 Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford.
12
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.

 9 Sean Connery

Sean Connery.
13
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 25, 1930
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: October 31, 2020

The first person to play James Bond on screen, Scottish actor Sean Connery went on to star in seven films of the franchise. The role catapulted him to international fame, but this charismatic actor was not restricted to his iconic role. He also tasted critical and commercial success in other productions including Murder on the Orient Express and The Untouchables

 10 Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood.
17
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.

 11 Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey.
15
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.

 12 Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze.
7
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’.

 13 Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman.
10
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: February 21, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England
Died: January 14, 2016

One of the most admired British actors, Alan Rickman gained global recognition for his work on stage and screen. The late actor excelled at portraying villainous characters especially in movies like Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny. Other notable works of the versatile actor include Harry Potter film series and Truly, Madly, Deeply.

 14 Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro.
12
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.

 15 Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch.
14
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 19, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England

Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the most popular English actors of the current generation. Apart from his acting skills, he is also known for his charity work. In 2014, he was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world. In 2015, he was appointed a CBE for services to charity and performing arts.

 16 Matt Damon

Matt Damon.
12
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.

 17 Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington.
17
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. 

 18 Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal.
14
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.

 19 Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman.
10
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.

 20 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.

 21 Al Pacino

Al Pacino.
8
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.

 22 Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson.
9
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.

 23 Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson.
7
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.

 24 Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito.
7
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.

 25 Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas.
12
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.

 26 Christian Bale

Christian Bale.
9
Birthdate: January 30, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales

After bagging his first starring role when he was just 13, actor Christian Bale proceeded to become one of the finest actors of his generation in the ensuing years. Known for his commitment to his craft, he is considered one of the most versatile and talented actors today. He is also popularly regarded as a male sex symbol.

 27 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx.
7
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.

 28 Bill Murray

Bill Murray.
5
Famous As: American 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.

 29 Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 21, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New Cross, London, England

Gary Oldman is an English actor who can be best described as a chameleon, for his remarkable ability to imbibe the traits and mannerisms of the character he portrays. Whether playing a Cold War spy or a Sci-fi villain or Winston Churchill, this acting genius has earned the praise of millions of fans around the world.

 30 Charles Robert Redford Jr.

Charles Robert Redford Jr..
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 18, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States

Charles Robert Redford Jr. is a retired actor, activist, and director. He is credited with founding the Sundance Film Festival and was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. For his contributions to arts, Charles Robert Redford Jr. was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

 31 Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 23, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fairport, New York, United States
Died: February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman played distinctive supporting and character roles and is considered to be one of the greatest actors of his time. Some of his notable films are Scent of a Woman, Twister, The Big Lebowski and Magnolia. His lead role in the film Capote won him an Oscar for the Best Actor. He died of combined drug intoxication.

 32 Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 18, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lynwood, California, United States

Actor, film director, and producer, Kevin Costner, is a much-decorated Hollywood with two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards to his name. Even though he never dreamed of a career in films as a youngster, fate ultimately led him to Hollywood where he made a successful career. He is also a singer in a country rock band.

 33 Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins.
12
Birthdate: December 31, 1937
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port Talbot, Glamorgan, Wales

Highly renowned Welsh actor, Anthony Hopkins is best known for his portrayal of a cannibalistic serial killer in the movie The Silence of the Lambs. The portrayal earned him prestigious awards and also a place in the list of best villains of all time. Other notable films of the celebrated character actor include Remains of the Day, Nixon and Amistad.

 34 Paul Newman

Paul Newman.
11
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 26, 1925
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shaker Heights, Ohio, United States
Died: September 26, 2008

One of the most celebrated actors of the 1960s and 1970s, Paul Newman was a multi-faceted man. Apart from winning acting accolades, such as the Academy Award, he had also won many championships as a driver as part of the Sports Car Club of America. Also known for his philanthropy and political activism, Newman founded many nonprofit organizations.

 35 Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes.
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 22, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ipswich, England

A Tony Award recipient, Ralph Fiennes is one of the most respected English actors of the current generation. He is known for playing important roles in notable films, such as the Harry Potter and James Bond film series. A Stanislavsky Award recipient, he is also known for his work behind the camera.

 36 Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 31, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Astoria, Queens, New York, United States

Christopher Walken is one of the highest-grossing American actors as his films have generated over $1 billion in the US alone. He has a unique distinction of appearing in over 100 films and TV programs. A man of many talents, Christopher Walken is also known for his comedic, singing, screenwriting, directing, and dancing skills.

 37 Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas.
11
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 9, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Amsterdam, New York, United States
Died: February 5, 2020

The quintessential American action hero of the 1950s, Kirk Douglas remained one of the most bankable stars of Hollywood throughout the decade. Regarded as one of the greatest actors of classic Hollywood cinema, Kirk Douglas was a man of many talents. Also known as a writer and philanthropist, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981.

 38 John Goodman

John Goodman.
8
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 20, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Regarded as one of the finest actors of his generation, John Goodman has contributed to the success of many films and TV series over the years. He has also had a major impact as a humanitarian by appearing in many recovery commercials post-Hurricane Katrina. Once an alcoholic, Goodman has stayed sober since 2007, thereby inspiring many people struggling with alcoholism.

 39 Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 25, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Burnley, Lancashire, England

Considered a British cultural icon, Ian McKellen is one of the most respected and decorated actors of all time. An openly gay actor, his work as an LGBT activist has been as impressive as his illustrious acting career. At the 1991 New Year Honours, he was knighted for services to performing arts.

 40 Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Wellington, New Zealand

Active in the film industry for over 35 years, Russell Crowe is an actor, film producer, director, and musician. Gaining international fame with his role in the epic historical film Gladiator in 2000, he is the recipient of several awards, including an Academy Award and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award.

 41 Tommy Lee Jones

Tommy Lee Jones.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 15, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Saba, Texas, United States

Veteran actor and filmmaker, Tommy Lee Jones, has had a career spanning over half a century.  he has played many notable roles onscreen and is especially known for portraying real-life characters like businessman Howard Hughes. He has won an Academy Award for his performance in the movie, The Fugitive. Tommy Lee Jones is an inductee to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

 42 Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson.
43
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hayward

A renowned former wrestler with numerous titles under his belt, Dwayne Johnson initially wanted to be a football player but an injury turned him towards wrestling. He soon entered the world of acting, experienced phenomenal success in television and films and became the highest earning male actor in the world.

 43 Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 13, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: February 5, 2021

Arguably the best Canadian actor of all time, Christopher Plummer is the only Canadian and one of the few actors to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting (winning Emmy, Tony, and Academy Award). He won the Academy Award at the age of 82, becoming the oldest person to do so. Not surprisingly, he is the most respected actor in Canada.

 44 Christoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz.
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Christoph Waltz is best known for his Academy Award-winning performances as Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds and Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained, both by Quentin Tarantino. Waltz had begun as a stage and TV actor in Germany. Some of his other notable projects are Spectre and Big Eyes.

 45 Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa.
23
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 1, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

An actor primarily known for his roles in the DC Extended Universe films, Jason Momoa is famous for his rugged good looks and raw sex appeal. He is of mixed Hawaiian and European descent. Beginning a career in entertainment in his late teens, he has now become an internationally renowned star. He has multiple tattoos.  

 46 Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

One of the most respected and decorated actors of his generation, Dustin Hoffman is the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award and AFI Life Achievement Award among many other prestigious awards. As a cancer survivor, Dustin Hoffman also serves as an inspiration to many people suffering from cancer.

 47 Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds.
20
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 23, 1976
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada
The charismatic Canadian-American actor and film producer, Ryan Reynolds is best known for his work in Deadpool, Green Lantern and The Proposal. The talented star, who was once named by People magazine as the Sexiest Man Alive, has also featured in a music video, acted in a web series, lent his voice to animation films and successfully ventured into business.

 48 Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks.
12
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. 

 49 Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 17, 1935
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

Donald Sutherland is arguably the greatest Canadian actor of all time. In an illustrious career, that spans over more than five decades, Sutherland has played an influential role in both Canadian and American entertainment industries. He won an Academy Honorary Award in 2017 for his immense contribution to cinema. He is the father of actors Kiefer, Rossif, and Angus Sutherland.

 50 Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 3, 1940
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States

One of the most celebrated actors of Hollywood, Martin Sheen has won multiple Emmys and Golden Globes. Best known to fans as Captain Benjamin Willard from Apocalypse Now, he has also been involved in countless protests against nuclear power and strongly opposes abortion, capital punishment, and euthanasia.