Famous American Actors

American cinema, which emerged in the early 20th century is today the dominant force in world cinema. With several hundred movies made every year, the United States is one of the most prolific producers of films in the world and unsurprising home to many of the best known actors in the international scenario. Acting as a profession thrived in the U.S. even before the advent of motion pictures. Edwin Thomas Booth, a prominent theater actor famous for performing Shakespearean plays is considered by several theatrical historians to be the greatest American actor. Claude Cooper was another theater actor who successfully forayed into films as well. Early 20th century actors Lionel Barrymore, Al Jolson—dubbed as "The World's Greatest Entertainer”, and Warner Oland played a vital role in popularizing American cinema. The Golden Age of Hollywood led to the emergence of many other distinguished actors like "King of Hollywood" Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Paul Stewart. With time American actors adopted a more polished and sophisticated style, and it comes as no surprise that Hollywood in the late 20th century was dominated by stylish stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and Steven Seagal. Read on to know about the life and works of famous American actors.

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 Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood
Famous As: Actor, Film Director & Producer
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.

 2 Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks
Famous As: One of the Most Popular Film Stars Worldwide
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. 

 3 Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman
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.

 4 Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp
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.

 5 Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio
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.

 6 Will Smith

Will Smith
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 Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
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.

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 8 Robin Williams

Robin Williams
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.
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
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 Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford
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.

 12 Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix
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.

 13 Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey
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.

 14 Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson
Famous As: Professional wrestler, Actor
Birthdate: May 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hayward, California, United States

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.

 15 Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze
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’.

 16 Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage
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.

 17 Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro
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.

 18 Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa
Famous As: Role in Aquaman
Birthdate: August 1, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nānākuli, 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.  

 19 Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington
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. 

 20 Al Pacino

Al Pacino
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.

 21 Liam Neeson

Liam Neeson
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.

 22 Matt Damon

Matt Damon
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.

 23 Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 29, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Anderson, South Carolina, United States
Died: August 28, 2020

A versatile actor and an inspiration for a generation of black youths, Chadwick Boseman is best remembered for portraying notable real life black figures like Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown in their biopics. His excellent performance in Black Panther, though, turned him into a household name.

 24 Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee
Famous As: Actor, Martial Artist
Birthdate: November 27, 1940
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: July 20, 1973

An iconic actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee, in his short life, gained international fame and developed his own form of martial arts, Jeet Kune Do. In films, he debuted as a child actor and became a huge Hollywood star after the release of his last film Enter the Dragon.

 25 Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson
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.

 26 Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Famous As: Actor & Former Mr. Universe
Birthdate: July 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Thal, Austria

Former professional bodybuilder, actor, and politician, Arnold Schwarzenegger, needs no introduction! One of the most popular figures in the entertainment industry in the 20th century, he is a much-admired Hollywood star. Rising to international fame despite hailing from a humble background, he is an epitome the quintessential American dream that many youngsters hold close to their hearts.

 27 Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Virginia, Minnesota, United States
American television and film actor, Chris Pratt won critical applause, commercial success and numerous awards for his work in The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy and later Jurassic World. However, before these, he made a name for himself with television shows Everwood and Parks and Recreation. Interestingly, he landed his first role while waiting tables at a restaurant.

 28 Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 5, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

From being a drug dealer to going to prison on the charge of attempted murder, Mark Wahlberg's young life was a troubled one. That is till the time he decided to pull himself out of the mess and live a worthy life. His foray into music began his journey which later took him into the world of television and film.

 29 Chris Evans

Chris Evans
Famous As: Portraying the Marvel Comics Character of Captain America
Birthdate: June 13, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Chris Evans is best known for his role as Captain America in several Marvel films, including The Avengers. He was initially cast in teen films such as Not Another Teen Movie and later also appeared as Human Torch in two Fantastic Four films. He has also appeared on Broadway.

 30 Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
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.

 31 Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel
Famous As: Dominic Toretto in the Fast & Furious
Birthdate: July 18, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Alameda County, California, United States
The internationally recognised action hero Vin Diesel is known for his work in The Fast and the Furious film series and The Chronicles of Riddick trilogy. Before this the actor, who made his stage debut at the age of seven, was recognised for his work in Saving Private Ryan. Vin is also a director, producer, voice over artist and screenwriter.

 32 Paul Walker

Paul Walker
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glendale, California, United States
Died: November 30, 2013

Actor Paul Walker is remembered for his role as Brian O'Conner in the Fast & Furious franchise. A talented star who made his debut as a child actor, he was known for taking up challenging roles, especially in action films. Besides acting, he had a keen interest in marine biology. He was killed in a tragic car accident in 2013.

 33 Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Abington Township, Pennsylvania, United States

One of the highest-paid actors in the world, Bradley Cooper has been active in Hollywood for over two decades, playing roles ranging from comedic to dramatic. He was named on Time's list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2015. He supports the charity, Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.

 34 George Clooney

George Clooney
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.

 35 Zac Efron

Zac Efron
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 18, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Luis Obispo, California, United States

An actor who rose to prominence in the late 2000s, Zac Efron is a teen heartthrob and a fan favorite who has acted in many romantic films. He is equally popular for his roles in comedy films and has won several awards. Also a singer, he has contributed to the soundtracks of numerous films.

 36 John Wayne

John Wayne
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.”

 37 Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito
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.

 38 Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson
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.

 39 Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler
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.

 40 John Krasinski

John Krasinski
Famous As: Known For His Role as Jim Halpert on the NBC sitcom 'The Office'
Birthdate: October 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
The charming actor John Krasinski is best recognised for playing Jim Halpert in the famous American television show, The Office. Apart from working in numerous other film and television projects as well as commercials, John Krasinski further cemented his position in the entertainment world by branching out into writing, producing and directing movies like The Promised Land and The Hollars.

 41 Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal
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.

 42 Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx
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.

 43 Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson
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.

 44 Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando
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.

 45 Donald Glover

Donald Glover
Famous As: Actor, Rapper, Stand-up Comedian
Birthdate: September 25, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edwards Air Force Base, California, United States

The actor, rapper, writer and director, Donald Glover Jr became famous after playing the role of a college student In the sitcom, Community, from 2009 to 2013. He also stars in the FX series Atlanta. He has also acted in a number of commercially successful films. His albums have done well and he won a Grammy award for the single Redbone.

 46 Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas
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.

 47 Rami Malek

Rami Malek
Famous As: Famous For His Portrayal of Freddie Mercury in the Biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
Birthdate: May 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Torrance, California, United States

Rami Malek became the first actor of Egyptian origin to receive the prestigious Oscar for Best Actor, which he earned for playing British singer, Freddie Mercury, in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. In 2019, he was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world. He also has a philanthropic side and supports various charities..

 48 Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy
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.

 49 Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

American comedian and actor, Kevin Hart attained fame as a stand-up comic and then established himself as a leading comedic actor on the big screen with films like Get Hard, About Last Night, Ride Along and The Wedding Ringer. He has also been part of two Jumanji films. He was critically acclaimed for the 2019 comedy-drama film The Upside.

 50 Adam Driver

Adam Driver
Famous As: Portrayed 'Ben Solo / Kylo Ren' in the 'Star Wars' Sequel Trilogy
Birthdate: November 19, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States

From supporting roles to starring in the legendary Star Wars franchise, Adam Driver is hailed as much for his unique talent as for his unconventional looks. He has gained popularity over the recent years to become one of the sought-after actors in Hollywood, thanks to his noteworthy performances.