Famous American Film & Theater Personalities

Being a Hollywood or Broadway superstar is like owning a Midas touch! Fans adore you, big brands hover around you, and the media cannot stop raving about you. In short, the world becomes your oyster. However, not all such film & theater personalities kick their way out into this life of luxury. You will get goose bumps when you discover how many such multi-millionaire superstars had humble beginnings and had no more than their dreams of making it to Hollywood or theatre. How they sustained through some incredibly trying times is indeed exemplary. Embarking on a road to fame meant sacrificing whatever little they had. They abandoned homes, lived out of their cars, sold off their belongings for one hot meal, and took up odd gigs to make ends meet, hoping to be discovered one day. We bring you the biographies of some such famous American film and theater personalities who with their sheer perseverance surmounted the biggest odds and went on to be counted among some of the biggest celebrities we know today.

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 Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne Johnson
48
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 2, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

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.

 2 Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson
21
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 22, 1984
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

The popular, award winning gorgeous artist, Scarlett Johansson is the highest paid actress in the world. With an interest in acting, Scarlett Johansson debuted in films at the young age of eight and went on to act in numerous films including Lost in Translation, The Avengers, Hitchcock and Marriage Story. She has also worked in television and released an album.

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 3 Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp
42
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

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.

 4 Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo Dicaprio
26
Famous As: Actor, Film Producer
Birthdate: November 11, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 5 Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
19
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 3, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

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.

 6 Jason Momoa

Jason Momoa
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 1, 1979
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

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.  

 7 Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 31, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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.
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 8 Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie
22
Famous As: Actress, Filmmaker, Activist
Birthdate: June 4, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

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.

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 9 Will Smith

Will Smith
15
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 25, 1968
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

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.

 10 Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman
43
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 29, 1976
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
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.

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 11 Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez
37
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 22, 1992
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

Singer, songwriter, and actress, Selena Gomez, was destined for a career in the entertainment industry! The daughter of an actress, she was exposed to acting as a child and began her career early on. She gained much fame as a singer and actress in her teenage and was named the Billboard Woman of the Year in 2017.

 12 Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg
0
Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: June 5, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

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.

 13 Blake Lively

Blake Lively
5
Famous As: Model and Actress
Birthdate: August 25, 1987
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

Born into a family with a rich legacy in the entertainment industry, actress Blake Lively was exposed to acting as a young child. Even though she was not interested in acting as a teenager, she developed a passion for the same after winning a Teen Choice Award for one of her early TV shows.

 14 Robin Williams

Robin Williams
9
Famous As: American stand-up comedian
Birthdate: July 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
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.

 15 Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe
36
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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.

 16 Judy Garland

Judy Garland
5
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 10, 1922
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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.
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 17 Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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.

 18 Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 5, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

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.

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 19 Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez
7
Famous As: Singer, Actress, Dancer
Birthdate: July 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

Jennifer Lopez established herself as the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood after starring in films such as Out of Sight, The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan and Shall We Dance’. She is also an accomplished dancer and commercially very successful singer. She helped propel the Latin pop movement in American music. She is also a fashion designer and a businesswoman.

 20 Paul Walker

Paul Walker
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
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.

 21 Emma Stone

Emma Stone
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

One of the most successful and popular actresses of her generation, Emma Stone is known for movies like La La Land, The Amazing Spider-Man, Birdman and Battle of the Sexes. The award winning actress began as a child actor on stage and did numerous minor and supporting roles in television and films before making it big as a lead actress.

 22 Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler
23
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

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.

 23 Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: November 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 24 Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 28, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

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.

 25 Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel
2
Famous As: Actor, Filmmaker
Birthdate: July 18, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
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.

 26 Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 9, 1990
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

Popular Hollywood actress and filmmaker, Kristen Stewart garnered worldwide fame for her portrayal of Bella Swan in the massively successful Twilight film series. However, Stewart’s rendezvous with fame and success began at a much younger age when she debuted in the movie, The Thirteenth, Year and later worked in the movie. Panic Room. Her later notable work include Clouds of Sils Maria.

 27 Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 28 Elizabeth Olsen

Elizabeth Olsen
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 16, 1989
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

Elizabeth Olsen gained worldwide recognition for her performance as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch in films, such as Avengers: Endgame. Starting out as a child actress, she received singing and ballet lessons when she was a child. A New York University Tisch School of the Arts alumna, Elizabeth Olsen went on to establish herself as a successful actress.

 29 Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal
2
Birthdate: December 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 30 Anna Kendrick

Anna Kendrick
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 9, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

From an early successful Broadway career, Anna Kendrick moved to films and gained fame in a supporting role in the Twilight film series. She proved her skills as a lead actor in the Pitch Perfect franchise in which she also lent her voice to the hit song Cups. Her other significant projects include The Accountant and Up in the Air.

 31 Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford
0
Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: July 13, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

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.

 32 Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage
0
Famous As: Actor, Producer
Birthdate: January 7, 1964
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

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.

 33 Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington
2
Famous As: American actor
Birthdate: December 28, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

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. 

 34 Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: June 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

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.

 35 Betty White

betty white
20
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 17, 1922
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

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

 36 Megan Fox

Megan Fox
12
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 16, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

With her sharp facial features and stunning figure, actress Megan Fox is undoubtedly a head-turner! Making her debut in the early 2000s as a teenager, she has come a long way in Hollywood and is today counted among the most beautiful and sexiest women in entertainment. She has been featured on various magazine covers as well.

 

 37 Cameron Boyce

Cameron Boyce
13
Famous As: Actor, Dancer
Birthdate: May 28, 1999
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: July 6, 2019

American actor Cameron Boyce achieved stardom as a teenager when he played one of the leads in the television show, Jessie. His role in the Descendants television film catapulted him to bigger heights. He also starred in a number of successful feature films like Grown Ups. He died in July 2019, at a young age of 20, due to epilepsy.

 38 Zac Efron

Zac Efron
2
Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: October 18, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

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.

 39 Matt Damon

Matt Damon
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 8, 1970
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

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.

 40 Kevin Hart

Kevin Hart
4
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: July 6, 1979
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

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.

 41 Rami Malek

Rami Malek
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 12, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

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..

 42 Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman
0
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 1, 1937
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

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.

 43 Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 12, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American

One of the highest-paid actresses in the world in the 2010s, Anne Hathaway is the recipient of many awards, including an Academy Award. She began acting as a teenager in the early 2000s and often portrayed princesses in her initial films. She started taking up versatile roles as her career progressed. She campaigns for gender equality and supports LGBTQA+ rights.

 44 Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson
5
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

Born into a family of actors, Dakota Johnson debuted as a child artist and later began modelling. Her first big hit was the movie, The Social Network but it was the role of Anastasia Steele in the movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, and its two sequels that skyrocketed her fame to an international level. Her other work include the movie, Black Mass and A Bigger Splash.

 45 Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell
7
Famous As: Actress, Singer
Birthdate: July 18, 1980
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American

Kristen Bell started her career by acting in stage productions and gained recognition when she starred in the 2004 film Spartan. She’s starred in popular television series like Veronica Mars, Gossip Girl, House of Lies and The Good Place and films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Couples Retreat, When in Rome and The Boss. She’s had issues with depression and anxiety.

 46 John Krasinski

John Krasinski
0
Famous As: Actor, Director, Screenwriter
Birthdate: October 20, 1979
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
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.

 47 Amy Adams

Amy Adams
0
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: August 20, 1974
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American

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.

 48 Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 21, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

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.

 49 Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda
13
Famous As: American actress
Birthdate: December 21, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

Jane Fonda is hailed as one of the best actresses ever and has won two Oscars. She has acted in popular and acclaimed films like Barefoot in the Park, Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, Julia, The Morning After, The China Syndrome and California Suite. She’s also known for her exercise videos and is famous for her opposition to the Vietnam War.

 50 Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 17, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

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.