Who do you like better? Al Pacino or Robert De Niro?
Who is more talented? Marlon Brando or Paul Newman?
Well these are the type of questions people can never answer in unison. At least we all should be very happy we have so many favorites. But who are the ones that are considered to be the best actors ever? Let's try to find what majority of people think about this.
Starting with the 60s, we have three contenders. Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and Jack Lemmon. Three diametrically opposite personas but amazingly talented individuals. Some of the top films, both artistically and box-office wise featured these big guns of Hollywood. To name a few : A streetcar named desire, The Godfather, The Apartment, The Hustler, The Sting, The color of money, The Verdict. And the list goes on and on.
Coming onto the 70s and 80s, we see a new wave in cinema and young directors like Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg are starting make an impact.This time period gave us great actors. Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Robert Duvall, Robert Redford, Martin Sheen, Michael Douglas, Jane Fonda to name just a few. Iconic films like The Godfather, Apocalypse now, The Network, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Cape Feare, Dog Day Afternoon, The China Syndrome, Wall Street are some of the most cherished memories of moviegoers from that era. Hardened criminals, rock star cops, corrupt and honest lawyers, Italian mafia and bankrupt gigolos : these guys played all these characters with such conviction and caliber that some of these roles became their off screen image too. The benchmark was set quite high for the actors to follow in the 90s
In the 90s, we get a whole new generation of method actors as well as petty comics. Stand up comedians try acting lane and fare really well. Tom Hanks and Robin Williams. Also the emergence of some really cool actors from beyond the pond like Ralph Fiennes and Daniel Day Lewis gives a new texture to the fabric of Hollywood. The man who personified dignity for years to come, Morgan Freeman got his first hit in Shawshank Redemption, which is considered to be the best movie ever by a millions of people today. Wacko directors like Tarantino came up with strange acting jobs and Samuel L Jackson and co were up to the task in Pulp Fiction.
At the turn of the millennium, we had mega block buster stars like Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic and Will Smith in survival comedies. Come 2005 and a new Batman played by Christian Baled promised us that a star is born.
So this is just a guesswork after all. It's not possible to determine the best ever but let's be honest : We are all glad these guys happened to us. There may be a whole lot of different people on other people's minds but these are some of the best actors ever. Without a shadow of a doubt, as Clint Eastwood would say!