Top 100 Movie Stars

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This page of Top 100 Movie Stars comes from two lists.  The first list is the American Film Institute’s Top 50 Classic Stars.  The second list is our list of the Top 50 Current Stars.  Current at least compared to the AFI list.  Their are 50 Actors and 50 Actresses Listed Here.  Yes some great performers were left off…but overall we feel this is an outstanding Top 100.

  1.  AFI’s Top 50 Stars – stars before 1950
  2. UMR’s Top 25 Actors – actors who became stars after 1950
  3. UMR’s Top 25 Actresses – actresses who became stars after 1950

You will get two tables of stats on this page.  Table One lists the Top 15 by category.  You will get the Top 15 box office stars, the Top 15 best reviewed stars and the Top 15 cumulative Oscars® nomination all movies all categories.  Table Two lists all Top 100 Movie Stars with an assortment of stats.

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Top 100 Movie Stars: Top 15 Stars by Category

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Columns 1 and 2 list the Top 15 Stars by career adjusted domestic box office…numbers are in billions
  • Columns 3 and 4 list the Top 15 Stars by highest career critic/audience rating….to make this list the minimum was 25 movies
  • Columns 5 and 6 list the Top 15 Stars by career Oscar® nominations and Oscar® wins….all Oscar® categories are included
RankTop 100 ActorCareer Adjusted Domestic Box Office Top 100 ActorAverage Career Critic Audience Rating Top 100 ActorCareer Oscar Noms/Wins
Harrison Ford$11.08 BillionCary Grant73.0%Meryl Streep103 / 27
John Wayne$11.00 BillionJudy Garland72.1%Gary Cooper101 / 18
Clark Gable$10.55 BillionIngrid Bergman71.9%Paul Newman098 / 22
James Stewart$9.61 BillionHumphrey Bogart71.3%Jack Nicholson097 / 22
Gary Cooper$9.47 BillionJames Stewart70.5%Gregory Peck096 / 22
Spencer Tracy$9.10 BillionMarlene Dietrich70.0%Gene Hackman092 / 17
Henry Fonda$8.28 BillionLeonardo DiCaprio69.8%Marlon Brando090 / 23
Cary Grant$8.25 BillionFred Astaire69.7%Spencer Tracy090 / 17
Myrna Loy$7.89 BillionJack Nicholson69.5%William Holden088 / 28
Paul Newman$7.51 BillionBurt Lancaster69.3%Dustin Hoffman088 /23
Gregory Peck$7.36 BillionSteve McQueen69.3%Burt Lancaster088 / 20
Gene Hackman$7.19 BillionKatharine Hepburn69.2%Leonardo DiCaprio085 / 29
Tom Hanks$7.04 BillionSpencer Tracy69.0%Tom Hanks085 / 19
Humphrey Bogart$6.99 BillionBrad Pitt68.8%Bette Davis084 / 14
William Holden$6.94 BillionClint Eastwood68.6%Olivia de Havilland 080 / 25

Top 100 Movie Stars by Category

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Top 100 Movie Stars by the amount of their movies in our database
  • Sort Top 100 Movie Stars by by career adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost.
  • Sort Top 100 Movie Stars by career average critics and audience rating…all their movies combined
  • Sort Top 100 Movie Stars by how many career Oscar® nominations and Oscar® wins their combined movies earned
  • Sort Top 100 Movie Stars by their career average Ultimate Movie Ranking (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
  • Use the sort and search buttons to make this table very interactive.  For example…if you type in “actress” in the search box….the 50 actresses will pop right up.
  • The actor link takes you to our UMR page on that performer
  • The default setting on the page is career box office….but you can sort the stars anyway you want
RankActor/Actress MoviesCareer Adjusted Box Office in BillionsAverage Critic Audience RatingOscar Noms / WinsUMR Score
Harrison Ford Actor49$11.0866.6%080 / 2048.38
John Wayne Actor84$11.0065.4%074 / 1449.92
Clark Gable Actor63$10.5567.9%047 / 1752.23
James Stewart Actor73$9.6170.5%079 / 1451.75
Gary Cooper Actor68$9.4768.2%101 / 1851.78
Spencer Tracy Actor55$9.10 69.0%090 / 1754.59
Henry Fonda Actor83$8.2864.3%058 / 1344.47
Cary Grant Actor58$8.2573.0%071 / 0954.22
Myrna Loy Actress62$7.8966.1%041 / 1348.84
Paul Newman Actor57$7.5165.1%098 / 2246.74
Gregory Peck Actor54$7.3667.1%096 / 2250.58
Gene Hackman Actor76$7.1964.5%092 / 1742.07
Tom Hanks Actor43$7.0468.1%085 / 1953.27
Humphrey Bogart Actor58$6.9971.3%051 / 1051.74
William Holden Actor66$6.9464.1%088 / 2844.79
Robert Mitchum Actor85$6.9262.0%037 / 0640.51
Burt Lancaster Actor67$6.7469.3%088 / 2047.21
Olivia de Havilland Actress47$6.7364.8%080 / 2548.95
Barbara Stanwyck Actress71$6.5165.2 %029 / 0145.05
Edward G. Robinson Actor67$6.4966.6 %033 / 0244.48
Dustin Hoffman Actor50$6.4766.1 %088 / 2347.61
Robert Redford Actor42$6.3766.4 %069 / 2748.81
James Cagney Actor61$6.3666.9 %046 / 0847.45
Bette Davis Actress79$6.3264.9 %084 / 1444.44
Elizabeth Taylor Actress47$6.2158.4%076 / 2345.65
Joan Crawford Actress73$6.1558.9%032 / 0341.26
Ginger Rogers Actress54$6.1365.0%039 / 0348.04
Tom Cruise Actor38$6.2167.0%055 / 0953.69
Morgan Freeman Actor60$6.0663.6%061 / 1843.80
Judy Garland Actress32$5.9072.1%039 / 0658.72
Claudette Colbert Actress48$5.8966.7%041 / 0848.59
Michael Caine Actor89$5.8262.1%072 / 1338.45
Sean Connery Actor54$5.7062.6%029 / 0542.30
Fred Astaire Actor39$5.5169.7%059 / 0752.68
Marlon Brando Actor37$5.3467.2%090 / 2350.82
Robin Williams Actor53$5.2955.4%048 / 0741.13
Clint Eastwood Actor47$5.2468.6%025 / 0849.33
Robert DeNiro Actor91$5.2362.4%078 / 1738.50
Kirk Douglas Actor71$5.1964.0%046 / 1540.96
Jack Nicholson Actor48$5.0869.5%097 / 2249.39
Katharine Hepburn Actress43$4.9469.2%063 / 1450.92
Ingrid Bergman Actress32$4.8871.9%066 / 1353.14
Gene Kelly Actor40$4.7664.5%052 / 1348.46
Mel Gibson Actor39$4.7163.3%032 / 0945.75
Jack Lemmon Actor52$4.7068.2%069 / 1545.26
Shirley Temple Actress37$4.6867.7%013 / 0249.82
Shirley MacLaine Actress49$4.6361.5%075 / 1742.46
Natalie Wood Actress43$4.5661.7%051 / 1544.79
Julie Andrews Actress23$4.5065.4%061 / 1249.08
Doris Day Actress39$4.4865.2%029 / 0448.07
Deborah Kerr Actress39$4.4767.0%071 / 2247.69
Ava Gardner Actress40$4.3860.3%030 / 0343.39
Julia Roberts Actress40$4.3157.2%021 / 0143.13
Mary Pickford Actress31$4.2566.4%001 / 0151.89
Will Smith Actor24$4.1557.7%011 / 0248.39
Sally Field Actress27$4.1263.5%045 /1342.54
Barbra Streisand Actress19$3.9158.4%044 / 0852.81
Richard Burton Actor47$3.8161.0%073 / 1840.15
Brad Pitt Actor41$3.7768.8%073 / 1248.01
Irene Dunne Actress31$3.7568.0%042 / 0750.21
Al Pacino Actor41$3.6764.8%058 / 1444.62
Jane Fonda Actress43$3.6563.0%063 / 1343.22
Lillian Gish Actress31$3.5768.2%006 / 0145.36
Meryl Streep Actress52$3.5668.4%103 / 2746.22
Laurence Olivier Actor48$3.5567.2%073 / 1744.91
Diane Keaton Actress43$3.5363.5%067 / 1742.21
Sidney Poitier Actor42$3.5165.7%054 / 1243.77
Rita Hayworth Actress35$3.5064.0%035 / 0545.72
Leonardo DiCaprio Actor25$3.3869.8%085 / 2952.14
Sandra Bullock Actress33$3.3652.0%023 / 1339.99
Denzel Washington Actor43$3.3467.3%029 / 0645.10
Steve McQueen Actor26$3.3069.3%030 / 0547.70
Susan Sarandon Actress64$3.2761.7%034 / 0237.01
Carole Lombard Actress39$3.0563.4%008 / 0042.20
Vivien Leigh Actress15$3.0470.7%041 / 1551.48
Orson Welles Actor76$3.0165.2%038 / 0937.15
Marilyn Monroe Actress24$2.9771.7%030 / 0751.15
Marlene Dietrich Actress30$2.9470.0%033 / 0348.58
Lauren Bacall Actress36$2.9368.3%018 / 0543.49
Faye Dunaway Actress25$2.8660.2%048 / 1141.88
Angelina Jolie Actress33$2.8054.0%012 / 0138.54
Peter O'Toole Actor35$2.7964.5%054 / 2142.80
Danny Kaye Actor17$2.7769.6%020 / 0153.14
Julie Christie Actress19$2.6766.5%044 / 1139.99
Audrey Hepburn Actress24$2.6571.6%058 / 1551.01
Jean Harlow Actress22$2.6170.8%004 / 0048.92
Anne Bancroft Actress24$2.3870.4%040 / 0343.77
Goldie Hawn Actress28$2.3756.6%016 / 0440.46
Grace Kelly Actress11$2.3476.4%028 / 0863.14
Charles Chaplin Actor12$2.2981.8%007 / 0156.95
Jodie Foster Actress36$2.2866.0%025 / 0742.17
Kate Winslet Actress30$2.0767.1%054 / 1639.91
Sophia Loren Actress34$2.0659.0%019 / 0236.81
Greta Garbo Actress24$2.0271.9%013 / 0148.44
Cate Blanchett Actress36$1.8666.3%062 / 1240.41
Charlize Theron Actress35$1.7556.5%025 / 0935.05
Marx Brothers Actor18$1.5368.0%001 / 0045.02
Mae West Actress12$1.4060.3%002 / 0044.93
Daniel Day-Lewis Actor16$0.9577.0%076 / 2051.88
James Dean Actor3$0.9285.5%017 / 0278.23
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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151 thoughts on “Top 100 Movie Stars

  1. REST IN PEACE BARRY NORMAN

    1 The renowned English film critic, media personality and novelist Barry Norman has died peacefully in his sleep aged 83.

    2 Barry became particularly noticed among film historians and buffs for his TV series The Hollywood Greats (1977-79 and 1983) which profiled many of the Greats of Hollywood’s classic era. To be profiled by Barry the Great had to be deceased and sadly Barry has now joined their company. Because of his recognised affinity with the Legends of the movie world I personally feel that this 100 Great Stars page is an appropriate place to record Barry’s passing and pay one’s final respect to him

    3 The Queen of England made Barry a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [OBE} in 1998. He was a fanatic for the sport of Cricket.

    1. Hi Bob, RIP Barry Norman.

      I was watching his film programmes every week for decades. The end of an era.

      1. HI STEVE

        Yes very sad. Whilst The Hollywood Greats attracted the most attention Barry also did a series on the British Greats(1980)

        1. Bob, I was thinking more of his weekly movie show which he hosted for three decades. Back then I was more interested in the latest movies than John Mills and Clara Bow.

          I used to use his catchphrase “and why not” a lot back then, more as an end of sentence statement than a question. He claims never to have said that but it must have come from somewhere.

          1. STEVE 1 Barry certainly said a lot of witty and original things and he was also very observant. It is almost a morbid coincidence that it was he who first drew my attention to the fact that English performers were the best at playing the “silly twits” about which you and I have recently joked. Norman pointed out that the likes of Ian Carmichael and David Tomlinson played characters who were actually quite intelligent but often accident-prone and/or burdened by the compulsion to be a do-gooder.

            2 In contrast the US silly twit persona as played by Jerry Lewis and Lou Costello was Barry pointed out normally based on slapstick-type antics and/or seeming to be somewhat stupid like the character played by Britain’s Norman Wisdom. Certainly to me the English interpretations conveyed by Carmichael/Tomlinson were always much funnier and I could never warm to Lewis or Costello, or Wisdom.

            3 In the brilliant 1960 School for Scoundrels guru Alastair Sim at his school of “One Upmanship” teaches well-intention hapless loser Carmichael how to be a winner and turn the tables on bully Terry-Thomas and “get the girl” In the film both Ian and Thomas pursue the lovely Janette Scott and to avoid offending either she agrees to go to the movies with both whom she sits between. In the darkness each of the men sneakily seek to hold Janette’s hand and each thinks that he is doing so until they both look at her and see her sitting with her arms folded and are horrified to realise they are holding each other’s hand! In my view the like of Lewis would have been incapable of carrying off such a subtle and deliciously funny sketch and to get laughs would probably have had to spill his popcorn round another patron’s head.

  2. HI JOHN 1 Thank W o John for her feedback. My politics would veer more toward hers than yours. Now there’s a surprise! you and I can’t even agree about politics. However I’m not going down THAT road as I believe in separating an actor’s politics from his/her appeal as a star and whilst the Duke’s politics are not my cup of tea I paid my ticket price not for his political contribution or views but for my enjoyment of him as an actor and he certainly gave me plenty of that. Indeed I fail to see how any objective list-maker of the Greats could leave Wayne out of the Top 5 let alone the 20

    2 I agree that Lancaster, Douglas and Kerr should have been on that list and I indicated as much about the first two in one of my posts on the subject. I also think Chuck should have been on it though there like you and Steve I’m biased because he, Widmark and Jimmy Stewart were a big part of my boyhood from the very beginning even before 10 Commandment and Ben Hur whereas Mr Mumbles., Greg, the Duke and Glenn Ford didn’t start to appeal to me until I got a bit older and of course Morg wasn’t around in movies those days.

    3 Objectivity also leads me to conclude that “old and fat” though he may have been in W o J’s eyes that cantankerous b*****d Tracy should have been included too. I would not be dogmatic about how high he should have been placed but certainly he deserved to be ranked above quite a few who were on the list outside the Top 8. Bruce’s stats show beyond doubt that since Spence became a star in the late 1930s he had a continual run of hits which, unlike in the case of even many other Greats, lasted right up until his death. The 19 films for which Bruce gives him credit from just 1950 until 1967 have an adjusted Cogerson domestic gross of nearly $2.7 billion and a fine average of approx $140 million. Two of his final movies Mad/World (63) and Guess/Dinner (67) had an adjusted 2017 worldwide gross of $1.1 billion according to available stats and latest estimated ticket prices.

  3. As I grew up in the 1950s I was interested in the RANKER Organisation’s list of Most Prominent Film Stars of the 1950s only though unlike Cogerson RANKER doesn’t publish objective material such as box office stats to justify its rankings. There were actually two aspects of the list that I found particularly significant: (1) 6 of RANKER’s Top 8 were male Legends whose careers began in the 1930s or earlier and two of those Legends even topped the poll (2) conversely none of the great female stars of early Hollywood had seemingly maintained top status when the 1950s got going. Here is the list of RANKER’s Top 20.
    1James Stewart
    2John Wayne
    3Marlon Brando
    4Marilyn Monroe
    5Clark Gable
    6Gary Cooper
    7Humphrey Bogart
    8William Holden
    9Shirley MacLaine
    10Audrey Hepburn
    11Jack Lemmon
    12Elizabeth Taylor
    13Grace Kelly
    14Sophia Loren
    15Kim Novak
    16Jerry Lewis
    17James Dean
    18Natalie Wood
    19 Doris Day
    20Frank Sinatra

    1. Hey Bob….thanks for the Top 20. I have run across information from Ranker many times during my movie research. Interesting information for sure. Weaker people on the Top 20….in my opinion….Sophia Loren, Kim Novak and to a lesser degree Shirley MacLaine. I am sure you are happy with their 3rd pick. The absence of Cary Grant makes me dismiss the overall list right away….lol. 🙂

      1. Bob, I’ve looked at the website Ranker a few times and they haven’t come in useful when I’ve been preparing my videos, their rankings are all over the place and can’t be trusted. I’ ve had a peek at their Claude Rains page and they have Mr. Skeffington ranked above Robin Hood, Notorious and Lawrence of Arabia.

        On their Peter Lorre page The Man Who Knew Too Much is placed above The Maltese Falcon. Yep and it could give the wrong impression to people who are curious what the best films are for each actor. Bruce’s website is a far better indicator of an actor’s top rated films.

        That top 20 you posted is missing Cary Grant so you can tell something is wrong right there. Kim Novak above James Dean, Doris Day and Frank Sinatra?

        1. HI STEVE
          1 I totally agree with your comments and indeed another glaring weakness in the RANKER 1950s list is the absence of the likes of Rock Hudson.and Robert Mitchum who were massive in the 1950s Lancaster and Douglas are mentioned below the Top 20 that I have repeated but those two were clearly bigger in the 1950s than most of the people outside the Top 8. Also when you look at Laddie’s 1950s stats on Bruce’s Ladd page Alan was surely bigger – at least at the box office! – than the likes of Natalie Wood or Kim Novak.

          2 However I like to study the widest variety of lists to see if each offers anything new and indeed I find all kinds of lists great fun. I am grateful for your feedback because with your ongoing research for your videos you will obviously normally have a better experience of the reliability of of a list than I would and certainly we are agreed that Bruce’s rankings are more realistic that those of the RANKER organisation with an important exception- RANKER lists as one of Mr Mumbles’ key films Superman Returns!!!

          3 Anyway discussing lists like theirs keeps us away from Myrna Loy and and getting our k******s in a twist about character actors v leading men so I enjoyed this pleasant exchange with you.

      2. HI BRUCE
        1 As a list addict it is always valuable to me if I can get the feedback of experienced researchers like Steve and you so I value your observations.

        2 As soon as I saw the Top 20 I immediately asked myself where’s Grant,Lancaster, Douglas, Mitchum and Hudson and to a lesser Laddie because your chart shows Laddie with 7 hits including the massive Shane crashing the 100 million barrier and a lot of more minor hits as well.

        3 I am naturally pleased with the Top 3 and indeed with the exception of Grant’s exclusion I couldn’t quarrel with the Top 8 as although one might place them perhaps in a slightly different order they certainly bear out my recollection of who were at least among the very greatest male stars of the 1950s though for me Hope and Crosby and Glenn Ford would have been in contention.I am sure that John regardless of who else he disagrees with on the list will not dispute the inclusion of Cooper though John might have regarded him as No 1

        4 One thing that the list does have in common with other lists including your own is that it seems to bear out W o C’s findings that the careers of the top male stars outlasted those of the greatest women stars.

        1. Hey Bob…..like you I like lists too. So it is fun to check out their rankings. When doing Google searches our pages so times compete with each other….for awhile Google listed them first lately UMR does.

          When I eventually finish off my last 3 yearly reviews for the 1940s I am going to do a 1940s decade page…I think that massive table will be interesting to see who ruled the 1940s.

          Lots of great stars are missing for sure …but it is still a fun page to view. 🙂

    2. Cogerson, Steve, and Bob

      Just reacting to the list.

      The top four are reasonable. After that I think the list goes somewhat off the rails, if it is a list of those who were outstanding in the fifties. I would rate Gable #1 on such a list for the thirties, but while he remained personally popular in the fifties, I couldn’t rate him this high on the basis of the quality of his films or total box-office success in this decade. I would drop him into the second ten. Cooper? He did make High Noon, his most famous role, in this decade, but I would drop him a few notches also.
      Who moves up? William Holden for certain with a whole series of major films, including Sunset Blvd. and The Bridge on the River Kwai. Frankly, I think Holden has to be in the top five.
      I would also move Elisabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly up a few notches. I don’t think Shirley MacLaine or Sophia Loren or Natalie Wood should be on such a list for this decade.

      As for who was left off and shouldn’t have been. Cary Grant has been mentioned,
      but, what about Burt Lancaster? Kirk Douglas? Tony Curtis? Charlton Heston? All were the stars of classics in the 1950’s and I think all of their careers arguably peaked in that decade.

      And what about Rock Hudson?

      I would also move Doris Day up a few notches, and Audrey Hepburn down a few notches (for this decade–I think her best decade was the sixties)

      Bottom line–I guess I don’t find this a particularly well-done list except for the top four.

      And I know this list was reprinted to stir discussion and doesn’t necessarily reflect anyone’s thinking.

      1. HI JOHN

        1 Thanks for examining the list and giving me your feedback. I was actually happy with the Top 8 after which I thought the list went haywire in places. However Steve will probably be delighted that you and I are at least agreed on the Top 4 so I’ll settle for 4.

        2 And what about Wife of John? Was she disappointed that the “affable” Spencer Tracy wasn’t on the list?

        1. Bob

          Wife of John has a mind of her own. She is liberal. (I am a Paleozoic reactionary myself) I don’t know if Brits are aware of this, but John Wayne is controversial among some American liberals because of his conservative views. To make a long story short, she doesn’t want John Wayne placed that high. Her opinion of Spencer Tracy is that he had gotten too old and fat by the 1950’s to appeal all that much to her. She agrees with me that Burt and Kirk should be on the list.

          *aside–I didn’t think of her, but Deborah Kerr definitely should have made this list. Her career was outstanding in the 1950’s.

  4. RANKER Listing Organisation
    THE 20 GREATEST ACTORS OF ALL TIME
    [In ranking order Regardless of Nationality]

    1Tom Hanks
    2Jack Nicholson
    3Marlon Brando
    4Robert DeNiro
    5Dustin Hoffman
    6James Stewart
    7Sir Anthony Hopkins
    8Humphrey Bogart
    9Morgan Freeman
    10Al Pacino
    11Cary Grant
    12Gregory Peck
    13Charlie Chaplin
    14Paul Newman
    15Clint Eastwood
    16Lord Olivier
    17Gene Hackman
    18Leonardo DiCaprio
    19Sir Maurice Micklewhite
    20Robert Duvall
    I have 4 of my top idols on this list [Brando, Peck, Stewart and Morg] and Bruce does well with 4 of those I have known him to talk about – Grant, Hanks Newman and Sir Maurice but sadly no Willis. Flora has Greg of the ones I’ve seen her mention but I am not sure how much joy there is here for anyone else on this site. However again sorter buttons are available on the site for people to do their own lists. I am taking it acting rather than general legendary status is the criteria or I would be concerned at the absence of the Duke’s name whilst I am used to Philistines seriously underrating him as an actor.

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