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Who is the Best Actor of all time?

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Johnny Depp

The best actor, not the one in the most things these days. J/K

I do like Johnny Depp though, very wide acting ability.

I don't know if I could say just one overall, but some of my favs are Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, and Will Smith has done some good work. I'd have to throw in Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino and their performances in Heat. That scene from the coffee shop brings me to a standing ovation every time.

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This is a pretty regular household discussion. I think the key is to separate what I refer to as "emotive" actors, who really get to the guts of the scene (a la old-school film through the DeNiro/Pacino/Nicholson types) from the guys who may or may not use method acting that I call "chameleonic" actors, and the latter are the ones that really blow me away. Daniel Day-Lewis, Christian Bale, and Ben Foster are my big 3 standouts though there have been others lately that have gotten my attention.

Old school: Jimmy Stewart, Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper

Mid-modern: Pacino, DeNiro, Nicholson

Transformative: Day-Lewis, Bale, Foster

These are just a few examples. I watch a lot of movies and very little TV so even the weird indie crap sometimes renders a few surprises. Also I think it's necessary to give a nod to voice actors, because there are a few like Kevin Michael Richardson and Frank Welker that are so awesome that they can literally sound like almost anything or anyone.

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Oldman's definitely another one. Look at him in the Batman stuff, 5th Element, and Hannibal (just to name a few) and it's shocking to realize it's the same guy.

Anyone who can play Sid Vicious and Beethoven in the same career has serious range.

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When I was in high school theater, some of the actors I looked to as inspiration were Tom Hanks. At that time he'd just one back-to-back Academy Awards for Best Actor. I was also a big fan of Gary Sinise. (Co-starred with Hanks in "Forrest Gump" and "Apollo 13," plus I was a fan of his work in "Of Mice and Men," which was required reading at the time so seeing him in the film was pretty cool to me) Mel Gibson was another one as well as Timm Robbins.

Currently, Christian Bale is a really under-rated method actor, as was Heath Ledger. (I miss that guy.) Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are usually actors that I feel compelled to see when they release something new.

I also really like Philip Seymour Hoffman. Nobody plays a pretentious, condescending a-hole like that dude. He's fantastic. In fact, unless I missed it I'm really surprised nobody's brought his name up yet.

-- Franchise

Edited by TheFranchise
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If you missed Impostor, Gary Sinise is awesome in that too. It was kind of ignored even though it's by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, etc). Hoffman is great as well, and lots of people apparently missed his Oscar winning performance in Capote. Also, if you haven't seen Jacob's Ladder with Tim Robbins, you need to. In addition to being a great actor, he's definitely one of the smartest, most educated men in Hollywood and is a real thinker, so I don't mind him discussing social issues and politics in lieu of hearing another rant by someone who can barely form a sentence if it's not typed out for them in advance.

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Best?.. don't know ... Favorites: James Stewart, good movies, lot of variety, REAL war hero, bomber pilot in WWII in dangerous Ruhr Valley and later General in reserves, married once, great character [ unlike J.Wayne spent NO time in military despite WWII going on, three marriages (none American born) , stayed drunk a lot, would have a bad image problem in today's world of intense media ] ...... Today actors... Tom Hanks.

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For some good Tim Olyphant, there's an obscure tear-jerker with him, Jen Garner, and Kevin Smith. Can't remember the title, something about "Fishing" maybe? He was a bit of a turnaround sleaze in that, but even sleazier in Meet Bill. Awesome Aaron Eckhart movie with tons of stars...sort of his indie "American Beauty". Obviously a knockoff but still a great flick.

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