The Most Gifted/Talented People in Cinematic History

by UncleLookAtMe | created - 23 Jan 2021 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

*Not in particular order

1. Heath Ledger

Actor | Brokeback Mountain

When hunky, twenty-year-old heart-throb Heath Ledger first came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of little depth. He spent several years trying desperately to sway this image, but this was a double-edged sword. His work comprised ...

2. James Dean

Actor | East of Eden

James Byron Dean was born February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana, to Mildred Marie (Wilson) and Winton A. Dean, a farmer turned dental technician. His mother died when Dean was nine, and he was subsequently raised on a farm by his aunt and uncle in Fairmount, Indiana. After grade school, he moved to ...

3. Eddie Redmayne

Actor | Les Misérables

British actor Eddie Redmayne won the Academy Award for Best Actor (for The Theory of Everything (2014)).

Edward John David Redmayne was born and raised in London, England, the son of Patricia (Burke) and Richard Charles Tunstall Redmayne, a businessman. His great-grandfather was Sir Richard ...

4. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Henry V

Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...

5. Charlotte Gainsbourg

Actress | Antichrist

Charlotte Gainsbourg was born in London, England in 1971. She is an Anglo-French actress and singer. The daughter of English singer and actress Jane Birkin and French songwriter, singer and actor Serge Gainsbourg, she was raised in Paris. Charlotte made her motion picture debut in 1984. In 1986, ...

6. Michael Byrne

Actor | Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Michael Byrne was born on November 7, 1943 in London, England, UK. He is an actor, known for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Sum of All Fears (2002) and Braveheart (1995).

7. Sharlto Copley

Actor | District 9

Sharlto Copley was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Linda Stocks and Bruce Copley, a former university professor. His childhood dreams of acting were put on hold for many years when his television production company was one of few in his native South Africa granted licensing to create content...

8. Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor | Inception

Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains (1985) and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3 (1991), to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s,...

9. Alex Lawther

Actor | The End of the F***ing World

Alex Lawther was born in Petersfield, Hampshire, England in 1995. He is known for his role as the young Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014) for which he won the London Film Critics' Circle Award for "Young British Performer of the Year" in January of 2015. Being the youngest of three, and the ...

10. Kelly Macdonald

Actress | No Country for Old Men

Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald was born and raised in Glasgow. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she was raised by her mother, a sales executive in the garment industry. She has one brother, David. As a hobby, she acted in an amateur theatrical club, which she enjoyed a great deal. ...

11. Rachel Weisz

Actress | The Constant Gardener

Rachel Hannah Weisz was born on 7 March, 1970, in London, U.K., to Edith Ruth (Teich), a psychoanalyst, and George Weisz, an inventor. Her parents both came to England around 1938. Her father is a Hungarian Jewish immigrant, and her mother, from Vienna, was of Italian and Austrian Jewish heritage. ...

12. Rachel McAdams

Actress | The Notebook

Rachel Anne McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario, Canada, to Sandra Kay (Gale), a nurse, and Lance Frederick McAdams, a truck driver and furniture mover. She is of English, Welsh, Irish, and Scottish descent. Rachel became involved with acting as a teenager and by the age of 13 ...

13. Noomi Rapace

Actress | Män som hatar kvinnor

Swedish actress Noomi Rapace was born in Hudiksvall, Gävleborgs län, Sweden to Swedish actress Nina Norén and Spanish Flamenco singer Rogelio de Badajoz (Rogelio Durán). Her parents did not stay together, and when she was five she moved to Iceland with her mother and stepfather, where she lived for...

14. Tom Cruise

Actor | Top Gun

In 1976, if you had told fourteen-year-old Franciscan seminary student Thomas Cruise Mapother IV that one day in the not too distant future he would be Tom Cruise, one of the top 100 movie stars of all time, he would have probably grinned and told you that his ambition was to join the priesthood. ...

15. Ian McKellen

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in the UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery ...

16. Laurie Metcalf

Actress | Lady Bird

Laurie Metcalf was born June 16, 1955 in Carbondale, Illinois, the oldest of three children of Libby (Mars), a librarian, and James Metcalf, a budget director. She was raised in Edwardsville, Illinois. Laurie attended Illinois State University, where she obtained her bachelor of arts in theater in ...

17. Christian Bale

Actor | The Dark Knight

Christian Charles Philip Bale was born in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK on January 30, 1974, to English parents Jennifer "Jenny" (James) and David Bale. His mother was a circus performer and his father, who was born in South Africa, was a commercial pilot. The family lived in different countries ...

18. Adam Driver

Actor | Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Adam Douglas Driver was born in San Diego, California. His mother, Nancy (Needham) Wright, is a paralegal from Mishawaka, Indiana, and his father, Joe Douglas Driver, who has deep roots in the American South, is from Little Rock, Arkansas. His stepfather is a Baptist minister. His ancestry includes...

19. Alan Alda

Actor | M*A*S*H

Alan Alda (born under the name Alphonso Joseph D'Abruzzo) is an American actor, comedian, film director, and screenwriter from New York City. His father was the Italian-American actor Robert Alda. Alda's best known role was playing chief surgeon Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce in the ...

20. Jake Gyllenhaal

Actor | Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal was born on December 19, 1980 in Los Angeles, California as Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal, the son of producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner and director Stephen Gyllenhaal, and the younger brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal. He is of Ashkenazi Jewish (mother) and Swedish, English, and ...

21. J.K. Simmons

Actor | Whiplash

J.K. Simmons is an American actor.

He was born Jonathan Kimble Simmons in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to Patricia (Kimble), an administrator, and Donald William Simmons, a music teacher. He attended the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; University of Montana, Missoula, MT (BA in Music).

He had ...

22. Joaquin Phoenix

Actor | Her

Joaquin Phoenix was born Joaquin Rafael Bottom in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Arlyn (Dunetz) and John Bottom, and is the middle child in a brood of five. His parents, from the continental United States, were then serving as Children of God missionaries. His mother is from a Jewish family from New ...

23. Will Smith

Producer | The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Willard Carroll "Will" Smith II (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, comedian, producer, rapper, and songwriter. He has enjoyed success in television, film, and music. In April 2007, Newsweek called him "the most powerful actor in Hollywood". Smith has been nominated for five Golden ...

24. John Goodman

Actor | 10 Cloverfield Lane

John Stephen Goodman's an American film, TV & stage actor. He was born in Affton, Missouri to Virginia Roos (Loosmore), a waitress and saleswoman & Leslie Francis Goodman, a postal worker who died when he was a small child. He's of English, Welsh & German ancestry. He's best known for his role as ...

25. Russell Crowe

Actor | Les Misérables

Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom catered movie sets. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Wemyss, was a cinematographer. Crowe's recent ancestry includes Welsh (where his paternal grandfather was born, in Wrexham),...

26. Robin Williams

Actor | Mrs. Doubtfire

Robin McLaurin Williams was born on Saturday, July 21st, 1951, in Chicago, Illinois, a great-great-grandson of Mississippi Governor and Senator, Anselm J. McLaurin. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (née Janin), was a former model from Mississippi, and his father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams, was a Ford ...

27. Michael Keaton

Actor | Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Quirky, inventive and handsome American actor Michael Keaton first achieved major fame with his door-busting performance as fast-talking ideas man Bill Blazejowski, alongside a nerdish morgue attendant (Henry Winkler), in Night Shift (1982). He played further comedic roles in Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny...

28. Lee Van Cleef

Actor | Escape from New York

One of the great movie villains, Clarence Leroy Van Cleef, Jr. was born in Somerville, New Jersey, to Marion Lavinia (Van Fleet) and Clarence LeRoy Van Cleef, Sr. His parents were of Dutch ancestry. Van Cleef started out as an accountant. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard minesweepers and sub ...

29. Christoph Waltz

Actor | Django Unchained

Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor. He is known for his work with American filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, receiving acclaim for portraying SS-Standartenführer Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds (2009) and bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained (2012). For each performance, he won...

30. James Stewart

Actor | Anatomy of a Murder

James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908, in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he ...

31. Aaron Paul

Actor | Breaking Bad

Aaron Paul was born Aaron Paul Sturtevant in Emmett, Idaho, to Darla (Haynes) and Robert Sturtevant, a retired Baptist minister. While growing up, Paul took part in church programs, and performed in plays.

He attended Centennial High School in Boise, Idaho. It was there, in eighth grade, that Aaron ...

32. Bryan Cranston

Actor | Breaking Bad

Bryan Lee Cranston was born on March 7, 1956 in Hollywood, California, to Audrey Peggy Sell, a radio actress, and Joe Cranston, an actor and former amateur boxer. His maternal grandparents were German, and his father was of Irish, German, and Austrian-Jewish ancestry. He was raised in the Canoga ...

33. Joe Pesci

Actor | GoodFellas

Compact Italian-American actor Joe Pesci was born February 9, 1943 in Newark, New Jersey, to Mary (Mesce), a part-time barber, and Angelo Pesci, a bartender and forklift driver. Pesci first broke into entertainment as a child actor, and by the mid-1950s, was starring on the series "Star Time Kids"....

34. Al Pacino

Actor | Serpico

Alfredo James "Al" 'Pacino established himself as a film actor during one of cinema's most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

He was born April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York City, to Italian-American parents, Rose (nee Gerardi)...

35. Robert De Niro

Actor | Raging Bull

One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is Irish, English, Dutch, German, and French. He was trained ...

36. Mark Wahlberg

Producer | The Fighter

American actor Mark Wahlberg is one of a handful of respected entertainers who successfully made the transition from teen pop idol to acclaimed actor. A Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for The Departed (2006) who went on to receive positive critical reviews for his performance in The Fighter (...

37. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...

38. Anthony Hopkins

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, ...

39. Max von Sydow

Actor | Flash Gordon

Max von Sydow was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Skåne, Sweden, to a middle-class family. He was the son of Baroness Maria Margareta (Rappe), a teacher, and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist and folklore professor. His surname traces back to his partial German ancestry.

...

40. Charles Chaplin

Writer | The Great Dictator

Considered to be one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood, Charlie Chaplin lived an interesting life both in his films and behind the camera. He is most recognized as an icon of the silent film era, often associated with his popular character, the Little Tramp; the man with the ...

41. Rowan Atkinson

Actor | Johnny English

Rowan Sebastian Atkinson was born on 6 January, 1955, in Consett, Co. Durham, UK, to Ella May (Bainbridge) and Eric Atkinson. His father owned a farm, where Rowan grew up with his two older brothers, Rupert and Rodney. He attended Newcastle University and Oxford University where he earned degrees ...

42. Helena Bonham Carter

Actress | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Helena Bonham Carter is an actress of great versatility, one of the UK's finest and most successful.

Bonham Carter was born May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England, the youngest of three children of Elena (née Propper de Callejón), a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant ...

43. Johnny Depp

Actor | Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II was born on June 9, 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky, to Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells), a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. He was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school when he was 15, and fronted a series of music-garage bands, including one ...

44. Eva Green

Actress | Casino Royale

French actress and model Eva Gaëlle Green was born on July 6, 1980, in Paris, France. Her father, Walter Green, is a dentist who appeared in the 1966 film Au hasard Balthazar (1966). Her mother, Marlène Jobert, is an actress turned children's book writer. Eva's mother was born in Algeria, of French...

45. Rosamund Pike

Actress | Gone Girl

Born in 1979 in London, England, actress Rosamund Mary Elizabeth Pike is the only child of a classical violinist mother, Caroline (Friend), and an opera singer father, Julian Pike. Due to her parents' work, she spent her early childhood traveling around Europe. Pike attended Badminton School in ...

46. Ethan Hawke

Actor | Training Day

Ethan Green Hawke was born on November 6, 1970 in Austin, Texas, to Leslie Carole (Green), a charity worker, and James Steven Hawke, an insurance actuary. His parents were students at the University of Texas at the time but divorced when Ethan was 5 years old. His mother raised him alone for the ...

47. Paul Rudd

Actor | Ant-Man

Paul Stephen Rudd was born in Passaic, New Jersey. His parents, Michael and Gloria, both from Jewish families, were born in the London area, U.K. He has one sister, who is three years younger than he is. Paul traveled with his family during his early years, because of his father's airline job at ...

48. Mads Mikkelsen

Actor | Hannibal

Mads Mikkelsen's great successes parallel those achieved by the Danish film industry since the mid-1990s. He was born in Østerbro, Copenhagen, to Bente Christiansen, a nurse, and Henning Mikkelsen, a banker.

Starting out as a low-life pusher/junkie in the 1996 success Pusher (1996), he slowly grew ...

49. Shia LaBeouf

Actor | Honey Boy

Shia LaBeouf's natural talent and raw energy have secured his place as one of Hollywood's leading men.

Most recently, LaBeouf starred alongside Vanessa Kirby and Ellen Burstyn in Kornel Mundruczo's Oscar® nominated Pieces of a Woman. In the critically acclaimed film, a grieving couple (Kirby/LaBeouf...

50. Logan Marshall-Green

Actor | The Invitation

Logan is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. His parents are both drama teachers. His mother, Lowry Marshall, is the artistic director of Brown University's repertory theatre department.

Logan graduated with a Master's in Fine Arts from New York University's Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch ...

51. Hailee Steinfeld

Actress | True Grit

Hailee Steinfeld was born on December 11, 1996 in Tarzana, California, to Cheri (Domasin), an interior designer, and Peter Steinfeld, a personal fitness trainer. She has a brother, Griffin. Her uncle is Jake Steinfeld, a fitness trainer, and her great-uncle is actor Larry Domasin. Her father is of ...

52. Keira Knightley

Actress | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Keira Christina Knightley was born March 26, 1985 in the South West Greater London suburb of Richmond. She is the daughter of actor Will Knightley and actress turned playwright Sharman Macdonald. An older brother, Caleb Knightley, was born in 1979. Her father is English, while her Scottish-born ...

53. Geoffrey Rush

Actor | Shakespeare in Love

Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. ...

54. Helen McCrory

Actress | Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

Award-winning actress Helen Elizabeth McCrory was born in London, England, to Welsh-born Anne (Morgans) and Scottish-born Iain McCrory, a diplomat from Glasgow. After training at the Drama Centre London, Helen began her career on stage in the UK and won the Manchester Evening News' Best Actress ...

55. Emilia Clarke

Actress | Game of Thrones

British actress Emilia Clarke was born in London and grew up in Oxfordshire, England. Her father was a theatre sound engineer and her mother is a businesswoman. Her father was working on a theatre production of "Show Boat" and her mother took her along to the performance. This is when, at the age ...

56. Hugo Weaving

Actor | The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Hugo Wallace Weaving was born on April 4, 1960 in Nigeria, to English parents Anne (Lennard), a tour guide and teacher, and Wallace Weaving, a seismologist. Hugo has an older brother, Simon, and a younger sister, Anna, who both also live and work in Australia. During his early childhood, the ...

57. Natalie Portman

Actress | Black Swan

Natalie Portman is the first person born in the 1980s to have won the Academy Award for Best Actress (for Black Swan (2010)).

Natalie was born Natalie Hershlag on June 9, 1981, in Jerusalem, Israel. She is the only child of Avner Hershlag, an Israeli-born doctor, and Shelley Stevens, an ...

58. Aidan Gillen

Actor | Game of Thrones

Aidan Gillen is an Irish actor. He is best known for portraying Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish in the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011), CIA operative Bill Wilson in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Stuart Alan Jones in the Channel 4 series Queer as Folk (1999), John Boy in the RTÉ Television series ...

59. Willem Dafoe

Actor | At Eternity's Gate

Having made over one hundred films in his legendary career, Willem Dafoe is internationally respected for bringing versatility, boldness, and daring to some of the most iconic films of our time. His artistic curiosity in exploring the human condition leads him to projects all over the world, large ...

60. David Harbour

Actor | Revolutionary Road

David Harbour is an American actor who has performed in film, television, and the theater.

He is known for his role as CIA agent Gregg Beam in Quantum of Solace (2008), Shep Campbell in Revolutionary Road (2008), Van Hauser in End of Watch (2012) and Dexter Tolliver in Suicide Squad (2016). He also ...

61. Ewan McGregor

Actor | Moulin Rouge!

Ewan Gordon McGregor was born on March 31, 1971 in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, to Carol Diane (Lawson) and James Charles McGregor, both teachers. His uncle is actor Denis Lawson. He was raised in Crieff. At age 16, he left Morrison Academy to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. His parents ...



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