How many actors in Hollywood?


I was curious to know how many active actors and actresses there are working in T.V. and movies. People anywhere from extras, character actors, and soap opera people to Tom Hanks and the like (the A list so to speak).

I believe that there are thousands of people acting in front of the camera, many we enjoy seeing but cannot name, or a face we see that we enjoy and we pick our minds trying to figure out where we have seen this person before.

We can also do the math with television I guess. There are about 200 prime time television shows running on the six major/minor networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, UPN, FOX, WB) plus cable networks like USA, Lifetime, Comedy Central, etc. Not to mention HBO, Showtime, Disney and other “premium” networks.

I guess one could look at the roll of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), but I think the SAG covers directors and the like. It seems to me if you have a pretty face and can act a little, Hollywood and New York still has opportunity. Maybe not. Input?


The short answer is: a lot. The longer answer is: maybe less than you think.

Roughly speaking, there are about** 108,000** actors in the Los Angeles area; as far as working actors go, there are roughly** 21,000**. Details on the calculations that came up with these figures can be found here:

No matter how long it takes, SDMB has the answers!

How many actors are there in Hollywood?

Har, har, all of 'em!

(Um, meaning everyone there is an actor, not that all actors are there. See, it was a take-off on a lightbulb joke… never mind.)

I have this weird notion that in 2003 somebody just went “Thank” without noticing the answer came… from the future!

I’d like to think that sometime in 2003, a flash of inspiration hit but I didn’t know why, and it just took me nine years to work out the answer…