In hopes of building a reasonable poll later, I’d like input on the candidates you consider worthy of comparison with the best male and female actors (film mainly) who have been around during your lifetime. I realize your age will play some part in your decision, but that’s a given.
List as many as you feel would qualify to be put on such a poll. Polls actually: one for men and one for women.
No limit to the number you may list, as long as you feel they’re in the top x-number.
For my money:
George W. Bush - pretended to be the president for 8 years.
He wasn’t very convincing. I think this poll is about good actors.
See, I knew I’d think of others once I wrote some down!
“Your lifetime” seems a little hard to define. I was born in 1961. Was Cary Grant an actor in my lifetime? He made his last movie in 1966. But he was alive until 1986. Can I retroactively count the movies he made before I was born?
You choose. I didn’t want this to be too picky. I expected the really old folks (silent era, 30’s) to be outside most people’s experiences. But if you feel Cary Grant or Humphrey Bogart or Errol Flynn ought to be on a list in a poll for folks to vote for The Best, then please add any and all.
And if Johnny Depp and Hugh Jackman and Jack Black make you feel they’re to be compared with older folks for that honor, by all means add them.
Ideally, two polls will follow this thread’s findings. One for men and one for women.
After some more thought: if the actor in question was already dead at the time you were born, maybe the distinction of “your lifetime” could be debated, but since movies are sort of forever things, I realize now the distinction is petty.
Ignore that part of the issue if it makes you more comfortable selecting some names of Great Actors.
Maybe not great yet, but really, really good: Liev Schreiber and Laura Linney. Anything with either of them is worth seeing.
On the theory that an Academy Award doesn’t automatically indicate great acting, and that other qualities may be at play, here are four cheat sheets to peruse and select the ones we may have been overlooking.
My hope is that we can narrow down the Poll Candidates to something like 20 in each poll.
Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
If you prefer some other award-giving organization’s winners and nominees, by all means check them out.
In Order: Jeff Bridges, Sean Penn, Robert DeNiro
No particular order: Robert Duvall, Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman, Jimmy Stewart, Kurt Russell, Toshiro Mifune, Kevin Spacey
In Order: Meryl Streep
No particular order: Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, Frances MacDormand, Mercedes Ruehl, Joan Plowright
Now I’ll read everyone else’s and see who I left out.
Edit: I forgot Dustin Hoffman! Of course.
Best I’ve ever seen is Gary Oldman, no contest. I’ve never seen better. The man is a wizard thespian.
Among the ladies, Kate Winslet is awe-inspiring, but you cannot deny the skills of Meryl Streep.
Great additions, there, TreacherousCretin, Shawn1767 and RickJay!
I’ll post a summary of the ones so far, after a while.
Daniel Day-Lewis cannot go unmentioned.
Okay. Here’s a summary of what’s been suggested so far:
Spencer Tracy 25
Joanne Woodward 19
If you want to help decide who goes into a poll for the Best Male and Best Female, post a top 5 list of each category so we can trim the list down some before a poll pretty much seals the voting.
Your Top 5 lists don’t have to include the names in this list. But it will help to eliminate those that don’t have as good a chance as the others.