What Person Has Starred In The Most Movies

I got to thinking what actor has had the most starring roles in the movies. For this I am including all movies “A” movies “B” movies, but I would exclude things like the “Three Stooges Shorts”

I was thinking it probably was someone in the 30s or 40s who had roles in a lot of “B” type series of movies like the “Blondie” series of movies?

Any idea. Off the top of my head I’d say John Wayne, but there probably were people who starred in many “B” movies

Christopher Lee’s imdb entry has 265 entries and counting, though some of that is voice-over work for video games and such. John Wayne has 170.

Johannes Heesters has only 86, but he’s worth mentioning because he just turned 106.

Well, if shorts don’t count, then my first thoughts don’t either: Mel Blanc.

Right now, it seems like Christopher Lee is in the lead. The three actors that I thought that might surpass Lee don’t come near him (according to IMDB): Franco Nero with 169 and counting, Toshirô Mifune with 181 and Takashi Shimura with 213.

If restricting to just English speaking actors, I’ll agree it was some minor character actor from the 1930s-1950s under the studio system.

However, I think there’s probably an old Hong Kong actor or a veteran Bollywood actor that will surpass any of the most prolific English speaking movie actor.

BTW, I found that Adoor Bhasi made 557 films according to IMDB, but I cannot verifiy the lengths or types of films that he appeared in because I never heard of the guy.

How do you define “starred”?

For character actors, it’s tough to beat Charles Lane; he’s got 353 credits on the IMDB, with over 200 of them before he ever appeared on TV. His last film credit, in 2006 (a voiceover) came out when he was 101.

This was the Final Jeopardy question on 7/22/05, category “Leading Men of the Movies”: This actor who turned down the role of Dirty Harry played 142 leading roles, a Guinness record.

John Wayne

Note that they covered themselves with “turned down Dirty Harry” plus “a Guinness record”.

For starring I mean he/she would have to have the lead in the film.

Unless someone knows a more prolific Bollywood actor, the answer will be John Wayne, after the Big Trail. Christopher Lee was usually second fiddle in half of his movies. Mickey Rooney did too many shorts to compete with Wayne before he started appearing in TV. Michael Caine might have a chance to make more movies that John Wayne, but many of Caine’s movies he’s second, third or forth fiddle.

Would this include the low budge “B” movies as well, or did John Wayne do those too?

Saw him today in “42nd Street” (1932). No way he was merely 27 when he made that. He may be the only actor to ADD 20 years to his age, though it would mean he died at age 122.

He did PILES of them. Most available this time of year in ten-disks for $5 DVD sets of “Thirty Unmemorable John Wayne Movies.”

I guess we are skipping Ron Jeremy?

I believe any movie that he appeared in prior to Stagecoach can safely be called a B-movie. Of course, anything before The Big Trail, he was not a leading man; he was an extra or a stunt person for those movies.

How many of his movies was he really the leading man?:dubious:

It’s likely to be someone from India, either from Bollywood(Hindi cinema based in Bombay) or some of the prolific regional cinemas. For example this Wiki Answers postmentions Adoor Bhasi who was apparently a movie star from Kerala though I don’t know if it distinguishes between starring roles and other performances.

Definitely John Wayne. All but a handful of his early roles, and a few scattered cameos, were starring roles.

Jackie Chan has acted in 104 films, probably most of which he was the leading man.

Prior to The New Fist of Fury, Chan was little more than an extra, which accounts for about 30 films.

According to some trivia book I read Oliver Hardy appeared in over 450 films. Of course only about a dozen of them were more than 15 minutes long.

Reading through John Wayne’s list, he’s the leading man every damned time.

Most everyone else known as being prolific - Lee, Michael Caine, and the like - were prolific by accepting supporting roles. Michael Caine is usually a supporting player.

But John Wayne was always the star. Hell, he was more than a star - he was a brand.

Not only do I think Wayne holds the Engish-speaking, non-porn record, I think he always will. The nature of movies today precludes one person starring in that many Hollywood films. Wayne for much of his career was putting out a new movie every two MONTHS. Here, year by year, is his credit count for a random chosen chunk of his career:

1935 - Eight movies
1936 - Seven movies
1937 - Five
1938 - Four
1939 - Six (incl “Stagecoach”)
1940 - Four

… and so on. He slowed downa bit more after the war, likely just because movies got more elaborate and took longer to make, but was still phenomenally prolific. Wayne made 20 feature films in the 1950s, some of them classics like “The Searchers” and “Rio Bravo.”

By comparison, Will Smith, who is about as one-name-brand a movie star as you can hire today, has appeared in only 18 full length motion pictures in 18 years, and a few of those are supporting roles and one of them was an animated film. Brad Pitt had been in 37 feature films (by my count; I’m doing this quick off IMDB) in about 20 years, which by modern standards is quite prolific for a superstar, but about half are supporting roles.