Who are your favorite actors / actresses?

Who are your favorite actors/acrtresses? Whose appearance in a TV show or movie insures that you’ll consider looking at a show that you otherwise wouldn’t? Who would you pay to watch read the phonebook?

For me in no particular order its like this:


James Garner
Paul Newman
Bruce Willis
Tom Hanks
Peter Falk
Kevin Kline
Kevin Costner
John Cusack
Harrison Ford


Halle Berry
Gabrielle Union
Sandra Bullock
Joan Cusack
Kathleen Turner

What about you?

You know, of course, they are all Actors. Serious female actors do get quite upset if they hear themselves called actresses.

Oh please with that “actress” schtick. Women are so overly sensitive as to be comical. Can’t call them girls, can’t call them actresses, but they can’t get enough of refering to their “inner goddess.” (Which, IMO, is every but as moronic as a guy refering to his “inner god.”) It’s laughable. Anyway…

As to the OP, I have different lists for the three different phrasings of your question.

My favorites won’t necessarily cause me to watch something. (Christopher Walken, learn to read a script before attaching your name!) Also, a lot of my favorites aren’t leads, so I won’t go out of my way to find the latest Steve Buscemi project, though he’s near the top of my list.

Those that I would say I’d pay to watch read a phonebook are people like Gary Oldman, who is pure gold IMO. But oddly, I won’t seek his stuff out. (So I guess I’m fooling myself with the whole phonebook hyperbole, eh?)

Here’s my list of what I think you’re asking, which is that if any of the following are attached – even as a bit part – I will make it a point to see it. (That usually means waiting for it to hit Starz or HBO, which is how I watch 99% of the movies I watch.)


Kate Beckinsale
Jessica Biel
Jennifer Connelly
Rachel Leigh Cook
Zooey & Emily Deschanel
Katie Holmes
Keira Knightley
Anna Paquin
Sarah Polley
Natalie Portman
Christina Ricci
Winona Ryder
Robin Tunney


Adrien Brody
Jim Carey
George Clooney
Matt Damon
James Gandolfini
Jason Lee
Edward Norton
Joaquin Phoenix
Brad Pitt
Adam Sandler
Bruce Willis

So, as may be obvious, I watch and enjoy a ton of crappy movies. heh.

Some names I would have included, but found myself unable to watch some of their mindless dreck. Jessica Alba would have made it but for Honey, for example. I can’t watch more than 100 seconds of it at a time.

As opposed to Kate Beckinsale, where despite the fact that I despise Van Helsing, I’ve seen it a couple times now. I just sit and stare at Kate like a mental patient…I just can’t change the channel.

My favorite actors include some obvious choices and a few more offbeat ones. Most of the time, I’ll be interested in a movie or show just because of their presence:
Johnny Depp
Edward Norton
Samuel L. Jackson
Bruce Willis
Bill Murray
Christopher Walken
Gary Oldman
John Cusack
Kevin Kline
Robert DeNiro
Bruce Campbell
Brad Pitt
Vince Vaughn
Kevin Spacey
Steve Buscemi
John C. McGinley
Steve Carell
Jason Lee
The Rock (Dwayne Johnson)
William Shatner (in anything but Star Trek)
Anthony Stewart Head
Jason Statham
Chow Yun Fat
Harrison Ford

My favorite actresses, interestingly, aren’t always enough to get me to watch a movie or show JUST for them, the way most of the above actors are. But I like 'em anyway:
Kate Winslet
Jennifer Connelly
Alyson Hannigan
Jenna Fischer
Scarlett Johanssen
Gina Gershon
Michelle Yeoh
Mary Lynn Rajskub
Natalie Portman
Claire Forlani
Tina Fey
Amy Poehler

Popping back in to mention that I forgot about the Lost In Translation dynamic duo. I’ll watch literally anything that includes either Scarlett Johanson or Bill Murray.

Would pay to see read a phone book:

Morgan Freeman
Anthony Hopkins
Sean Connery
Kenneth Branagh
Judi Dench
Helen Mirren
Emma Thompson
Richard Burton (Actualy saw him read the phone book on some talk show. Incredible!)

Can’t seem to turn off TV when they are on:
Pauly Perrette
Chirstina Ricci
Alyson Hannigan
M Emmette Walsh
Steve Buscemi
Tom Hanks
Harrison Ford
Joan Cusak
Kathleen Turner
Bill Murray
Christopher Walken
Gary Oldman
John Cusack
Kevin Kline
Robert DeNiro
Michelle Yoah

Okay, this is the type of thread where I really wish I could edit posts. Because I’ll keep remembering names in dribs and drabs, and I feel compelled to update.

Billy Bob Thornton


Maura Tierney
Linda Cardellini

(That’s why, no matter how godawful it gets, I can’t stop watching ER. Pity me.)

The redheads:
Claudette Colbert
Irene Dunne
Lucille Ball
Deborah Kerr

The brunettes:
Natalie Wood
Sophia Loren
Diane Keaton

The blondes:
Marilyn Monroe
Elizabeth Montgomery

I can narrow this down to one.

Barbara Harris

I’ve watched films with none of the requisite aliens, spaceships, planes, insane robots or explosions – and one with country music (Nashville) because she’s in them.
I’ll watch Sean Young in pretty much anything but I don’t know if I’d go as far as putting up with country music to watch her.

Ill keep it short. At the top of my lists I have

Simon Pegg
Bruce Campbell

Female Actors (WTF?)

Monica Bellucci
Natalie Portman

Not to hijack, but . . . OK, I’ll hijack. “Female actor” is up there with “African-American” and “Native American” for phrases that just don’t work a lot of the time. I recently read a book on film history that mentioned The Kiss (1896), which was described as “the first film of two actors kissing.” Raaaather misleading . . .

Now, for some of my favorites, I’ll pick the lesser-known character and bit players who always delivered:

Margaret Dumont
Lyda Roberti
Edward Everett Horton
James Dunn
Theresa Harris
Skeets Gallagher
Aline MacMahon

Reese Witherspoon and Rachel Weisz don’t seem too upset…

I’ll keep it to people who are still acting…


Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, John Cusack, Albert Finney, Sam Jackson, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Matt Damon, Topher Grace (a new addition), PS Hoffman, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, Russell Crowe, Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Elijah Wood, Benicio Del Toro, Ralph Fiennes.


Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Kiera Knightley, Laura Linney, Dame Judy Dench, Uma Thurman, Kirsten Dunst (I heard Marie-Antoinette was kinda bad though so I might stay away - who knows, maybe they’ll re-edit before release), Frances McDormand, Marcia Gay Harden

I’m probably forgetting a whole bunch.

Harvey Kietel
Dennis Hopper
Pacino Hoffman
Laura dern
Then plug in any very young anorexic female for another.
iffy Dunst-Fonda the younger-

Gloria Grahame
Tuesday Weld
Anna Karina
Julie Christie

Without segregating by sex;

Robert De Niro
Al Pacino
Harvey Keitel
Halle Berry
Cameron Diaz
Steve Buscemi
Vince Vaughn
Will Ferrel
Owen & Luke Wilson
Brad Pitt.

This list looks a bit homo-erotic doesn’t it???

Mel (“Why didn’t somebody tell me my a** was so big?”) Brooks

Robert Duvall
Paul Newman
Johnny Depp
Christopher Walken
Jack Nicholson
Alan Rickman
Tim Robbins
Tommy Lee Jones

Karen Allen
Charlize Theron
Candice Bergen
Susan Sarandon
Mary Steenburgen
Frances Sternhagen
Anne Bancroft