Best actor ever

Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2007 12:35 pm
I'll vote for Don Knotts.
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2007 12:51 pm
Nope, all the previous actors are only good at playing themselves, Ustinov always became his character and thats a true ac-tor.
Another nominee in my book is Kevin Spacey.
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2007 01:14 pm
"Efficiency Expert" is one of my favorite comedies. Actors have to be judged , as well as directors, by the body of their work. Hopkins made an impact in the role of Richard the Lionheart in "The Lion in Winter" and his career is up their with the finest.
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2007 01:17 pm
I agree with eoe.

His role in The Incredible Mr. Limpet was an acting tour de force!
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2007 01:50 pm
kickycan wrote:
I agree with eoe.

His role in The Incredible Mr. Limpet was an acting tour de force!

Not only did Don Knotts play a dual role in that film, he played two different species!
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2007 02:28 pm
DeNiro Cool
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Reply Fri 15 Jun, 2007 03:07 pm
The king of multiple parts is Tony Randall in "The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao," even over Eddie Murphy's multiple parts movies.
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 01:15 pm
Unless he has been mentioned in this thread, Alec Guinness is by far the greatest english-speaking actor. His diversity is unmatched and his list of achievements is unending.
That is my opinion, I may be wrong.
The other actor who towers over all others is Raimu.
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 01:43 pm
Now Lightwizard, I do recall Tony Randall in "The Seven Faces..." and he was very, very good but better than Eddie Murphy's seven characters in "Nutty Professor"? I don't think so. Perhaps a more sophisticated lot with Pan and Medusa, but not necessarily better. Nope. No one does that better than Eddie.
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 01:43 pm
Sir Laurence Olivier
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 01:45 pm
Lightwizard wrote:
Sir Laurence Olivier

That's often been said, that he was the best ever. Do you really think so? I've just never got what the big woo was all about.
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 01:49 pm
eoe wrote:
Lightwizard wrote:
Sir Laurence Olivier

That's often been said, that he was the best ever. Do you really think so? I've just never got what the big woo was all about.

Does anyone remember what John Gielgud said about Olivier? (It is possible to disagree with Olivier's interpretation of a character, but the way he executed that interpretation was always brilliant.)
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 01:53 pm
So you've seen all of these films (and TV movies as well)?

1. War Requiem (1989) .... Old Soldier
2. "Lost Empires" (1986) (mini) TV Series .... Harry Burrard
3. "Peter the Great" (1986) (mini) TV Series .... King William III of Orange
4. Wild Geese II (1985) .... Rudolf Hess
5. "The Last Days of Pompeii" (1984) (mini) TV Series .... Gaius
6. The Bounty (1984) .... Admiral Hood
7. A Talent for Murder (1984) (TV) .... Dr. Anthony 'Tony' Wainwright
8. The Ebony Tower (1984) (TV) .... Henry Breasley
9. "Wagner" (1983) TV Series .... Pfeufer
10. Mr. Halpern and Mr. Johnson (1983) (TV) .... Joe Halpern
11. King Lear (1983) (TV) .... King Lear
12. The Jigsaw Man (1983) .... Adm. Sir Gerald Scaith
13. A Voyage Round My Father (1982) (TV) .... Clifford Mortimer
14. "Brideshead Revisited" (1981) TV Series .... Lord Marchmain (unknown episodes)
15. Clash of the Titans (1981) .... Zeus
16. Inchon (1981) .... Gen. Douglas MacArthur
17. The Jazz Singer (1980) .... Cantor Rabinovitch

18. Dracula (1979) .... Prof. Abraham Van Helsing
19. A Little Romance (1979) .... Julius
... aka I love you, je t'aime (France)
20. The Boys from Brazil (1978) .... Ezra Lieberman
... aka Boys from the Brussel (Philippines: English title)
21. The Betsy (1978) .... Loren Hardeman
... aka Harold Robbins' The Betsy
22. Daphne Laureola (1978) (TV) .... Sir Joseph
... aka Laurence Olivier Presents: Daphne Laureola (UK: series title)
23. Saturday, Sunday, Monday (1978) (TV)
... aka Laurence Olivier Presents: Saturday, Sunday, Monday (UK: series title)
24. Come Back, Little Sheba (1977) (TV) .... Doc Delaney
... aka Laurence Olivier Presents: Come Back, Little Sheba (UK: series title)
25. A Bridge Too Far (1977) .... Dr. Jan Spaander
26. "Jesus of Nazareth" (1977) (mini) TV Series .... Nicodemus
... aka Gesù di Nazareth (Italy)
27. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976) (TV) .... Big Daddy
... aka Laurence Olivier Presents: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (UK: series title)
28. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) .... Professor James Moriarty
29. Marathon Man (1976) .... Dr. Christian Szell
30. The Collection (1976) (TV) .... Harry
... aka Laurence Olivier Presents: The Collection (UK: series title)
31. Love Among the Ruins (1975) (TV) .... Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones
32. "The World at War" (1974) (mini) TV Series (voice) .... Narrator
33. The Rehearsal (1974)
... aka Dokimi, I (Greece)
34. "The Morecambe & Wise Show" (1 episode, 1973)
- Christmas Special (1973) TV Episode
35. Long Day's Journey Into Night (1973) (TV) .... James Tyrone, Sr.
36. The Merchant of Venice (1973) (TV) .... Shylock
37. Sleuth (1972) .... Andrew Wyke
38. Lady Caroline Lamb (1972) .... Duke of Wellington
... aka Peccato d'amore (Italy)
39. Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) .... Count Witte
40. Three Sisters (1970) .... Dr. Ivan Chebutikin

41. David Copperfield (1969) (TV) .... Mr. Creakle
42. The Battle of Britain (1969) .... Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
43. The Dance of Death (1969) .... Edgar
44. Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) .... Field Marshal Sir John French
45. Male of the Species (1969) (TV) .... Narrator
46. The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968/I) (as Sir Laurence Olivier) .... Piotr Ilyich Kamenev
47. Romeo and Juliet (1968/I) (uncredited) .... Narrator (english version)
... aka Romeo e Giulietta (Italy)
48. Khartoum (1966) .... The Mahdi
49. Othello (1965) .... Othello
50. Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) .... Supt. Newhouse
51. Uncle Vanya (1963) .... Dr. Astrov
52. Term of Trial (1962) .... Graham Weir
53. The Power and the Glory (1961) (TV) .... Priest
54. Spartacus (1960) .... Marcus Licinius Crassus
... aka Spartacus: Rebel Against Rome (USA: poster title)
55. The Entertainer (1960) .... Archie Rice

56. The Moon and Sixpence (1959) (TV) .... Charles Strickland
57. The Devil's Disciple (1959) .... Gen. John Burgoyne
58. John Gabriel Borkman (1958) (TV) .... John Gabriel Borkman
59. The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) .... Charles, the Prince Regent
60. Richard III (1955) .... Richard III
61. The Beggar's Opera (1953) .... Captain MacHeath
62. Carrie (1952) .... George Hurstwood
63. The Magic Box (1951) .... Police Constable 94-B

64. Hamlet (1948) .... Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
65. The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France (1944) .... King Henry V
... aka Henry V (UK: short title)
... aka Henry the Fift (UK: short title)
66. This Happy Breed (1944) (uncredited) .... Narrator
... aka Noel Coward's This Happy Breed (UK: complete title)
67. The Demi-Paradise (1943) .... Ivan Kouznetsoff
... aka Adventure for Two (USA)
68. 49th Parallel (1941) .... Johnnie - the Trapper
... aka The Invaders (USA)
69. That Hamilton Woman (1941) .... Lord Horatio Nelson
... aka Lady Hamilton (UK)
70. Pride and Prejudice (1940) .... Mr. Darcy
71. Conquest of the Air (1940) .... Vincent Lunardi
72. Rebecca (1940) .... 'Maxim' de Winter
73. 21 Days (1940) .... Larry Durrant
... aka 21 Days Together (USA)
... aka The First and the Last
... aka Twenty-One Days
... aka Twenty-One Days Together (USA)

74. Wuthering Heights (1939) .... Heathcliff
75. Q Planes (1939) .... Tony McVane
... aka Clouds Over Europe (USA)
76. The Divorce of Lady X (1938) .... Everard Logan
77. Fire Over England (1937) .... Michael Ingolby
78. As You Like It (1936) .... Orlando, Son of Roland de Boys
79. Moscow Nights (1935) .... Captain Ignatoff
... aka I Stand Condemned (USA)
80. Perfect Understanding (1933) .... Nicholas Randall
81. No Funny Business (1933) .... Clive Dering
82. Westward Passage (1932) .... Nicholas 'Nick' Allen
83. The Yellow Ticket (1931) .... Julian Rolfe
... aka The Yellow Passport (UK)
84. Friends and Lovers (1931) .... Lieutenant Ned 'Neddie' Nichols
85. Potiphar's Wife (1931) .... Straker
... aka Her Strange Desire
86. The Temporary Widow (1930) .... Peter Bille
... aka Hocus Pocus
87. Too Many Crooks (1930) .... The Man
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 03:40 pm
His Hamlet is still the exemplary performance, even over Mel Gibson. :wink:
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 05:08 pm
I am going to disagree politely with the idea that versitility is the single standard by which the best actors should be judged...although it is certainly one of the standards. To make a lame baseball analogy, its like saying the greatest baseball player of all time would be the guy who can play the most positions (which I believe was done in a single game by Cesar Tovar, not currently in the hall of fame) instead of the greatest slugger, or batting champion, or greatest whatever at any one thing (or role).

Versatility can (sometimes) be likened to a guy with cymbols attached to his knees, playing an accordian and a harmonica at the same time.

I'll take the orchestra, as a rule; even if the individual players are not as versatile.
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 06:10 pm
An actor who is always the same in each piece or film is the saddest creature on earth.
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 06:54 pm
#1 IMHO is Sir Laurence Olivier

After him, then ...

Sir Alec Guinness
Marlon Brando
Orson Welles

Then in no partic. order:

Montgomery Clift
Humphrey Bogart
Spencer Tracy
Gregory Peck
James Dean
Anthony Hopkins
Robert Duvall
Meryl Streep
Robert Deniro
Kevin Spacey
Russell Crowe
Dustin Hoffman
James Woods
Ingrid Bergman
Katherine Hepburn
Ben Kingsley
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 08:58 pm
Ragman, I agree with you on the first four. All the others are a free-for-all.
Our problem is: there are incredible actors in other languages. They don't seem to count here.
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Reply Fri 22 Jun, 2007 10:15 pm
That's a wise observation, noinipo -- in fact, many of American film's finest actors have been imported from foreign countries.

Russell Crowe, from Australia (okay, not a foreign language exactly, but you can't tell in his variety of characters in American film that he's an Aussie).

Ingrid Bergman, from Sweden (and eventually to Italy because of the
incredibly backward judgement of morals by Americans, and then
back to America to turn in one of the most memorable female
performances ever in "Anastasia.")

Ken Watanabe from Japan (and I don't think we've seen anything yet
from this intense and skillful player)

The list would go on, but my favorite who was only in a small handful of English language films but turned in one of the most memorable performances of a youth on the edge in "The 400 Blows," Jean-Pierre Léaud
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Reply Sat 23 Jun, 2007 06:36 am
Max von Sydow came from Bergman's stable and finished his career in Hollywood. The very young Jean-Pierre Leaud played the role of his life in 'The 400 Blows' (great film).
Mifune did not too well in Hollywood, but was a giant in Japan. Those samurai movies impress me more than US Westerns.
btw, I ranted against actors who always play the same character.
There is one exception: Charlie Chaplin. He was so wonderful, he rose above it all. He made America laugh during tough times and deserves much applause.
If I were stuck on an island with movies of one actor, I would choose Raimu, the one and only.
By his late forties, Raimu had become one of his country's most respected actors and considered the ultimate actor by luminaries such as Alec Guinness, Marlene Dietrich, and Orson Welles.
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