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Who's the best actor/actress ever? (Original Post) MiddleFingerMom Sep 2013 OP
Shouldn't you be in bed? OffWithTheirHeads Sep 2013 #1
Joe E Brown B Calm Sep 2013 #2
A legitimate argument to be made for Meryl Streep. Chan790 Sep 2013 #3
Gregory Peck -nt marked50 Sep 2013 #4
Yep. GoCubsGo Sep 2013 #19
Movies? Theater? Politics? Graybeard Sep 2013 #5
If you're looking for all three... Chan790 Sep 2013 #6
Helen Gahagan. Movie, Theater. Politics. Graybeard Sep 2013 #7
This guy mockmonkey Sep 2013 #8
For me it's a close call between two. Graybeard Sep 2013 #9
Ian McKellen says there will be no more English greats... Orsino Sep 2013 #10
LOVE Ian McKellan BainsBane Sep 2013 #47
Avery Schreiber Orrex Sep 2013 #54
K Hepburn and bogie Boom Sound 416 Sep 2013 #11
Thank you. Scuba Sep 2013 #25
Actor = Robert DeNiro, Actress = Meryl Streep nt steve2470 Sep 2013 #12
+1! n/t PasadenaTrudy Sep 2013 #18
I agree. I highly reccommend that people applegrove Sep 2013 #30
Helen Mirren, Myrna Loy, Elizabeth Banks... Baitball Blogger Sep 2013 #13
Michael J. Pollard Brother Buzz Sep 2013 #14
Little Fauss. Scuba Sep 2013 #26
Yes. He was also Maynard G. Krebs' oddball cousin in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Brother Buzz Sep 2013 #27
But perhaps best remembered for his role in Bonnie and Clyde. Scuba Sep 2013 #28
For sure. EVERYONE saw that blockbuster back in the day. Brother Buzz Sep 2013 #32
Also once played Barney Fife's oddball cousin on the Andy Griffith Show. Gidney N Cloyd Sep 2013 #45
Cool, Season 2, Episode 30 Brother Buzz Sep 2013 #46
Me. I act like I'm happy and not homicidal at small talk cliffordu Sep 2013 #15
If you mean just for movies, then in my opinion, Olivier and Streep......In Live Theatre..... Burma Jones Sep 2013 #16
Barney Rubble bluesbassman Sep 2013 #17
Our lead guitarist came in and started playing some licks from a song he was working on. MiddleFingerMom Sep 2013 #22
I dig it when little riffs from jingles or theme songs get thrown in a tune. bluesbassman Sep 2013 #35
My ex-girlfriend. Iggo Sep 2013 #20
So hard to narrow down to just one Bunnahabhain Sep 2013 #21
DiCaprio is like Tom Cruise - he always plays the same character jmowreader Sep 2013 #50
Basketball Diaries, This Boy's Life, Marvin's Room, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape Bunnahabhain Sep 2013 #53
Al Pachino, Woody Harrelson, Meryl Streep, Mary McDonnell, and many others 1-Old-Man Sep 2013 #23
Juile Andrews KamaAina Sep 2013 #24
My ex wife. TheDeputy Sep 2013 #29
Laurence Olivier Rhiannon12866 Sep 2013 #31
Ashton Kutcher & Jessica Alba pokerfan Sep 2013 #33
Mike Myers n/t Shrek Sep 2013 #34
Brando. For range and believability. trof Sep 2013 #36
Ron Jeremy mysuzuki2 Sep 2013 #37
true - he does act like he's enjoying himself. rurallib Sep 2013 #40
Charlie Chaplin was brilliant... tokenlib Sep 2013 #38
The actor/actress would have to be Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. Kablooie Sep 2013 #39
I'd nominate Brando or Dustin Hoffman rurallib Sep 2013 #41
Surprised that Jean-Claude Van Damme has not been mentioned yet. Nye Bevan Sep 2013 #42
James Cagney/Barbara Stanwyck IrishEyes Sep 2013 #43
Orson Welles called him "the greatest actor who ever lived" aint_no_life_nowhere Sep 2013 #44
Jimmy Stewart Populist_Prole Sep 2013 #48
Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Kevin Spacey Mz Pip Sep 2013 #49
Tim Curry, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones Angleae Sep 2013 #51
Daniel Day Lewis and Hillary Swank Gravitycollapse Sep 2013 #52
 

Chan790

(20,176 posts)
3. A legitimate argument to be made for Meryl Streep.
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 08:38 AM
Sep 2013

Based on length of career, consistent prominence, variety of roles, range as an thespian and being a perennial awards nominee there's a strong argument to be made for Meryl Streep.

Take that same sentence and substitute Morgan Freeman for Meryl Streep and it's no less true.

A lot of arguments can and will likely be made for thespians from earlier ages of film such as Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, I'd discount them only slightly because a lot of them were the definition of type-cast. All three examples I named could be accused of playing the exact same character over and over.

Someone who has to be a dark horse in any such discussion though is Brad Pitt. Often discounted as "pretty" actor, he's consistently turned in some outstanding performances and shown a capacity to play both comedic and dramatic roles with equal skill. The greatest qualification Pitt has in this discussion is that he's never really turned in a dud performance even in some terrible fare.

 

Chan790

(20,176 posts)
6. If you're looking for all three...
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 09:02 AM
Sep 2013

that's probably Sonny Bono by-default. (Actually, it's almost certainly Clint Eastwood who has a more diverse if less acclaimed career as a stage actor than as a film actor. It's too bad he's a RW libertarian dipshit, he's a decent actor.)

Reagan was never a stage actor, too wooden to work the stage.

Al Franken has done some stage-acting but in roles where he was mostly a monologist.

While there are other actors to go into politics, I can't think of them off the top of my head.

Man, if only Ashley Judd had run against Yertle the Kentucky Turtle, she'd have this one locked up.

Graybeard

(6,996 posts)
7. Helen Gahagan. Movie, Theater. Politics.
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 09:41 AM
Sep 2013

The Broadway actress Helen Gahagan (born 1900 - died 1980) was in only one movie. She starred in the title role of "She" (1935) opposite Randolph Scott.

She quit acting and entered politics serving 2 terms in the House of Representatives from the state of California. Her bid for a Senate seat
in 1950 was unsuccessful as a result of a bitterly dirty "red-baiting"
campaign by her opponent Richard Nixon.

She was married to actor Melvyn Douglas.

mockmonkey

(2,815 posts)
8. This guy
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 09:48 AM
Sep 2013

He actually has people thinking he's still alive.

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

Now that is what I call...

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

Graybeard

(6,996 posts)
9. For me it's a close call between two.
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 11:47 AM
Sep 2013

William Powell and James Stewart.

William Powell never gave a poor performance IMO. In all of his 'tipsy-sophisticate" Thin Man movies and others in the 1930s to wonderful comedies like Life With Father and Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid in the 1940s and his final roles in How To Marry A Millionaire and Mr. Roberts in the 1950s.

James Stewart worked into the 1980s and if I had the 'desert-island' choice of only one actor's movies to watch it would be Stewart. From the light weight comedies and socially relevant classics of the 1930s and 40s (Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, It's A Wonderful Life) to the intense 'psychological Westerns' of the 1950s to his wonderful work with Alfred Hitchcock and one of his best, Anatomy of a Murder.

My two 'best' actors.

Orsino

(37,428 posts)
10. Ian McKellen says there will be no more English greats...
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 12:07 PM
Sep 2013

...as repertory theater slowly dies. I think he makes a great point, and while I'd find it hard to pick a single best actor/tress, an objective choice would probably hail from the tradition of day-in-day-out punching of the rep clock.

applegrove

(118,577 posts)
30. I agree. I highly reccommend that people
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 04:45 PM
Sep 2013

who have not seen Sophie's choice in thirty years watch it again. Streep was just breathtaking/heartbreaking in every scene.

Brother Buzz

(36,407 posts)
27. Yes. He was also Maynard G. Krebs' oddball cousin in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 04:23 PM
Sep 2013

Bob Denver almost left the series after the first four episodes were filmed when he was drafted into the Army. Michael Pollard was hired as Maynard's beatnik cousin, but he was dropped when Bob Denver returned because he flunked the Army physical.

Brother Buzz

(36,407 posts)
32. For sure. EVERYONE saw that blockbuster back in the day.
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 04:53 PM
Sep 2013

Hell, the film even spawned a Pop chart sensation, "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde".

Brother Buzz

(36,407 posts)
46. Cool, Season 2, Episode 30
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 11:00 PM
Sep 2013

I Googled it. I'm gonna chase it down and watch it on Netflix when I have some time. Thanks for the heads up.

Burma Jones

(11,760 posts)
16. If you mean just for movies, then in my opinion, Olivier and Streep......In Live Theatre.....
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 02:10 PM
Sep 2013

The most impressive live performances I've seen were Mark Rylance in "Jerusalem" and Eve Best in "The Homecoming"

Although I was also mightily impressed with Geoffrey Rush in "Exit the King" and Mercedes Ruehl in "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia"

MiddleFingerMom

(25,163 posts)
22. Our lead guitarist came in and started playing some licks from a song he was working on.
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 03:23 PM
Sep 2013

.
.
.
He didn't have any lyrics for it. It was kind of a blues number with a little
bit of country flair to it -- slow and mournful.
.
The "Flintstones Theme" started playing in my head and I stepped up to
the mike and starting singing...
.
"Flintstones.
Meet dem Flintstones.
Dey's a modern Stone Age fambily.
.
Fum dey... town of Bedrock
Dey's a page right out o' his-TOE-ree."
.
.
Others in the band started jamming with it. It ended up sticking and we
played it every once in a while onstage.
.
Our lead guitarist?
.
"Fuck you, man... I worked on that song for WEEKS and those lyrics were
PERFECT for what I thought was a serious song."
.

.
.
.

bluesbassman

(19,366 posts)
35. I dig it when little riffs from jingles or theme songs get thrown in a tune.
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 06:52 PM
Sep 2013

Hey, at least your lead guitarist was pragmatic about it!

 

Bunnahabhain

(857 posts)
21. So hard to narrow down to just one
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 03:23 PM
Sep 2013

Ben Kingsley deserves special mention but most people probably would not think of him. Folks like DeNiro, Hackman, Freeman, Duvall, Streep, Hepburn, Guinness, Olivier, and Bergman come to mind. Don't underestimate folks like DiCapprio, Depp, Damon, McGregor. But if I had to name the best of the best there is just one person:

[img][/img]

jmowreader

(50,546 posts)
50. DiCaprio is like Tom Cruise - he always plays the same character
Thu Sep 12, 2013, 02:12 AM
Sep 2013

If you've seen both The Aviator and Gatsby, tell me: couldn't you see Leo's Jay Gatsby stringing crime scene tape all over his house, locking himself in a room and pissing in milk bottles, like his Howard Hughes did in The Aviator?

 

Bunnahabhain

(857 posts)
53. Basketball Diaries, This Boy's Life, Marvin's Room, and What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Thu Sep 12, 2013, 02:43 PM
Sep 2013

Check out those movies and get back to me on your view of his ability to play different characters. The guy can act.

aint_no_life_nowhere

(21,925 posts)
44. Orson Welles called him "the greatest actor who ever lived"
Wed Sep 11, 2013, 10:04 PM
Sep 2013

Last edited Thu Sep 12, 2013, 01:14 AM - Edit history (2)

and was referring to the very great, the one and only Frenchman known by one name, that of Raimu. He was also the favorite actor of greats such as Marlene Dietrich and Sir Alec Guiness. Plain-looking, natural, down-to-Earth in style, anyone who understands French and has seen his large and impressive body of work on film would know why. Welles was on his way to France to pay homage to Raimu when he learned of his death. Here, he plays an alcoholic, washed up lawyer who fled from life and even disappointed his own daughter but makes a final wonderful effort to sober up and defend a young man wrongfully accused (kind of a washed up, has-been lawyer role played by Paul Newman in The Verdict, the latter being one of the most powerful performances ever by an American actor - I love Paul Newman and James Caan deserves mention here as well).

Among females, although she played many characters I found difficult to like, I admire the genius and unlimited talent of two-time Academy Award winning actress Bette Davis. Meryl Streep was in complete awe of Bette Davis and has stated it in her tribute to her that can periodically be seen on Turner Classic Movies.



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