15 Most Gifted Actors of All Time, According to Fans: ‘Talent far beyond their fame’

Robin Williams
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Who do you think is the most gifted actor of all time? After polling the internet, here are the fifteen fan-voted favorites. Is your favorite actor on this list?

1. Daniel Day-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The number one voted most gifted actor of all time is Daniel Day-Lewis. People drew attention to his more notable performances in Lincoln (2012) and Gangs of New York (2002). Someone stated, “I think he is the best. He completely changes for every role.”

2. Gary Oldman

Photo Credit: Focus Features

People acknowledged Gary Oldman as a terrific actor who became his character in every role. “I’m not sure anybody knows what the man looks like, either. Zorg? Sirius Black? Dracula? Who knows? He killed it as police lieutenant James Gordon in The Dark Knight.

Another replied that Oldman had to relearn his native accent because he became so good at being different people. “It puts you on a whole different level.”

3. Robin Williams

Robin Williams
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Robin Williams is a legendary performer and “gifted genius.” One user reminded people that Williams could go on for hours about horseshoes or terrify you with his chilling performance as a serial killer in One Hour Photo. “He was a gift to us all. I still get chills from his roles in Good Will Hunting and Dead Poet’s Society.”

4. Toni Collette

Toni Collette
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One Toni Collette fab raved about her performance as Cole’s mother in The Sixth Sense. After Cole tells his mother his secret, her acting is prime. She admitted that scene has stayed with her all these years.

Another agreed and added that her performance in Hereditary should have won her Best Actress at the Oscars, but they snubbed her. Despite not being a Hereditary fan, they clarified that her acting was incredible.

5. Alan Rickman

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Alan Rickman had free reign as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and nailed the performance. He and Ruby Max rewrote the script at Pizza Hut, and the movie became a classic. 

One user professed their love for Alan Rickman but confessed they crack up at every scene “with Alan’s scenery-chewing Sheriff of Nottingham. Seriously, I laugh harder than I do for Men in Tights.”

6. Christian Bale

Image Credit: IMDB

There’s no denying that Christian Bale has an incredible acting range from defining The Dark Knight to American Psycho. Someone mentioned how easily he switches between characters with incredibly different personalities, including accents. 

Another felt the need to elaborate that no other actor commits to the character as Christian Bale. “We’re talking about the guy who played Trevor in The Machinist and then bulked up for Batman Begins. The guy who gained weight for Vice lost all that weight and then some for Ford V Ferrari.”

7. Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Photo Credit: AMC

One person suggested Bryan Cranston’s acting range is “out of this world.” He is best known as Walter White from Breaking Bad and Hal from Malcolm in the Middle. And for many, it’s impossible to believe he plays both characters. 

8. Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
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Meryl Streep has dominated the center stage and silver screen. She never was typecast and has played in serious drama roles, fairytale horror, musicals, and screwball comedies. “She was so good Hollywood kept making older women roles for her to play.”

Someone elaborated on her performance as a mediocre actress in Postcards from the Edge. “She nails everything, like when they call “cut” and she shifts in front of your eyes. Streep is magic.”

9. Heath Ledger

VENICE - SEPT 4:Heath Ledger attends the I'm Not There photocall in Venice during the 64th Venice Film Festival on September 4, 2007 in Venice, Italy
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Someone confessed that Heath Ledger is why they no longer question casting choices, recalling people had a fit when discovering he would be playing the Joker. Then he defined the role like no other. 

After Batman: The Dark Knight came out, everyone shut their faces. They continued that Ledger’s performance made them realize a good actor is a good actor “regardless of their role.”

After discovering his versatility to play any character brilliantly, they admitted to watching older Heath Ledger films. “I felt stupid for doubting him.”

Ledger had an incredible range from the short time he was on our screens. Another added that he avoided typecasting, played his roles brilliantly, and would’ve lived up to his full potential if still with us today.

10. Kathy Bates

One Kathy Bates fan shared their first encounter watching her. They had gone to the drive-in with their parents, who put him on top of the trunk and faced him toward a forgettable children’s movie.

“She’s been living in my head since I was a child,” they explained while sharing they switched their drive-in speaker to Misery and secretly watched the film. 

Finally, they expressed being terrified but riveted simultaneously. After dropping a potato chip, they jumped down, thought they had it, and bit into a rock. “That’s how terrified I was to turn away.” 

11. John Lithgow

John Lithgow
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Many revered John Lithgow as one of the greatest actors of all time. His ability to transform from Solomon, the crazy alien dad from 3rd Rock From the Sun, to the Trinity Killerin Dexter was noted as acting talent “of magnitude greater than his fame.”

12. Marlon Brando

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Someone suggested that Marlon Brando changed acting forever with his incredible younger and older performances. ” Such a shame he was the only one of the four main actors in A Streetcar Named Desire that didn’t win an Oscar.”

Another declared younger Brando was the most gorgeous man ever to walk the face of the earth. Finally, one shared he was a lazy actor notorious for not knowing his lines. However, his natural talent was a gift; he instinctively knew “how to act rings around everyone around him.”

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13. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

One user suggested that people miss out on some gifted performances because Johnny Depp has become so big and overrated, and they hate to admit his talent. For example, they noted he is brilliant in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Edward Scissorhands. 

14. David Tennant

David Tennant has acted on the stage and big screen. One shared that he was in a small Look Back in Anger production in Edinburgh, Scotland, and blew her and her husband away.

Another added they watched a lot of theater, such as West End and Broadway, and his performance was “in a different class.” They continued to say he was mesmerizing.

So they Googled him after the show and discovered he’s been on a handful of TV shows they were unfamiliar with but decided they keep an eye out for him. “Which was easy because he was announced as Doctor Who the following year.”

15. Frances McDormand

Frances McDormand
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Finally, people acknowledged Frances McDormand as an underrated performer. Someone shared they were a massive fan of the Madeleine franchise and that she played Miss Clavel. However, her performance in Three Billboards defined her as versatile, and they couldn’t believe it was the same woman playing both roles.

What do you think? Did Reddit get this right, or is your favorite actor missing from this list? This article is inspired by the internet and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Boss Level Gamer.


Written by Elizabeth Ervin

One Comment

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  1. I like your list of gifted actors. I like Judy Davis, a multi-faced actor. You forgot Kate Blanchard.
    Marlon Brando is overrated!

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