The most popular actors and actresses undoubtedly tend to become that way because of their overwhelming charisma. However, there are some icons that have stolen most of our hearts over the years with scarce debate about their incredible acting talent. Here are 5 of the most famous actors and actresses of all time that paved the way for the entertainment industry that we see today.
1. Charles Chaplin (1889-1997)
Charlie Chaplin was one of the biggest silent movie stars of the 20th century, and rose to fame through his quirky character, the “Little Tramp”. He is considered to have been a galvanizing force in the silent movie industry, starring in no less than 14 movies in his first year. Charlie went on to become a director, composer, and cinematographer, where he further pushed the developing industry forwards in many notable ways.
2. Laurence Olivier (1907-1989)
Quoted by the renowned playwright Charles Bennett as being able to speak Shakespeare’s lines as naturally as if he were “actually thinking them”, Laurence Olivier is still remembered as one of the greatest actors to ever step foot on stage (and the big screen). Best known for his Shakespearean dramas and his role as Heathcliff in the 1939 adaption of Wuthering Heights, Olivier made his acting debut when he was a mere age of 10, playing Brutus at his school’s production of Julius Caesar. An already accomplished British actress named Ellen Terry happened to be in the audience, and later wrote in her diary “the small boy who played Brutus is already a great actor”. He went on to be nominated for 9 academy awards.
3. Jack Nicholson (1937-present)
A brilliant actor who is still active today, Jack Nicholson has given some incredibly memorable performances over the last 60 years including his roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, A Few Good Men, and As Good as it Gets. He was actually paid more than Michael Keaton in the movie Batman even though Michael Keaton played the title character, while Jack Nicholson played the less important “Joker”. He is the most nominated male actor in the history of the Academy Awards, with 12 nominations and 3 wins under his belt.
4. Meryl Streep (1949-present)
Who doesn’t love Meryl Streep? There is something so intrinsically powerful (and chameleon-like) about her and it certainly comes across in the parts she plays. Meryl Streep first graced the cinema in 1977 with her role in Julia, though she had already been performing on Broadway since the 1960s. In 1978 (her second movie appearance) she was nominated for her first Academy Award for her part in the Deer Hunter. Since then she has been nominated for an Oscar over 20 times and has won 3, second to only the late Katharine Hepburn, but chances are she will surpass her eventually. She continues to be very active today, recently appearing in 2020’s the Prom, Let Them All Talk, and the hit series Big Little Lies (2019).
5. Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982)
Tied with Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson for Oscar wins, Ingrid Bergman was a prominent “sweetheart” of the Hollywood golden era. Although previously known on stage and television, Bergman really hit her stride internationally with her appearances in the 1942 movie Casablanca and the 1946 film Notorious. She was born in Stockholm, Sweden and was regarded as an extremely beautiful and mystifying actress, even after her exile from the Hollywood scene following a disreputable affair with an Italian movie director. She continued to appear in American films even after her return to Europe and is still one of the most remembered movie stars to ever light up the silver screen.
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