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Who are your top five favorite actors?

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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Who are your top five favorite actors?

Postby pktrekgirl » April 18th, 2007, 5:25 pm

Of course, the companion thread to my thread about actresses!

Who are your top 5 favorite actors, and why?

Here are mine:

1. Gary Cooper - I just LOVE this man. I mean, I really LOVE this man. Incredibly talented, breathtakingly gorgeous, funny as all get-out in a bumblingly cute sort of way that melts your heart....and to top the whole thing, a decent and nice person in real life.

Even today, when I see his daughter Maria doing the things she does in memory of her father, it warms my heart. Hollywood kids who ended up worshiping their famous parents are a pretty rare commodity. And so I figure Coop musta done SOMETHING right!

Favorite Films: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Ball of Fire, Sergeant York, Meet John Doe, Pride of the Yankees, Peter Ibbetson, High Noon


2. Errol Flynn - by far the most interesting actor I've ever come across. Incredibly talented (although sadly, he never really gave himself credit), smart, well-read, well-traveled, hilariously funny...and stunningly beautiful. And of course, ultimately a somewhat tragic figure.

I can't imagine a woman getting through Captain Blood and NOT falling in love with this man.

Favorite Films:Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The Dawn Patrol, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Adventures of Don Juan, The Sisters, Footsteps in the Dark, Objective, Burma!


3. Rudolph Valentino - I simply can't get enough Valentino. Dark & mysterious..but with the cutest smile ever. And I challenge any woman to watch The Sheik's Physique without needing a cold shower.

Good LORD!!! :shock:

Valentino also has a special place in my heart because I have visited his (extremely small) hometown in Italy - Castellaneta. Visiting this place is really like a pilgrimage...and for whatever reason, helps you to really understand and appreciate Valentino more....probably in large part because alot of what was there then is still there today...and you can see much of what his childhood was really like.

Favorite Films:The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sheik, The Son of the Sheik, Camille, The Eagle, The Conquering Power, Cobra


4. Charlie Chaplin - IMO, the most talented single individual to ever be associated with the film industry. Chaplin could be difficult...but genius is always difficult. In short, the man fascinates me....even though that sort of genius also scares me just a bit.

Favorite Films: The Kid, The Gold Rush, City Lights, Modern Times, 1 A.M., Payday, A Dog's Life


5. William Powell - debonair....but hilarious. MY MAN GODFREY is my favorite talkie comedy...and THE THIN MAN series gets better with each viewing.

He was great!

Favorite Films: My Man Godfrey, The Thin Man films, Double Wedding, The Ex-Mrs Bradford


I have alot of actors who are strong runners up - Humphrey Bogart (who was the actor who got me into classic film to begin with), Spencer Tracy, Ronald Colman, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift, Gregory Peck are just a few examples.

But I guess the above are the top 5. :)
Last edited by pktrekgirl on April 24th, 2007, 5:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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top 5 actors!

Postby sugarpuss » April 18th, 2007, 7:13 pm

Hollywood kids who ended up worshiping their famous parents are a pretty rare commodity.


It's more shocking to hear that someone actually likes their parents, instead of writing some kind of horrible tell all book. I loved that Gary Cooper bumper where his daughter talks about him. She's so filled with pride and love for her dad! It's great to hear--plus, he liked dogs. An automatic plus in my book!

And now, my top 5 actors. This is harder, because while I love classic actresses, I LOVE classic actors. It's the boy crazy part of me, I guess.

1. Joseph Cotten - I've read posts where people say his acting is "wooden". That's the last thing I would say about him! He's charming, debonair, extremely handsome and an amazingly good actor to boot. He could play the dashing leading man or the crazy psychopath (Hello, Uncle Charlie!) I just love him. He's the first actor that I really fell in love with, where once I saw a movie, I had to go and see another and another, etc. His witty and well written autobiography, Vanity Will Get You Somewhere only made me admire him even more. I love, love, love him--and listening to his work on OTR shows is even better because I get to listen to that voice!

Favorites: Shadow of a Doubt, The Third Man, Love Letters, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (He and Olivia de Havilland are great together!), I'll Be Seeing You, Portrait of Jennie, and of course, Citizen Kane.

2. Arthur Kennedy - I know he's not a leading man, but I love Arthur Kennedy as much as I love Joseph Cotten. For me, he always steals the scene. He's just so good in his supporting roles, that I wind up not paying attention to the main actors and I'm always waiting for him to pop back up on screen. Plus, I found him incredibly handsome throughout his entire career, which you know, helps a lot. I'm very fangirlish in my adoration for him. He had amazing blue eyes. Yes, I'm gushing. And yes, I'll shut up now.

Favorites: Elmer Gantry, The Glass Menagerie, Bright Victory, Trial, Bend of the River, Air Force, Knockout, and the very bright spot in A Summer Place.

3. Edward G. Robinson - I don't know what to say about him that already hasn't been said by millions of people. He was a wonderful actor. And his range was amazing. I think it helped that he didn't have the looks of a traditional leading man, since his acting more than made up for it. Like Barbara Stanwyck, I've never seen him give a bad performance.

Favorites: All My Sons, Kid Galahad, A Slight Case of Murder, Little Caesar, Double Idemnity, A Hole in the Head, Tales of Manhattan and yes, even Soylent Green.

4. Burt Lancaster - I think it was Shelley Winters who said, "It was a physical pleasure just to watch him walk". I love that quote. And she's right. He's just as good of an actor as he is handsome. He's versatile, playing tough and sensitive guys. I'm always entertained with a Burt Lancaster movie.

Favorites: The Rose Tattoo, Elmer Gantry, Birdman of Alcatraz, Trapeze, Seven Days in May.

5. Alan Arkin - I was beyond thrilled when he won the Oscar this year, because it was as though he was finally being recoginized for a terrific body of work. He can be funny, serious or funny and serious at the same time.

Favorites: Catch-22, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!, The In-Laws, Little Murders, Popi.

And of course, the honorable mentions are: Fred Astaire (really tied for #5), Gene Kelly, Melvyn Douglas, William Powell, Gig Young, Anthony Perkins, Martin Balsam, Trevor Howard, Clifton Webb, Rock Hudson, Paul Newman, Fredric March, Lee Marvin etc. I could be here all night!
"Some of the best parts of life are frivolous." - Arthur Kennedy in A Summer Place
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Postby bobhopefan1940 » April 18th, 2007, 9:20 pm

I won't try to hide it, I'm young. So there's going to be fan girl gushing in the paragraphs below, one of those moments when my age shows ;)

5. Lew Ayres. I just think he is gorgeous, kinda pitiful looking :lol: His voice is wonderful, too; a good voice is always a plus. Favorite flick: Holiday, 1938

4. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire (they tie, I can't help it). I just can't help having a huge grin on my face during Gene's films! What a hunk ;) Favorite flick: Take Me Out To The Ballgame, 1949. As for Mr. Astaire, there can't just be one song and dance man in my life. I love his modesty and kindness... Favorite flick: Easter Parade, 1948

3. Robert Montgomery. Has the cutest smile of all my fave actors, he is really a beautiful man! What can I say? Every time I see him, even a picture, he makes me smile. Favorite flick: Hide-Out, 1934

2. William Powell. Love William, he has the cutest facial expressions I have ever seen. First time I saw him, I thought he looked kind of odd, and I wondered (as with all classics actors) just what made him so famous. The more of his movies I watched the more I fell in love with his classy speech and slightly goofy demeanor. Favorite flick: My Man Godfrey, 1936

1. Buster Keaton. I'm a meloncholy person, and I probably identify the most with him... Plus I think he is really adorable. I'm so glad I discovered him, he is fabulous. I also find his reckless abandon for personal safety interesting... :lol: Favorite flick (for now): Steamboat Bill Jr., 1928
"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child." --Judy Garland
"To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune." --Charlie Chaplin
"Dumb show is best for screen people, if they must appear in public." --Buster Keaton

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Postby pktrekgirl » April 18th, 2007, 11:12 pm

bobhopefan1940 wrote:2. William Powell. Love William, he has the cutest facial expressions I have ever seen. First time I saw him, I thought he looked kind of odd, and I wondered (as with all classics actors) just what made him so famous. The more of his movies I watched the more I fell in love with his classy speech and slightly goofy demeanor. Favorite flick: My Man Godfrey, 1936


I could have written this paragraph. 100%.

When I first saw him I thought the same thing - that he was slightly odd looking. But he grows on you - REALLY quickly. And half the time, he doesn't even have to SAY anything to be funny.

When he walks into the room carrying that tray in MY MAN GODFREY when Carlo is jumping around the room like an ape...the expression on his face is PRICELESS.

That was wonderful! And he has alot of moments like that.

IMO, he and Spencer Tracy are the best of any actors when it comes to saying something...without saying a WORD.

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Postby bobhopefan1940 » April 19th, 2007, 12:23 am

pktrekgirl wrote:
When he walks into the room carrying that tray in MY MAN GODFREY when Carlo is jumping around the room like an ape...the expression on his face is PRICELESS.


OMG, yes! That was the most hilarious look... I was shaking my head in agreement with him and he didn't even have to say anything! In fact, that's what makes that movie so great. He lives with that family of nuts and he never makes a real comment about it or really acknowledges it. That is until the end, when Irene faints and he has to throw her over his shoulder. Finally, he says "This is the craziest family!" :lol:

The first flick I saw Powell in was I Love You, Again... I was new to classics, and when I started in on that movie he was odd looking. When I got to the part where she dumps the eggs on his head, he was cute. And by the time I got to his cooing, I was sold ;)
"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child." --Judy Garland

"To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune." --Charlie Chaplin

"Dumb show is best for screen people, if they must appear in public." --Buster Keaton

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » April 19th, 2007, 12:43 pm

We are talking about favorites here, yes? Some of my favorites would also go into my best category, and some not:

Danny Kaye: Funny, graceful, charismatic and, as later efforts showed, capable of great depth. He was the be-all and end-all of my childhood pantheon of stars.

Spencer Tracy: An actor other actors admired. Natural, rugged - I believed every word he ever uttered on the screen. Repeated viewing of his body of work will show that he possessed a great subtly, which might not be immediately apparent. He was capable of playing just about any kind of part, and although he didn't like himself as Mr. Hyde, I thought he was the embodiment of evil, and darn sexy, too.

Walter Brennan: An actor of unbelievable range and skill, IMO not given all the accolades he deserved (despite all those Oscars) because of the types of roles he played. I can't think of any others who could have done it better than he.

Sabu: Charming, natural - always came across as a decent and loving person. He was never given a real chance to show what he was capable of, and his performance in "Black Narcissus" revealed a bit of the sex appeal he was never again allowed to show.

Jeff Chandler: Another great one, underutilized by his studio. I loved him when I was a kid because he was so imposing, and the prematurely gray hair made him easily recognizable to me, yet there was an underlying kindness and playfullness to him. As I got older, I began to appreciate the other factor - the amazing heat he generated on the screen.

OK - That's five, and then of course there is my unqualified love for Jeffrey Hunter. If you ask me again tomorrow, I will probably be able to come up with five more of my "very favorites."

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Postby sugarpuss » April 19th, 2007, 1:37 pm

bobhopefan1940 wrote:The first flick I saw Powell in was I Love You, Again... I was new to classics, and when I started in on that movie he was odd looking. When I got to the part where she dumps the eggs on his head, he was cute. And by the time I got to his cooing, I was sold ;)


That is my all time favorite Powell/Loy movie! And the cooing! How could you not fall in love with him after seeing that? Although, if I were Myrna Loy, I think I would have re-fallen in love with him after seeing him dance with himself at the nightclub.

He's also really good in Mister Roberts. It's just so wonderful to see him--I think he's the whole emotional center of the movie. He's just a calming presence on the screen, and really, he's so entertaining. It's hard not to smile whenver watching him, Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire on screen.

Speaking of which, Gene Kelly is such a ham. Like at the end of one of his dances, and he makes that wide-eyed, grinning face? Such a HAM! But I love him!

This is also the problem with lists. Everytime I read another one, I think of another actor I've forgotten to mention. There aren't many actors that I dislike though.
"Some of the best parts of life are frivolous." - Arthur Kennedy in A Summer Place

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Postby bobhopefan1940 » April 19th, 2007, 3:12 pm

sugarpuss wrote:Speaking of which, Gene Kelly is such a ham. Like at the end of one of his dances, and he makes that wide-eyed, grinning face? Such a HAM! But I love him!


There's no denying... Gene is the ultimate ham! I remember watching Take Me Out To The Ballgame and they began the Irish dances at the clam bake... They got the older two gentlemen up there and they were good, but Gene is not going to be out done by anybody! That movie is really hilarious for GK's expressions, especially during the second number in the ball field with Frank, "Yes Indeed". I love it when he pulls his hat down and acts like a lady :P
"How strange when an illusion dies. It's as though you've lost a child." --Judy Garland

"To help a friend in need is easy, but to give him your time is not always opportune." --Charlie Chaplin

"Dumb show is best for screen people, if they must appear in public." --Buster Keaton

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Postby jdb1 » April 19th, 2007, 3:33 pm

My feelings, too, about Gene Kelly, not that I dislike a little ham once in a while.

I've always thought that a hallmark of Kelly's musical is that they go on much too long, as though he can't bear to tear himself away from in front of the camera.

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Postby movieman1957 » April 19th, 2007, 3:40 pm

Spencer Tracy: I always thought he looked like the wisest man ever on screen. Charming and intimidating.

John Wayne: Rugged, strong, business-like, charming and at times funny.

Jimmy Stewart: Exceedingly likeable. Tough guy in his westerns. Passionate.

Henry Fonda: Determined, serious and humble.

James Cagney: Pure adrenalin and power.
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Postby pktrekgirl » April 19th, 2007, 9:16 pm

bobhopefan1940 wrote:
pktrekgirl wrote:
When he walks into the room carrying that tray in MY MAN GODFREY when Carlo is jumping around the room like an ape...the expression on his face is PRICELESS.


OMG, yes! That was the most hilarious look... I was shaking my head in agreement with him and he didn't even have to say anything! In fact, that's what makes that movie so great. He lives with that family of nuts and he never makes a real comment about it or really acknowledges it. That is until the end, when Irene faints and he has to throw her over his shoulder. Finally, he says "This is the craziest family!" :lol:

The first flick I saw Powell in was I Love You, Again... I was new to classics, and when I started in on that movie he was odd looking. When I got to the part where she dumps the eggs on his head, he was cute. And by the time I got to his cooing, I was sold ;)


Oh wow! I'm glad you know which moment I was talking about. That is just great. The whole movie is great!

I can't remember the first film I saw him in. It might have been THE THIN MAN. But MY MAN GODFREY and THE EX-MRS BRADFORD were also among the first ones I saw, I believe. But now he has made me laugh in so many films. He is just wonderful.

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Postby MissGoddess » April 20th, 2007, 12:54 pm

OK ladies and gentlemen---I'm busy at work and just wild to come here and post----just like Sugarpuss said, "I love classic actresses, but I LOVE classic actors!" so I can't wait to get in my top five. For now, I just want to say how much I'm loving everyone's lists (Oh my word, My Man Godfrey---Powell is a genius!!! That scene with Mischa breaks me into little tiny pieces of hilarity).

Keep it up! I'll be back....and I promise to list my Top 5 Favorite actors................................besides Gary Cooper. :lol: Pktrekgirl already said great things about him and I won't make everyone sick, (and this way I can have one extra)...Hee hee! I'm naughty... : :wink: Oh, gotta run.

Ciao,

Miss G

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Postby pktrekgirl » April 20th, 2007, 2:11 pm

MissGoddess wrote:and I promise to list my Top 5 Favorite actors................................besides Gary Cooper. :lol: Pktrekgirl already said great things about him and I won't make everyone sick, (and this way I can have one extra)...Hee hee! I'm naughty... : :wink: Oh, gotta run.


:lol:

I think everyone reading this board is *long* past being sick of Gary Cooper gushing.

Either that, or by now they are surely hospitalized and on life support. :lol:

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Postby movieman1957 » April 20th, 2007, 2:50 pm

jdb1 wrote:
Walter Brennan: An actor of unbelievable range and skill, IMO not given all the accolades he deserved (despite all those Oscars) because of the types of roles he played. I can't think of any others who could have done it better than he.


Judith:

I watched "Come and Get It" last night with your beloved Walter. At first I was very suprised at his Swedish accent. (He's no John Qualen but he was ok.) After I got past that I enjoyed him as we always do. It reminded me again how varied his career was. Look at this one and then throw in everything from "Red River" to "To Have and Have Not" to "Support Your Local Sheriff" and all those in between shows what a vital part of Hollywood he was.
Last edited by movieman1957 on April 20th, 2007, 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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