10 Best British Male Actors

Saturday, July 23 by Jason Cuthbert

Cinema has had a rich history in the UK, and the 10 best British male actors are evidence of that. This formidable talent pool spans decades, and their collective careers offer an incredible library of films. Great Britain has provided us these males actors, the best of the British.

  1. Michael Caine. Michael Caine was definitely loveable in many of his finest onscreen performances. Caine's British charm has been witnessed in three films that have been since re-made: "Alfie", "The Italian Job", and "Get Carter". Michael Caine continues to be the go-to guy for roles requiring rational wisdom: "Children of Men", "The Dark Knight", and "Inception".
  2. Ben Kingsley. Ben Kingsley's resume—"Gandi", "Bugsy", "Schindler's List", and "Sex Beast"—are all mandatory viewing. This British actor's father was from Gujarat, the same state in India as Gandhi, ironically a movie role that won Kingsley his first Academy Award.  He joined several great British actors including: Jude Law, Ray Winstone, and Christopher Lee in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo Cabret".
  3. Daniel-Day Lewis. With Academy Award-winning leading roles in "My Left Foot" and "There Will Be Blood", British actor Daniel-Day Lewis is easily one of the greatest actors in the world. His serious preparation for role mirrors Robert De Niro, one of his acting inspirations. Like De Niro, Daniel-Day Lewis has successfully collaborated more than once with famed director Martin Scorsese.
  4. Sean Connery. The first 22 films in the James Bond series used a total of six different actors in the iconic spy role, but Sean Connery claims the crown. Connery's sense of adventure on the screen extended beyond that famous action hero Agent 007. This British actor's bravado was brought to life in other action-packed movies such as "The Hunt For Red October", and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", as another famous adventurer's father.
  5. Anthony Hopkins. Hopkins' disturbing role as Hannibal Lecter may have cemented his face into your nightmares for ever. This gargantuan screen character extended from "The Silence of the Lambs" into "Hannibal" and "Red Dragon". But Hopkins is not a one-trick pony. Hopkins has also played two U.S. presidents, John Quincy Adams in "Amistad" and Richard Nixon in "Nixon".
  6. Laurence Olivier. English playwright Charles C. Bennett has said that Olivier could speak lines from William Shakespeare as if he was "actually thinking them". During his 82-year lifespan, this British actor won three Academy Awards, including an honorary Oscar for his overall contributions to the art of cinema. Key films from his collection include "Hamlet", "Rebecca", "Marathon Man", and "Wuthering Heights".
  7. Christian Bale. Born in Wales, Christian Bale worked his way towards his more recent role as Batman. Early on in his career he was granted the opportunity to star in Steven Spielberg's World War II story "Empire of the Sun".  His quality work continued with memorable appearances in "American Psycho", "The Machinist" and "The Fighter".
  8. Gary Oldman. Oldman received a scholarship to Britain's Rose Bruford Drama College, completing a B.A. in Theatre Arts. Audiences should recognize him from the "Harry Potter" series and Christopher Nolan's Batman films. But Oldman also electrified audiences with portrayals of Sid Vicious, the bass player of the British punk band "The Sex Pistols" in the film "Sid & Nancy" and Lee Harvey Oswald in  "JFK".
  9. Malcolm McDowell. When Stanley Kubrick cast British actor Malcolm McDowell as Alex, the violent teen in the controversial science fiction drama "A Clockwork Orange", the world took notice. 29  years later he played another vicious character, Gangster 55 in "Gangster #1", which he has said is his favorite role since "A Clockwork Orange".  McDowell was also once married to the talented actress Mary Steenburgen.
  10.  Liam Neeson. British actor Liam Neeson began his career by joining the Belfast Lyric Players doing theatrical plays. Who can forget Neeson's role as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List"? Other top- notch directors clearly love his talent also, considering he has worked with Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, and George Lucas.