10 Most Famous British Actors

Friday, July 22 by Mason Kaho

This list of the 10 most famous British actors includes some of the greatest actors every to grace the silver screen. British drama has a rich history, dating back to Geoffrey Chaucer, and the men on the list have carried on that tradition beautifully. Debonair leading men, chiseled sex symbols, and masters of line delivery populate this list.

  1. Laurence Olivier. Considered one of the greatest actors of all time, Olivier is certainly one of the most famous British actors ever. Considered a Shakespearean master, his “Hamlet” is considered perhaps the best ever performed. He was nominated for fourteen Oscars and was also a producer and director.
  2. Alec Guinness. This great actor is perhaps best-known for his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi from “Star Wars” and is one of the most famous British actors ever. Prior to his role in “Star Wars”, he won an Oscar for his role in “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and acted in dozens of other movies.
  3. Jim Broadbent. Broadbent’s fame took off in the late 1990s with roles in huge films such as “Moulin Rouge!”, “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, “Gangs of New York" and some “Harry Potter” films, making him one of the most famous British actors working today. Starting as a stage actor, jumping to film may have been the best decision he ever made.
  4. Colin Firth. After starring in a British TV version of “Pride and Prejudice” in the mid-1990s, Firth went on to become one of the most famous British actors. He was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the quiet, thoughtful “A Single Man” and starred in some of the biggest moneymakers of the 2000s.
  5. Ben Kingsley. Kingsley’s seminal role was as Mahatma Gandhi in the vastly successful “Gandhi” of 1982, immediately making him one of the most famous British actors in the world. He has won numerous awards, including an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award.
  6. Hugh Grant. Grant hit the big time with the charming and funny “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. Unfortunately for him—perhaps—he rose to even more prominence with a sex scandal involving a Hollywood prostitute. But any publicity is good publicity, as they say.
  7. Sean Connery. Connery became world famous thanks to his role as the super-charming superspy, James Bond. In addition to being Bond seven times, he has won the “Sexiest Man Alive” designation and been called “The Greatest Living Scot.”
  8. Ralph Fiennes. Fiennes has been in a number of popular films including “The English Patient” and “Schindler’s List”. If that wasn’t enough, he’s played Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” films, exposing him to an entirely different fan base.
  9. Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis is an infamous method actor, considered one of the most intense performers working today. He was been nominated for four Best Actor Oscars, winning two, and has performed in extremely popular movies.
  10. Daniel Radcliffe. Radcliffe is without a doubt one of the most famous British actors, thanks solely to his role as Harry Potter in the insanely popular “Harry Potter” films. Whether or not Radcliffe’s career is sustained after the Potter film ends remains to be seen, but for now, he’s at the top of the charts.

COMMENTS

  1. July 22, 2011 10:19 pm

    Petergf

    Of all time? Then it has to include the dead ones – Garrick, Kean, Irving, Kemble, Burbage, Betterton – & Actors of the Female Gender (since ‘actresses’ isn’t PC)  Siddons, Jordan, Ashcroft, Thordike, Evans. Even actors
    within living memory have been overlooked – Redrave, Richardson, Gielgud, Scofield, Cusack, Donat. I could make a long & considered list but it would be wasted. Those 10 Geatest Actors of All Time are those nominated by people who go to films & may never have set foot inside a theatre.