It’s hard to rank the best actors of all time. Everyone has their favorites, and their favorites movies and singular performances and opinions can change on a whim. Here are some of the best actors of all time according to their careers and the impact they left.

  1. Martin Sheen – Any one who saw "Apocalypse Now" knows exactly why Martin Sheen is on this list. Sheen is also considered one of the most versatile actors in history capable of transitioning between stage, film and television; he’s even surpassed John Wayne in the number of performances at 223 making him one of the best actors of all time.

  2. John Wayne – The greatest American cowboy, and one of the best actors, who ever graced the silver screen, John Wayne made 172 movies and won an Oscar for his role in "True Grit." Wayne was also outspoken, honest and a die-hard American patriot, a trait not seen in many actors today.

  3. Marlon Brando – Like Martin Sheen, Brando’s role in "Apocalypse Now" could get him on this list by itself. His performances in "The Godfather" movies and on "The Waterfront" have led to Brando being considered the best movie actor of all time.

  4. Laurence Olivier – Considered the only actor to be held higher than Marlon Brando, Olivier preferred the stage to movies and is considered hands down to be the greatest Shakespearean actor of all time as well as the best actor of all time.

  5. Robert Duvall – For someone who got their start in the landmark movie "To Kill A Mockingbird," it’s not surprising that Duvall has become so great. With 133 performances, an Oscar for "Tender Mercies" and five other nominations, and "Lonesome Dove," "The Godfather" series, and "Apocalypse Now" under his belt, Duvall is easily one of the most respected and skilled actors of his time.

  6. Robert Redford – He started a film festival that’s now an institution in its own right and won an Oscar for directing the movie "Ordinary People." Redford has become the bar by which others are measured during his time in Hollywood and he is one of the few who remains uncorrupted by it.

  7. Paul Newman – He might be easier to recognize because of his baby blues than his acting, but it’s his acting that has made him a legend. It’s hard to pinpoint which movie made him so great; "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" made him a heartthrob to millions, he won an Oscar for "The Color of Money," and was nominated for nine others. To top it all off, he was a great humanitarian as well.

  8. Steve McQueen – Our beloved blond haired, blue-eyed boy rose from the worst of situations to become an icon still considered the epitome of cool decades after his death. Though he wasn’t around long enough to rack up the body of work most others did, his performances in "The Magnificent Seven," "The Great Escape," and countless others shine through making him one of the best actors of all time.

 Honorable mentions go to Christian Bale, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Cain, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris, Clark Gable, and countless others.  

- Rachel Fischer