10 Classic Movie Stars

Friday, January 28 by Frank Mucci

The actors and actresses who make up our list of 10 classic movie stars are all top box office stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. With 58 Oscar nominations and 16 wins among them, they are clearly among the greatest performers in film history.

  1. Humphrey Bogart. “Casablanca,” “Key Largo,” “The Maltese Falcon,” “The African Queen,” “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” “The Big Sleep," the list of movies starring Humphrey Bogart reads like a classic film lovers DVD collection. Bogie may have come away with only one Oscar win, but with a resume like that, he ranks atop our list of ten classic movie stars.
  2. Clark Gable. “The King of Hollywood” is best remembered for one of film’s most iconic roles as Rhett Butler in the 1939 classic “Gone with the Wind.” But it was his comic performance in “It Happened One Night” that earned Clark Gable the Best Actor Oscar in 1935 putting him on our list of ten classic movies stars.
  3. Katharine Hepburn. The all-time leading Academy Award winner with four Oscars, Katherine Hepburn’s career spanned an amazing seven decades putting her among the top classic movie stars in film history. During that time, she appeared with Spencer Tracy in no less than nine movies—including their final film together, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”—making the Tracy/Hepburn-pairing the greatest male/female acting team in movie history.
  4. Bette Davis. Blessed with a look that inspired the ‘70s hit song “Bette Davis Eyes,” the two-time Academy Award winner for “Dangerous” and “Jezebel” ranks among the top classic movie stars of all time. Perhaps her most memorable performance, however, is from the 1951 Oscar winner for Best Picture, “All About Eve.”
  5. Cary Grant. No actor has been blessed with a greater collection of assets than Cary Grant. Handsome, charming, funny, he could make women melt while winning over the other half as the ideal of what men wished they could be. “Gunga Din,” “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “The Philadelphia Story,” and “An Affair to Remember” are among the many films that help make Cary Grant among the best classic movie stars of all time.
  6. James Stewart. Along with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, he starred in “The Philadelphia Story” and came away from it with the 1941 Oscar for Best Actor. James Stewart went on to become one of the top classic movie stars in film history with starring roles in the Christmas favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life” as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window,” and “Vertigo.”
  7. Ingrid Bergman. A 3-time Oscar winner, Ingrid Bergman was never more beautiful than when she won the heart of Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca,” considered by many as one of the five greatest films of all time. A trio of Oscar wins as well as memorable performances in Hitchcock thrillers “Notorious” and “Spellbound” put Ms. Bergman on our list of ten classic movie stars.
  8. James Cagney. Cast for years in gangster roles (e.g. “Angels with Dirty Faces,” “The Public Enemy,” “White Heat”), Jimmy Cagney’s 1943 Oscar-winning performance in “Yankee Doodle Dandy” as song-and-dance man George M. Cohan is among the greatest displays of all-around talent in film history. That kind of versatility and box office appeal makes Cagney one of the top classic movie stars of all time.
  9. Spencer Tracy. The other half of the Tracy/Hepburn duo was also one of Hollywood’s top classic stars, having won back-to-back Oscars in 1938 and ’39 for “Captains Courageous” and “Boys Town.” But Spencer Tracy’s most memorable role may have been his last, in which he played the conflicted father in an interracial relationship in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.”
  10. Grace Kelly. Before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace Kelly was among the most beautiful actresses ever to appear on the Silver Screen and is the final entry on our list of ten classic movie stars. In addition to an Oscar-winning performance in “The Country Girl,” she starred in such Hitchcock classics as “Rear Window,” and “Dial M for Murder.”
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