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Best living American actor?


TSwift25
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So, let's have a fun discussion on this matter. Some names to throw out there: Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks and Al Pacino.

 

I think if we were to talk all-time, it'd be a two horse race between Brando and Olivier.

 

Who's your pick for greatest living American actor?

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I would have to say that the best is Jack Nicholson. This guy just consistently continues to make great movies.

 

Some may blast me for this, but I believe Leo DiCaprio, Ed Norton and Matt Damon will end up being the best actors of this generation.

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Yeah, I'm a big fan of Norton and believe he has a lot of potential. I just saw Primal Fear the other day and I was really impressed as well as his acting in American History X. When we talk about the future, I also think Christian Bale is up there.

 

I have to mention De Niro. The emotions he pulled off in Awakenings were incredible and I loved him in Heat, too. He either hits or misses (a lot like Pacino) but when he's on he's on. And Richard Gere

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

I've always been partial to Hanks. I'm very impressed with his range, moreso than with most celebrated actors.

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Guest FlummoxedLummox

I am assuming the list is isolated to American born actors only? Guys like Gary Oldman and Ben Kingsley should get recognition otherwise.

 

Names to be considered:

 

Robert Redford

Dustin Hoffman

Gene Hackman

Kevin Spacey

I was definitely thinking Oldman too.

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The mother of a girl I dated was obsessed with Ian McKellen, after watching some of his movies I can say he is a hell of an actor.

 

Andy Garcia is pretty good too. Somebody no one has mentioned because he doesn't have a lot of range, Joe Pesci. That guy is perfect in the mobster type role.

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How could nobody mention Clint Eastwood??? He is the iconic American actor and the greatest ever for his longevity and ability to be meaningful in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and today.

 

I also think very highly of Tom Cruise and his roles: He is absolutely brilliant in Magnolia and Born on the 4th of July and very entertaining in movies like Vanilla Sky, Eyes Wide Shut, Rain Man, Jerry Maguire, Risky Business(my favorite "teen" movie of all time) and others. People forget how many quality movies he has been in.

 

Best actor out there right now though IMO is Christian Bale. I would watch anything he is in and his role in Harsh Times was very underrated. I can't figure out why Denzel Washington got so much attention for Training Day but everyone overlooked this gem of a movie and role.

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I think it partly depends on what we define as a great actor. I define it as someone who, when watching them play a character, we don't realize that it is that actor doing so. Put another way, he plays that part so well, that he becomes the character and not the actor playing the character. With Denzel, I feel like I am watching Denzel in everyone of his movies, not the cop from training day or Rubin Carter.

 

With others, it may be an actor whose reputation and presence are dominant. Put another way, the superstar actor.

 

It's one of the reasons I like someone like Ben Kingsley over actors like Tom Cruise.

 

Anybody who watches a movie like House of Sand and Fog(great movie) sees a former Iranian general, not Ben Kingsley.

 

To each his own I guess.

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I agree on Denzel.

 

He has fallen down my proverbial ladder.

 

Lets be real, Training Day was not a great performance and was payback for Malcolm X.

 

Cruise is nearing in on criminally underrated now because of his off-camera escapades. The fact that he has only 3 total Oscar nominations and one of which is Jerry Maguire, is ridiculous and probably because he has been so mainstream and had so many leading roles for so long now.

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I'm surprised no one's mentioned Russell Crowe, unless he's not considered an "American actor." I didn't see Training Day, but I can't imagine how Crowe didn't win that year for A Beautiful Mind.

Good actor but yes he's Australian.

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