Who is the Greatest Living Actor?

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  • Chris Beachum
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    #169983

    I like this new thread about Meryl Streep. Based on her body of work and awards recognition, there really isn’t much debate about the fact she is the greatest living actress.

    On the other hand, there might be great debate about who is the greatest living actor. Please give us one response only with some analysis/details. We might include your response in an upcoming blog item.

    Really think about whether you would want to include people who are retired (like Jack Nicholson or Gene Hackman) over men who are actively working.

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    Macbeth
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    #169985

    Its a tough one – while Jack Nicholson hasn’t officially retired, he hasn’t made films in years and doesn’t have any upcoming. But if he was still working, it would be a no-brainer

    I love Robert De Niro, but let’s face it, he hasn’t been doing amazing work since the 1990s, and he has really sold out, and with the exception of a couple of great performances the last few years, I think he’s generally not living up to the standard he himself created and became iconic for.

    I actually think this is a very difficult question, but considering excellence throughout their careers, I have to say Kevin Spacey and Daniel Day-Lewis are consistently excellent and continue to work incredibly hard. I am hesistant to call him this just yet, but when he is a bit older, Joaquin Phoenix will probably be considered one of the greatest actors of all time, along with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy. Special mentions to Tom Cruise (as one of the greatest action stars of all time) and Andy Serkis (for his physicality and dedication). 

    But in short, I have to say Dustin Hoffman has been excellent, and he’s done everything in his career, and considering he continues to work (and in quality projects), then that makes him probably the greatest living actor, along with the confusingly MIA Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro  

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #169986

    I’d suspect that it’s Martin Short…

     

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    Macbeth
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    #169987

    I’d suspect that it’s Martin Short…

     

    I’d be inclined to believe you – he’s the ultimate entertainer  

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    benbraddock
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    #169988

    1. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS
    2. AL PACINO
    3. ROBERT DE NIRO
    4. DUSTIN HOFFMAN
    5. GENE HACKMAN
    6. JACK NICHOLSON

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #169989

    1. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS
    2. AL PACINO
    3. ROBERT DE NIRO
    4. DUSTIN HOFFMAN
    5. GENE HACKMAN
    6. JACK NICHOLSON

     

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    Actriz
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    #169990

    This is hard because there isn’t one specific male actor who, like Meryl among female actors, is consistently cast in top-notch roles and receives fairly constant awards recognition. Hell, by those standards the greatest living actor is Bryan Cranston (and I wouldn’t oppose to him having the title – I still think he would’ve made a much better Captain Phillips than Hanks).

    Daniel Day-Lewis could stake a claim at the title, but he only makes films once in a blue moon and only after intense character research, so we have no idea what his quality level would be if he churned out films as fast as Meryl does.

    In the late 90’s/early 2000’s it looked like Kevin Spacey was taking this title fast, but his career quickly fizzled. However, with Casino Jack and Horrible Bosses (both performances I found worthy of Oscar nominations) and now House of Cards, it looks like he is rising again. We’ll see where he is in a few years. 

    One thing is for sure: whoever has the title now will not have it for much longer, as it will easily be claimed/fought over by Leonardo DiCaprio and Joaquin Phoenix (and now maybe even Matthew McConaughey) when they reach that more “respectable” age.

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    Tyler The Awesome Guy
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    #169991

    Tom

    Mother

    Fucking

    Hanks 

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #169992

    If we’re talking best actor still living who isn’t doing consistent work, I would say Daniel Day Lewis. Jack Nicholson is also worth mentioning in that category.

    If we’re talking actors who are still producing films, I’ll mention Morgan Freeman, whose career has been consistent and who I’ve never found to be anything less than absolutely convincing and layered even in a bad film. I feel like Gary Oldman and Michael Fassbender, as well as Denzel Washington and some mentioned above like Phoenix, Hanks and Spacey will end up eventually being in that conversation too.

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    M
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    #169993

    Filmographies are the best way to judge male performers. Sean Penn.

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    Atypical
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    #169994

    Daniel Day-Lewis. If the question posed was “who was the greatest living actor of the 1970s?” I’d have no problems picking Robert DeNiro or Al Pacino or Dustin Hoffman, etc. But it’s difficult to overlook some of the dreck that these guys have participated in recently for decades, which isn’t an exaggeration. Resting on past laurels (no matter how outstanding those laurels might be) is always problematic. Some close calls opted for retirement, and that’s difficult for the lingering notions of what could have been (unless they are physically incapable of doing any more work). I’d love to see one last great role for actors like Gene Hackman and Jack Nicholson and possibly reassess this decision. But judging on both past and current output, it’s Daniel Day-Lewis who wows as much in the beginning of his career as he does now. He might get knocked for being so selective in his film roles, and “NIne” is the one glaring blemish on his resume. But the combination of roles as diverse as “There Will Be Blood” (I consider Daniel Plainview to be one of the defining film characterizations of the 21st century), “My Beautiful Laundrette,” “In the Name of the Father,” “The Age of Innocence,” “Lincoln,” “The Crucible,” “Gangs of New York,” “My Left Foot,” and “The Last of the Mohicans,” I think the choice is pretty clear.

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    Tye-Grr
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    #169995

    He seems to get the short end of the stick around here, but I’m going to throw Denzel Washington’s name into the hat. As ‘Flight’ recently proved (and hell, even films where he could’ve easily slummed it like ‘The Equalizer’ and ‘The Book of Eli’), Washington still has it. Add to that his roles in films like ‘Training Day’, ‘Glory’, ‘The Hurricane’, ‘Philadelphia’, ‘Malcolm X’, ‘Inside Man’, ‘American Gangster’, etc., Washington, IMHO, more than earns his right to be in consideration for the title.

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    Junk
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    #169996

    I’ll say this, Tom Hanks will be a bigger legend 10 20 years from now than Hoffman, Pacino, Nicholson, DeNiro are now. 

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    Etchie
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    #169997

    Some Male Actors have been quoted saying: 

    Meryl Streep as the Best Actor in the World.

    I think I’ve heard this from Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and some more. 

    Should we retitle this thread as Greatest Living Male Actor instead? 

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    TomHardys
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    #169998

    Some Male Actors have been quoted saying: 

    Meryl Streep as the Best Actor in the World.

    I think I’ve heard this from Sean Penn, Kevin Bacon, and some more. 

    Should we retitle this thread as Greatest Living Male Actor instead? 

    I’m telling you this in the nicest way that I can because it’s Christmas and all that jazz and I like you: shut the fuck up. GoldDerby is a lot of things but it’s certainly not your personal online spank bank. Take your japanese business man perverted fantasies elsewhere (I suggest http://www.noonetakesmerylstreepthatseriously.org).

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