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The Top 50 Actors Countdown - You Casted Your Votes


Did you know Arnold was already a millionaire from real estate before he became an actor? He's a shrewd businessman, if nothing else.


I was lucky enough (?) to meet him multiple times when he was Governor and I was working in the Capitol building in Sacramento. I never agreed with much of his politics (though they'd be more welcome today on the right than what we currently have) but the man could work a room and make you feel like you were the most important thing to him while he was talking to you. The fact that he extended that effort to even interns, like myself, always struck me.
My mom also met him when he was Governor and had a similar impression. She was surprised and impressed that he really did seem to listen to and consider people. Potentially just good acting? Maybe, but a very different type than what you see him do on screen so she thought it was sincere.

Johnny Unusual

6. Harrison Ford


110 Points, 4 Lists, #1 Beta Metroid & Issun
Iconic Roles: Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Han Solo (Star Wars), Rick Deckard (Blade Runner), Bellhop (Dead Heat on the Merry Go Round)

Becoming interested in acting in his senior year of high school, Harrison Ford pursued his craft. Unfortunately, finding work can be tough and after a decade of small TV and film roles, Ford became a carpenter in Hollywood to support his family. Still, he managed to garner attention and eventually got a breakthrough in the teen comedy American Grafitti. And then, while expanding Francis Ford Coppola’s office, he gained roles in The Conversation and Apocalypse Now. He managed to becoming a leading and co-leading actor soon after but it was 1977’s Star Wars that would take full advantage of his charms as the smart-mouthed rogue Han Solo. Becoming a star, director George Lucas utilized him in his work with Steven Spielberg in their adventure film Raiders of the Lost Ark. Not only were both films massive hits but they made Ford a megastar, known for his manly charm. He could continue in genre fiction in the much more somber Blade Runner and would become one of the most recognizable leading men of the 80s and 90s and in 2003 was the richest male actor in the world. For much of his career, he had smaller, less speculative genre driven roles, mostly but did return to some of his iconic roles later on, including Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Rick Deckard. Ford is set to star as Jones once again in a yet to be named Indiana Jones film.

I love the exact ways the title of this video is wrong.

Harrison Ford was my dad. At least, as far as I was concerned. My dad was also a professor, doing forestry consulting overseas, so his ability to travel and navigate countries and his manliness made him seem a lot like Indiana Jones to me. At the height of his powers, Ford had a confidence that worked in genre films and a sense of maturity that worked in dramas and thrillers. Even when he’s not in control, there’s a sense he can get it back with enough will power and effort. Han Solo and Dr. Jones are the epitome of charm to me and it’s easy to see why the right role really blew him up. Think this is what helps him excel in the adventure genre as well. His charm isn’t “effortless” because unlike some of the untouchable heroes of the era, it felt like this guy had to put in the work and take his lumps to save his skin. It’s a bit of what Bruce Willis used to have but I feel like there’s something wonderfully old school about Ford, while Willis was more akin to the increasing of irony in culture. No irony with Ford but he’s capable of fumbling and flailing as Solo or Jones, which makes it satisfying when he’s able to pull out a win.
It's Harrison Ford. I just looked at his filmography and immediately jumped him up a dozen spots on this list. Yes, he's Han Solo, and I love Star Wars as much as the next person, but he's also Indiana Jones, and Rick Deckard, and Dr. Richard Kimble, and Jack Ryan, and honestly, for me this is mostly a vote for those last two. Yes, Tom Clancy sucks, and the messaging of his work's not great, but I just love me Harrison Ford in a crime/political thriller.


Unfortunately, these days, like Bruce Willis, he seems like HE WOULD LIKE TO BE DOING ANYTHING ELSE OTHER THAN ACTING (though his return as Solo seemed surprisingly engaged).


We could hire him to play a carpenter and get a lot of b-roll footage of a renovation and save some money.

Simpsons or Star Trek?: Nope.

Last edited:

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
Bill Murray was also the voice of Johnny Storm in the radio drama adaptations of Fantastic Four.

I don’t know what FF character I would best associate with Bill Murray’s voice, but… not him

Johnny Unusual

5. Keith David

A garlic clove or cashew maybe?

123 Points, 5 Lists, #6 Beta Metroid
Iconic Roles: Goliath (Gargoyles), Frank Armitage (They Live), Childs (The Thing), Washington Square Peddler (The Whoopee Boys)

In 1979, Keith David graduated from Julliard and began appearing in various theatrical productions. In 1982, he appeared in his first credited film role (he had a small role in Disco Godfather), John Carpenter’s The Thing. Though the film was a bomb, it eventually became a cult classic and critical reappraisal has been very kind. He also appeared as a recurring role in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood as Keith, the Handyman. Keith acted through the 80s with a few major roles, including They Live and Platoon but was often more of a character actor in smaller roles. This included smaller roles in animation and in 1994, he gained his first starring role in the animated television series Gargoyles as Goliath, leader of a clan of living gargoyles. In 1997, he gained another animated lead in the animated series Spawn as the title character, based on the popular comic book of the same name. This also extended to video games where he played characters such as Vhailor in Planescape: Torment and The Arbiter in the Halo series. In 2009 he played the villain Professor Facilier in The Princess and the Frog and in 2015 joined the cast of Community in its final season. In 2016, he earned the starring role in the Soap opera mystery series Greenleaf and has recently had a recurring role in the animated series Amphibia.

I could say stuff. I have a lot to say. But this video does a great job…

Keith David is one of those actors who has done both a lot of voice work and appeared in front of the camera many times (including, I was reminded, The Thing), but this is primarily a vote for his voice work. He just has one of those deep, commanding, distinctive voices that's instantly recognizable, whether it be as the noble leader of the Gargoyles or The Arbiter in Halo 2. He does a lot of one-off guest roles, and you always know immediately when it's him.


The man can DO IT ALL! This might be a HOT TAKE but I believe him to be the best thing about DELTA FARCE. Sorry, LARRY the CABLE TELEVION INSTALLING MAN!

Simpsons or Star Trek?: Nope and I’m genuinely shocked he’s neither been a Klingon nor a high ranking Federation officer Picard needs to maneuver around/but heads with.



Man, where to start with Harrison Ford? There are other actors I've loved, but he's been my go-to since I was 10 years old. There's something engaging about him, and not just his charm. Every one of his characters have a toughness but also a vulnerability about them, and that makes his action heroes more relatable than most others, especially of his era. It also means he can play quieter roles as well. He's just one that for about 25 years you could go see a movie starring him and it'd most likely be a good time.

I think the first time I realized that era had ended was when I saw Hollywood Homicide. All good things, etc., etc.

Respect Knucks to Beta Metroid.
^ same. had him on my list but I think the communities that would agree on that would be very small in number. Part of my inclusion was token voice work, and he adds to that with a handful of notable visual performances as well, but the man's resume is pretty right anyway. Some big roles, a lot of small ones, but many of both are very distinct and memorable.

Johnny Unusual

4. Robin Williams

Great Pumpkin Jr.

125 Points, 5 Lists, #2 Beta Metroid & Olli
Iconic Roles: Genie (Aladdin), John Keating (Dead Poet’s Society), Mork (Mork & Mindy), Dame Edna (Mrs. Doubtfire)

Robin Williams credited his mother with his interest in comedy, as he often loved to make her laugh. Williams dropped out of a political science course to pursue acting and after three years in drama went to Julliard on a full scholarship. Fellow classmate Christopher Reeve described Williams as being always on to be an understatement and often baffled his teachers, who found him impressive but also seeming to lack discipline. However, this was reconsidered after a knock out performance in a production of Night of the Iguana. In senior year, he was encouraged to leave by John Houseman who felt he had nothing left to teach him, particularly in a more conservative school like Julliard that didn’t suit his style. Williams pursued stand-up in San Francisco to outrageous success, helping lead a comedy renaissance within the city. Soon he began doing HBO specials, as well as appearing in an ill-fated revival of Laugh-In and starring in a sitcom Mork and Mindy, playing an alien studying Earth. Mork and Mindy was a success and Williams went to the big screen in the Robert Altman oddity, Popeye. But Williams hit bigger with a film taking full advantage of his outsized personality Good Morning, Vietnam, playing a DJ during the Vietnam war, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Much of the work was Williams improvising, providing long stream of consciousness comedy bits for the film. Williams got his second nomination for a humourous but more sober role as teacher John Keating in the coming of age drama Dead Poet’s Society and another in Terry Gilliam’s drama The Fisher King. Already a major star, it rose only further as a major celebrity voice in Disney’s Aladdin as the Genie. In fact, Williams issues with him and his character being treated as the “star” rubbed him the wrong way, particularly in regards to his fear that popular screen actors might replace veteran voice actors, which would turn out to be well-founded. Williams would still do comedy, including the hit film Mrs. Doubtfire, but he also did more drama, with mixed results. One of the better was his last Oscar nomination, which he won for his role as a psychologist in the film Good Will Hunting. He also managed to break new ground for himself again in two well-received thriller performances; Insomnia and One Hour Photo, allowing an actor popular with kids to do more adult work. On August 11, 2014, Williams was found in his home having hung himself. His autopsy revealed he suffered from diffuse Lewy body dementia, undiagnosed until that point.

As a comedian, Williams was both of his time and created his time. I feel like though his style of hyperactive comedy fell out of favour after the 80s, it was incredibly influential and greatly informed what comedy would become. Beyond that, though, his comic persona spilled into his acting and it seemed like his primary skill would simply being a ball of energy but as he went on, his strength was often more akin to a particular gentle warmth. It was something that served him well when he was wild to allow us to still care for him but more than that, it became clearer in his drama films where he seems like a mentor we would trust to share with. It also served him when he would take roles counter to this, using this image to create a more unnerving effect in his thrillers and black comedies. It is unfortunate in his last decade, his roles became increasingly lackluster and he was having surprising trouble finding the kind of work he wanted because he really did earn it.


He will be missed.

Simpsons or Star Trek?: Nope but Williams has been referenced multiple times. He did also attempt to appear in Star Trek: The Next Generation which would become the episode “A Matter of Time” but at the time Williams was overbooked with a wife about to give birth and backed out.



Let's Pock (Art @szk_tencho)
(he / his / him)
I still miss him so much. Just reading the post made me emotional. A legend.

Johnny Unusual

3. John Goodman

Minister Pumpkin

135 Points, 5 Lists, #1 Johnny Unusual
Iconic Roles: Dan Conner (Roseanne), Sully (Monsters Inc), Walter Sobchak (The Big Lebowski), Julie "Baby Feet" Balboni (In the Electric Mist)

After an injury ended his football career prematurely, John Goodman went into acting and moved to New York in 1975. Goodman worked off-Broadway and in dinner theatre and even found a successful niche in commercials, including this iconic one from the late 70s.

On the stage, Goodman one a Drama Desk award for his work in Big River and made small appearances in films before a bigger role in the Talking Heads film True Stories. In 1987, he gained a big role in the comedy Raising Arizona playing an articulate escaped convict which would be the first in a long line of roles working with the celebrated Coen Brothers. He then found TV/mainstream success in 1988 in the long running sitcom Roseanne as patriarch Dan Conner and became a household name. Goodman would gain sizable roles in the Spielberg sentimental fantasy always and Spielberg produced films like the horror comedy Arachnophobia and his first starring role in the big screen adaptation of the Flintstones. Goodman also began to do more animation roles in the 2000s, including the Emperor’s New Groove and Monsters Inc. Goodman also appeared in a number of Oscar nominated (and sometimes winning) pictures including The Artist, Argo and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. More recently, Goodman returned to his role as Dan Conner in the return of Roseanne, later renamed the Conners following the lead actress’s exit.

Goodman is an actor of many talents and while he can do broad comedy well, there is a lot of nuance of his work. But I always feel like he’s a guy who understands how to use his size. I don’t just mean he’s a larger man, I think his very essence take up a lot of room. It’s something he can use to comedic effect or to horrific intimidating effect or sometimes, like in the scene above, both. Characters he plays, even his more pathetic ones, cannot be ignored and often to do so would be a terrible mistake. You can feel that he is likely a warm, sweet dude and can play that well but his menace is something, even in louder characters, has nuance. I was shocked when he topped my list because while I knew he would rank high, I forgot just how many different types of roles he excels at, from loving patriarch to dopey monster to human monster. There are many directors who use him well (and he can, to a certain extent, goose a weaker product) but I will always think of him as a Coens go-to, working in pretty much every kind of movie they make.
John Goodman has played a lot of roles over his long career, as exemplified by this interaction with my SO as I was making this list: "Oh, John Goodman. I love Roseanne!" Me: "Okay, sure babe, but I was thinking more of his other roles…" Her: "Yeah, The Flintstones was great too!" (Something something Big Lebowski, something something Cloverfield Lane.)

Beneath his more folksy roles, there is an endless amount of classical training and range. Always a pleasure to watch him sink his teeth into something bigger than Dan Conner


This man can make a stew!

Simpsons or Star Trek?: Yes! He appeared in “Take My Wife, Sleaze” and while it isn’t a perfect episode, he gets some of the most quotable lines as a rough biker.



Johnny Unusual

2. Nicolas Cage

Sir Cucumber

137 Points, 5 Lists, #1 Pudik
Iconic Roles: H.I. McDunnough (Raising Arizona), Ronny Cammareri (Moonstruck), Cameron Poe (Con Air), John Travolta (Face/Off)

Nicolas Coppola loved acting after seeing James Dean on film but when promising his uncle, filmmaking star Francis Ford Coppola, he’s “show him acting”, he was met with stony silence. He took on the screen name Nicolas Cage to avoid the appearance of nepotism (and for his love of comics, taking his name from Luke Cage), and began appearing with the TV pilot The Best of Times. The show wasn’t picked up but he did get to appear in a small role in the successful film Fast Times at Ridgemont High. After a starring role in the romantic comedy coming of age film Valley Girl and then would finally work with his uncle on The Outsiders, Rumble Fish and Peggy Sue Got Married. In 1987, Cage played more adult roles in the acclaimed comedy films Moonstruck and Raising Arizona. As time went on, we saw Cage playing other stranger roles, such as in David Lynch’s Wild at Heart and the bizarre but fascinating flop Deadfall. While still continuing some odder roles, he also became an action star in the later half of the 90s. In 1996, he also was nominated and won the academy award for his role as a suicidal alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas. He was also nominated in 2003 in the quirky meta-drama Adaptation playing the screenwriter and his fictive brother. In more recent years, Cage focused largely on genre material, leveraging his reputation as something of a weirdo and most recently took a critically praised role in the film Pig, which was marketed as “John Wick with a pig” but is actually something a lot more humane.

If there’s an actor who represents swinging for the fences, it’s Nicolas Cage. This guy makes choices. I get the impression he can be a difficult actor to work with in some ways but not in the way the term is often used. Sometimes it means temperamental or unreasonable (Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando), and sometimes it means opinionated in a way the producers or director don’t like (Crispin Glover). But I get the impression Cage is someone so dedicated to his muse, he is pretty determined to stick to certain decisions, like he’s happy to listen to people and take in their input and try to do the best he can for everyone but also sometimes there are decisions he NEEDS to make. This is, note, merely based on a handful of stories about him. I’m probably missing the big picture. But I think it’s why we have three different main Cage modes: ridiculous Cage, somber Cage (unless properly utilized, often the worst Cage) and in his own league Cage. I feel like Cage goes hard into making decisions which is why both his films and his performances vary in quality and it is rare to see him lack some sort of commitment to a film, save maybe for some direct to video films (at a point I’m assuming he’s feeling somewhat defeated financially. Again, mere speculation). When he is on, his wild persona is perfect. Of course he would be in a Coens movie and a Lynch movie and fit perfectly. Of course he and Travolta would try to out-ham each other in Face/Off. He’s not always perfect but that’s kind of the beauty; I think he’s experimenting but he’s not just fucking around. He believes in his craft to a degree that you never know what you are going to get and if he was any other way, it wouldn’t be quite as magical.


I considered no other man TO embody the spirit of the NOBLE cucumber!

Simpsons or Star Trek?: Nicolas Cage rarely does TV so sadly no.



Post Reader
I love Nicolas Cage because he is the star of Vampire's Kiss, and I also love Nicolas Cage because he is the star of Pig.


Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
Just a quick shout-out to my person favourite Robin Williams role, which I didn't see mentioned: Awakenings is a very good film.
was kinda worried about goodman and cage's prospects at some point. I think goodman gets forgotten as a great actor in light of just being an always good actor. He's stolen a lot of works though, oodles of charisma and pathos.

and cage is really just the best actor of all time. one of the few that i think actually elevates it out from a piece fitting into place. Was worried about him showing up because he still has the cache of being "too kooky" to be considered legitimate but ithink we as a society have mostly gotten over that. btw best role is bad lieutenant, if only because it may be the most physical acting of all time lol. there's not much to say, he's just impeccable in every aspect

Beta Metroid

At peace
Oh man, way too many of my picks showing up!

Rewatching a lot of Roseanne when I was in a post-college "now what?" phase, it struck me how much more nuanced the show is than the typical impression it seems to have left on pop culture. Dan Conner is often lumped in with the "drunk and bumbling" TV dads, but he's a much more well-rounded character. There's a pressing anxiety to how they'll get by, which is such a sharp contrast to sitcoms of the era (and even many modern ones), and it was (and still is, to an extent, extremely relatable). And now that I'm a parent, I can see other aspects of his character as just the sheer exhaustion that comes with the parenting/full-time job combo. But there was clear love there for his wife and kids...that just doesn't always stop how absolutely overwhelming life can be. Also, the development of his relationship with Jackie from antagonistic sniping to mutual familial love, respect, and protectiveness is a great aspect of the show.

Also, now that my job entails reading the government's reasons for rejecting immigration applications and telling them why they're wrong, this has become a fixture of my work playlist: "Guv'ment"

Johnny Unusual

1. Patrick Stewart


169 Points, 6 Lists, #1 JBear
Iconic Roles: Professor Brain (The X-Files), Captain Space (The Star Wars), The Poop Emoji (I, Claudius)

As a young man, Patrick Stewart was given an ultimatum; journalism or acting. And he made his choice. Studying acting in his teens, he made quick friends with other future beloved actor Brian Blessed, and the two would be close friends thereafter. In his 20s, Stewart joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and remained with them from 1966 until 1982. After appearing in smaller roles on television, he earned some more prominent ones, including the villain Karla in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Vladimir Lenin in The Fall of Eagles, and Sejanus in I, Claudius. He began to make film appearances in smaller but notable roles in Dune and Excalibur. Despite appearing in genre pictures, he far preferred classical theatre, where he remained (he even questioned Lalla Ward why she would work in something like Doctor Who). This changed in 1987 when he joined a Hollywood TV series, one of which he new nothing of, in the hopes he could make a little money on a sure, to fail show and that he wouldn’t have to worry about a 6-year contract and he could return to London and the stage.

By all accounts, Stewart had a difficult time fitting in, reciting technobabble while dealing with less professional castmates. However, things changed and Stewart not only got on well with the cast, he became their advocate with the producers once he overcame cultural and professional difference. And he even loved any time he had to talk about the spacetime continuum. The show itself became a great success, not only continuing the beloved franchise but enriching it and creating demand for more. According to castmate, 50% of the show’s success was Stewart, who also inspired his castmates dedication to the craft and professionalism. And Stewart realized that as passionate he was for the theatre, this tv show allowed him to make more on a break than 10 weeks of Woolf (Wikipedia isn’t clear but I think this is a venue) in London. And the role itself was rewarding. In his words…

"The fact is all of those years in Royal Shakespeare Company—playing all those kings, emperors, princes and tragic heroes—were nothing but preparation for sitting in the captain's chair of the Enterprise."

It did also do some harm in he found himself with fewer roles as he was so linked to the iconic character, though he found more comedic roles, which he found himself enjoying. The other cost, though was him finding difficulty returning to the stage he loved so and though he continued stage acting in the 90s, it was less than he had done before This included an award winning one man show version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Following the end of the series, Stewart found himself playing another iconic character, Professor Charles Xavier, the powerful psychic of the X-Men franchise. The X-Men films were a major success, which he reprised again and again. With Star Trek done and X-Men film far less frequent than 22 episodes a year, Stewart regularly took to the stage through the 2000s. He also became close friends with his X-Men co-star Ian McKellen and the two even performed Waiting for Godot together. Stewart also often did voice work beginning in the 90s (though he had done some before, notably in the dark adventure film Plague Dogs), and more comedy work, particularly with Seth MacFarlane, who also co-produced his sitcom Blunt Talk. More recently, Steward has been returning to old roles in his television series Picard and… elsewhere.

Lot of Star Trek and comic book nerds on talking time so it should come as no surprise that the ultimate genre patriarch lands at number one. And why shouldn’t he; he works in Shakespeare, sci-fi goofiness and comedy. It’s clear his Shakespearian background gave him the tools he needed to tackle these other genres but reading his Wikipedia page, it also seems like his life experience, to an unfortunately abusive homelife to a real passion and good friends, to re-establishing himself, he is an actor’s actor, no matter how silly the project he is given to work on. I wish I could see him on the stage. But I think I would be happy to see him anywhere. He commands attention and respect but can also play hurt and vulnerably or even simply pathetic or oafish. He’s inspiring heroes and the most loathsome of villains. He’s the joy and pain of acting all rolled into one and any time he’s in something I’m excited. I probably won’t see Gnomeo and Juliet or Jimmy Neutron or The Emoji Movie but I feel like any enjoyment I’d gain would be from him in them.
Ironically, he was pretty much a lock for my "Number One". If we're talking about who sparks joy for me, then there's no one better. Jean-Luc Picard was a monolithic fixture in my childhood, but he's also great as Professor X, and fun in goofy smaller roles (SNL, Extras, Men in Tights). I'm sure I'd love to see him on stage too. Oh, and he's a great Nazi shithead in Green Room, even.




Was really disappointed by Green Room, as it did not match most of my backstage experiences. There weren’t nearly as many edible arrangements and free iPods as I was hoping.

Simpsons or Star Trek?: He played Number One in Homer the Great.

Other than that, nothing comes to mind.



Yes, that Russian author.
10 weeks of Woolf (Wikipedia isn’t clear but I think this is a venue) in London

He may be refering to a 10-week run of "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," a classic play by Edward Albee that gets revived with A-List (and wannabe A-List) talent all the time on Broadway, the West End, and regionally.


Summon for hire
Patrick was my #2 (and could've been anywhere around the top), Cage and Williams were also both on my list, but sadly I forgot Goodman.

Fantastic list as always Johnny! Thanks for running!

Now we just need a fundraiser to pay some artist (a large amount of) money to do a group shot of the entire Salad Kingdom cast with these faces...


What an interesting list. John Goodman and Patrick Stewart are two that I probably should have had on my list. It's crazy that I only hit 2 out of 50. That's got to be an all-time low for me.

Thanks for running this, Johnny! It was fun!