Acting : World's Greatest Actor? by Richard "RB" Botto

Richard "RB" Botto

World's Greatest Actor?

Daniel Day Lewis the WORLD'S GREATEST ACTOR (echo, echo, echo) according to TIME. Agree?

Jennifer Hitt

Interesting. He IS quite diverse but I wouldn't say he's the best ever. Tom Hanks has to be in the running too. He always is stunning.

Johanna Marshall

Ever since I saw Dustin Hoffman as Willie L. in Death of a Salesman on TV, Im hooked..........................

Gianna Isabella

I think I might have to agree-Daniel Day Lewis completely transforms when he's in a role, sometimes to the point of not even being recognizable. Not to mention his range is huge, he is one of today's only character actors (Sean Penn is up there too, I'd say).

Eryk Pruitt

My vote goes to John Wilkes Booth.

Alexis Raven Mills

Daniel is a yes

Benjamin Ephraim Sickles

Daniel-Day Lewis is a very good actor. I concur that he and Sean Penn are two of the greatest character actors of our time. Dustin Hoffman is great as well. I do have to say that, for my part, the only actor who has never disappointed me or exceeded the realm of believability within the rules laid down by the film that they are in is Gary Oldman.

Victor Warren

Daniel Day is amazing... looks like Lincoln is going to be amazing... Penn is great.... I would add Albert Finney.


Matter of taste - Anthony Hopkins

W. Paul Hughes

Don't fully agree but he is exceptional. If someone else was playing Lincoln would they be getting this same praise and recognition??? With so many great ones, how do we declare "the best"? Hanks, Freeman, Oldman, Eastwood. Yet, each one has a targeted perfection in a character.

Ray Anthony Martinez

Edward Norton and Sean Penn

Paul Sumares

Although I appreciate much of Lewis' acting, I would not agree that he is the world's greatest. In my view, Al Pacino is certainly among the greatest ... and if not THE greatest, in any case I think he is still a better actor than Daniel Day Lewis. So someone else probably deserves that title, IMHO.

Johanna Marshall

Al & Dustin........yup I agree!!!!!!!!!

J. Brian

I thought O.J. and the Ramsey's did remarkable jobs.

Richard "RB" Botto

Like the Ed Norton call. Always terrific. Would love to see him do a little more indie fare. The thing about DDL is that he elevates everything he is in. As much as I love Scorsese, Gangs of New York ultimately was a pretty standard revenge story, albeit beautifully staged. But DDL's Bill The Butcher was simply mesmerizing. That performance was staggering.

Paul Sumares

An example of why I think Pacino is perhaps the best. No rehearsal for this one, no props, no shouting or hand-waving in the script (this time), two cameras, close shots -- opposite De Niro. So few actors seem to understand the power of taking your time, and delivering subtlety. In my view AP nails this like no one else can:

Ray Anthony Martinez

Ray Liotta? Jason Patric?

John Frederick Klenk

Tough to pick just one...Robert De Niro or, Jack Nicholson. B movie best: Bruce Campbell. Worst actor? That's easy. Tie between Keanu Reeves and Ben Affleck.

Lee Cousins

Alan Rickman - awesome.

Michael Lockett

When I think of the best I have to judge someone on the ability to handle anything and everything in their craft. I've never seen Daniel Day Lewis do comedy so I'd have to give my nod to Robert DeNiro. I'd also throw Denzel Washington into the mix as well as Brando if we're talking all-time. Or what about Henry Ford or James Stewart.

C. Jf

He is an outstanding actor. Unparralelled

C. Jf

I have to agree with Michael on the De Niro front. He really is a versatile actor and does comedy so darned well

Adam Mock

I will agree that Daniel Day Lewis is a phenomenal actor, there is definitely no denying it. However, not every actor is going to fit every role that he/she is offered. The question at hand is completely a personal opinion. Some may have a bias towards a certain actor and their method towards acting, need it be relating to said actor or the project itself. Sometimes the least likely of choices can be the best or worst for the role. But in general I commend anyone who can put themselves in front of the world and bare their souls for the craft. Yes, some are on a higher level than others, but even those not so skilled in the field can still find a niche that fits them best and showcases their talent in a way that no one ever thought possible. My hats off to anyone that even attempts such a feat. We should all aspire to be that courageous.

Kirby Britten

Mr. Lewis' brilliance to his art is without question. But he's among an elite forum of gifted men that has advanced the art of acting, some of them are; Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, James Earl Jones, Philip Seymore Hoffman, Denzel Washington, Robert Downey, Jr. & Johnny Depp.

Eisha Marjara

The "world"? I love DDL, don't get me wrong, but there are so many actors worldwide- Indian, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian, Peruvian, African etc etc (i.e. not anglo/ western) to consider. When (American) Time magazine puts "World" on its cover they mean American or having worked in America or played an American (considering DDL is British-Irish). He is one great actor "in the world". But the world's greatest actor? If so, Time's world is small.

Alexis Raven Mills

Actually... Johnny Depp. He's my favorite! He was Rango, Captain Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Willy Wonka, The Mad Hatter, A young director, he's everyone!!! I love this man! He's amazing!

iman trek

why does it matter??? really??? just be creative as possible, and have a point.

Marissa Mutascio

He had me at "My Left Foot". JDL's body of work reaffirms time & time again that this is an actor who can create layers and layers of depth, meaning and background, such that he is really in a league of his own. Not many actors can infuse such life and history to their characters; his seem to nearly come right off the screen. The art and intensity he brings, coupled with the diversity of characters portrayed, really can't quite yet be touched by the others that approach him. But I'd definitely rank Johnny Depp and possibly Leonardo DiCaprio among them.

Elaine Gleeson

I dont think there there ever be only one . I love Kevin Spacey ,Dustin Hoffman ,Johnny Depp,Gary Oldman, Paul Newman and Al Pacino . All different and all fabulous

Lina Jones

There is lots of great performers out there as stated earlier, one of my personal best is Johnny Depp. The thing that fascinates me about him is how versitile he is. He plays weird characters as well as regular characters excellently.

Patrick Hampton

Greatest is a personal opinion. He is amazing and could be easily ranked for his accomplishment. I love watching him but saying someone is the greatest of all time! Never because we never know what the future will bring!

Montgomery Flippen

Hes a good actor but I am with you there are many great actors out ther e and some cant even get that break.

Patrick Hampton

Bruce Campbell is the Worlds Greatest Actor! If you do a movie and your play yourself in it fighting a Chinese mining mummy ancient ghost thing there is no contest in my book. But Daniel Day Lewis is in the top 5 in my book.

Richard "RB" Botto

This is a banner year for the acting category...DDL was nothing short of staggering in Lincoln. John Hawkes was terrific in The Sessions. Denzel raised his game for Flight. Thought Jack Black gave a career best performance in Bernie. Advance word on Hugh Jackman's performance in Les Mis is that it's the best of the bunch.

Wenda Zonnefeld

That is very impressive! Time Magazine like to print absolutes on their cover :) They must sell well.

Marcinho Savant

I got hooked on DDL after seeing him in (UK Indie) "My Beautiful Launderette". It was a VERY daring role for him to take at the time, and I found he performed the role with great integrity and power, while serving up enormous restraint and economy--- in a role he could have EASILY manhandled into crap. Greatest in the world... I can't buy THAT for a dollar, however, I'd say he's CERTAINLY in my top twenty of all time! = my $.02.

Bryan Bethke

John Wayne comes to mind as well as Nicholas Cage, While I'm at it cannot forget Clint Eastwood.

Tyler Wolfe

There is no such thing as the worlds greatest actor. There are actors of different levels, but no one is the BEST. I think once actors get to a certain level you are just comparing apples to oranges. But, ya, he's ONE of the best.

Evan Marlowe

I am in awe of any great actor. I can't put the energy into ranking them, or see how that benefits us.

Roy Street

No argument there. DDL is a fabulous actor. Pacino and Oldman are up there too. But in my book no one, but no one, touches Marlon Brando --- the greatest of them all.

Robin Chappell

Wholeheartedly. Day-Lewis has been head and shoulders the leading Actor of his generation. His place is amongst the pantheon of his fellow Brits of Yesteryear, but even more so.

Noni Odu

Hes definitely up there but I don't know about being the leading actor of his generation...

Whitney Kraus Jones

He and Anthony Hopkins are two of my favorites regardless of the genre of the film.

Michael Lockett

Mr. Hopkins soon to play Alfred Hitchcock with a stellar cast.

Casey Rhodes

The topic is so subjective, like "What's the best movie ever?" Why bother?

Michael Lockett

Because making film is about connecting and communicating both of which are handled nicely in a conversation where every opinion is valid.

Keri Johnson

Maybe there's an argument for today's current great actors, but I think Bette Davis, Orson Welles, Sir Lawrence Olivier, Marlon Brando, Peter O'Toole, Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Al Pacino could give DD Lewis a run for his money.

Agatha Hergest

How do you measure the greatness or otherwise of an actor? Personally, I can't. Oh sure, you might like some of the parts an actor plays - and for me that's a biggie - but an actor, as with any artist, it's their last work which is the greatest measure. One of my favourite actors is Nichol Williamson, now sadly departed, for his superlative "Merlin" in the film "Excalibur". He excelled, also, as Macbeth and, to a lesser extent, as Hamlet, and they say his talents are comparable with the greats such as Brando. But as I'm no connoisseur of the latter, I cannot judge. I suspect that any actor judged "great" is more likely great as a product of PR than the result of talent, just as Elvis wasn't qualitatively better than any other musician - and neither, I believe, did he write his own songs. An actor called upon to play himself isn't likely to display greatness in doing so. It's unlikely, therefore, that many of the parts played by Clint Eastwood, Roger Moore and countless teak thespians are going to let the actor shine. Sherlock Holmes was an outstanding vehicle, however, for Jeremy Brett, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise likewise gave Messrs Depp, Rush, McNally et al a fine showcase. I've never seen Daniel Day-Lewis in anything. Perhaps that's because the parts he played were so well acted that one forgot the part was acted, but I suspect there is little interest, to me, in the films in which he appears. It's not unlikely, therefore, that his talents do not draw me, ergo he is not the best actor in the world...

Harvinder Singh

i dont think so ........

Debbie Elicksen

Al Pacino

Camilla Ross

As an actor for many years, I have always brought the challenge of being in the moment of your character all the time. I find it so much more affective for those who really want to challenge themselves. Robert Deniro, Denzel Washington, Cicley Tyson and Daniel Day Lewis are truly those who live in that character. I so enjoy their methods. They truly place you in the moment with them. I really enjoy being part of their work. Daniel is indeed a great actor, and I do place him along with others, who haven't become predictable. Great conversation!

Greg Marsh

I agree with the TIME comment - Time has lost its relevance in today's world and is seen by many including myself as a US only focused rag. As to the best it is so hard and how can you compare current to the past where even the make up was crude let alone the special affects. Personally .. hats off to all who have been mentioned for at one time they all were great - it would be very interesting to see a global comparison - and my vote goes to the non lead actors Kevin McNally who make them shine.

Greg Gearlds

I generally think we can be the best us that we can be. I do think DDL is an excellent actor, would be effective in a Judd Apatow movie? Hmmm?? I think these lists are more for the media than anyone else.

Leon Reaper

michael caine

Mark Ratering

DDL is great but of course one of his truely greatest gifts his ability to pick great scripts. Lincoln... because of Fox's BO's book "Killing Lincoln" got the World interested in Lincoln and DDL brought it home where you could see Abe and know him. Cheers DDL.

Matt Milne

oh please, who paid for this puff piece?

Mark Ratering

The odds are against DDL winning a third – nobody has ever won 3 Best Actor oscars. But just to be thought that you could win 3 puts you in a very special place.

Guy Hepworth

C'mon folks, as the diverse reaction shows, this is such a subjective question that everyone will have a different answer! We are in the "Arts" and art is subjective therefore the worlds best actor can range from Daniel Day Lewis to Mr Tumble! Besides, it's me, I've just managed to keep it quiet so far! :) Nice topic RB, good discussion generator!

Richard "RB" Botto

At an angle to this topic, but a fun piece of reading nonetheless, here's an interview with the great Christopher Walken:

Greg Marsh

Thanks for this reminder Richard - Christopher Walken is one of those special actors who can make you twist and turn with just a slight facial movement and has never seemed to fall into the trap of staying "Safe" like so many of the other top actors have done. Also - maybe we can start a campaign for "Mr. Tumble"

L.M. Butler

Daniel Day- Lewis is one of the greats. Loved him "There Will Be Blood" Not sure if I'd call him 'the' greatest.

Kyle Wilkinson

it is a fair statement. he's the best of his generation.

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