The Ten Best Actors of All Time: Relay Race

All week, I have been MIA from all things AEOS and blogging due to unexpected circumstances, mostly just being incredibly busy. I was planning to really get back into the groove of things this week, having several posts planned for, but this week didn’t turn out how I expected. I promise that starting next week, I will be back. I have major catch-up to play on visiting everyone else’s sites! Apologies for being gone all week.

Today is Good Friday, but it is also my deadline to post for the best actors relay race that Ruth over at Flixchatter handed the baton to me almost a week ago!

Taking a page out of Ruth’s book, here is where the race originated and has moved since it started:

Nostra at My Filmviews started the race.

Nostra handed the baton to Terrence at The Focused Filmographer.

Terrence handed the baton over to Scott at Front Room Cinema.

Scott handed the baton over to my buddy Pete at I Love That Film.

Pete handed the baton over to my friend Ruth at Flixchatter,

Who handed the baton over to me!

Now, for the rules of the race, according to the race’s originator, Nostra:

“So what’s the idea behind the relay? I’ve created a list of what I think are the best actors. At the end of the post I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. This blogger will have to remove one actor (that is an obligation) and add his own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. The idea is to make this a long race, so that enough bloggers get a chance to remove and add an actor. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actors”

I will be forthcoming and admit that due to my limited film viewing, that I haven’t seen many of the films which have made so many of these wonderful, celebrated actors the household names they are today. I have seen some here and there, but I’m definitely a little bit limited. So instead of repeating what those in the race have done before me, I will not be mentioning all of the films that made each actor famous.

This is an incredible list, and I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to decide who to add and who to take away. It wasn’t an easy decision on my end, but I still feel satisfied with my selection. Check out the photos below to see who is currently on the list.

Robert De Niro

Daniel Day-Lewis

Charlie Chaplan

Gary Oldman

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Marlon Brando

Robert Duvall

Christian Bale

Gregory Peck

My Choice: Tom Hanks

Those who have seen one of my more recent posts listing off my top five favorite actors will not be surprised to see that I’m adding Tom Hanks to this list. Choosing Hanks was an easy thing–he’s won two Oscars for his roles in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. Aside from Spencer Tracy, Hanks is the only actor to have ever won two consecutive Oscars for Best Actor. He’s been nominated three other times for his roles in BigSaving Private Ryan, and Cast Away. And if you take all his critical acclaim away, you still get this versatile actor who, in my opinion, has always had that star quality that enabled him to take on roles from Jim Lovell in Apollo 13 to the animated character Woody in the Toy Story series. Hanks is known as much for his roles in Road to Perdition and The Green Mile as he is for his light roles in classic rom coms such as You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle. Hanks is full of charm and charisma, and it’s apparent wherever he goes or in whatever role he plays. Although Hanks hasn’t filled the shoes of any titular character in more recent years, he’s still earned the right to be considered an acting legend in my book.

Who I Replaced: Edward Norton

This was such a difficult decision! Right now, I can imagine my sister, a big fan of Norton, shaking me and telling me I made the wrong choice. However, given the list, it was far more difficult to shed an actor than add one. I absolutely love Norton and think he was especially mind-blowing in Fight Club. I also appreciate that Norton so effortlessly crosses the line between villain and hero roles in films. He plays both sides so well. The main reason Norton is the one I replaced is that what many of the other actors on the list have that Norton doesn’t have is opportunity. At age 42, he was actually the youngest actor on the list with the exception of Christian Bale. With a few more lead roles under his belt, I think Norton has all the potential in the world to be one of the greatest actors of our time.

Following suite with Ruth, I will also be passing the baton onto another girl: Jaina at Time Well Spent. Excited to see who you add (and take away), Jaina!

24 thoughts on “The Ten Best Actors of All Time: Relay Race

  1. There are a comple that I would have removed and Norton was one of them. He’s a good actor but when you’re putting together a list called “The Ten Best Actors OF ALL TIME” I can’t imagine Norton being on it.

    Just my take.


    • I’m right with you there, Keith! It’s something about having that “of all time” at the end of the title that makes it incredibly difficult to decide on. I can’t quite imagine Norton being on it either. Honestly, there are a few others I would have removed, but Norton was at the top of my list. Thanks for sharing your take, Keith.

      Oh, and just to add–I think Norton is brilliant in many of his films. I just don’t think he’s hit a peak of being one of the greatest. At least not yet.


  2. Hi Kristin, wow you’re quite fast, took me an extra day to finish this, good job! Well firstly, I’m glad you didn’t remove my beloved Gregory! 😀 I understand what you mean about Norton, and it’s interesting that you removed the actor that wasn’t originally on the list from Nostra, which I also did with Scott’s pick.

    I like Norton but understood your reasoning for taking him out. It’s REALLY tough to have to remove one right, but hey there’s only room for 10 so what can you do? Besides, you made the right choice including Hanks here with all of his incredible performances.


    • Thanks, Ruth! I feel like I’ve really missed out this week, so I feel more behind than ahead, haha. Yeah–I wouldn’t have considered moving Peck. He’s one of the best additions to this list, I think.

      Yes! It’s so difficult. I’m waiting for the firing squad to show up, haha. Thanks! I really love Hanks, even though I did think he was almost too young to add to the list. But from my perspective, and within my limited scope and film viewing, Hanks made the most sense in my mind. He’s not only a personal favorite, but he’s also such a talented actor. Thanks for the support! 🙂


  3. Noooooooo! Norton leaves the list already! That makes me a sad panda. Well I can’t say I didn’t expect it! And I can’t fault your addition, Hanks definitely deserves to be here! I hope DiCaprio makes it on soon now.


  4. Hi, Kristin and company:

    A well thought out swap out.

    Norton’s been kind of hit and miss with me. In those films where he hits. Like ‘Fight Club’, he hits big. In those where he doesn’t, he misses just as noticeably.

    Tom Hanks has the Jimmy Stewart ‘every man’ thing down pat and has the body of work bears that out.


    • Hey there! Welcome to the site. Thanks!

      I definitely understand where you’re coming from – I feel the same way. He’s a bit of a hit or miss for me.

      I love the comparison of Hanks to Stewart. Thanks for your thoughts!


  5. I want this to get to a point where this becomes a cat fight and whoever gets the baton immediately deletes the previous selection. You can do it! Mwahaha 😀


  6. I totally and utterly approve of your substitution. Huge fan of Hanks too. He’s got a bit of a chameleon about him – he’s played such a wide range of roles. But he brings his charisma to all of them.

    Right… on to do some homework!


    • Why thanks, Jaina! Most definitely – I think his charisma is one of the things about Hanks that really shines through in all his roles.

      Awesome! Look forward to who you end up adding/removing!


  7. I’m new to this blog of yours but I must say that, having followed this list from its inception, I think it looks better than it originally did. Hanks has had a more impressive career than Norton, especially in the late 1980s to 1990s. Having said that, I do think Norton is good in everything he is in, especially in films like American History X or Fight Club.
    Can’t wait to see the next chapter in this series/cat fight.

    – Niels


  8. Love the choice of Tom Hanks! I like that Bale served as a substitute as well (I don’t know for who). I have to say that I am surprised that Samuel L. Jackson and Al Pacino have been removed though, the first being the ultimate chameleon and Pacino being ever famous for the Godfather and other such classic films. I like Philip Seymour Hoffman alot, but I am still surprised that he makes this list when I consider his resume.


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