20 Favorite Actors

Joining the fun that’s been going on, and to quote Nathaniel who started this whole thing: “In no particular order and extremely subject to change.” For example: where the hell is Robert Mitchum? And William H. Macy? And Sean Penn and Dennis Quaid? And Brad Davis? Not to mention Claude Rains and Dustin Hoffman. Argh. But whatever, I will let this list stand for today. (This is a companion piece to 20 Favorite Actresses).

Here we go.

The 20 favorite men.

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1. Mickey Rourke
2. Cary Grant
3. Richard Widmark
4. John Wayne
5. Jeff Bridges
6. Jack Nicholson
7. Thomas Mitchell
8. Gene Hackman
9. Dean Stockwell
10. Russell Crowe
11. Humphrey Bogart
12. Kurt Russell
13. George Sanders
14. Robert Duvall
15. Marlon Brando
16. Paul Newman
17. Johnny Depp
18. Gary Cooper
19. James Cagney
20. Ewan McGregor

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32 Responses to 20 Favorite Actors

  1. Allison says:

    I know that this comment is “off topic,’ but the picture of Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter is sheer brilliance…I could look at it for an hour and continually find new things in it. The eyebrows! His prosthetic left thumb. The work that went into this photo shoot must have been a herculean effort. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the brainstorming meetings with the photographer, costume designers, make-up artists, etc.

    • Joel Schneider says:

      Fantastic starting out your list with Mickey Rourke as Motorcycle Boy. He IS the greatest to me. You could have shown him as Jan The Actress (from “Animal Factory”) but that might have confused many people. Perhaps you might use a Jan pic for you Favorite Actress list. To me Rourke is a real “method man” but he’s gone past a lot of the Freudian concerns and is almost a Jungian actor. Not that he thinks along those lines at all – I doubt he does – but he really is mythic. “I know who I am, I know who I am . . . ” Angel Heart is very much the individuation process. I think Rourke has blurred art and life to such an extent that they’ve almost become one – wrestling his demons on and off the screen. Great choice for number one.

  2. red says:

    Totally remarkable. He looks truly insane as well. Like, blank, yet manic.

    I love the little yellow dots on his lower eyelashes and would love to try that effect myself. It’s very Twiggy-ish, don’t you think??

    Member our old conversation about what “you would do” if you were photographing stars? And how you would like to photograph all of those people? I loved some of your ideas.

  3. george says:

    Huzzah! for Sheila for Thomas Mitchell.

  4. Cullen says:

    Stuntman Mike. Hell yeah.

    Also, as soon as I read “Claude Rains” I had the Rocky Horror Picture Show theme song stuck in my head.

  5. red says:

    George – God, I love him. I just think he’s one of the best of all time.

  6. Jen W. says:

    oh PAUL. What a photo.

  7. Lisa says:

    Got Incendiary in the mail yesterday from Netflix. Ewan AND Matthew Macfadyen? YES PLEASE.

  8. red says:

    Lisa – haven’t seen that one! Yum!

  9. alexandra says:

    Well….Im going to do my own list, but I should just link to yours. It’s pretty much the same.

  10. Nicola says:

    Holy crap but that picture of Paul Newman is smokin’! I hate to be shallow (actually not really) but DAYUM!

  11. JFH says:

    This is driving me crazy… what’s the Richard Widmark movie shown there? Alamo? Warlock?

  12. red says:

    Nicola – I know, right? It’s almost UNFAIR.

  13. red says:

    JFH – How the West Was Won.

  14. Kate P says:

    That shot of Dean Stockwell–the expression on his face is just arresting.

  15. red says:

    Kate – I know … that’s my favorite shot of him from Long Day’s Journey Into Night. He was so so handsome – perfect, really. Wonderful in that film. Not an easy part.

  16. JessicaR says:

    Jeff Bridges! Always glad to see him get some love. I was reading David Thomson’s Have You Seen?… and in his write up of Cutter and Bone he says:

    “One day a campaign had to be launched to retrieve the many intriguing films made by Jeff Bridges that went nowhere. He is among our best actors, and very bold and searching in the material he does.”

    I totally agree, and it’s been too long since I’ve seen The Fisher King.

  17. JFH says:

    JFH – How the West Was Won.

    DANG, that was my first impression but the picture looks like it takes place in a saloon, and I thought for SURE that all the scenes with Widmark were at the “rail head” which, obviously, would have no fixed town and saloon for Widmark to frequent. I obviously over think these things when it comes to movie trivia…

    Yeah, that’s right!… I’m playing my own contest of “guess the photo’s movie”… It’s not like you other commenters aren’t doing the same thing, even though Sheila didn’t make it an official contest!! (AND worse yet, I’M LOSING cause I’ve only identified 8 movies so far…)

  18. JFH says:

    …and that assumes I’m right that the Paul Newman picture is from Cool Hand Luke

    …which probably isn’t right, because why would the guards allow him to have a bottle opener around his neck when that could easily be turned into a weapon…then again, I think I remember a scene where Luke is drinking a soft drink and it would make sense for him to have a bottle opener, and could a bottle opener really be used as a weapon? but then again the chain could be used as a weapon… but why would each prisoner need to have their OWN bottle opener? I don’t remember seeing a bottle opener on a chain around the neck of George Kennedy… are we even sure that is a bottle opener around his neck?… Man, those are some serious stomach muscles; wouldn’t you think that after eating all those hard boiled eggs, he couldn’t have his stomach return to that shape for a while? yeah, I know that this is a movie but still, can an actor pretend to have a bloated stomach in one scene and still have a six pack in another scene?

    Uh, do you see why I might overthink things?

  19. red says:

    Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool – good luck.

  20. red says:

    (That was Sanders’ suicide note, by the way. That’s not me talking.)

  21. red says:

    Jessica – I’ve been dying to read that book. I just love David Thomson. I totally agree as well.

    Not sure if you’ve read it – but I wrote a giant piece about Jeff Bridges for House Next Door last year. I think he’s the best thing out there.

  22. red says:

    Also, I have to say that I want Marlon Brando’s slippers.

  23. nightfly says:

    In nearly all Newman’s scenes in Cool Hand Luke, he’s in the company of the other inmates. My guess would be Shane.

  24. red says:

    Shane? Am I missing something? He wasn’t in Shane.

  25. red says:

    (It also may very well be just a poster. I found it on a poster site.)

  26. nightfly says:

    Oh fer cryin’ out loud, ‘fly… not Shane. Hud. I got the wrong one-name title. And it’s entirely likely that what I remember as “Hud” is, in fact, forgotten bits of “Bridge on the River Kwai.”

    That would be a fun game, though – imagining movies recast according to my delusional memories. Natalie Portman in “Grosse Pointe Blank”! Humphrey Bogart in “Scent of a Woman”! Vin Diesel in “Sense and Sensibility”! Now in IMAX!

  27. red says:

    Nightfly – I honestly thought I was going nuts. I actually went to IMDB to double-check what I KNEW to be true.

    I know this isn’t Hud – because he’s older here. Also those pants look rather 70s-ish and he never takes his shirt off in Hud (more’s the pity).

    I’m thinkin’ it’s from Cool Hand Luke, or at least a poster from around that time.

  28. red says:

    Confirmation at last!! Thank you!

  29. nightfly says:

    Cool Hand Luke! Now starring Tom Cruise and Zooey Deschanel!

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