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Top 50 Greatest Screen Legends

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  • Edward G. Robinson (1893 - 1973)
    Edward Goldenberg Robinson (Yiddish: עמנואל גאָלדנבערג Emanuel Goldenberg; December 12,...
  • James Cagney (1899 - 1986)
    Born in New York City in 1899, James Cagney was an American actor best known for playing "tough guys," notably as a gangster in the 1931 film, The Public Enemy. He also starred in Angels with Dirty Fac...
  • Jean Harlow (1911 - 1937)
    Jean Harlow (March 3, 1911 – June 7, 1937) was an American film actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. Known as the "Blonde Bombshell" and the "Platinum Blonde" (due to her platinum blonde hair)...
  • Barbara Stanwyck (1907 - 1990)
    Barbara Stanwyck From Stella Dallas in 1937 Barbara Stanwyck (July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990) was an American actress. A film and television star, known during her 60-year career as a co...
  • William Holden (1918 - 1981)
    William Holden (April 17, 1918 – November 12, 1981) was an American actor. Holden won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1954 and the Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1974. One of the biggest box...

Top 50 Greatest Screen Legends

The following list includes the top 50 greatest actors in the history of film, according to the American Film Institute. The American Film Institute defines an American screen legend as “an actor or a team of actors with a significant screen presence in American feature-length films whose screen debut occurred in or before 1950, or whose screen debut occurred after 1950 but whose death has marked a completed body of work.” (list current as of Dec. 2010)

(Note: For the purposes of this Geni "Project", I suggest we grandfather those on the current list if they are bumped by future additions. If we do this, we'll eventually have more than 52 (including the three "Marx Brothers") but this note will serve to explain why.)

As of 27 December 2014, fifty-one profiles have been added to this project including the three "Marx Brothers" (the only team of actors selected by the American Film Institute). The missing profile is: Sidney Poitier.


1. Humphrey Bogart

2. Cary Grant

3. James Stewart

4. Marlon Brando

5. Fred Astaire

6. Henry Fonda

7. Clark Gable

8. James Cagney

9. Spencer Tracy

10. Charlie Chaplin

11. Gary Cooper

12. Gregory Peck

13. John Wayne

14. Laurence Olivier

15. Gene Kelly

16. Orson Welles

17. Kirk Douglas

18. James Dean

19. Burt Lancaster

20. The Marx Brothers

21. Buster Keaton

22. Sidney Poitier

23. Robert Mitchum

24. Edward G. Robinson

25. William Holden


1. Katharine Hepburn

2. Bette Davis

3. Audrey Hepburn

4. Ingrid Bergman

5. Greta Garbo

6. Marilyn Monroe

7. Elizabeth Taylor

8. Judy Garland

9. Marlene Dietrich

10. Joan Crawford

11. Barbara Stanwyck

12. Claudette Colbert

13. Grace Kelly

14. Ginger Rogers

15. Mae West

16. Vivien Leigh

17. Lillian Gish

18. Shirley Temple

19. Rita Hayworth

20. Lauren Bacall

21. Sophia Loren

22. Jean Harlow

23. Carole Lombard

24. Mary Pickford

25. Ava Gardner

Read more: Top 50 Greatest Screen Legends —

fabulousfacesonfilm · ***GODDESSES OF THE SILVER SCREEN***

The-Movies-Of-The-Golden-Age · (and the Silent Era) Nothing after 1960s


Black Female Legends - Discussion of Black actresses