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The Top Actors and Actresses of the Last 20 Years

Who are the best actors & actresses of the past 20 years?

IMDB is celebrating it’s 20 year anniversary and with it comes their list of the top performers in those 20 years. The list reads of a who’s who in Hollywood. It’s a combination of method artists and movie stars. While I have some disagreements with the list, in all it’s pretty close to what I thought. Here is who IMDB considers to be the best actors/actresses since 1990.


1) Tom Hanks

2) Russell Crowe

3) Denzel Washington

4) Johnny Depp

5) Sean Penn

6) Tom Cruise

7) Will Smith

8) George Clooney

9) Leonardo DiCaprio

10) Brad Pitt

11) Daniel Day-Lewis

12) Kevin Spacey

13) Jim Carrey

14) Ian McKellen

15) Morgan Freeman

16) Nicolas Cage

17) Christian Bale

18) Robert Downey Jr.

19) Heath Ledger

20) Jeff Bridges

This is a very strong list, but some names caught my eye and some names that I didn’t see surprised me. I can’t believe they left out Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Matt Damon, John Travolta, Mel Gibson and Robin Williams. As fantastic an actor Heath Ledger was, did he make the list because of his untimely death? He didn’t start working in Hollywood until 1999 and I’m not sure if he did enough to be a part of this group. Christian Bale is one of the best working actors right now, but he is the only one on the list without either an Oscar nomination or Golden Globe nomination. Nicolas Cage? Really? I think having won an Oscar in 1995 saved him. Jim Carrey is pretty suspect too, but he did win two Golden Globes.


1) Julia Roberts

2) Meryl Streep

3) Cate Blanchett

4) Kate Winslet

5) Jodie Foster

6) Nicole Kidman

7) Sandra Bullock

8) Halle Berry

9) Emma Thompson

10) Angelina Jolie

11) Julianne Moore

12) Susan Sarandon

13) Helen Mirren

14) Gwyneth Paltrow

15) Hilary Swank

16) Cameron Diaz

17) Renee Zellweger

18) Meg Ryan

19) Jennifer Aniston

20) Judi Dench

Hard to find many faults with this list. Although I think the rankings are a bit off here and there. Not sure if Aniston is worthy and I wonder where are Reese Witherspoon and Catherine Zeta-Jones. IMHO the biggest snub is Annette Bening, who has rarely given a bad performance since 1990.

Macy Kain is a lover of television. Anything reality, anything dramatic, you best believe she’s watching it.

Macy Kain – who has written 6758 posts on Celebrity VIP Lounge.

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