Here are my top ten favorite actors:
1. Gregory Peck
Why? He is an extremely skilled actor...at both comedy AND drama (something that is very important to me). And he has the most heart-melting smile ever. LOL!
1. Dana Andrews
Why? My dear Dana. So under-appreciated even among "the" classic film buffs. Many of them say he was card-board and boring, not so. But that is another story for another time. He is an extremely subtle actor...perfect in every nuance. And he too has a gorgeous smile...
1. William Powell
Why? Funniest actor ever. Not a comedian. He was an actor. He just happened to be a hilarious actor. I will watch absolutely anything he was in...just because he was in it.
1. Ray Milland
Why? The Magnificent Mr. Milland, is amazing (well, that's what I say about all my favorite actors). He was immensely good at comedy, but he was even better at drama. As a murderer you root for him ("Dial M For Murder"). As an adult man in love with a "teenager" you completely trust him...he doesn't seem creepy at all ("The Major And The Minor"). But (in what I feel is his greatest role) as an alcoholic you ARE him ("The Lost Weekend"). That's how good he is. And he has a killer Welsh accent.
1. Fred Astaire
Why? Because he is Fred Astaire. 'Nuff said. Okay, also, his voice just happens to be one of my favorite things in the world (I'm not just talking about singing). Watching him dance makes me happy. Hearing him talk makes me joyful. Serious!
.....I simply cannot choose a favorite between those five! They are all tied for first....the next few are in no particular order....maybe a few more than ten.....
Why? Good old Joel NEVER gets enough credit. Although, I was pleased when TCM put him in their "Leading Men" book...even over Orson Welles (who I also ADORE, but I am saving him for a directors post). Joel is one of the ten funniest actors of the fourties, in my opinion! Simply marvolous at everything he did. My favorite is "The More The Merrier" though (also starring Jean Arthur). I once watched that three times in a row...right after each other. And he has an adorable smile.
Why? I was slightly hesitant about putting him on a top ten (or a few more) actors list, because his filmography is so small. But, I love him that much. His three starring roles are so mind-searing that you can never forget them. And that is definitely a great actor. Many people acuse him of over-acting. But, when you think about it, his three starring roles called for over-acting. And he delivered it. Besides which, he put across such a sensitive, gentle, almost needy exterior in his films, one can't help but love him.
Why? Cary Grant is just like William Powell. He made everything look easy. And every film he had a part in, turned out to be wonderful! He was clever, elegent, gentle, witty, confident, and on top of it all he was Cary Grant. He WAS wonderful. I just love him. I have memories of watching his movies when I was five years old.
Why? Because he makes me laugh. He also can make me sad. But, more often he makes me laugh. No one else could have played such opposite roles as "The Apartment", "Some Like It Hot", and "The Great Race" (just to name a few) with as much amazingness as Jack.
Why? He was funny (now you may begin to see a pattern in my choices). He was absolutely funny. Just watch any given scene from, say, "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" and you will know what I am talking about. I especially love the "cat" scene and the scene at the mountain lodge...classic. Someone on the TCM Message Boards once pointed out to me that he was a great "re-actor". That is so amazingly true. His reactions in every film are priceless.
Why? He fascinates me. Many people push him aside and say, "Well he was just a matinee idol. Except maybe a few good performances in 'Witness For The Prosecution', 'The Razor's Edge', and 'Nightmare Alley' ". Now, those were all great performances! But, he was way more than that. He brought so much to even his "fluffy" roles like "The Mark Of Zorro" or "A Yank In The RAF". And he had the most beautiful eyes ever created!
Why? He is the funniest comedian ever (differing from the funniest actor ever...William Powell)! Although he did do some great dramatic turns in "The Seven Little Foys" and "Beau James", he was the greatest at comedy. He can ALWAYS make me laugh. It doesn't matter what...he always does. And I just love how great a person he is in real life too.
...and this list goes on and on forever too!