Today’s Hollywood is full of working actors who have had long careers of success. These are the ones that have consistently proven themselves as top-notch performers and have achieved the highest levels of recognition, both critically and financially. They are often seen in big blockbuster films, or on television series with huge fanbases.
But what does it truly mean to be one of these successful actors?
For starters, they must always remain committed to their craft. Whether it’s studying a script for hours on end or learning new techniques in order to hone their skills, top working actors understand that staying ahead means continually pushing themselves further.
They also understand that success doesn’t come easy; it takes hard work and dedication in order to make it in Hollywood. And in this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best actors doing it.
23 of the Most Active Male Actors in Hollywood in 2024
These successful actors also have a strong network of people who support and motivate them. Their agents, managers, producers, directors and other industry professionals all contribute to their success as an actor by providing invaluable advice and guidance. Let’s now take a look at some examples.
Leonardo DiCaprio is an Academy Award-winning actor who has been a Hollywood powerhouse for decades. He’s starred in such films as Titanic, The Departed, Django Unchained, and The Revenant. His most iconic role is undoubtedly Jack Dawson from the blockbuster movie Titanic.
He’s also won two Golden Globe Awards for his work in The Aviator and The Wolf of Wall Street. Leo is not only one of the most popular actors of all time but he’s also a producer and environmentalist
Morgan Freeman is an Academy Award-winner known for his deep voice and powerful presence on screen. He’s starred in films like Driving Miss Daisy, Million Dollar Baby, Invictus, Shawshank Redemption, and The Dark Knight.
Freeman’s most iconic role is without a doubt, Red from the Shawshank Redemption. He’s also been awarded a Golden Globe for his performance in Driving Miss Daisy, as well as an Emmy for narrating Through the Wormhole.
Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors. His films include Training Day, Glory, Fences and American Gangster. He won two Oscars for his performances in Glory and Training Day and has received numerous other awards including three Golden Globes, four NAACP Image Awards, five SAG Awards and two BAFTA Awards.
Denzel is not only known for his talent on the big screen but his charitable work off-screen too.
Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. is one of the biggest names in Hollywood today. He’s best known for his role as Iron Man in the Marvel cinematic universe and has received several awards, including a Golden Globe for his performance in Sherlock Holmes and two MTV Movie Awards.
He’s also starred in films such as The Avengers, Chaplin, Zodiac and Tropic Thunder.
Brad Pitt is an Academy Award-winning actor who has been acting since the early 1990s. His most iconic roles include Tyler Durden from Fight Club, Benjamin Button from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Achilles from Troy.
Pitt won an Oscar for his performance in 12 Years a Slave and three Golden Globes for Burn After Reading, Moneyball and 12 Monkeys. He’s also one of Hollywood’s most active philanthropists.
Hugh Jackman is an actor, producer and singer. He’s known for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men movie franchise and has starred in films such as The Prestige, Les Miserables and Real Steel.
He’s also won a Tony Award for his performance on Broadway in The Boy from Oz, an Emmy Award for hosting the 68th Annual Tony Awards and two People’s Choice Awards.
Matt Damon is an Academy Award-winning actor who’s been a fixture in Hollywood since the 1990s. His most iconic roles include Jason Bourne from the Bourne series and Mark Watney from The Martian, both of which earned him Golden Globe Awards.
He’s also starred in films such as Saving Private Ryan, Good Will Hunting and The Departed.
Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most recognizable actors in Hollywood today. His films include Pulp Fiction, Snakes on a Plane,Taken 3 and Kingsman: The Secret Service.
He’s won numerous awards for his performances including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (Law & Order: SVU) and two NAACP Image Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained).
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has been consistently working since the 1980s and gained worldwide recognition through movies like The Matrix Trilogy, John Wick series and Speed.
He’s won several awards for his performances, including two MTV Movie Awards and a Blockbuster Entertainment Award.
Gary Oldman is an Academy Award-winning British actor known for his darkly intense roles in films such as The Dark Knight, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and True Romance.
He’s also earned numerous other awards including three BAFTA Awards, one Golden Globe and four Saturn Awards.
Johnny Depp is an American actor who has been acting since the 1980s. His most iconic roles include Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Edward Scissorhands from Edward Scissorhands and Hunter S Thompson from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
He’s been nominated for three Oscars, two Golden Globes and won numerous other awards.
Benedict Cumberbatch is an English actor who gained international recognition after starring in the BBC series Sherlock. His most notable film roles have been in Star Trek Into Darkness, The Imitation Game, Doctor Strange and Avengers: Endgame.
He’s also received several awards for his performances including a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Awards.
Tom Hardy is an English actor best known for his roles as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road, Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders and Eddie Brock/Venom In Venom.
He’s been nominated for two Oscars, three BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globes and has won four Empire Awards.
Ryan Reynolds is an actor, producer and writer. He gained fame through his roles in Van Wilder, Deadpool and The Proposal.
He’s earned various awards for his performances, including three MTV Movie Awards and two Teen Choice Awards.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is an Academy Award-winning actor who has been acting since the 1960s and is widely considered one of the greatest actors of all time.
His most notable roles include Jake LaMotta from Raging Bull, Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, Jimmy Conway from Goodfellas, Al Capone from The Untouchables and Max Cady from Cape Fear.
Anthony Hopkins is an Academy Award-winning Welsh actor who’s best known for his role as Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, which earned him an Oscar. He’s also starred in films such as Nixon, Remains Of The Day and Thor: Ragnarok.
He’s been nominated for four Oscars and has won two Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Harrison Ford is an American actor who’s been acting since the 1970s. His most iconic roles include Indiana Jones from the Indiana Jones series, Rick Deckard from Blade Runner and Han Solo from Star Wars movies. He’s won numerous awards including three Saturn Awards, one People’s Choice Award and two MTV Movie Awards.
Liam Neeson is an Irish actor who gained international recognition through his role as Bryan Mills in the action film Taken and its sequels, Taken 2 and Taken 3. He’s also starred in films such as Schindler’s List, The Grey and The Phantom Menace.
Neeson has won one Academy Award nomination for Best Actor (Schindler’s List), two Golden Globe Awards, four BAFTAs and three Empire Awards.
Joaquin Phoenix is an American actor who gained recognition with his role as Commodus in Gladiator and later achieved greater fame through his performance as Arthur Fleck in The Joker.
He’s been nominated for four Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and won one BAFTA Award. He was also named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2017.
Matthew McConaughey is an American actor who rose to fame through his roles in Dazed and Confused, A Time To Kill, Mud and The Wolf of Wall Street.
He’s won numerous awards including an Oscar for Best Actor (Dallas Buyers Club) and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor.
Bradley Cooper is an American actor and filmmaker who gained fame through his work in The Hangover Trilogy, Silver Linings Playbook, American Sniper and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
He’s been nominated for four Oscars, three Golden Globe Awards and won two BAFTA Awards.
Jesse Eisenberg is an American actor best known for playing Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. He has also starred in films such as Zombieland, Now You See Me and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
He’s been nominated for several awards including one Oscar, four Golden Globe awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Jake Gyllenhaal is an American actor who began acting when he was a child. He’s best known for his roles in Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain, Nightcrawler and Zodiac.
He’s been nominated for two Oscars, four Golden Globe Awards and has won one BAFTA Award.
Al Pacino is an American actor who rose to fame through his role as Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy. He’s also starred in films such as Scarface, Dog Day Afternoon and Heat.
Pacino has won numerous awards including an Oscar for Best Actor (Scent of a Woman), six Golden Globe Awards, four BAFTAs and three Emmy Awards.
Making in the World of Movies as an Aging Actor
The best working actors share something that sets them apart from others: passion for their craft. This can’t be taught or learned — you either have it or you don’t — but those who possess this burning drive will almost always outpace those with lesser ambition.
After all, when an actor loves what they do more than anything else in the world, it will show in their work — and that’s what makes a truly exceptional actor.
In conclusion, being one of the best working actors in Hollywood today takes an immense amount of hard work, dedication, and passion. The rewards of years spent perfecting their craft are evident to anyone watching — these are the actors we look up to as role models and inspirations.