Film Star Legends

Part 4

Greatest Film Star Legends
Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


AFI's 50 Greatest Film Star Legends
Actor or Actress
Definitive Screen Role Other Great Film Roles

#14 star
Laurence Olivier
Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights (1939) Michael in Fire Over England (1937)
Everard Logan in The Divorce of Lady X (1938)
Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1940)
'Maxim' de Winter in Rebecca (1940)
Lord Horatio Nelson in That Hamilton Woman (1941)
King Henry V in Henry V (1944)
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark in Hamlet (1948)
Police Constable 94-B in The Magic Box (1951)
George Hurstwood in Carrie (1952)
Capt. MacHeath in The Beggar's Opera (1953)
King Richard III in Richard III (1955)
Grand Duke Charles (The Regent) in The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
Archie Rice in The Entertainer (1960)
Marcus Licinius Crassus in Spartacus (1960)
Superintendent Newhouse in Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)
Othello in Othello (1965)
The Mahdi in Khartoum (1966)
Narrator / Lord Montague in Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding in Battle of Britain (1969)
Andrew Wyke in Sleuth (1972)
Szell in Marathon Man (1976)
Doctor Spaander in A Bridge Too Far (1977)
Ezra Lieberman in The Boys from Brazil (1978)
Number One in The Betsy (1978)
Julius Edmond Santorin in A Little Romance (1979)
Prof. Abraham Van Helsing in Dracula (1979)
Cantor Rabinovitch in The Jazz Singer (1980)
Gen. Douglas MacArthur in Inchon (1981)
Zeus in Clash of the Titans (1981)
Admiral Hood in The Bounty (1984)

#12 star
Gregory Peck
Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) Father Francis Chisholm in The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
Paul Scott in The Valley of Decision (1945)
Dr. Anthony Edwardes / John Ballantyne in Spellbound (1945)
Lewton 'Lewt" McCanles in Duel in the Sun (1946)
Penny 'Pa' Baxter in The Yearling (1946)
Phil Schuyler Green in Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
Anthony Keane in The Paradine Case (1947)
James 'Stretch' Dawson in Yellow Sky (1948)
Gen. Frank Savage in Twelve O'Clock High (1949)
Jimmy Ringo in The Gunfighter (1950)
Capt. Horatio Hornblower in Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
King David in David and Bathsheba (1951)
Joe Bradley in Roman Holiday (1953)
Squadron Leader Bill Forrester in The Purple Plain (1954)
Tom Rath in The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
Captain Ahab in Moby Dick (1956)
Mike Hagen in Designing Woman (1957)
James McKay in The Big Country (1958)
F. Scott Fitzgerald in Beloved Infidel (1959)
Cmdr. Dwight Lionel Towers in On the Beach (1959)
Lieut. Joe Clemons in Pork Chop Hill (1959)
Capt. Keith Mallory in The Guns of Navarone (1961)
Sam Bowden in Cape Fear (1962)
Capt. Josiah J. Newman in Captain Newman, M.D. (1963)
David Stillwell in Mirage (1965)
Prof. David Pollock in Arabesque (1966)
Charles Keith in Marooned (1969)
Sheriff Mackenna in Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Robert Thorn in The Omen (1976)
Gen. Douglas MacArthur in MacArthur (1977)
Dr. Josef Mengele in The Boys from Brazil (1978)
Ambrose "Old Gringo" Bierce in Old Gringo (1989)
Lee Heller in Cape Fear (1991)
Andrew Jorgenson in Other People's Money (1991)

#24 star
Mary Pickford
Mother Molly in Sparrows (1926) Homecoming Party Girl in In Old Kentucky (1909)
Ramona in Ramona (1910)
Miss Harding (The Girl) in The New York Hat (1912)
Tessibel 'Tess' Skinner in Tess of the Storm Country (1914, 1922)
Gwendolyn ("Gwen) in The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)
Angela Moore in The Little American (1917)
Rebecca Randall in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917)
Stella Maris/Unity Blake in Stella Maris (1918)
Amy Burke in The Hoodlum (1919)
Judy Abbott in Daddy Long Legs (1919)
Pollyanna in Pollyanna (1920)
Little Lord Fauntleroy/Dearest in Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921)
Annie Rooney in Little Annie Rooney (1925)
Maggie Johnson in My Best Girl (1927)
Norma Besant in Coquette (1929)
Katharina in The Taming of the Shrew (1929)

#22 star
Sidney Poitier
Virgil Tibbs in In the Heat of the Night (1967) Dr. Luther Brooks in No Way Out (1950)
Gregory W. Miller in The Blackboard Jungle (1955)
Tommy Tyler in Edge of the City (1957)
Noah Cullen in The Defiant Ones (1958)
Porgy in Porgy and Bess (1959)
Walter Lee Younger in A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
Eddie Cook in Paris Blues (1961)
Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field (1963)
Ben Munceford in The Bedford Incident (1965)
Aly Mansuh in The Long Ships (1965)
Ben Munceford in The Bedford Incident (1965)
Gordon Ralfe in A Patch of Blue (1965)
John Prentice in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
Mark Thackeray in To Sir, With Love (1967)
Lieut. Virgil Tibbs in They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! (1970)
Buck in Buck and the Preacher (1972)
Steve Jackson in Uptown Saturday Night (1974)
Roy Parmenter in Little Nikita (1988)
Warren Stantin in Shoot to Kill (1988)
Donald Crease in Sneakers (1992)
Carter Preston in The Jackal (1997)

#24 star
Edward G. Robinson
Caesar Enrico Bandello in Little Caesar (1930)
Johnny Rocco in Key Largo (1948)
Nick 'The Barber' Venizelos in Smart Money (1931)
James Francis 'Bugs' Ahearn in The Little Giant (1933)
Arthur Ferguson Jones / Killer Mannion in The Whole Town's Talking (1935)
Luis Chamalis in Barbary Coast (1935)
Johnny Blake in Bullets or Ballots (1936)
Nick Donati in Kid Galahad (1937)
Remy Marco in A Slight Case of Murder (1938)
Dr. Clitterhouse in The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)
'Little' John T. Sarto in Brother Orchid (1940)
Dr. Paul Ehrlich in Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet (1940)
'Wolf' Larsen in The Sea Wolf (1941)
Pressure' Maxwell in Larceny, Inc. (1942)
Barton Keyes in Double Indemnity (1944)
Prof. Richard Wanley in The Woman in the Window (1944)
Martinius Jacobson in Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)
Christopher Cross in Scarlet Street (1945)
Wilson in The Stranger (1946)
Pete Morgan in The Red House (1947)
Gino Monetti in House of Strangers (1949)
Lew Wilkison in The Violent Men (1955)
Victor Scott in Illegal (1955)
Dathan in The Ten Commandments (1956)
Mario Manetta in A Hole in the Head (1959)
Theo Wilkins in Seven Thieves (1960)
Maurice Kruger in Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)
Lancey Howard in The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
Sol Roth in Soylent Green (1973)

#14 star
Ginger Rogers

With Fred Astaire

Kitty Foyle in Kitty Foyle (1940)

10 Films with Fred Astaire (1933-1949):

  • Honey Hale and Fred Ayres in Flying Down to Rio (1933)
  • Mimi Glossop and Guy Holden in The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  • Tanka Scharwenka (aka Lizzie Gatz) and Huckleberry 'Huck' Haines in Roberta (1935)
  • Dale Tremont and Jerry Travers in Top Hat (1935)
  • Sherry Martin and Bake Baker in Follow the Fleet (1936)
  • Penelope (Penny) Carroll and John (Lucky) Garnett in Swing Time (1936)
  • Linda Keene and Peter P. Peters (aka Petrov) in Shall We Dance (1937)
  • Amanda Cooper and Dr. Tony Flagg in Carefree (1938)
  • Irene Castle and Vernon Castle in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)
  • Dinah Barkley and Josh Barkley in The Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
Ann Lowell (Anytime Annie) in 42nd Street (1933)
Fay Fortune in Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Peggy Cornell in Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934)
Jean Maitland in Stage Door (1937)
Francey Morgan in Vivacious Lady (1938)
Polly Parrish in Bachelor Mother (1939)
Mary Grey in 5th Ave Girl (1939)
Janie in Tom, Dick and Harry (1941)
Susan Applegate in The Major and the Minor (1942)
Roxie Hart in Roxie Hart (1942)
Mary Marshall in I'll Be Seeing You (1944)
Mrs. Edwina Fulton in Monkey Business (1952)
Carlotta "Lottie" Marin in Black Widow (1954)
Mama Jean Bello in Harlow (1965)

#11 star
Barbara Stanwyck
Jean Harrington in The Lady Eve (1941)
Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity (1944)
Lora Hart in Night Nurse (1931)
Florence 'Faith' Fallon in The Miracle Woman (1931)
Megan Davis in The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932)
Nan Taylor in Ladies They Talk About (1933)
Lily Powers in Baby Face (1933)
Shelby Barret Wyatt in The Woman in Red (1935)
Annie Oakley in Annie Oakley (1935)
Stella Martin Dallas in Stella Dallas (1937)
Melsa Manton in The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
Mollie Monahan in Union Pacific (1939)
Lorna Moon in Golden Boy (1939)
Lee Leander in Remember the Night (1940)
Ann Mitchell in Meet John Doe (1941)
Sugarpuss O'Shea in Ball of Fire (1941)
Dixie Daisy in Lady of Burlesque (1943)
Elizabeth Lane in Christmas in Connecticut (1945)
Jessica Drummond in My Reputation (1946)
Martha Ivers in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
Sally Morton Carroll in The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947)
Leona Stevenson in Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
Jessie Bourne in East Side, West Side (1949)
Thelma Jordon in The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)
Helen Ferguson / Patrice Harkness in No Man of Her Own (1950)
Vance Jeffords in The Furies (1950)
Regina Forbes in To Please a Lady (1950)
Mae Doyle D'Amato in Clash by Night (1952)
Helen Stilwin in Jeopardy (1953)
Julia Sturges in Titanic (1953)
Julia O. Tredway in Executive Suite (1954)
Sierra Nevada Jones in Cattle Queen of Montana (1954)
Martha Wilkison in The Violent Men (1955)
Jessica Drummond in Forty Guns (1957)
Jo / Jo Courtney in Walk on the Wild Side (1962)

#3 star
James Stewart
Jefferson Smith in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
George Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
David Graham in After the Thin Man (1936)
Prof. Peter Morgan Jr. in Vivacious Lady (1938)
Tony Kirby in You Can't Take It With You (1938)
"Johnny" Horace Mason in Made for Each Other (1939)
Tom Destry in Destry Rides Again (1939)
Alfred Kralik in The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Martin Breitner in The Mortal Storm (1940)
Macaulay "Mike" Connor in The Philadelphia Story (1940)
"Gil" Young in Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
P.J. McNeal in Call Northside 777 (1948)
Rupert Cadell in Rope (1948)
Monty Stratton in The Stratton Story (1949)
Lin McAdam in Winchester '73 (1950)
Tom Jeffords in Broken Arrow (1950)
Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey (1950)
Buttons (Clown) in The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Glyn McLyntock in Bend of the River (1952)
Howard Kemp in The Naked Spur (1953)
Steve in Thunder Bay (1953)
Glenn Miller in The Glenn Miller Story (1954)
Jeff Webster in The Far Country (1954)
L. B. "Jeff" Jeffries in Rear Window (1954)
Will Lockhart in The Man From Laramie (1955)
Dr. Benjamin "Ben" McKenna in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Charles Lindbergh in The Spirit of St. Louis (1957)
John "Scottie" Ferguson in Vertigo (1958)
Shepherd Henderson in Bell Book and Candle (1958)
Paul Biegler in Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
John Michael 'Chip' Hardesty in The FBI Story (1959)
Marshal Guthrie McCabe in Two Rode Together (1961)
Linus Rawlings in How the West Was Won (1962)
Ransom "Ranse" Stoddard in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Roger Hobbs in Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962)
Frank Michaelson in Take Her, She's Mine (1963)
Wyatt Earp in Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
Charlie Anderson in Shenandoah (1965)
Frank Towns in The Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
Dr. Hostetler in The Shootist (1976)

#7 star
Elizabeth Taylor
Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) Priscilla in Lassie Come Home (1943) and Kathie Merrick in Courage of Lassie (1946)
Helen Burns (uncredited) in Jane Eyre (1943)
Velvet Brown (as young girl) in National Velvet (1944)
Mary in Life With Father (1947)
Carol Pringle in A Date With Judy (1948)
Susan Packett in Julia Misbehaves (1948)
Amy March in Little Women (1949)
Kay Banks in Father of the Bride (1950) and Kay Dunstan in Father's Little Dividend (1951)
Angela Vickers in A Place in the Sun (1951)
Rebecca in Ivanhoe (1952)
Ruth Wiley in Elephant Walk (1954)
Lady Patricia Belham in Beau Brummell (1954)
Helen Ellswirth/Wills in The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)
Leslie Lynnton Benedict in Giant (1956)
Susanna Drake in Raintree County (1957)
Maggie "The Cat" Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
Catherine Holly in Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Gloria Wandrous in BUtterfield 8 (1960)
Cleopatra in Cleopatra (1963)
Frances Andros in The V.I.P.s (1963)
Laura Reynolds in The Sandpiper (1965)
Katharina in The Taming of the Shrew (1967)
Leonora Penderton in Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967)
Martha Pineda in The Comedians (1967)
Pearl Slaghoople in The Flintstones (1994)

#18 star
Shirley Temple
A Series of Hits as a Child Actress (1934-1938)
  • Shirley Dugan in Stand Up and Cheer! (1934)
  • Marthy "Marky" Jane in Little Miss Marker (1934)
  • Shirley Ellison in Baby Take a Bow (1934)
  • Shirley Blake in Bright Eyes (1934)
  • Lloyd Sherman in The Little Colonel (1935)
  • Elizabeth "Betsy" Blair (nicknamed 'Curly Top') in Curly Top (1935)
  • Virgie Cary in The Littlest Rebel (1935)
  • Helen 'Star' Mason in Captain January (1936)
  • Barbara Barry in Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)
  • Sylvia 'Dimples' Dolores Appleby in Dimples (1936)
  • Barbara "Ching-Ching" Stewart in Stowaway (1936)
  • Priscilla Williams in Wee Willie Winkie (1937)
  • Heidi in Heidi (1937)
  • Rebecca Winstead in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)
  • Betsy Brown in Little Miss Broadway (1938)
Sara Crewe in The Little Princess (1939)
Susannah Sheldon in Susannah of the Mounties (1939)
Mytyl in The Blue Bird (1940)
Kathleen Davis in Kathleen (1941)
Annie Rooney in Miss Annie Rooney (1942)
Bridget (Brig) Hilton in Since You Went Away (1944)
Susan Turner in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
Mary Hagen in That Hagen Girl (1947)
Philadelphia Thursday in Fort Apache (1948)
Ellen Baker in Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (1949)
Margaret O'Hara / Knowles in The Story of Seabiscuit (1949)

#9 star
Spencer Tracy

With Katharine Hepburn
Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938) and Men of Boys Town (1941)
Henry Drummond in Inherit the Wind (1960)

9 Films with Tracy-Hepburn (1942-1957):

  • Steven O'Malley and Christine Forrest in Keeper of the Flame (1942)
  • Sam Craig and Tess Harding in Woman of the Year (1942)
  • Pat Jamieson and Jamie Rowan in Without Love (1945)
  • Col. James B. Brewton and Lutie Cameron in The Sea of Grass (1947)
  • Grant Matthews and Mary Matthews in State of the Union (1948)
  • Adam and Amanda Bonner in Adam's Rib (1949)
  • Mike Conovan and Pat Pemberton in Pat and Mike (1952)
  • Richard Sumner and Bunny Watson in Desk Set (1957)
  • Matt Drayton and Christina Drayton in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
Joe Wilson in Fury (1936)
Father Tim Mullin in San Francisco (1936)
Warren Haggerty in Libeled Lady (1936)
Manuel in Captains Courageous (1937)
Gunner Sloane in Test Pilot (1938)
Henry M. Stanley in Stanley and Livingstone (1939)
Major Robert Rogers in Northwest Passage (1940)
Thomas A. Edison in Edison, the Man (1940)
Square John Sand in Boom Town (1940)
Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
Pilon in Tortilla Flat (1942)
Pete Sandridge in A Guy Named Joe (1943)
George Heisler in The Seventh Cross (1944)
Lieut. Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle in Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944)
Cass Timberlane in Cass Timberlane (1947)
Stanley T. Banks in Father of the Bride (1950) and Father's Little Dividend (1951)
Clinton Jones in The Actress (1953)
Matt Devereaux in Broken Lance (1954)
John J. MacReedy in Bad Day At Black Rock (1955)
Mayor Frank Skeffington in The Last Hurrah (1958)
The Old Man in The Old Man and the Sea (1958)
Chief Judge Dan Haywood in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
Capt. T.G. Culpepper in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

#13 star
John Wayne
Ethan Edwards in The Searchers (1956) Breck Coleman in The Big Trail (1930)
The Ringo Kid in Stagecoach (1939)
Olsen in The Long Voyage Home (1940)
Capt. Jack Stuart in Reap the Wild Wind (1942)
Roy Glennister in The Spoilers (1942)
Jim Gordon in The Flying Tigers (1942)
Col. Joe Madden in Back to Bataan (1945)
Lt. J.G. "Rusty" Ryan in They Were Expendable (1945)
Quirt Evans in Angel and the Badman (1947)
Capt. Kirby York in Fort Apache (1948)
Tom Dunson in Red River (1948)
Robert Marmaduke Sangster Hightower in 3 Godfathers (1948)
Capt. Nathan Cutting Brittles in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
Sgt. John M. Stryker in The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke in Rio Grande (1950)
Maj. Daniel Xavier Kirby in Flying Leathernecks (1951)
Sean Thornton in The Quiet Man (1952)
Hondo Lane in Hondo (1953)
Dan Roman in The High and the Mighty (1954)
Capt. Karl Ehrlich in The Sea Chase (1955)
Captain Tom Wilder in Blood Alley (1955)
Frank W. (Spig) Wead in The Wings of Eagles (1957)
Sheriff John T. Chance in Rio Bravo (1959)
Col. John Marlowe in The Horse Soldiers (1959)
Col. Davy Crockett in The Alamo (1960)
Sam McCord in North to Alaska (1960)
Capt. Jake Cutter in The Comancheros (1961)
Tom Doniphon in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Sean Mercer in Hatari! (1962)
Lieut. Col. Benjamin Vandervoort in The Longest Day (1962)
Michael Patrick 'Guns' Donovan in Donovan's Reef (1963)
George Washington (G.W.) McLintock in McLintock! (1963)
Capt. Rockwell "Rock" Torrey in In Harm's Way (1965)
John Elder in The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
Cole Thornton in El Dorado (1967)
Col. Mike Kirby in The Green Berets (1968)
Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn in True Grit (1969) and Rooster Cogburn (1975)
John Chisum in Chisum (1970)
Wil Andersen in The Cowboys (1972)
Lane in The Train Robbers (1973)
J. D. Cahill in Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973)
McQ in McQ (1974)
Lt. Brannigan in Brannigan (1975)
John Bernard Books in The Shootist (1976)

#16 star
Orson Welles
Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane (1941) Narrator in The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre (1943)
Professor Charles Rankin/Franz Kindler in The Stranger (1946)
Narrator in Duel in the Sun (1946)
Michael O'Hara in The Lady From Shanghai (1948)
Macbeth in Macbeth (1948)
Harry Lime in The Third Man (1949)
Cesare Borgia in Prince of Foxes (1949)
Bayan in The Black Rose (1950)
Father Mapple in Moby Dick (1956)
Police Capt. Hank Quinlan in Touch of Evil (1958)
Will Varner in The Long, Hot Summer (1958)
Jonathan Wilk in Compulsion (1959)
Albert Hastler - The Advocate / Narrator in The Trial (1962)
Sir John (Jack) Falstaff in Chimes at Midnight (1965)
Cardinal Wolsey in A Man For All Seasons (1966)
Le Chiffre in Casino Royale (1967)
Brig. Gen. Dreedle in Catch-22 (1970)
Louis XVIII in Waterloo (1970)
Jose Estedes in Voyage of the Damned (1976)

#15 star
Mae West
Lady Lou in She Done Him Wrong (1933)
Tira in I'm No Angel (1933)
Maudie Triplett in Night After Night (1932)
Ruby Carter in Belle of the Nineties (1934)
Cleo Borden in Goin' To Town (1935)
The Frisco Doll / Rose Carlton / Sister Annie Alden in Klondike Annie (1936)
Flower Belle Lee in My Little Chickadee (1940)
Leticia Van Allen in Myra Breckinridge (1970)
Marlo Manners / Lady Barrington in Sextette (1977)

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