The world of theatre has produced some of the finest performers in history and many acting geniuses have graced the stage. This list consists of some the greatest actors who have lived and some who are still giving outstanding performances to this day.
Regarded by many as the greatest actor of his time, Olivier was the ultimate master of his craft. Renowned for his superb ability to play a range of Shakespearian roles he was a star of both stage and screen. The Theatre industry’s prestigious Laurence Olivier awards are named in his honour as a testament to his great contribution to the art of acting.
The RADA trained Irish actor was dubbed “the great Gambon” by fellow actor Ralph Richardson at an early stage of his career. Known to millions today for his role as professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter saga (a role in which he replaced the late Richard Harris), Gambon has been one of the consistently outstanding stars of the stage from the 1970’s onwards.
One of the greatest if not the greatest female star of the stage ever Dame Judi Dench has been acting since 1957 and is still going strong today. She became a household name to millions throughout the UK for her long running role in the television sitcom As Time Goes By and her performances as M in recent James Bond films. Despite her work outside the theatre, Dench has maintained a rich career within the theatre with roles ranging from Shakespeare to cutting edge contemporary thrillers.
One of a very few actors in history to have won an Oscar, Olivier, Emmy, Tony and BAFTA awards, Gielgud was a true acting genius. His career spanned for the majority of the 20th century and he has had an extremely important influence on the world of acting. Famed for his beautiful speaking voice and outstanding performances from a young age, Gielgud was one of a kind.
Known to many modern film fans as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars trilogy, Alec Guinness was already one of the greatest living actors by that stage of his career. He is very affectionately remembered by millions for both his film and stage roles as he brought a touch of sophistication and class to every role he played.
Brando exploded into the public consciousness with his animalistic portrayal as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. His use of “method acting” in this role revolutionised the world of acting both within the theatre and film. He is famed for his role as Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather for which he won an Oscar but his outstanding contribution to the theatre will never be forgotten.
The Northern Irish born actor has had an outstanding career within the theatre and he is still only in his early 50s. He achieved huge acclaim as a young star of the stage and became a protégé in Shakespearean performances throughout the 1980’s and 90s. He continues to perform on stage and screen today and his performances are continuing to get better with age.
One of the most intense actors of all time, Daniel Day-Lewis widely regarded as one of the greatest actors alive today. He is infamous for the extreme lengths he goes to in preparation for his roles and his determination to stay in character even off the stage or set. When playing the role of Hamlet he had an emotional breakdown live on stage as he had a vision that he was talking to the ghost of his father and he has not appeared on stage since.
Despite huge competition from Hollywood and the world of the cinema the theatre is still going strong today and there is an abundance of great shows and premier actors for audiences to enjoy. You can find discount theatre tickets easily online and theatre tickets in London which will allow you to be entertained by one of the world’s truly great art forms.
What’s your list?