AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars

AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars is the American Film Institute's list ranking the top 25 female and 25 male greatest screen legends of American film history and is the second list of the AFI 100 Years... series.

AFI 100 Years... series
1998100 Movies
1999100 Stars
2000100 Laughs
2001100 Thrills
2002100 Passions
2003100 Heroes & Villains
2004100 Songs
2005100 Movie Quotes
200525 Scores
2006100 Cheers
200625 Musicals
2007100 Movies (Updated)
2008AFI's 10 Top 10

The list was unveiled through a CBS special on June 15, 1999, hosted by Shirley Temple (who is herself honored on the female legends list), with 50 then-current actors making the presentations.[1]

AFI defines an "American screen legend" as "an actor or a team of actors with a significant screen presence in American feature-length films (films of 40 minutes or more) whose screen debut occurred in or before 1950, or whose screen debut occurred after 1950 but whose death has marked a completed body of work." In other words, the list generally honors actors recognized for their contributions to classical Hollywood cinema.[1] Jurors selected the final lists from 250 female and 250 male nominees.[2]

The top stars of their respective gender are Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, who starred together in the classic adventure 1951 film The African Queen.

Sixteen female stars were born in the United States; the other nine are Vivien Leigh, born in India; Elizabeth Taylor, the United Kingdom; Audrey Hepburn, Belgium; Mary Pickford, Canada; Marlene Dietrich, Germany; Sophia Loren, Italy; Claudette Colbert, France; and Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo, Sweden.

Twenty-one male stars were born in the United States; the other four are Charlie Chaplin, Laurence Olivier and Cary Grant, who were born in the United Kingdom, and Edward G. Robinson, born in Romania.

At the time that the lists were unveiled, Gregory Peck, Katharine Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley Temple, Lauren Bacall, Kirk Douglas (the longest-lived star at 103) and Sidney Poitier were all still living, but they have since died. At 88, Sophia Loren is the only surviving honoree.[1]

List of 50 greatest screen legends: Top 25 Female and Top 25 Male starsEdit

No. Female legends Male legends
1 Katharine Hepburn

(1907–2003)

  Known for:

Little Women (1933)

Alice Adams (1935)

Stage Door (1937)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Holiday (1938)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Woman of the Year (1942)

Adam's Rib (1949)

The African Queen (1951)

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

The Lion in Winter (1968)

On Golden Pond (1981)

Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, won for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).

Humphrey Bogart (1899–1957)   Known for:

The Petrified Forest (1936)

High Sierra (1941)

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Casablanca (1942)

To Have and Have Not (1944)

The Big Sleep (1946)

Dark Passage (1947)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Key Largo (1948)

In a Lonely Place (1950)

The African Queen (1951)

The Caine Mutiny (1954)

The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

The Left Hand of God (1955)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, won for The African Queen.

2 Bette Davis

(1908–1989)

  Known for:

Of Human Bondage (1934)

Dangerous (1935)

The Petrified Forest (1936)

Jezebel (1938)

Dark Victory (1939)

The Old Maid (1939)

The Letter (1940)

The Little Foxes (1941)

Now, Voyager (1942)

Old Acquaintance (1943)

The Corn Is Green (1945)

All About Eve (1950)

The Star (1952)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, won for Dangerous, and Jezebel.

Cary Grant

(1904–1986)

  Known for:

She Done Him Wrong (1933)

The Awful Truth (1937)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Holiday (1938)

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

His Girl Friday (1940)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Penny Serenade (1941)

Suspicion (1941)

None but the Lonely Heart (1944)

Notorious (1946)

An Affair to Remember (1957)

North by Northwest (1959)

Charade (1963)

Nominated for two Academy Awards, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1970

3 Audrey Hepburn

(1929–1993)

  Known for:

Roman Holiday (1953)

Sabrina (1954)

Funny Face (1957)

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Charade (1963)

My Fair Lady (1964)

Wait Until Dark (1967)

Nominated for five Academy Awards, won for Roman Holiday.

James Stewart

(1908–1997)

  Known for:

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Winchester 73 (1950)

Rear Window (1954)

Vertigo (1958)

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

How the West Was Won (1962)

Nominated for five Academy Awards, won for The Philadelphia Story.

4 Ingrid Bergman

(1915–1982)

  Known for:

Casablanca (1942)

For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)

Gaslight (1944)

Notorious (1946)

Joan of Arc (1948)

Anastasia (1956)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Autumn Sonata (1978)

Nominated for seven Academy Awards, won for Gaslight, Anastasia (1956), and Murder on the Orient Express.

Marlon Brando (1924–2004)   Known for:

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Viva Zapata! (1952)

Julius Caesar (1953)

On the Waterfront (1954)

The Young Lions (1958)

The Godfather (1972)

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Nominated for eight Academy Awards, won for On the Waterfront and The Godfather.

5 Greta Garbo

(1905–1990)

  Known for:

Flesh and the Devil (1927)

Mata Hari (1931)

Grand Hotel (1932)

Queen Christina (1933)

The Painted Veil (1934)

Anna Karenina (1935)

Camille (1936)

Ninotchka (1939)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1955.

Fred Astaire

(1899–1987)

  Known for:

Partnership with Ginger Rogers

The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Top Hat (1935)

Swing Time (1936)

Shall We Dance (1937)

Holiday Inn (1942)

Yolanda and the Thief (1945)

Easter Parade (1948)

The Band Wagon (1953)

Nominated for one Academy Award, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1949

6 Marilyn Monroe

(1926–1962)

  Known for:

Ladies of the Chorus (1948)

The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Don't Bother to Knock (1952)

Niagara (1953)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Bus Stop (1956)

Some Like It Hot (1959)

The Misfits (1961)

Henry Fonda

(1905–1982)

  Known for:

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The Lady Eve (1941)

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

My Darling Clementine (1946)

Mister Roberts (1955)

12 Angry Men (1957)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

On Golden Pond (1981)

Nominated for four Academy Awards, won for On Golden Pond, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1980.

7 Elizabeth Taylor

(1932–2011)

  Known for:

National Velvet (1944)

Father of the Bride (1950)

A Place in the Sun (1951)

Giant (1956)

Raintree County (1957)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)

Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

BUtterfield 8 (1960)

Cleopatra (1963)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Nominated for five Academy Awards, won for BUtterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

Clark Gable

(1901–1960)

  Known for:

A Free Soul (1931)

Possessed (1931)

Red Dust (1932)

It Happened One Night (1934)

Call of the Wild (1935)

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

San Francisco (1936)

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Mogambo (1953)

The Misfits (1961)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, won for It Happened One Night.

8 Judy Garland

(1922–1969)

  Known for:

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

The Clock (1945)

The Harvey Girls (1946)

Easter Parade (1948)

Summer Stock (1950)

A Star Is Born (1954)

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Nominated for two Academy Awards, earned Academy Juvenile Award in 1940

James Cagney

(1899–1986)

  Known for:

The Public Enemy (1931)

Taxi! (1932)

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

The Roaring Twenties (1939)

City for Conquest (1940)

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

White Heat (1949)

Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, won for Yankee Doodle Dandy

9 Marlene Dietrich

(1901–1992)

  Known for:

The Blue Angel (1930)

Morocco (1930)

Shanghai Express (1932)

Blonde Venus (1932)

Destry Rides Again (1939)

Kismet (1944)

A Foreign Affair (1948)

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Touch of Evil (1958)

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Nominated for one Academy Award

Spencer Tracy

(1900–1967)

  Known for:

San Francisco (1936)

Captains Courageous (1937)

Boys Town (1938)

Woman of the Year (1942)

Tortilla Flat (1942)

Adam's Rib (1949)

Father of the Bride (1950)

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Nominated for nine Academy Awards, won for Captains Courageous and Boys Town

10 Joan Crawford

(190?–1977)

  Known for:

Our Dancing Daughters (1928)

Possessed (1931)

Grand Hotel (1932)

Letty Lynton (1932)

Rain (1932)

The Women (1939)

A Woman's Face (1941)

Mildred Pierce (1945)

Humoresque (1946)

Possessed (1947)

Sudden Fear (1952)

Johnny Guitar (1954)

Autumn Leaves (1956)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, won for Mildred Pierce.

Charlie Chaplin

(1889–1977)

  Known for:

The Tramp character

The Kid (1921)

The Gold Rush (1925)

City Lights (1931)

Modern Times (1936)

The Great Dictator (1940)

Nominated for three Academy Awards (one for acting), won Academy Award for Original Dramatic Score for Limelight (1952), earned Academy Honorary Awards in 1929 and 1972.

11 Barbara Stanwyck

(1907–1990)

  Known for:

Stella Dallas (1937)

The Lady Eve (1941)

Ball of Fire (1941)

Double Indemnity (1944)

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

The Furies (1950)

Titanic (1953)

Nominated for four Academy Awards, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1982.

Gary Cooper

(1901–1961)

  Known for:

A Farewell to Arms (1932)

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)

Meet John Doe (1941)

Sergeant York (1941)

The Pride of the Yankees (1942)

For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)

High Noon (1952)

Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Nominated for five Academy Awards, won for Sergeant York and High Noon, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1961.

12 Claudette Colbert

(1903–1996)

  Known for:

The Smiling Lieutenant (1931)

The Sign of the Cross (1932)

It Happened One Night (1934)

Cleopatra (1934)

Imitation of Life (1934)

Private Worlds (1935)

Midnight (1939)

The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Since You Went Away (1944)

The Egg and I (1947)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, won for It Happened One Night.

Gregory Peck

(1916–2003)

  Known for:

The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)

Spellbound (1945)

The Yearling (1946)

Duel in the Sun (1946)

Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

Twelve O'Clock High (1949)

Moby Dick (1956)

The Big Country (1958)

The Guns of Navarone (1961)

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Nominated for five Academy Awards, won for To Kill a Mockingbird.

13 Grace Kelly

(1929–1982)

  Known for:

The Country Girl (1954)

High Noon (1952)

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Rear Window (1954)

Nominated for two Academy Awards, won for The Country Girl.

John Wayne

(1907–1979)

  Known for:

Stagecoach (1939)

Red River (1948)

The Quiet Man (1952)

The Searchers (1956)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

True Grit (1969)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, won for True Grit.

14 Ginger Rogers

(1911–1995)

  Known for:

Partnership with Fred Astaire

The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Top Hat (1935)

Swing Time (1936)

Shall We Dance (1937)

Stage Door (1937)

Carefree (1938)

Kitty Foyle (1940)

The Major and the Minor (1942)

Monkey Business (1952)

Won Academy award for Kitty Foyle.

Laurence Olivier

(1907–1989)

  Known for:

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Rebecca (1940)

Pride and Prejudice (1940)

That Hamilton Woman (1941)

Henry V (1944)

Hamlet (1948)

Richard III (1955)

Sleuth (1972)

Marathon Man (1976)

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards (ten for acting), won for Hamlet, earned Academy Honorary Awards in 1947 and 1979.

15 Mae West

(1893–1980)

  Known for:

She Done Him Wrong (1933)

I'm No Angel (1933)

Belle of the Nineties (1934)

Goin' to Town (1935)

Klondike Annie (1936)

Every Day's a Holiday (1937)

My Little Chickadee (1940)

Myra Breckinridge (1970)

Gene Kelly

(1912–1996)

  Known for:

Cover Girl (1944)

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

On the Town (1949)

Summer Stock (1950)

An American in Paris (1951)

Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Brigadoon (1954)

Xanadu (1980)

Nominated for one Academy Award, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1952.

16 Vivien Leigh

(1913–1967)

  Known for:

Gone with the Wind (1939)

Waterloo Bridge (1940)

That Hamilton Woman (1941)

Caesar and Cleopatra (1945)

Anna Karenina (1948)

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)

Ship of Fools (1965)

Won Academy Awards for Gone with the Wind and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Orson Welles

(1915–1985)

  Known for:

Citizen Kane (1941)

The Stranger (1946)

Macbeth (1948)

The Third Man (1949)

Touch of Evil (1958)

Nominated for three Academy Awards (one for acting), earned Academy Honorary Award in 1971.

17 Lillian Gish

(1893–1993)

  Known for:

The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Broken Blossoms (1919)

The Wind (1928)

Duel in the Sun (1946)

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Nominated for one Academy Award, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1971.

Kirk Douglas

(1916–2020)

  Known for:

Champion (1949)

The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Paths of Glory (1957)

Spartacus (1960)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1996.

18 Shirley Temple

(1928–2014)

  Known for:

Bright Eyes (1934)

Curly Top (1935)

Wee Willie Winkie (1937)

Heidi (1937)

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)

The Little Princess (1939)

Earned Academy Juvenile Award in 1935

James Dean

(1931–1955)

  Known for:

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

East of Eden (1955)

Giant (1956)

Nominated for two Academy Awards.

19 Rita Hayworth

(1918–1987)

  Known for:

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

You'll Never Get Rich (1941)

You Were Never Lovelier (1942)

Cover Girl (1944)

Gilda (1946)

The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

The Loves of Carmen (1948)

Affair in Trinidad (1952)

Salome (1953)

Miss Sadie Thompson (1953)

Separate Tables (1958)

Burt Lancaster

(1913–1994)

  Known for:

The Killers (1946)

From Here to Eternity (1953)

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Separate Tables (1958)

Elmer Gantry (1960)

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

The Leopard (1963)

Atlantic City (1980)

Nominated for four Academy Awards, won for Elmer Gantry.

20 Lauren Bacall

(1924–2014)

  Known for:

To Have and Have Not (1944)

The Big Sleep (1946)

Dark Passage (1947)

Key Largo (1948)

Written on the Wind (1956)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Nominated for one Academy Award, earned Academy Honorary Award in 2009.

Marx Brothers

Chico (1887–1961)

Harpo (1888–1964)

Groucho (1890–1977)

  Known for:

Animal Crackers (1930)

Horse Feathers (1932)

Duck Soup (1933)

A Night at the Opera (1935)

A Day at the Races (1937)

Groucho was presented with an Academy Honorary Award in 1973 for "his brilliant creativity and for the unequalled achievements of the Marx Brothers."[3]

21 Sophia Loren

(born 1934)

  Known for:

The Millionairess (1960)

Two Women (1961)

El Cid (1961)

Marriage Italian Style (1964)

Nominated for two Academy Awards, won for Two Women, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1991.

Buster Keaton

(1895–1966)

  Known for:

Sherlock Jr. (1924)

The General (1926)

The Cameraman (1928)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Earned Academy Honorary Award in 1960.

22 Jean Harlow

(1911–1937)

  Known for:

Hell's Angels (1930)

Red Dust (1932)

Dinner at Eight (1933)

Reckless (1935)

Saratoga (1937)

Sidney Poitier

(1927–2022)

  Known for:

No Way Out (1950)

The Blackboard Jungle (1955)

The Defiant Ones (1958)

Porgy and Bess (1959)

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Lilies of the Field (1963)

A Patch of Blue (1965)

To Sir, with Love (1967)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Nominated for two Academy Awards, won for Lilies of the Field, earned Academy Honorary Award in 2001.

23 Carole Lombard

(1908–1942)

  Known for:

Hands Across the Table (1935)

My Man Godfrey (1936)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)

To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Nominated for one Academy Award.

Robert Mitchum

(1917–1997)

  Known for:

Out of the Past (1947)

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Cape Fear (1962)

Ryan's Daughter (1970)

Nominated for one Academy Award

24 Mary Pickford

(1892–1979)

  Known for:

Hearts Adrift (1914)

Pollyanna (1920)

My Best Girl (1927)

Coquette (1929)

Won Academy Award for Coquette, earned Academy Honorary Award in 1976.

Edward G. Robinson

(1893–1973)

  Known for:

Little Caesar (1931)

Double Indemnity (1944)

Key Largo (1948)

The Ten Commandments (1956)

Posthumously earned Academy Honorary Award in 1973.

25 Ava Gardner

(1922–1990)

  Known for:

The Killers (1946)

Show Boat (1951)

Mogambo (1953)

The Barefoot Contessa (1954)

The Night of the Iguana (1964)

Nominated for one Academy Award.

William Holden

(1918–1981)

  Known for:

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Stalag 17 (1953)

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Network (1976)

Nominated for three Academy Awards, won for Stalag 17.

NomineesEdit

The legends were chosen out of a list of 250 female and 250 male nominees. The adjoining reference gives the lists of the original selection.[4]

With the death of Sidney Poitier in January 2022, all male living legends and nominees have now died. There is one surviving female living legend, Sophia Loren (88), and 6 remaining female nominees: Ann Blyth (94), Claire Bloom (91), Mitzi Gaynor (91), Rita Moreno (91), Piper Laurie (91) and Margaret O'Brien (85). The most recent nominee to pass away was Gina Lollobrigida (95) in January 2023.

The 250 female nomineesEdit

The Actresses that are part of the complete list of nominees are:

NOTE: Those listed in bold indicate that the star is still living.

The 250 male nomineesEdit

The Actors that are part of the complete list of nominees are:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars: The 50 Greatest American Screen Legends". American Film Institute. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  2. ^ List of the 500 nominated star legends (Archive)
  3. ^ "Academy Awards Acceptance Speeches - Search Results | Margaret Herrick Library | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences". aaspeechesdb.oscars.org. Retrieved 2021-10-10.
  4. ^ List of the 500 nominated star legends Archive [1]

External linksEdit