Actor Morgan Freeman attends the 40th AFI Life Achievement Award honoring Shirley MacLaine held at Sony Pictures Studios on June 7, 2012 in Culver City, California. The AFI Life Achievement Award tribute to Shirley MacLaine will premiere on TV Land on Saturday, June 24 at 9PM ET/PST.

Audiences know them from long-running TV series, big-time movie openings, and indelible stage performances. They’ve made viewers laugh, cry, and jump from their seats in fright. The best actors in the world have the power to move audiences in ways that few others can—which is why making a list of the absolute best is never an easy task.

Any list of the best needs to be backed up by numbers. So in order to compile a set of America’s 50 favorite actors of all time, Stacker analyzed data from YouGov, with polling conducted between November 2017 and October 2018. First, they measured the level of online activity related to a set of actors to determine which 50 should be included in a survey, with responses weighted to be nationally representative. Then, they ranked those 50 actors from low to high by a percentage of survey respondents with a positive opinion of said actors. Ties were broken by the actor with a lower percentage of negative opinion responses and a higher percentage of “have heard of” responses.

The result is a list of thespians, including Oscar winners, box office juggernauts, and some of the “sexiest men alive.”

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