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OpusData Reveals the Top Leading, Supporting and Voice Actors of All Time

November 16th, 2010

Last week, we introduced OpusData, our new data service, and over the next few weeks we'll be looking at some of the new reports that OpusData makes possible. This week we provide some answers to a question that many readers have asked over the years: "Who is the most successful actor in Hollywood?" (Sign up for a trial account to OpusData now to start building your own reports.)

As we've been building the OpusData database, we've been refreshing our data so we now note whether a role in a movie is "leading", "supporting" or a "cameo", and also whether it's a voice role. This allows us to compile a report using OpusData that shows the top actors in each category.

We haven't quite finished reviewing every role in every movie, but we've been through the major ones, and are ready to share some of the results.

First, here are the top actors in leading roles:

Tom Hanks looks like a clear winner, although by our reckoning he only overtook Harrison Ford as recently as last year, with Angels & Demons pushing him over the top.

Overall, there aren't too many surprises in the leading actor category (although Eddie Murphy's continued presence in third place is pretty impressive). When it comes to supporting actors, though, the top name may come as a surprise...

Well, surprising if one didn't think of Hugo Weaving's major supporting roles in the Lord of the Rings and Matrix trilogies. Everyone's favorite supporting man, Samuel L. Jackson, pops into the chart in third place. Splitting them is an actor we will see again in a moment, John Ratzenberger, who has ridden small supporting roles in every Pixar movie (and virtually no lead roles at all) to second place in this particular list. Also, a quick shout out to Maggie Smith, who is the only woman to make the top ten in either list.

When it comes to voice roles, Ratzenberger has an impressive pedigree, but Pixar will need to make a lot more movies if he's going to top this chart...

Frank Welker, the man who famously tops our list of all-time box office stars is the easy winner of the contest for top star in voice roles. With 94 movies under his belt, and more coming out all the time, his record is one that will stand for a long time. Let's not forget, however, the man in tenth place in our list: Anthony Daniels, who has just six voice roles to his name: as C3PO.

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