AFI's 100 YEARS...100 STARS

AFI's 50 GREATEST AMERICAN SCREEN LEGENDS

AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars is a list of the 50 greatest screen legends - the top 25 women and top 25 men - of all time.

The AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars CBS television special, hosted by Shirley Temple, originally aired on June 16, 1999. The list of the 50 greatest stars was presented by 50 stars of today – totaling 100 total stars for this television event.

AFI defines an "American screen legend" as an actor or a team of actors with a significant screen presence in American feature-length films 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.

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MEN

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WOMEN

1

Humphrey Bogart

1

Katharine Hepburn

2

Cary Grant

2

Bette Davis

3

James Stewart

3

Audrey Hepburn

4

Marlon Brando

4

Ingrid Bergman

5

Fred Astaire

5

Greta Garbo

6

Henry Fonda

6

Marilyn Monroe

7

Clark Gable

7

Elizabeth Taylor

8

James Cagney

8

Judy Garland

9

Spencer Tracy

9

Marlene Dietrich

10

Charlie Chaplin

10

Joan Crawford

11

Gary Cooper

11

Barbara Stanwyck

12

Gregory Peck

12

Claudette Colbert

13

John Wayne

13

Grace Kelly

14

Laurence Olivier

14

Ginger Rogers

15

Gene Kelly

15

Mae West

16

Orson Welles

16

Vivien Leigh

17

Kirk Douglas

17

Lillian Gish

18

James Dean

18

Shirley Temple

19

Burt Lancaster

19

Rita Hayworth

20

The Marx Brothers
Chico Marx
Groucho Marx
Harpo Marx

20

Lauren Bacall

21

Buster Keaton

21

Sophia Loren

22

Sidney Poitier

22

Jean Harlow

23

Robert Mitchum

23

Carole Lombard

24

Edward G. Robinson

24

Mary Pickford

25

William Holden

25

Ava Gardner

The list of legends was presented by 50 stars of today:

Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Jacqueline Bisset , Ernest Borgnine, James Caan, Jim Carrey, Chevy Chase, Cher, Kevin Costner, Billy Crystal, Claire Danes, Geena Davis, Laura Dern, Matt Dillon, Richard Dreyfuss, Clint Eastwood, Mia Farrow, Bridget Fonda, Peter Fonda, Morgan Freeman, Teri Garr, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeff Goldblum, Woody Harrelson, Richard Harris, Goldie Hawn, Gregory Hines, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Michael Keaton, Martin Landau, Jessica Lange, Shirley MacLaine, Marsha Mason, Marlee Matlin, Mike Myers, Edward Norton, Edward James Olmos, Miss Piggy, Lynn Redgrave, Julia Roberts, Gena Rowlands, Kevin Spacey, Sylvester Stallone, Rod Steiger, Sharon Stone, Billy Bob Thornton, Lily Tomlin, Emily Watson and James Woods.

In an effort to encourage movie fans to discover and rediscover each legend's body of work, AFI has organized a major video program in video stores across America that highlights one film, selected by AFI, from the careers of each of the 50 legends. AFI has also selected one film to highlight the careers of each of the 50 stars that took part in the AFI television special on CBS.

AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars is sponsored, in part, by General Motors, Blockbuster, the United States Postal Service, AT&T, Pepsi, Warner Bros. Home Video, Warner Bros. Pictures, Disney/Buena Vista, Buena Vista Home Video, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Best Buy, New Line Pictures, Miramax, Schering-Plough, Gateway, Universal Pictures, P&G/Max Factor, Oldsmobile and Sony Electronics.


AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars
Facts about some of the 25 greatest men and 25 greatest women screen legends

  • Lillian Gish has the longest screen career of any legend, male or female — 75 years.

  • Laurence Olivier has the longest career span of any male legend — 59 years.

  • There are three female living legends: Shirley Temple, Lauren Bacall and Sophia Loren.

  • There are two male living legends: Kirk Douglas and Sidney Poitier.

  • Legends Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier and Sophia Loren all had screen debuts in the cut-off year of 1950. Stars whose screen debuts occurred just after 1950, and therefore did not qualify as legends, include Jack Lemmon, Paul Newman, Shirley MacLaine and Clint Eastwood.

  • Ten of the screen legends also comprised five legendary duos: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. The Marx Brothers are the sole legendary team.

  • There are 13 legends that made the transition from silent pictures to the "talkies." They are: Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck, Lillian Gish, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton and Edward G. Robinson.

  • Thirteen screen legends were born outside the United States: Audrey Hepburn, Belgium; Elizabeth Taylor, England; Ingrid Bergman, Sweden; Greta Garbo, Sweden; Marlene Dietrich, Germany; Claudette Colbert, France; Vivian Leigh, India; Sophia Loren, Italy; Mary Pickford, Canada; Cary Grant, England; Charlie Chaplin, England; Laurence Olivier, England; and, Edward G. Robinson, Romania.

  • Eight screen legends were born in New York City: Barbara Stanwyck, Mae West, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, Burt Lancaster and the Marx Brothers.

  • TALES OF MANHATTAN (1942) is the feature film that boasts the largest collection of screen legends: Henry Fonda, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth and Edward G. Robinson. A 20-minute short film to benefit a Tuberculosis sanitarium entitled SLIPPERY PEARLS (or STOLEN JOOLS) from 1931 contains five AFI screen legends: Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Buster Keaton and Edward G. Robinson.


AFI's 100 YEARS...100 STARS (1999)
List of the 500 nominated star legends
List of the 50 winning legends
Click here to go to the list downloads page

AFI Membership
The definitive list of classic American films