There are a lot of great actors in Hollywood, but a set list of young stars seems to be getting all the attention. What about the veterans just trying to get by? Some actors are legends in the industry, and their names are very recognizable, which means they should be heading into the next decade with their careers still on fire. Here is a list ranking and detailing 50 great actors over 40 in 2022.
Table of Contents
- 1. Helen Mirren
- 2. Christine Baranski
- 3. Jessica Lange
- 4. Melissa McBride
- 5. Johnny Depp
- 6. Meryl Streep
- 7. Emma Thompson
- 8. Josh Charles
- 9. Mariska Hargitay
- 10. Chris Noth
- 11. Jared Leto
- 12. Sally Field
- 13. George Clooney
- 14. Jeremy Irons
- 15. Dylan McDermott
- 16. Vera Farmiga
- 17. Colin Firth
- 18. Pierce Brosnan
- 19. Julianna Margulies
- 20. Dennis Quaid
- 21. Liam Neeson
- 22. Hugh Laurie
- 23. Michelle Pfeiffer
- 24. Patrick Dempsey
- 25. Eric Dane
- 26. Justin Chambers
- 27. Gerard Butler
- 28. Jennifer Aniston
- 29. Jason O’Mara
- 30. Sandra Bullock
- 31. Julia Roberts
- 32. Angela Bassett
- 33. Brooke Shields
- 34. Brad Pitt
- 35. Michael Douglas
- 36. Catherine Zeta-Jones
- 37. Archie Panjabi
- 38. Hugh Jackman
- 39. Candice Bergen
- 40. Josh Duhamel
- 41. Christopher Meloni
- 42. Sam Shepard
- 43. Michael Weatherly
- 44. Julianne Moore
- 45. Matthew McConaughey
- 46. Julie Bowen
- 47. Sofía Vergara
- 48. Scott Bakula
- 49. Rita Wilson
- 50. Bonnie Hunt
- 51. Diane Lane
1. Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren was born in 1945, and her first-ever role was in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). She has been in films like Excalibur (1981), The Madness of King George (1994), Calendar Girls (2003), and Red (2010). She’s been nominated for two Academy Awards and a BAFTA for her roles in Gosford Park and Index. Helen is seen as a force to be reckoned with, an icon many women look up to. Because she’s over 40, it means she will be considered ‘old’ by Hollywood standards.
2. Christine Baranski
Christine Baranski is a veteran actress born in 1952. She has been in several films and TV shows, including The Ref (1994), Into the Woods (2014), and the Good Wife (2009-2016). She has been nominated for an Emmy award and a Golden Globe award three times. Christine is highly talented, and there’s no reason she should be done with Hollywood just yet.
3. Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange was born in 1949. She is an American actress. She is known for her roles in Tootsie (1982), Blue Sky (1994), and Frances (1982). She has been nominated for some awards and has won two Emmys. She has been in the business since the 1970s and appears to grow better as she gets older.
4. Melissa McBride
Melissa McBride was born in 1965. She is an actress from the USA. Her contributions to The Walking Dead are well-known (2010-present). She has been nominated for several awards and has won the Saturn award twice for Best Supporting Actress on Television for Outstanding lead actress in a television series. To be over 40 means she will not be considered a leading woman anymore, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be sought after for roles as the mom or grandma.
5. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp was born in 1963. He is an American actor and musician known for his roles as Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994), and Sleepy Hollow (1999). He is a big fan favorite who has won two Golden Globe awards. He’s one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and will likely remain so until he drops dead.
6. Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep was born in 1949. Her appearances in Kramer vs. Kramer have made her a well-known American actor, singer, and producer (1979), Sophie’s Choice (1982), Out of Africa (1985), The Iron Lady (2011), and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018). She has been nominated for more than 30 Golden Globes and won 21. Throughout her career, she has been the most nominated actor in history alongside Katharine Hepburn at the Oscars.
7. Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson was born in 1959. She is an English actress, comedian, and screenwriter. Her roles in The Remains of the Day are well-known (1993), Sense and Sensibility (1995), and Nanny McPhee (2005). What makes her so great is her comedic talent, and many people don’t know she can actually act, which is why she lands roles that require it.
8. Josh Charles
Josh Charles was born in 1971. He is an American actor with a plethora of acting credits. His most notable role is as Will Gardner on the hit CBS series The Good Wife, which released its seventh and final season in 2017. He has won two Emmy Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Josh is starring in the CBS All Access series God Friended Me for the second season in 2019.
9. Mariska Hargitay
Mariska Hargitay was born in 1964. She is an American actress best known for her role as Detective/Sergeant/Lieutenant Olivia Benson on the NBC drama series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999-present). In 2011, she received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for her work with V-Day and their campaign to stop violence against women and girls. Mariska has been in the industry since the 80s and has only improved with age.
10. Chris Noth
Chris Noth was born in 1954. He is an American actor. His most notable role is as Mr. Big on the CBS series Sex and the City (2008-2010). He has received two Primetime Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe nomination. He won his first Globe in 2016, the last year he would be on the show, during its sixth and final season.
11. Jared Leto
Jared Leto was born in 1971. He is an American actor, singer, musician, and director. His most notable role is as the Joker in Suicide Squad (2016). He has won two Grammys, been nominated for a Golden Globe, and is this year’s Emmy Award nominee again. He is a singer/songwriter constantly working on his music to make it better than ever, which means he will work his butt off to stay relevant in Hollywood.
12. Sally Field
Sally Field was born in 1946. She is an American actress, producer, and director known for her roles in Norma Rae (1979), Places in the Heart (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Forrest Gump (1994), and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993). She has been nominated for many awards and won two Golden Globes, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, an Emmy Award, and a People’s Choice Award. She was also the Screen Actors Guild’s first female president.
13. George Clooney
George Clooney was born in 1961. He is an American actor, producer, director, and political activist. He is known for his roles in From Dusk till Dawn (1996), One Fine Day (1996), The Perfect Storm (2000), Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), and its sequels Ocean’s Eleven (2001). He has been recognized with many accolades, including three Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and countless nominations.
14. Jeremy Irons
Jeremy Irons was born in 1948. He is an English actor who has starred in some movies, including Reversal of Fortune (1990), Betrayal (1983), Dead Ringers (1988), and The House of the Spirits (1993). He is an Oscar winner and has been nominated for three others. He is one of the most well-known actors of all time, Which implies that he will be in high demand for roles.
15. Dylan McDermott
Dylan McDermott was born in 1961. He is an actor from the USA. His performances in American Horror Story are his most well-known works, The Practice and its spin-offs. He has been nominated for two Emmy awards, has won three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and two Satellite Awards. He’s been in many popular shows, which means he’s one of the most recognized actors.
16. Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga was born in 1973. She is an American actress. Her most well-known roles include those in the movies Up in the Air (2009) and The Departed (2006). She has received a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe nomination. She also has a full-time career as a director, which means she can act, direct and produce.
17. Colin Firth
Colin Firth was born in 1960. He is an English actor known for his roles in the films Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), The King’s Speech (2010), and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015). He has been nominated for two Golden Globes, has won a BAFTA Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and has been nominated for an Oscar.
18. Pierce Brosnan
Pierce Brosnan was born in 1953. He is an Irish actor and film producer known for his roles in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), and Mamma Mia! (2008). His most famous portrayal is that of James Bond, for which he received nominations for two BAFTA Awards and two Emmy Awards, as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
19. Julianna Margulies
Julianna Margulies was born in 1966. She is an American actress and producer. She was Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife, where she gained the most fame (2009-2016), for which she has won eight Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Golden Globe award, and three consecutive Primetime awards Emmy Awards.
20. Dennis Quaid
Dennis Quaid was born in 1954. He’s an American actor best known for appearing in Breaking Away, among other movies (1979), The Big Easy (1986), Far from Heaven (2002), The Guardian (2006), and The Place Beyond the Pines (2012). Quaid is also known for his work on television, where he is still starring in NCIS: Los Angeles.
21. Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson was born in 1952. He is an Irish actor, film producer, and voice actor. He was a leading man in the movies Schindler’s List (1993), Taken (2008), and most recently, A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014). He has won two Academy Awards and nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA.
22. Hugh Laurie
Hugh Laurie was born in 1959. He is an English actor, director, producer, writer, and musician. His performances in the television comedies Blackadder, Jeeves, and Wooster are what made him most famous. He has won two Golden Globe Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, a BAFTA Award, and a Hollywood Walk of Fame star.
23. Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer was born in 1958. She is an American actress who has appeared in over 40 films in five decades. Her best-known roles are in the film The Age of Innocence (1993), Wolf (1994), and Scarface (1983). She has won two Golden Globe Awards, a BAFTA Award, and was nominated for an Emmy Award.
24. Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Galen Dempsey was born in 1966. He is an American actor and race car, driver. He is best known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepard in Grey’s Anatomy (2005-present) and has also starred in several other television dramas and romantic comedies. He has received a Golden Globe nomination, a Primetime Emmy Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four People’s Choice Awards.
25. Eric Dane
Eric Dane was born in 1972. He is an American actor and director known for his role as Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan on the medical drama television series Grey’s Anatomy from 2005 to 2009 and from 2014 onwards. He has also starred in films such as Marley & Me (2008), Valentine’s Day (2010), and Burlesque (2010)
26. Justin Chambers
Justin Chambers was born in 1970. He is an American actor and director known for his role as Dr. Alex Karev in the ABC television drama Grey’s Anatomy (2005–2020). The popularity of Chambers’ role increased as the show continued, and he was well-recognized for his performance. Chambers received numerous nominations, including the 2017 People’s Choice Award for Best TV Network Drama Actor, and he was also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.
27. Gerard Butler
Gerard James Butler was born in 1969. He is an American filmmaker, producer, and actor. He is well recognized for his parts in movies like 300 (2006), Mrs. Brown (1997), the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), and Tale of the Mummy (1998). Butler has also starred in the action fantasy film Machine Gun Preacher (2011). He received a nomination for a People’s Choice Award for his role in the drama film The Bounty Hunter (2010).
28. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Joanna Aniston was born in 1969. She is an American actress, film director, and producer. She gained worldwide recognition in the 1990s for portraying Rachel Green on the television sitcom Friends. The character was widely popular during the series airing and later recognized as one of American television’s most fantastic female characters. She receives various accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards.
29. Jason O’Mara
Jason O’Mara was born in 1972. He is an American actor known for his roles as Gideon Lane in the science fiction television series Terra Nova (2011–2012) and as CIA agent Michael Khoury on the NBC crime drama series Heroes (2010–2011). For his work in The Siege of Jadotville, O’Mara won the Best Supporting Actor Irish Film and Television Award.
30. Sandra Bullock
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in 1964. She is an American actress and producer. She is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses and has been nominated for Academy Awards and People’s Choice Awards. In 2013, she was included in “People” magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People and was also named “The Most Beautiful Woman” by “People”.
31. Julia Roberts
Julia Fiona Roberts was born in 1967. She is an American actress and producer. After headlining the romantic comedy Pretty Woman (1990), she became a Hollywood star, which grossed $464 million worldwide. Her performances in that film and Erin Brockovich (2000) gave her the title of the highest-paid actress in history, earning $25 million per film between 1990 and 2001.
32. Angela Bassett
Angela Bassett was born in 1958. She is an American actress and producer. Bassett has been nominated for three Black Reel Awards, a Golden Globe Award, seven NAACP Image Awards, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, in addition to a nomination for an Academy Award and seven Primetime Emmy Awards. She is widely known for her biographical film roles, most notably her performance as Tina Turner in the biopic “What’s Love Got to Do with It” (1993), for which she was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
33. Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields was born in 1965. She is an American actress and fashion model. She began her career as a child model and later became an actress. Her work in the movies The Blue Lagoon is what made her most well-known (1980) and Franco Zeffirelli’s Endless Love (1981), and Pretty Baby (1978).
34. Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt was born in 1963. He is an American actor and film producer. Along with two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award, He also receives various additional awards, including a British Academy Film Award.
35. Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas was born in 1944. He is an American actor, film producer, and director. In addition to other awards, he has received two Academy Awards, three British Academy Film Awards, a Golden Globe, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. His first prominent parts in high-profile projects appeared in the drama movies Legends of the Fall (1993) and A River Runs Through It (1992). (1994).
36. Catherine Zeta-Jones
Catherine Zeta-Jones was born in 1969. She is a Welsh actress and singer. She began her career as a cast member of “The Baby of the Family,” a Welsh children’s television program. After appearing in several British and American television series, Zeta-Jones won her first significant film role in The Mask of Zorro (1998) and the heist film Entrapment (1999). She was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award.
37. Archie Panjabi
Archie Panjabi was born in 1972. She is an English actress best known for her role as Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife. She has been nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe, becoming the first South Asian actress to win the Screen Actors Guild Award, among other nominations.
38. Hugh Jackman
Hugh Jackman was born in 1968. He is an Australian actor, singer, and dancer. He is known for portraying the character Wolverine/Logan in the superhero film X-Men. He won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2000 for his role as Pym in the superhero film “The Prestige”. He was nominated for two Academy Awards, three Golden Awards Globes, and a BAFTA.
39. Candice Bergen
Candice Bergen was born in 1946. She is an American actress and producer. She was Shirley Schmidt in the ABC program Boston Legal, another notable role for her (2005–2008). For her roles in Gandhi and Starting Over (1979), Bergen was nominated for both the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award and the Best Actress in a Supporting Role BAFTA Award (1982).
40. Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel was born in 1972. He is a director, producer, and actor from America. He is known for his role as Carter Baizen on the ABC drama series “All My Children” (2003–2008). Duhamel appears as one of the main protagonists in four of the Transformers films, most recently in the fifth entry, Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)
41. Christopher Meloni
Christopher Meloni was born in 1961. He is an American actor and producer. He is known as Detective Elliot Stabler on the NBC crime drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–2015). His films include Man of Steel, Wet Hot American Summer, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, 12 Monkeys, Runaway Bride, 42, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
42. Sam Shepard
Samuel Shepard was born in 1943. He is an American playwright, actor, director, and poet. His performance of Buried Child garnered him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1980) and Emmy Awards for True West (1993) and A Lie of the Mind (2003).
43. Michael Weatherly
Michael Weatherly was born in 1968. He is an American actor and producer. He played Anthony DiNozzo on the CBS series “NCIS” (2003–2016) and Logan Cale in Dark Angel (2000–2002). In 2016, he began the title role of Dr. Jason Bull in Bull, a courtroom drama. He also starred in Meet Wally Sparks.
44. Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore was born in 1960. She is an American actress, prolific in films since the early 1990s. Nominated for a British Academy Film Award and an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and two Emmy Awards. She made her acting debut in the 1990 film Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, and during the following four years, she played several tiny roles, including one in the thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992)
45. Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey was born in 1969. He is an American actor. He began his career in the early 1990s, appearing in television commercials, before making his film debut in Dazed and Confused (1993). His first leading role was in the Richard Linklater-directed coming-of-age comedy-drama “Dazed and Confused” (1993), for which he received critical acclaim.
46. Julie Bowen
Julie Bowen was born in 1970. She is an American actress and model. She is best known as Claire Dunphy on the ABC sitcom “Modern Family”, a role that has earned her five consecutive Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nominations for the Emmys, winning the award twice in 2011 and 2015. Other television work includes appearances in Blackadder, ER, Friends, According to Jim, Boston Legal, and Maron.
47. Sofía Vergara
Sofía Vergara was born on August 24, 1972. She is a Colombian and American actress and model. She was nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards. She received multiple awards for her portrayal of Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on the ABC comedy “Modern Family” (2009–2018), for which she is best known. Including Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Exceptional Female Performance in a Comedy Series.
48. Scott Bakula
Scott Bakula was born in 1954. He is an American actor. He played David Randolph on the CBS series “Quantum Leap” (1989–1993). For Quantum Leap, he received four Emmy Award nominations and a Golden Globe Award.
49. Rita Wilson
Rita Wilson was born in 1956. She is an actress, singer, and producer. Her film appearances include Volunteers (1985), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Now and Then (1995), That Thing You Do! (1996), Jingle All the Way (1996), The Story of Us (1999), Runaway Bride (1999), It’s Complicated (2009), and Larry Crowne (2011), and she appeared in the television series The Good Wife and Girls.
50. Bonnie Hunt
Bonnie Hunt was born in 1961. American actress, comedian, director, producer, writer, and television host, she also directs and produces. Rain Man, Beethoven, Beethoven’s Second, Jumanji, Jerry Maguire, and The Green Mile, She has acted in a few films, including Cheaper by the Dozen and Cheaper by the Dozen 2.
51. Diane Lane
Diane Lane was born in 1965. She is an actress from the USA. She is well-known for playing Martha Kent in the Superman movie series and for playing Kate ‘Kate Fuller’ McCallister in “The Perfect Storm” (2000). For her performance in “Unfaithful” (2002), she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.