Highest-Grossing Actor of All Time


Pop quiz: who's the highest-grossing actor of all time? I didn't get it. Can you? No spoilers in the comments, please. « via Movie City News »

Johnny Depp was listed as "Highest Paid Actor" in the guiness world records

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Wow, that's surprising. My guess was Harrison Ford!

My guess was the same as Jim's. I've searced IMDB, but I can't find where they get their info.

Adjusted for inflation, my vote would be on Mary Pickford.

Not exactly the same, but I read a few years ago that Jeff Goldblum was number one when it came to the combined grosses of movies in which he's starred. Strange then, stranger now.

I didn't venture a guess before looking but I think Hugo Weaving might be in the top 10 if you don't adjust for inflation.

Big shout out to Spike Lee!
for casting Samuel L. Jackson as Mister SeƱor Love Daddy in Do the Right Thing and then in his breakthrough role as Gator Purify in Jungle Fever (when he was forty-three [43!] years old.)

My guess was Tom Hanks. How could it not be Tom Hanks? [Actually, my first guess was Kevin Bacon but when I thought of Apollo 13 I remembered the T.Hanks for Comin' to my Movie. In my defense, those Mystic River s, Wild Things s, Apollo 13 s, Planes, Trains & Automobiles s, Footloose s and Diners s can really add up while A Few Good Men , JFK and Animal House get you pretty far down the road.

In spite of the intelligent arguments above I'd still place my money on Jackson.

You might wanna go here to shed some light on the Gable/Heston issue (and to raise the question: The Robe ?! What thuh?) John Wayne gets knocked out if overseas box office is counted (which could be doubtful.) Harrison Ford has made only thirty or so movies since his breakthrough role at thirty-one [31!] while the remora of the box office has made almost twice that since his breakthrough appearance.

As to the future (The) Greatest all-time champ, I'm banking on Will Smith.

Think where John Travolta would be without the mid-career slump. Do you think that Quentin Tarantino didn't know that when he could sign him up on the cheap?

Brooklyn in the house!

If you're talking about who has the best box-office average, its the guy who plays C-3PO! (and that's all he's ever done) :-)

But, you're not, cuz I followed the link :-)

Did you guess Harrison Ford too, Jim? I have a suspicion that if they adjusted for inflation, it would still be Ford.

Yeah, Ford was my guess even though I assumed that was wrong based on it being a recent news story (I knew it was Ford in the past, and assumed the news was that the torch had passed). I couldn't come up with a better guess. I wish I knew if they were adjusting for inflation.

They're not.

Adjusting for inflation is very difficult, especially when films like Star Wars, E.T., and Gone with the Wind benefit from multiple re-releases across multiple decades. Very few people attempt it.

If they were adjusting for inflation, though, Harrison Ford would easily pass Sam Jackson, whose biggest hits have been in recent years, whereas Ford's biggest hits were 2 decades ago.

Possible challengers (if adjusted for inflation) from the 'distant' past that come to mind are Clark Gable or Charlton Heston - not counting supporting actors. But when you get that far back, most box office data is unavailable or inaccurate.

But, if you were to adjust for inflation and all box office data was available and accurate, the highest-grossing actor surely would've been one who worked prolifically in the 30s-50s, when people actually went to see movies. There was one year somewhere in there where 80 million people went to the movies every week. Even with our larger national population these days, only about 10-15 million people go to the movies each week in the U.S. today.

Adjusting for inflation assumes you're adjusting for the inflation of ticket prices, not for a national inflation rate.

I think your thinking is more in line with my guess in the spoiler tag above.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

yup. That's a much better guess than Gable or Heston - I didn't mention him because you already had. Alas, due to a massive lack of box office information, we'll never know.

Julie Andrews might be up there. The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins were both phenomenal inflation-adjusted box-office greats. Plus she was in Shrek 2.

Very educational, thanks!

I don't know; adjusted for inflation, it might be John Wayne.

Or Ward Bond, since we're obviously counting supporting roles here... ;)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs