The 60s was an immensely important decade regarding the movie industry. Some of the most distinguished actors that are now perceived as cultural icons arose to fame in this era.
We’ve put together a list of the most beautiful, talented and inspiring actors of the 60s.
12. Anthony Perkins
Best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and its three sequels, Perkins is one of the most iconic and important actor figures of the 1960s. Perkins was cast as Norman Bates in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed film Psycho (1960). The film was a critical and commercial success, and gained Perkins international fame for his performance as the homicidal owner of the Bates Motel. Perkins’ performance gained him the Best Actor Award from the International Board of Motion Picture Reviewers. In 1961, Perkins received considerable critical acclaim for his performance in the film Goodbye Again, opposite Ingrid Bergman, a performance which won him the Best Actor Award at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival. In 1964 he starred in Une ravissante idiote, with Brigitte Bardot.
Hudson is generally known for his turns as a leading man in the 1950s and 1960s and is viewed as a prominent actor and ‘heartthrob’ of the Hollywood Golden Age. He achieved stardom with roles in films such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows(1955) and Giant (1956), and found continued success with a string of romantic comedies co-starring Doris Day in Pillow Talk (1959), Lover Come Back (1961) and Send Me No Flowers (1964). After appearing in films like Seconds (1966), Tobruk (1967) and Ice Station Zebra (1968) in the late 1960s, Hudson began a second career in television through the 1970s and ’80s, starring in the popular mystery series McMillan & Wife and the soap opera Dynasty.
Alain Fabien Maurice Marcel Delon is a French actor and businessman, with French-Swiss dual citizenship since 1999. Delon became one of Europe’s most prominent actors and screen “heart throbs” in the 1960s. He achieved critical acclaim for roles in films such as Rocco and His Brothers (1960), Purple Noon (1960), L’Eclisse (1962), The Leopard (1963), Lost Command (1966) and Le Samouraï (1967). Over the course of his career Delon worked with many well-known directors, including Luchino Visconti, Jean-Luc Godard,Jean-Pierre Melville, Michelangelo Antonioni and Louis Malle.
The British-Irish actor achieved international recognition playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which he received his first Academy Award nomination. He received seven further Oscar nominations – for Becket (1964), The Lion in Winter (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Ruling Class (1972), The Stunt Man (1980), My Favorite Year (1982), and Venus (2006) – and holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations without a win. He won four Golden Globe Awards, one British Academy Film Award, and one Primetime Emmy Award. In 2002, O’Toole was the recipient of the Honorary Academy Award, whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters.
8. George Peppard
Peppard secured a major role when he starred alongside Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), and later portrayed a character based on Howard Hughes in The Carpetbaggers(1964). On television, he played the title role of millionaire insurance investigator and sleuth Thomas Banacek in the early-1970s mystery series Banacek. He played Col. John “Hannibal” Smith, the cigar-smoking leader of a renegade commando squad, in the hit 1980s action show The A-Team.
7. Dustin Hoffman
American actor and director with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1980 (for Kramer vs. Kramer) and 1989 (for Rain Man).
He first drew critical praise for starring in the play Eh?, for which he won a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award. This was soon followed by his breakthrough 1967 film role as Benjamin Braddock, the title character, in The Graduate. Since then, Hoffman’s career has largely been focused on cinema, with sporadic returns to television and the stage. His subsequent notable films include Midnight Cowboy, Little Big Man, Straw Dogs, Papillon, Lenny, Marathon Man, All the President’s Men, Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man, Hook and Wag the Dog.
6. Sean Connery
Best known for portraying the character James Bond, starring in seven Bond films between 1962 and 1983, Connery has been polled as “The Greatest Living Scot” and “Scotland’s Greatest Living National Treasure”.In 1988, Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables. His film career also includes such films as Marnie, The Name of the Rose, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Hunt for Red October, Highlander, Murder on the Orient Express, Dragonheart, and The Rock.
Redford’s career began in 1960 as a guest star on numerous TV programs, including The Untouchables, Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Twilight Zone, among others. He earned an Emmy nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his performance in The Voice of Charlie Pont (1962). His biggest Broadway success was as the stuffy newlywed husband of Elizabeth Ashley in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park (1963).
Redford made his film debut in War Hunt (1962). His role in Inside Daisy Clover (1965) won him a Golden Globe for best new star. He starred in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), which was a huge success and made him a major star. In 1972, he had a critical and box office hit with Jeremiah Johnson (1972), and in 1973 had the biggest hit of his career, the blockbuster crime caper The Sting, for which he was also nominated for an Academy Award. The popular and acclaimed All the President’s Men (1976) was a landmark film for Redford.
Beatty is only the second person to have been nominated for acting, directing, writing and producing in the same film – doing so first with Heaven Can Wait (1978), and again with Reds – succeeding Orson Welles, who was nominated for all four for Citizen Kane (1941).
3. Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood rose to international fame with his role as the Man with No Name in Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy of spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s, and as antihero cop Harry Callahan in the five Dirty Harry films throughout the 1970s and 1980s. These roles, among others, have made him an enduring cultural icon of masculinity.
Paul Newman was a prolific American actor, film director, entrepreneur, professional racing driver and team owner, environmentalist, activist and philanthropist.Newman starred in Exodus (1960), The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), Harper (1966), Hombre (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Towering Inferno (1974), Slap Shot (1977), and The Verdict (1982). He teamed with fellow actor Robert Redford and director George Roy Hill for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973).
1. Steve McQueen
Called “The King of Cool”, his “anti-hero” persona, developed at the height of the counterculture of the 1960s, made Steve McQueen a top box-office draw of the 1960s and 1970s. McQueen received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles. His other popular films include The Cincinnati Kid, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, and Papillon, as well as the all-star ensemble films The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and The Towering Inferno. In 1974, he became the highest-paid movie star in the world, although he did not act in films again for four years. McQueen was combative with directors and producers, but his popularity placed him in high demand and enabled him to command large salaries.