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Greatest Film Performances of the 1980s (US/UK)

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Criteria: Film Performances of the 1980s are ranked based on initial and lasting acclaim, popular and cultural recognition, plus influence. In order to qualify for this list the performance has to come from a predominately English-language film produced or co-produced by American or British production companies.

List Begun: 2019-10-20
More:   2010s  |   2000s  |   1990s  |   1980s  |   1970s  |   1960s  |   1950s  |   1940s  |   1930s
  Actor - Film Title (Year of Release)
  1. Robert De Niro - Raging Bull (1980)
  2. Meryl Streep - Sophie's Choice (1982)
  3. Daniel Day-Lewis - My Left Foot (1989)
  4. Dustin Hoffman - Rain Man (1988)
  5. Ben Kingsley - Gandhi (1982)
  6. Shirley MacLaine - Terms of Endearment (1983)
  7. F. Murray Abraham - Amadeus (1984)
  8. Kenneth Branagh - Henry V (1989)
  9. Dustin Hoffman - Tootsie (1982)
10. Meryl Streep - The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
11. Dennis Hopper - Blue Velvet (1986)
12. Sissy Spacek - The Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
13. John Hurt - The Elephant Man (1980)
14. Henry Fonda - On Golden Pond (1981)
15. Katharine Hepburn - On Golden Pond (1981)
16. Robert De Niro - The King of Comedy (1982)
17. Willem Dafoe - Platoon (1986)
18. Michael Douglas - Wall Street (1987)
19. Meryl Streep - Silkwood (1983)
20. Burt Lancaster - Atlantic City (1980)
21. Jack Nicholson - The Shining (1980)
22. Robert Duvall - Tender Mercies (1983)
23. Albert Finney - Under the Volcano (1984)
24. Sally Field - Places in the Heart (1984)
25. Robert De Niro - Once Upon A Time In America (1984)
26. Al Pacino - Scarface (1983)
27. Jodie Foster - The Accused (1988)
28. William Hurt - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
29. Geraldine Page - The Trip to Bountiful (1985)
30. Paul Newman - The Color of Money (1986)
31. Gary Oldman - Sid & Nancy (1986)
32. Morgan Freeman - Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
33. Glenn Close - Fatal Attraction (1987)
34. Anjelica Huston - Prizzi's Honor (1985)
35. Jack Nicholson - Terms of Endearment (1983)
36. Tom Courtenay - The Dresser (1983)
37. Paul Newman - The Verdict (1982)
38. Timothy Hutton - Ordinary People (1980)
39. Jack Lemmon - Missing (1982)
40. Jon Voight - Runaway Train (1985)
41. James Woods - Salvador (1986)
42. Harrison Ford - Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
43. Glenn Close - Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
44. Tom Hanks - Big (1988)
45. Raúl Juliá - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
46. Kevin Kline - A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
47. Sean Connery - The Untouchables (1987)
48. Jessica Tandy - Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
49. Denzel Washington - Glory (1989)
50. Morgan Freeman - Street Smart (1987)
51. Whoopi Goldberg - The Color Purple (1985)
52. Marlee Matlin - Children of a Lesser God (1986)
53. Harrison Ford - Witness (1985)
54. Pauline Collins - Shirley Valentine (1989)
55. Michelle Pfeiffer - The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
56. Tom Cruise - Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
57. Andie MacDowell - Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
58. Robin Williams - Dead Poets Society (1989)
59. Gene Hackman - Mississippi Burning (1988)
60. Robert Downey Jr. - Less Than Zero (1987)
61. Haing S. Ngor - The Killing Fields (1984)
62. Peggy Ashcroft - A Passage to India (1984)
63. Albert Finney - The Dresser (1983)
64. Joe Pesci - Raging Bull (1980)
65. Peter O'Toole - The Stunt Man (1980)
66. Mary Tyler Moore - Ordinary People (1980)
67. Dianne Wiest - Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
68. Bob Hoskins - Mona Lisa (1986)
69. Gena Rowland - Gloria (1980)
70. John Malkovich - Places in the Heart (1984)
71. James Woods - Once Upon A Time In America (1984)
72. Jeff Bridges - Starman (1984)
73. Christopher Walken - The Dead Zone (1983)
74. Tom Hulce - Amadeus (1984)
75. Robert Redford - Out Of África (1985)
76. Edward James Olmos - Stand and Deliver (1988)
77. Meryl Streep - Out of Africa (1985)
78. Jessica Lange - Frances (1982)
79. Peter O'Toole - My Favourite Year (1982)
80. John Gielgud - Arthur (1981)
81. Jane Alexander - Testament (1983)
82. Vanessa Redgrave - The Bostonians (1984)
83. Cher - Silkwood (1983)
84. Jeremy Irons - Dead Ringers (1988)
85. Meryl Streep - Ironweed (1987)
86. Cher - Moonstruck (1987)
87. Sigourney Weaver - Aliens (1986)
88. Danny Aiello - Do the Right Thing (1989)
89. Morgan Freeman - Glory (1989)
90. Jack Nicholson - Ironweed (1987)
91. Albert Brooks - Broadcast News (1987)
92. Robin Williams - Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
93. Debra Winger - Terms of Endearment (1983)
94. Diane Keaton - Reds (1981)
95. Julie Andrews - Victor/Victoria (1982)
96. Diane Keaton - Shoot the Moon (1982)
97. Donald Sutherland - Ordinary People (1980)
98. Paul Newman - Absence of Malice (1981)
99. Jack Nicholson - Prizzi's Honor (1985)
100. Holly Hunter - Broadcast News (1987)

101. Jack Nicholson - Reds (1981)
102. Dudley Moore - Arthur (1981)
103. Sissy Spacek - Missing (1982)
104. Rutger Hauer - Blade Runner (1982)
105. Jeremy Irons - The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981)
106. Sissy Spacek - Crimes of the Heart (1986)
107. Klaus Maria Brandauer - Out of Africa (1985)
108. Michelle Pfeiffer - Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
109. Glenn Close - The World According to Garp (1982)
110. Michael Caine - Educating Rita (1983)
111. Sigourney Weaver - Gorillas in the Mist (1988)
112. Kathleen Turner - Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
113. Michael Caine - Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
114. Sally Kirkland - Anna (1987)
115. Robert Redford - The Natural (1984)
116. Tom Conti - Reuben, Reuben (1983)
117. Julie Walters - Educating Rita (1983)
118. Mary Steenburger - Melvin and Howard (1980)
119. Cathy Moriarty - Raging Bull (1980)
120. Jack Lemmon - Tribute (1980)
121. Olympia Dukakis - Moonstruck (1987)
122. Melanie Griffith - Working Girl (1988)
123. Bruce Davison - Longtime Companion (1989)
124. Jessica Lange - Music Box (1989)
125. Robert Preston - Victor/Victoria (1982)
126. Anthony Hopkins - The Elephant Man (1980)
127. Bob Hoskins - The Long Good Friday (1980)
128. Robin Williams - Moscow on the Hudson (1984)
129. Frances McDormand - Blood Simple (1984)
130. Susan Sarandon - Bull Durham (1988)
131. Peter O'Toole - The Last Emperor (1987)
132. Jessica Lange - Sweet Dreams (1985)
133. Christopher Lloyd - Back to the Future (1985)
134. Denzel Washington - Cry Freedom (1987)
135. Meryl Streep - A Cry in the Dark (1988)
136. Christine Lahti - Swing Shift (1984)
137. Kathleen Turner - Romancing the Stone (1984)
138. Martin Landau - Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
139. Dexter Gordon - Round Midnight (1986)
140. Jane Fonda - The Morning After (1986)
141. Shirley MacLaine - Madame Sousatzka (1988)
142. Tom Berenger - Platoon (1986)
143. Gene Hackman - Hoosiers (1986)
144. Roberto Benigni - Down by Law (1986)
145. Daniel Day-Lewis - A Room with a View (1986)
146. Robert De Niro - The Untouchables (1987)
147. Linda Hunt - The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
148. Louis Gossett Jr. - An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
149. Harrison Ford - Blade Runner (1982)
150. Alec Guinness - Little Dorrit (1988)
151. Brenda Fricker - My Left Foot (1989)
152. Robert De Niro - Midnight Run (1988)
153. Marlon Brando - A Dry White Season (1989)
154. Meg Ryan - When Harry Met Sally... (1989)
155. Roddy McDowall - Fright Night (1985)
156. Bernadette Peters - Pennies from Heaven (1981)
157. Howard E. Rollins - Ragtime (1981)
158. Jason Robards - Melvin and Howard (1980)
159. Susan Sarandon - Atlantic City (1980)
160. Maureen Stapleton - Reds (1981)
161. Ian Holm - Chariots of Fire (1981)
162. Warren Beatty - Reds (1981)
163. Maggie Smith - A Private Function (1984)
164. Bill Murray - Ghostbusters (1984)
165. Mia Farrow - The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
166. Vanessa Redgrave - Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
167. Julia Roberts - Steel Magnolias (1989)
168. Gary Oldman - Prick Up Your Ears (1987)
169. John Gielgud - Plenty (1985)
170. Anne Bancroft - Agnes of God (1985)
171. Richard E. Grant - Withnail & I (1987)
172. R. Lee Ermey - Full Metal Jacket (1987)
173. Martin Landau - Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
174. John Cleese - A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
175. Sean Connery - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
176. Ellen Burstyn - Ressurection (1980)
177. Leslie Nielsen - Airplane! (1980)
178. Jerry Lewis - The King of Comedy (1982)
179. Melinda Dillon - Absence of Malice (1981)
180. Ben Cross - Chariots of Fire (1981)
181. Ian Charleson - Chariots of Fire (1981)
182. Chloe Webb - Sid & Nancy (1986)
183. Jeff Goldblum - The Fly (1986)
184. Christian Bale - Empire of the Sun (1987)
185. Dennis Hopper - Hoosiers (1986)
186. Eric Roberts - Star 80 (1983)
187. Charles Durning - To Be or Not to Be (1983)
188. John Lithgow - The World According to Garp (1982)
189. Debra Winger - An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
190. John Lithgow - Terms of Endearment (1983)
191. Alfre Woodard - Cross Creek (1983)
192. Sam Shepard - The Right Stuff (1983)
193. Tom Cruise - Risky Business (1983)
194. Don Ameche - Cocoon (1985)
195. Eric Stoltz - Mask (1985)
196. Jeff Daniels - The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
197. Sissy Spacek - Raggedy Man (1981)
198. Christopher Walken - Pennies from Heaven (1981)
199. Tom Hulce - Dominick and Eugene (1988)
200. Geena Davis - The Accidental Tourist (1988)

scene from Raging Bull with Robert De Niro

scene from Sophie's Choice with Meryl Streep

scene from My Left Foot with Daniel Day-Lewis

scene from Rain Man with Dustin Hoffman

scene from Gandhi with Ben Kingsley

scene from Terms of Endearment with Shirley MacLaine








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