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Thread: Top 30 Action-Adventure Stars ~ {ERG}

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    Default Top 30 Action-Adventure Stars ~ {ERG}

    Top 30 Action-Adventure Stars


    Who doesn't love a good list -- especially one that will cause as much debate as this one? Check out our countdown of the top 30 action/adventure stars of all time, including swashbuckling studs, sexy tomb raiders, and the baddest amnesiac to ever hit the big screen

    30. Steven Seagal


    The story goes he broke Sean Connery's wrist showing him martial-arts moves for Never Say Never Again. He's had the same firm hand ever since. Inscrutable as a cross-eyed sphinx, he lumbers along punching people out in pyrotechnics-laden pictures like Under Siege, On Deadly Ground, and Above the Law. You want straight-up mayhem, hold the wit? He's your man.

    29. Tyrone Power



    Handsome as a Calvin Klein model and a huge box office draw in multiple genres (dramas, musicals, Westerns, romantic comedies, war pictures), Power also excelled at at suave-outlaw stuff in pictures like Captain From Castile, The Black Swan, Son of Fury, and The Mark of Zorro. He looked incredibly good on a horse or in a mask, and oh, those long black eyelashes.

    28. Burt Lancaster




    Like Cary Grant, Lancaster trained as a circus acrobat. No wonder he's so agile as a swashbuckling brigand in The Crimson Pirate and a medieval rebel in The Flame and the Arrow. It's a joy to watch him kibitz with seven-time costar Kirk Douglas in Tough Guys, but he's even better clashing with Clark Gable in the WWII submarine thriller Run Silent, Run Deep.

    27. Charles Bronson




    In the '60s, Bronson was the go-to guy when you needed a hardened type for an all-star caper picture (like The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, and The Great Escape, among others). But in the '70s, he became the face of implacable vigilante justice — and a folk hero to a nation fed up with rising violent-crime statistics — as the star of the Death Wish movies.

    26. Toshiro Mifune



    If Clint Eastwood's spaghetti Western "man with no name" commissioned a genealogical tree, he'd probably find he was descended from one of Mifune's roving-warrior characters. They're a peculiar band of antiheroes, populating such Akira Kurosawa classics as Rashomon, The Seven Samurai (pictured), Yojimbo, and Sanjuro. Amoral, aggressive, and sexy, Mifune's thieving free agents aren't interested in doing good — just surviving the story's events.

    25. Wesley Snipes




    This dude never had much trouble learning his fight choreography: He's a black belt in Shotokan karate. Snipes hasn't been able to high-kick his way out of a 2008 tax-evasion conviction (an appeal is pending), but as a vampire in the Blade movies, an antiterrorist agent in Passenger 57, and a drug lord in both Demolition Man and New Jack City, he radiates untouchability.

    24. Uma Thurman



    Can anyone look at a yellow tracksuit now and not be reminded of Thurman b*****shing a samurai sword, drenched in blood from prodigious feats of vengeance against the double-crossing folks who crashed her wedding like kung-fu locusts? (Never mind that the outfit was originally a Bruce Lee fashion statement in Game of Death.) With the Kill Bill saga, Thurman instantly achieved action-icon nirvana.

    23. Matt Damon



    Before the Jason Bourne movies, who knew the star of Good Will Hunting could summon so much testosterone? Casting an actor with such a ready, winning smile as a haunted, amnesiac secret-agent killing machine felt like a leap. And yet Damon pulls off utterly credible fight scenes and chases, switching on a stone-cold-killer demeanor at will. It's like watching a sweet, placid puppy suddenly rear up and tear its master apart.

    22. Kurt Russell



    He started out a Disney child star, but came to define a very grown-up brand of bad boy. In Escape From New York (and L.A., pictured), he camouflages his pretty-boy looks as one-eyed criminal Snake Plisskin — a scowling, scruffy-bearded antihero clad in a long leather coat. He's deliciously evil, too, as a crazy stunt man in Death Proof. Psycho behavior is so much more magnetic coming from a wholesome-jock type.

    21. Pam Grier


    Ads for the 1973 vigilante flick Coffy (pictured) billed Grier as "the baddest one-chick hit squad that ever hit town." That's the way she rolls, whether in women's-prison pictures (The Big Doll House) or sexy revenge fantasies (Foxy Brown). Thanks to a career-reviving turn in 1997's Jackie Brown, an Elmore Leonard tale reborn as blaxploitation homage via Quentin Tarantino, Grier's place in the taking-care-of-business pantheon seems secure.

    20. Bruce Lee


    The phrase "muscles like steel cables" may be cliché, but that's what Lee had. Put a nunchaku in his hands and his biceps became firecrackers, unleashing freakishly speedy fusillades of martial-arts moves. He became an instant star in bone-snapping orgies like Fists of Fury and Enter the Dragon, kicking off a huge wave of adulation, but died at 32 in 1973 — the James Dean of chopsocky.

    19. Kirk Douglas



    He buffed up to box onscreen in Champion, wrestled a giant squid in Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and made a perfect gladiator-slave savior in Spartacus (pictured) long before Russell Crowe worked the territory. So give it up for Michael's dad Kirk: His grinning, hammy, cleft-chinned intensity is an unironic, over-the-top old-school counterpoint to arch minimalists like Clint Eastwood and Steven Seagal.

    18. Linda Hamilton



    She may have spent most of the first Terminator cringing and running, but Hamilton kicked endoskeleton *** in the sequel Judgment Day (pictured), boasting a commando-level prowess with weaponry and biceps that make Madonna’s look flabby. And could she look any cooler in sunglasses? Hail Sarah Connor!

    17. Nicolas Cage



    When Harrison Ford let Indy Jones' fedora get dusty for a long spell, Cage grabbed the historian-adventurer baton and scored a franchise with the National Treasure flicks (pictured: 2004's original). He’s bulked up as a long-haired prisoner in Con Air, played a chemical-expert FBI man in The Rock, assayed good and evil twins in John Woo's Face/Off, and anchored the junky comic-book thriller Ghost Rider. All that and he's got indie cred, too.

    16. Russell Crowe



    Is anybody better at conveying the rage and hurt of a wronged honorable man? No wonder Crowe copped an Oscar as Maximus Decimus Meridius, the betrayed general of Gladiator. He's equally authentic as a very civilized HMS captain in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and in 2010 he'll show off some newly acquired archery skills in Robin Hood. Our guess: another shrewdly on-target performance.
    "To catch me, you gotta be fast...
    To beat me, you gotta be strong...
    But to be me? Damn, you gotta be kiddin!!!"

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    15. Angelina Jolie



    It's hard to know which beautiful thing to focus on first. The eyes? The cheeks? The jawline? Those full, sensual lips? And that's just above the exquisite collarbone. Almost distractingly gorgeous in straight dramas, Jolie excels in action showcases like the Tomb Raider films, Wanted, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith because her beyond-mere-mortal beauty seems of a piece with the cartoonish extremity of the mayhem.

    14. Mel Gibson



    When he gave an act-of-contrition interview to Diane Sawyer after his notorious DUI arrest, Gibson said he'd long struggled to "keep a lock" on bouts of sudden, uncontrollable anger. Maybe that's part of why he's so good at conveying action-carnage fury as the nutty cop in the Lethal Weapon movies, avenging Scotsman William Wallace in Braveheart (pictured), and the world's hottest-looking post-apocalyptic survivor in the Mad Max trilogy.

    13. Tom Cruise


    The stunt everyone thinks of when they hear Cruise's name these days is the one he pulled jumping on Oprah's couch in 2005, acting out his love for Katie Holmes. Poor, beleagured Tom. Before his ebullience got so weird, he threw down plenty of credible action-hero moves in Top Gun, the Mission: Impossible series, and his Spielberg movies. Give it up for Mister Laser Gaze!

    12. Bruce Willis



    After he clicked with Cybill Shepherd in TV's screwball-comedy hit Moonlighting, Willis made two misfired movie farces. But he found his mojo by exporting his smirky, swaggery, vaguely-male-chauvinist persona into 1988's Die Hard, the terrorist-hostage cat-and-mouse game that made him a megastar. You got the feeling this guy could out-talk baddies the way Bugs Bunny ran circles around super-genius Wile E. Coyote.

    11. Steve McQueen



    He could throw a broody stare every bit as photogenic as one from James Dean or Marlon Brando. And like those '50s poster boys for rebellion, McQueen remains an icon of insolence long after his untimely death at 50 from cancer in 1980. Eternally cool in '60s actioners like The Great Escape and Bullitt (oh, that car chase), he's even magnetic delivering hokey building-safety homilies in 1974's The Towering Inferno.

    10. Sigourney Weaver



    Okay, so she's only made two action classics, and they're actually horror stories: Ridley Scott's Alien and James Cameron's Aliens (for which she nabbed a Best Actress Oscar nomination). But as Ellen Ripley, the deep-space traveler so good at staring down face-hugging interstellar parasites, Weaver defined a new kind of brawny, bare-armed female action goddess.

    9. Sylvester Stallone



    Thanks to an errant forceps, Stallone suffered nerve damage at birth that left his lower lip droopy and his tongue partially paralyzed. No wonder he was so slurrily convincing as beat-up boxer Rocky Balboa and 'Nam-vet revenge machine Rambo. Stallone probably overstayed his welcome as both characters, but in his '70s and '80s prime, he redefined male grace as a high-testosterone zone.

    8. Douglas Fairbanks



    Yes, he made silent movies. That may send you clicking to the next gallery. But c'mon — if monochrome mutes have cachet in Calvin Klein ads, why dissmiss Fairbanks? He perfected the injection of sex appeal into stunt-laden costume epics, and he radiates graceful insousciance as a swashbuckling scamp in The Mark of Zorro (pictured), The Thief of Bagdad, and Robin Hood.

    7. Michelle Yeoh



    Laws of physics don't apply to Yeoh's wire-rig-enhanced acrobatics, which can feel as much like dances as fights. Most Americans know her butt-kicking prowess from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (pictured) and the Mummy sequel Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. But like fellow Hong Kong star Jackie Chan (see next entry), she's done her best work in subtitled flicks. Sample outlandish turn: In Wing Chun, she's a hyper-coordinated tofu-stand proprietress.

    6. Jackie Chan



    The Buster Keaton of martial-arts masters. A huge star in Hong Kong before he hit Hollywood paydirt in the Rush Hour movies opposite Chris Tucker, Chan doesn't just perform chopsocky routines. He creates balletic set pieces laced with humor, turning absurdly violent fights into delightful flights of cinematic fantasy. If you've never seen his Police Story or Drunken Master films, get hopping.

    5. Errol Flynn



    Remember when action stars didn't come wrapped in steroids and curse words? Flynn defined that more gentlemanly era in 1930s and '40s swashbucklers like The Adventures of Robin Hood (pictured) and The Sea Hawk. Gallant, courtly, and dead sexy even in green tights, he played impertinent bad boys who loved women — a quality rarely prized by gun-wielding, tough-guy stoics of the '70s and beyond.

    4. Arnold Schwarzenegger



    Ah-nuld helped make a pumped-up physique an action-star requirement in the '80s, and did it with a twinkle in his eye. He also spearheaded a catchphrase-driven new strain of action flicks, deploying his Teutonic-titan accent as a cyborg killer in the Terminator movies for the perfect deadpan delivery of such ironic bon mots as "I'll be back" and "Hasta la vista, baby."

    3. Clint Eastwood



    Ah, the Clint squint. That narrow-eyed gaze bespeaks so many things: a loner's soul in the spaghetti Westerns; a hunger for vengeance bordering on pathological rage in the Dirty Harry movies; a steely competence in umpteen other Westerns and crime stories; and even a wry sense of humor in those comedies with the orangutan sidekick. Here's peering at you, kid.

    2. Sean Connery



    Roger Moore may have made the James Bond movie with the theme song "Nobody Does It Better," but who doesn't think Connery most deserves that accolade? A seven-time star as agent 007, he parlayed his Scottish burr into the suavest spy act of the Cold War era, and post-Bond, he excelled at tightly wound crusty types, from military commanders to Indy Jones' dad.

    1. Harrison Ford



    The peacock strut of Han Solo, the punch-drunk gait of Indiana Jones, the no-nonsense stride of Jack Ryan: Ford beats all challengers when it comes to defining characters through sheer physicality. He's a champion faux-brawler, too. In between b*****shing blasters, bullwhips, and pistols, he keeps a crooked, aw-shucks grin cocked above that scarred chin — and knocks us out with it at will.
    "To catch me, you gotta be fast...
    To beat me, you gotta be strong...
    But to be me? Damn, you gotta be kiddin!!!"

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    Good work.... repp error.....



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    Good work.... repp added.....

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