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Top Seven Coolest (Living) Actors of All Time

7 Coolest Actors of our Generation

In order to list the seven coolest actors of all time, one has to have an idea of what cool is.

My first inclination was to go with the old quote that “every guy wants to be him and every girl wants to be with him,” but that doesn’t seem to fully be it. No matter what, we all have different tastes in cool, just like we have in women. For example, if I asked for your ranking of the seven girls in terms of beauty on the list of Zoe Saldana, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Cate Blanchett, Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek, each of these ladies would top more than a few lists. Why? Because what we find attractive is very subjective.

Just like what we find cool.

Of course, in making this list, I’m not going to run through only my particular preferences, because then we could end up with a group of writers, and who wants that? Especially when the title of this essay is “Seven Coolest Actors of All Time”?

Clive Owen

Clive Owen

I started my list by just typing a bunch of actors that I thought were cool. When I got to 49, I realized this wasn’t working. They all act cool and I still needed a way to eliminate some of these folks. So, I said, whom would I like to get a beer with? This helped because no matter what I think about cool, the zombie Cary Grant, the zombie William Holden, the zombie Joseph Cotton, the zombie Paul Newman and the zombie Steve McQueen would not drink beer, only brain juice.

(But, seriously, if you want to see cool movies, check out “The Philadelphia Story,” “Stalag 17,” “Shadow of a Doubt,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Great Escape.” In fact, the top 5 actors to share a glass of brain juice with are those guys mentioned above. To make it seven like the other lists, just add Humphrey Bogart and John Cazale. Never heard of John Cazale? Not only is he Fredo, but he’s also someone who starred in only five movies … and they were all Oscar nominated for best picture.)

So, without further ado, here is your list of coolest living actors:

7. Clive Owen

Why he’s on the list: “Croupier,” “Gosford Park”
Question: “Who is the coolest actress and who is the coolest director you’ve worked with?”
Answer I’m hoping for: “Easy. Natalie Portman and Robert Altman.”
Beer: Guinness

6. Samuel L. Jackson

Why he’s on the list: “Pulp Fiction,” playing Nick Fury
Question: “Would I look better bald?”
Answer I’m hoping for: “How good is your personality? Because you got to be a charming motherfucker to pull off bald.”
Beer: Rogue Dead Guy Ale

5. Bruce Willis

Why he’s on the list: “Die Hard”
Question: “Do you know how cool you made it to have the last name of McClain?”
Answer: “Yes.”
Beer: Shiner Bock

4. Tom Hanks

Simon Pegg being cool

Simon Pegg being cool

Why he’s on the list: “Band of Brothers,” “The Pacific,” “From the Earth to the Moon”
Question: “Why are you always a fantastic guest on talk shows?”
Answer: “That’s a great question. We’d have to go back to when I was on ‘Bosom Buddies.’ Do you have a spare ten hours?”
Beer: Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat

3. Simon Pegg

Why he’s on the list: “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”
Question: “Which do you prefer, ‘Dawn of the Dead’ or ‘Point Break?’”
Answer: “Both are fantastic. In fact, I’ve edited them together to make one super terrific movie.”
Beer: Smithwick’s.

2. Harrison Ford

Why he’s on the list: For the love of Pete, he’s Han Solo and Indiana Jones
Question: “Did you know that Leia was Luke’s sister?”
Answer: “Star Wars is over thirty years old man, forget about it.”
Beer: Lots and lots of Mirror Pond Ale to forget my age.

[Ed. Note: I’m going to have to step in here for a moment and completely question this choice, especially at numero two. Sure, Ford’s not dead, but the guy hasn’t made a good movie in nearly 20 years. That has to count against him in some capacity.]

1. Bill Murray

Why he’s on the list: Everything
Question: “Will you adopt me?”
Answer: “Yes, we play golf at Pebble in the morning.”
Beer: One Fat Tire. I have to golf in the morning.

Feel free to debate this list in the ol’ comments section.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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