The first actor to break the $1 million dollar threshold was Marlon Brando (USA), who was paid $1.25 million – equivalent today to $8.8 million – for his starring role as Fletcher Christian in Mutiny on the Bounty (USA, 1962).
With his small part as Jor-El in Superman (1978), he also broke the $3 million mark; he also negotiated a share of the profits, thereby earning $14 million. ($46 million today) for just 10 minutes of screen time.
With his win for portraying gay activist Harvey Milk in Milk (USA, 2008), Sean Penn (USA) became the ninth actor to share the accolade of winning two Oscar trophies for Best Actor; his other was for Mystic River (USA, 2003). Marlon Brando (USA), Gary Cooper (USA), Daniel Day-Lewis (UK), Tom Hanks (USA), Dustin Hoffman (USA), Fredric March (USA), Jack Nicholson (USA), and Spencer Tracy (USA) round out the list.
Sylvester Stallone (USA) has the dubious honor of being nominated for the annual Golden Raspberry “Worst in Film” Awards a record 30 times (winning 10); nine of the nominations (1984-92) were consecutive, also a record. The Razzies were first awarded in 1981 by US copywriter John Wilson as a lighthearted complement to the American Academy Awards (Oscars).
Over the past year, the movies of Samuel L Jackson (USA) have grossed a further $150.3 million at the box office, taking his total career box-office gross to $7.57 billion.
One character has inspired more Best Actor Oscar nominations than any other: Henry VIII of England (1491-1547). Pictured from top to bottom are Charles Laughton (UK) in The Private Life of Henry VIII (UK, 1933), for which he won the Oscar; Robert Shaw in A Man for All Seasons (UK, 1966); and Richard Burton (UK) in Anne of the Thousand Days (UK, 1969).
Anthony Hopkins (UK) won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in The Silence of the Lambs (USA, 1991), despite appearing on screen for little more than 16 minutes.
In 2004, Ben Stiller (USA) received a record five Golden Raspberry Worst Actor nominations in one year, for Along Came Polly, Anchorman, Dodgeball, Envy, and Starsky & Hutch (all USA).
In 2007, Eddie Murphy (USA) 41) won five Razzie nominations for just one film: Norbit (USA). He played three characters, all of whom won a Worst Actor trophy; two of the characters were nominated for Worst Couple, and Murphy was nominated for Worst Screenplay.
Pirates star Johnny Depp (USA) regains his position this year (2010) as the most powerful actor in Hollywood. Candidates for this role are assessed on their salary, web hits, news agency and magazine coverage, Celebdaq rating, IMDB star rating, and so on, for a 12- month period.
The number of times that Jack Nicholson (USA) has been short-listed for an Oscar – the most nominations for an actor.
Following his role in The Dark Knight (USA, 2008), his death at just 28, and his posthumous Oscar award, Heath Ledger (Australia) topped the list of “fastest rising” male searched for on Google in 2008.
Daniel Radcliffe’s (UK) starring roles in the five Harry Potter movies – plus parts in The Tailor of Panama (USA/Ireland, 2001) and December Boys (Australia, 2007) – means that he remains unbeaten as the highest-average-grossing / box-office star in a leading role, raking in an average of $558 million (1383 million)per film. He is also, therefore, the highest-grossing actor of the decade.
With 20 movies in his filmography classed as “blockbusters,” Tom Cruise has appeared in the most $100-million grossing movies. His first blockbuster was Top Gun (USA, 1986), which earned $345 million; his most recent – Valkyrie (USA/Germany, 2008), a real-life story about the attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler – grossed just over $165 million. Despite this, Cruise was named as the most overpaid actor of the year (see below).
Forbes magazine has named Tom Cruise (USA) the world’s most overpaid actor, based on the relationship between the profitability of his movies and the size of his fees. Cruise – named as the most powerful actor in Hollywood in 2008 – had a recent run of movies that underperformed at the box office, including Lions for Lambs (USA, 2007), which earned just $1.88 for every $1 he was paid. For his last three movies (plus their first three months of DVD sales), Cruise grossed an average of $4 for every $1 he was paid.
Keanu Reeves (USA) received a salary of $15 million for each of the two Matrix sequels, Reloaded and Revolutions (both USA/ Australia, 2003), plus 15% of the box-office gross. The Matrix (USA/Australia, 1999) earned the actor $10 million plus 10% of the gross, putting his earnings for the trilogy at an estimated $260 million – an average of $87 million per movie.
In 2009, Heath Ledger (Australia, 1979-2008) became only the second person ever to win an acting Oscar after his death (for the role of The Joker in the 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight, USA). The first actor to win an acting Oscar posthumously was Peter Finch (UK) for his role as Howard Beale in Network (USA, 1975). The most posthumous Oscar nominations for an actor is two, by James Dean (USA, 1931-55) as Cal Trask in East of Eden (USA, 1955) and as Jett Rink in Giant (USA, 1956).
According to the UK Daily Mail newspaper, Daniel Radcliffe will earn $50 million for reprising his role as Harry Potter in the last two movies of the series — not bad, considering that his first Potter paycheck was for just $362,000!
(Source: Guinness World Records 2010 – The Book of the Decade)