Top 20 Performances of 1961

by Aunt-Peg | created - 01 Sep 2011 | updated - 01 Jan 2013 | Public

These are my top 20 performances listed in order for each category (lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor & supporting actress)

1. Marcello Mastroianni

Actor |

Marcello Mastroianni was born in Fontana Liri, Italy in 1924, but soon his family moved to Turin and then Rome. During WW2 he was sent to a German prison camp, but he managed to escape and hide in Venice. He debuted in films as an extra in Marionette (1939), then started working for the Italian ...

in La Notte (best performance by an actor in a lead role 1961)

2. Paul Newman

Actor | The Hustler

Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Arthur Sigmund Newman (died 1950) and Theresa Fetsko (died 1982). His elder brother was , Arthur S. Newman Jr., named for ...

in The Hustler (2nd choice)

3. Montgomery Clift

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta (1920-2014) and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg; 1888-1988) and William Brooks Clift (1886-...

in The Misfits (3rd choice)

4. Clark Gable

Actor | It Happened One Night

William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, to Adeline (Hershelman) and William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller. He was of German, Irish, and Swiss-German descent. When he was seven months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle ...

in The Misfits (4th choice)

5. Francisco Rabal

Actor | Goya en Burdeos

Francisco Rabal -- Paco to everyone -- was born in the mining camp where his father worked. His mother owned a small mill. At the age of six, with the Civil War breaking out, the family emigrated to Madrid and he started working as a street salesman and later in a chocolate factory, which later led...

in Virdinia (5th choice)

6. Shirley MacLaine

Actress | Terms of Endearment

Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean), was a drama teacher from Nova Scotia, Canada, and her father, Ira Owens Beaty, a professor of psychology and real estate agent, was from Virginia. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on ...

in The Children's Hour (best performance by an actress in a lead role 1961)

7. Jeanne Moreau

Actress | Jules et Jim

When people gave Louis Malle credit for making a star of Jeanne Moreau in Elevator to the Gallows (1958) immediately followed by The Lovers (1958), he would point out that Moreau by that time had already been "recognized as the prime stage actress of her generation." She had made it to the Comédie ...

in La Notte (2nd choice)

8. Deborah Kerr

Actress | The King and I

Deborah Kerr was born on 30 September 1921 in Helensburgh, Scotland, the daughter of Captain Arthur Kerr-Trimmer. She was educated at Northumberland House, Clifton, Bristol. She first performed at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London. She subsequently performed with the Oxford Repertory ...

in The Innocents (3rd choice)

9. Sophia Loren

Actress | Una giornata particolare

Sophia Loren was born as Sofia Scicolone at the Clinica Regina Margherita in Rome, Italy, on September 20, 1934. Her father, Riccardo Scicolone, was married to another woman and refused to marry her mother, Romilda Villani, despite the fact that she was the mother of his two children (Sophia and ...

in Two Women (4th choice)

10. Audrey Hepburn

Actress | Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn was born as Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium. Her mother, Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, was of a Dutch descent, and her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, of English and Austrian ancestry.

After her parents' divorce, ...

in The Children's Hour (5th choice)

11. Murray Melvin

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Murray Melvin was born on August 10, 1932 in St. Pancras, London, England. He is an actor, known for The Phantom of the Opera (2004), A Taste of Honey (1961) and Barry Lyndon (1975).

in A Taste of Honey (best performance by an actor in a supporting role 1961)

12. Gunnar Björnstrand

Actor | Det sjunde inseglet

Being the son of an acting father, Oscar Johanson, it isn't surprising that he wanted to be an actor already as a child. However, he first worked as a baker's apprentice, in a barber shop or in the docks. After the conscription he got his first role, a bit part on the theater Lilla Teatern in ...

in Through a Glass Darkly (2nd choice)

13. Jackie Gleason

Actor | The Hustler

Comedian, actor, composer and conductor, educated in New York public schools. He was a master of ceremonies in amateur shows, a carnival barker, daredevil driver and a disc jockey., and later a comedian in night clubs. By the mid-1950s he had turned to writing original music and recording a series ...

in The Hustler (3rd choice)

14. George C. Scott

Actor | Patton

George C. Scott was an immensely talented actor, a star of screen, stage and television. He was born on October 18, 1927 in Wise, Virginia, to Helena Agnes (Slemp) and George Dewey Scott. At the age of eight, his mother died, and his father, an executive at Buick, raised him. In 1945, he joined the...

in The Hustler (4th choice)

15. James Garner

Actor | The Notebook

Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s.

James Garner was born James Scott ...

in The Children's Hours (5th choice)

16. Fay Bainter

Actress | Jezebel

Fay Bainter's career began as a child performer in 1898. For some time, she was a member of the traveling cast of the Morosco Stock Company in Los Angeles. In 1912, she made her Broadway debut in 'The Rose of Panama', but this and her subsequent play 'The Bridal Path' (1913), were conspicuous ...

in The Children's Hour (best performance by an actress in a supporting role 1961)

17. Dora Bryan

Actress | A Taste of Honey

Dora Bryan was born on February 7, 1923 in Parbold, Lancashire, England as Dora May Broadbent. She was an actress, known for A Taste of Honey (1961), The Fallen Idol (1948) and Last of the Summer Wine (1973). She was married to Bill Lawton. She died on July 23, 2014 in Hove, East Sussex, England.

in A Taste of Honey (2nd choice)

18. Piper Laurie

Actress | The Hustler

Piper Laurie is a three-time Oscar nominee, nominated by BAFTA as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for best performance by an actress in 'The Hustler' with Paul Newman.

Laurie was born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit, Michigan, to Charlotte Sadie (Alperin) and Alfred Jacobs, a ...

in The Hustler (3rd choice)

19. Eleonora Brown

Actress | La ciociara

Eleonora Brown was born on August 22, 1948 in Naples, Campania, Italy. She is an actress and producer, known for Two Women (1960), The Last Judgment (1961) and Death Sentence (1968).

in Two Women (4th choice)

20. Patricia Neal

Actress | The Day the Earth Stood Still

Patricia Neal, the Oscar and Tony Award-winning actress, was born Patsy Louise Neal in Packard, Kentucky, where her father managed a coal mine and her mother was the daughter of the town doctor. She grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she attended high school. She was first bit by the acting bug...

in Breakfast at Tiffanys (5th choice)



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