You read that right, of the 18 actors on the list below, they’ve appeared in a combined total of more than 7,000 movies. 7,092 to be exact! You may recognize a few on the list such as Christopher Lee or Danny Trejo, but we’re pretty confident a few of the names you’ll be reading will be the first time you see them.
The United States has the most representatives – just over half with 11 out of the 18, for a 61.11% majority. India comes in 2nd place with 22.22% or 4 actors in the top 18. Canada makes it in with two homegrown actors, and England just sneaking in with a single star.
Only two of the actors were born past 1950 – one in 1951 and the other in 1956. As we expect, appearing in many movies takes quite a while so it’s no surprise many of these actors are (or were, if they’ve passed away) quite old. You’ll even find two actors from the 19th Century who’ll be joining us. Both were born in 1892. From what we know, there are no more living humans born in the 19th Century, so you may not be surprised to find out both the actors have passed as well. However, their legacy lives on!
Just by reading this article, you are keeping them alive. That’s your good deed done for the day!
Alrighty, enough jibber-jabber, let’s get on to the list.
Here are the actors which have appeared in the most amount of movies:
|Mel Blanc||1142||United States||30-May-1908|
|Oliver Hardy||416||United States||18-Jan-1892|
|John Carradine||350||United States||05-Feb-1906|
|Mickey Rooney||335||United States||23-Sep-1920|
|Danny Trejo||329||United States||16-May-1944|
|Robert Loggia||224||United States||03-Jan-1930|
|Ernest Borgnine||204||United States||24-Jan-1917|
|Ernie Hudson||191||United States||17-Dec-1945|
|James Earl Jones||183||United States||17-Jan-1931|
|George Kennedy||181||United States||18-Feb-1925|
|Louis Gossett Jr.||173||United States||27-May-1936|
Mel Blanc – 1,142 – IMDB
If you don’t recognize him, don’t worry, not many people do. Appropriately named “The Man of [a] Thousand Voices”, Mel Blanc is one true legend of the Hollywood industry. You see, Mel was a voice actor, but not just any voice actor. His voice is likely to continue to be heard by the many millions of children around the world for decades to come.
His work ranges from radio programs to television series, and cartoons to movies. Mel has not only voiced the characters in some of the most popular cartoon shows of all time, he also played a part in developing them, allowing him to showcase his amazing talents.
Here’s just a few of the long list of characters Mel voiced:
- Bugs Bunny
- Daffy Duck
- Porky Pig
- Tweety Bird
- Speedy Gonzalez
Check out this article for a full list of characters.
As we all must do, Mel passed away in 1989 from heart disease and emphysema. We are extremely thankful for Mel’s efforts throughout his career and believe he’s well deserving of claiming the number one position with the highest number of acting appearances.
Picador Porky (1937)
The Flinstones (1960-1966)
Bugs Bunny and Tweety (1992)
Brahmanandam – 1,003 – IMDB
Want to hear something crazy? Brahmanandam has now been acting for just 30 years with over a thousand movies under his belt. We got out our calculators and found out there are 360 months in 30 years, meaning he’s acted in an average of 2.8 movies PER MONTH. We aren’t entirely sure how this is possible, but we’re putting our trust in the IMDB gods that this is, in fact, the case.
Brahmanandam is considered by many to be the greatest comedians of the Telugu Film Industry (also known as Tollywood). He’s won numerous awards including Best Comedian, Best Male Comedian, and Best Supporting Actor. None of these, however, stand up to the award he received in 2009.
The Indian government announced Brahmanandam would receive the Padma Shri award – the fourth highest civilian award in the country. It was awarded to him for his extensive contributions to art in India. He received the award along with 92 others in 2009.
Jagathy Sreekumar – 584 – IMDB
Lin from IMDB seems to fancy Jagathy quite a lot, updating his bio to state he’s one of the best actors [to] ever grace Indian film. Jagathy is a proud man, having never taken advantage of his father’s connections in the movie industry to get himself roles, but rather earning it all himself.
At the present time, Jagathy is taking a hiatus from his extensive acting career following a car accident in 2012. His Wikipedia page states he’s appeared in nearly double the number of movies we’ve attributed to him, but there were no sources so we’re unable to confirm. We’ll stick with the IMDB number for now.
Jagathy has won a number of awards, including his most recent in 2015 where he was commended with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Asianet Comedy Awards.
Chattambi Kalyani (1975)
The Reporter (2015)
Adoor Bhasi – 566 – IMDB
Known by his stage name of Adoor Bhasi, he was born into this world as one K. Bhaskaran Nair. Similar to Samuel L. Jackson and Michelle Rodriguez, Adoor normally played the same character in all the movies he was cast. That character being the man who stands next to the hero, or the Robin to Batman as you might say.
He passed away in 1990, but his legacy lives on. He was awarded Best Actor at the Kerala State Film Awards on two occasions, first in 1974 and a second time in 1979. He also took home the Second Best Actor in 1984 – not a bad effort!
Besides his eloquent comedic roles throughout his career, Adoor is also remembered by fans for his incredible speeches in fluent English. He also expanded his career slightly and directed three films in the second half of the 70s.
Gnana Sundari (1961)
Chakkikotha Chankaran (1989)
Prem Nazir – 513 – IMDB
You can tell by his suaveness in the photo above, this guy was good. Prem Nazir knew exactly what he had accomplished, and he was keen on continuing to do so. On multiple occasions, media and fans have pronounced Prem as the biggest star in Malayalam film history.
One report from The Times of India believes he was the ultimate romantic hero in most of the movies he made due to his unparalleled handsomeness, especially when he was acting in romantic song sequences. A quote if you will:
Handsome, suave and charming — Prem Nazir made running around trees more romantic than any hero in Mollywood
Prem passed away in 1989 whilst being treated for a viral fever along with measles and a hospital in Madras.
Visappinte Vili (1952)
Lal Americayil (1989)
Oliver Hardy – 416 – IMDB
Known for playing one-half of the classic comedy duo Laurel and Hardy during the era of silent films, Oliver comes in at the solid position of number 6 with IMDB accrediting him with 416 movies. 107 of these were in partnership with Stan Laurel (the other half), where they acted timeless comedy skits in both short and feature films.
His chubby appearance aided in his act, allowing him to compose facial expressions even the most depressed would crack a grin at. Head to Google and give him a search in the images if you don’t believe us!
Oliver suffered a heart attack in 1954. Two years later, he lost over 150 pounds following his decision to start taking care of his health. As you may have guessed, he became almost completely unrecognizable by his fans. He passed away three years later in 1957.
Outwitting Dad (1914)
The Flying Deuces (1939)
John Carradine – 350 – IMDB
One of the longest acting careers on the list, John Carradine was in the industry for more than 60 years, and even appeared in a film 7 years after his death. Giving Paul Walker some catching up to do!
Unlike many of the comedians you’ll find here, John preferred a different sort of genre. He was into horrors, shootouts (Westerns), and the Shakespearean style of theater. John also claimed he only started getting paid for his films after doing 70 for free! Dedication right there.
He was a busy fellow in the family department, going through four wives who gave him a total of five children between them, four of which became actors themselves. Their family is so widely known in the acting industry, they even have a dedicated Wikipedia page!
John passed away in 1988 due to natural causes. David, one of his sons, was by his side at the time of death. This is what he had to say:
When he died, I was holding him in my arms. I reached out and closed his eyes. It’s not as easy as it is in the movies.
Bright Lights (1930)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Mickey Rooney – 335 – IMDB
Check out the two dates below of his first, and most recent appearance on our screens. We’ll save you some time and let you know Mickey’s acting career spans more than 91 years – the longest on the list. As his most recent film was released three years after his death, and he was born six years before his first movie, he spent 96.7% of his life acting. That’s a feat not to turn your head at!
His first movie appearance came when he was just six years old, but that wasn’t his first time on stage. As the tender young age of 17 months old, his parents were already bringing him on stage during their vaudeville (burlesque comedy, song, and dance) performances. During these performances, Mickey was dressed up in a specially tailored tuxedo – almost guaranteeing him the title of ‘Most Suave 17-Month Old in 1921’.
Unfortunately, even with the plethora of accredited appearances under his belt, Mickey never won an Oscar. He’ll forever remain the true victim behind the LEO DICAPRIO NEVER WON AN OSCAR meme.
Not to Be Trusted (1926)
The Fox and the Hound (1981)
Dr. Jekyll and Mmr. Hyde (2017)
Danny Trejo – 329 – IMDB
The stache. You can’t have one without the other. Danny is the stache. And he’s taken his stache with him to appear in a huge 329 movies and counting. We say counting because if you head over to his IMDB page (link above), you’ll see Danny’s appearing in no less than 15 movies being released in 2017. Yep, he gets around!
Despite his wild success in the acting industry today, it wasn’t always the case. Danny was in and out of jail for numerous offences and soon picked up a nasty drug addiction. Fortunately, he’s now been sober for nearly 50 years! Awesome stuff.
You may not know him from Machete, but it’s one of the few movies in which he plays one of the main characters. Usually, he’s supporting the protagonist with his usual role – a gangster.
Project A (1983)
Death Race: Anarchy (2018)
Christopher Lee – 276 – IMDB
The legend, the one, the only – Christopher Lee. You may not know his name, but you definitely know one of the characters he’s played. Check out this all-star list of movies he’s been in:
- Lord of the Rings Trilogy
- Star Wars
- The Hobbit
- Alice in Wonderland
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factor
- Sleepy Hollow
Of course, we can’t forget his extensive appearances as Dracula. Go ahead, Google his name and you’ll find countless images of him dressed up in the 20th Century vampire attire.
What goes up, unfortunately, must come down. Christopher passed away in 2015 at the age of 93. His career was long-lived and well recognized, having taken home 22 awards along with another 12 nominations. All well deserved.
Lord of the Rings (2001)
The Time War (2017)
Mary Pickford – 250 – IMDB
Born in Toronto, Canada, Mary Pickford and the 250 movies she’s starred in are the only representative of the female population! She’s done an awesomely fantastic job to get here, well deserving of her Oscar and two other awards she’s received for her acting talents.
She was one of the pioneers in the early Hollywood industry and played an important role in the overall development of the movie scene. Throughout the 1910s and the 1920s, Mary was one of the most popular actors – earning her the well-fitting title Queen of the Movies.
Mrs. Jones Entertains (1909)
Robert Loggia – 224 – IMDB
With an acting career spanning more than 53 years, Robert has likely starred in at least one of the movies you’ve seen over your lifetime, if not more. He’s had a consistent career through each decade, rarely taking time off and disappearing from the scene. And that consistent career has landed him on this list! With 224 movies next to his name.
Robert’s acting talents haven’t gone unrecognized, don’t you worry about that. He’s been nominated for eight awards, including one Oscar, and went on to win another six. Of those six, quite a few were for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
Besides Scarface, you may have seen him pop up in the blockbuster hits – Independence Day and Independence Day: Resurgence.
Search for Tomorrow (1951)
The Red Maple Leaf (2016)
Ernest Borgnine – 204 – IMDB
Born in 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut, Ernest was of the prime enlistment age when WWII came around, and that’s exactly what he did. He served in the Navy from 1935-1941, and then again from 1942-1945 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Two years later, Ernest landed his first stage appearance in State of the Union. As it goes, the rest is history.
Over his 204 movies, he’s been awarded an Oscar, 16 other awards, and has been nominated for another 10. Quite a few of them came from a single film – Marty (1955). For this role, he won Best Actor at the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, Golden Globes, NBR Awards, and the NYFCC Awards. Raw talent right there.
Ernest passed away in 2012 from kidney failure. He was 95 years old at the time and was surrounded by his family and friends when he passed.
China Corsair (1951)
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
SpongeBob Squarepants (2012)
Ernie Hudson – 191 – IMDB
If there’s something strange…in your neighborhood…Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Who’s gonna pick up? Ernie Hudson might! It’s not even arguable, Ghostbusters is by far, Ernie’s most recognizable movie he’s starred in.
Born in Michigan in 1945, Ernie first tried enlisting into the Marine Corps, but due to his asthma, was dismissed shortly after. And aren’t we ever so grateful! If he wasn’t, he may never have enrolled at Wayne State University to develop his writing and acting skills.
After his first appearance on screens in 1976, it took him just eight years to land the biggest role of his movie career. And he hasn’t looked back since. As you can see, he’s appeared in more than 190 movies, making him one of the busiest actors of all time.
James Earl Jones – 183 – IMDB
If James Earl Jones can continue appearing in movies until 2022, it’ll be a massive 70 years he’s been acting. And let us tell you, he’s gained some damn fine skills over those years. Winning 22 awards including Golden Globes, Primetime Emmy’s, Grammy’s, and even a Lifetime Achievement Award. That’s not all – he’s even been nominated for another 24! Let’s hope we see these two numbers increase in the near future.
The LA Times once described James as:
One of the greates actors in American history.
As with Mel Blanc, you may not know his face, but you’ll likely know one of the characters he’s voiced. Darth Vader from Star Wars, Mufasa from Lion King, and much more. You can check out a full list of his voice roles here.
Guiding Light (1952)
The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King (2019)
George Kennedy – 181 – IMDB
If you call yourself a millennial, you may not know who George Kennedy is, but let’s hope this little segment will turn that around. Four awards under his belt, including one Oscar, another five nominations, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, make George’s movies definitely worth checking out.
Besides Cool Hand Luke, he’s known for his roles in The Naked Gun series and his 74 appearances on the TV series Dallas (1988-1991). During the early starts of his career, he mainly starred in TV series but was soon to expand into movies after realizing how lucrative and interesting they were.
George passed away on February 28, 2016, just 6 months following the death of his wife and the end of his 38 year marriage.
The Phil Silvers Show (1956)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
The Gambler (2014)
Louis Gossett Jr. – 173 – IMDB
If you’re a PC gamer, you may be wishing Louis never dies as it may be the nail in the coffin for Half-Life 3 (given he was the voice of Vortigaunt in Half-Life 2). With that in mind, we’re sure you’ll be able to entertain yourself with at least one of the other 172 movies Louis’ has appeared in!
Born in 1936 in New York City, he was just 17 years old during his first stage appearance. Some may say his acting career was fate, as the only reason he took acting classes was because of sports injury.
He went on to star in multiple Broadway plays before moving on to TV series and movies. And by golly did he love movies! Louis has gone all out in achieving a massive 173 accredited appearances, and he’s not stopping anytime soon. Two more movies are currently in pre-production, and another two have just been announced.
Maybe in a few years time, we’ll see Louis climbing up a bit higher on the list!
The Big Story (1957)
Enemy Mine (1985)
Breaking Brooklyn (2017)
Donald Sutherland – 172 – IMDB
Lucky last! We’re not sure why we chose to include a total of 18 actors, but we’re sure glad we did. Because of we’d chose 17 instead, Donald wouldn’t have been here! Standing tall at nearly 6′ 4″, we’re quite confident you’ll know Donald from his face, if not his unique Canadian voice.
Besides The Italian Job, he’s starred in The Dirty Dozen (1967), JFK (1991), Cold Mountain (2003), and all of The Hunger Games. None of these, however, were to grant him his two most valuable awards.
Nominated for seven Golden Globes, he managed to take home two for his part in Citizen X (1995) and Path to War (2002). Both were for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television.
Donald shows no signs of slowing down, with multiple movies coming out in 2017 and beyond.
Studio 4 (1962)
The Italian Job (2003)