Willem Dafoe gets top billing for me. He is the brightest shining beacon of light in the acting community, and serves as an example to a younger generation of actors. Even the not so good movies he has been in have been easy to watch because of his presence.
Johnny Depp (the most noteworthy actor of my generation by far, he's settled nicely into his reputation of having exceptional depth as an actor. He had to revolt against a false public perception of him for so long, and he finally got his dues in the last decade or so)
Gary Oldman (an astounding, frightening man- cooler than cool)
John Cusack (fantastic dry comedic ability, and a very comfortable person to watch on the screen. Who doesn't feel like they know him on some level?)
Benicio Del Toro (oh, lord, this man is amazing. When I saw him in Traffic, my mouth was agape for almost the entire duration of the film. What an amazing talent, and an extremely sexy individual to boot)
Marlon Brando (Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront. 'Nuff said)
Russel Crowe (The film The Insider blew me away for his performance alone. It almost made me sick to realize that I was SO in the dark that acting like that was even possible. Not sure there's a better compliment than that)
Tim Roth ( this guy is SO cool, so British, gets into fights when he drinks, is moody, unpredictable, sexy-- the perfect ingredients to make a fantastic actor)
And now for the ladies.....
Juliette Binoche (after I saw her in The Unbearable Lightness of Being-- the film treatment of my favorite book by Milan Kundera, I made it a point to see just about everything else she's been in. She's honest, captivating, her depth is unending, and her eyes draw you in like a warm fire)
Kate Winslet (I feel that Kate is an underrated actress. Let's forget Titanic ever happened, and focus on her indy films and those that had lesser box office results for a moment. Without the shackles of big Hollywood around her, she shines in a way that 99% of actresses today wish they could. Can't touch her ability, she's outstanding)
Cate Blanchette (One word for you-- Elizabeth)