Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Greatest Stars of the 1940s Revealed! (Part 1)

The Duke just missed the Top 10!
Last month, over 195 classic movie fans participated in our online poll to determine the greatest movie stars of the 1940s. The ballot included 105 actors and actresses who were active during that decade, ranging from Fred Astaire to Orson Welles. Over the next week, we will reveal the top 25 vote-getters, starting with 11-25 today.

Amazingly, all but five performers received at least one vote. That group included some fine performers, too: Robert Young, Barry Fitzgerald, Celeste Holm, Donald Crisp, and Judith Anderson.

The poll also allowed participants to submit write-in votes and 40 people took the opportunity to add their favorites. The Priscilla Lane Fan Club mounted a campaign on that actress's behalf and she led all write-in candidates with 8 votes. British film fans noted the exclusion of Michael Redgrave, Alastair Sim, Margaret Lockwood, and Joan Greenwood. Some of the Hollywood stars that received write-in votes were Linda Darnell, Jean Arthur, Lon Chaney, Jr., Norma Shearer, and Audrey Hepburn. While a couple of these performers should have been on the ballot (e.g., Linda Darnell, Jean Arthur), most of them made only a few appearances during the 1940s. For example, Norma Shearer starred in just three movies and Audrey Hepburn's film debut was in 1951!

Without further ado, we'll start at #25 and work our way to #11. Then next week, we will unveil the Top 10!

25.  Bing Crosby.
24.  Gregory Peck.
23.  Gene Tierney.
22.  Myrna Loy.
21.  Tyrone Power.
20.  Claude Rains.
19.  Bob Hope.
18.  Ingrid Bergman,
17.  Errol Flynn.
16.  William Powell.
15.  Spencer Tracy.
14.  Fred Astaire.
13.  Rita Hayworth.
12.  James Cagney.
11.  John Wayne.


  1. This is a surprising list. I'm not surprised these folks are on the list, I just figured most of these would be in the Top 10.

    Looking forward to the actual Top 10!

    1. There was only one performer in the Top 10 that surprised me. That were a bunch of great stars in the 1940s....

  2. No John Wayne in the top 10?? The voters are crazy. Thinking maybe his great movies were still ahead of him, I just looked it up, by 1950 he had made Fort Apache, Red River, and They Were Expendable. Those alone should have put him up there.,

    Probably Bogart, James Stewart and Bette Davis for 3 on the top 10 list, possibly Frederic March and Edward G.

  3. Fun list! I am looking forward to seeing the Top 10!

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  5. I'll publish the Top 10 this week. Certainly, Betty Grable was an icon during World War II, but her stardom seems to have faded compared to other stars of the decade.

  6. Bogart #1, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Bette Davis. I'd add John Garfield, Van Johnson, Danny Kaye, June Allyson, Robert Montgomery, Ava Gardner. Tell the GI's in WWII that Betty Grable wasn't popular. Greer Garson, Rosalind Russell, Loretta Young.