|2003||100 Heroes & Villains|
|2005||100 Movie Quotes|
|2007||100 Movies (Updated)|
|2008||AFI's 10 Top 10|
AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars is the American Film Institute's list ranking the top 25 male and 25 female greatest screen legends of American film history and is the second list of the AFI 100 Years... series. The list was unveiled on June 15, 1999, through a CBS special hosted by Shirley Temple, with 50 current actors making the presentations.
AFI defines an "American screen legend" as "an actor or a team of actors with a significant screen presence in American feature-length films [films of 40 minutes or more] whose screen debut occurred in or before 1950, or whose screen debut occurred after 1950 but whose death has marked a completed body of work." In other words, the list generally honours actors recognized for their contributions to classical Hollywood cinema.
The top stars of their respective gender are Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. The two starred together in the classic adventure 1951 film The African Queen, for which Bogart won his only Academy Award. The full-length film that includes the most stars from this list is Tales of Manhattan (1942), which includes 4: Henry Fonda, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, and Edward G. Robinson. Five AFI legends are included in a 1931 short film titled The Stolen Jools (or The Slippery Pearls), which was made to benefit a Tuberculosis sanitarium. That film contains: Joan Crawford, Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Buster Keaton, and Edward G. Robinson.
This AFI list consisted of 50 greatest screen legends, including 25 male and 25 female stars.
|No||Female legends||Male legends|
|Edward G. Robinson
Of the male legends, Laurence Olivier had the longest career span (59 years), while Lillian Gish had the longest of either gender (75 years). Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, and Sophia Loren all had screen debuts in the cut-off year of 1950; in contrast, stars who did not qualify due to their screen debuts occurring just after 1950, include Jack Lemmon, Paul Newman, Shirley MacLaine, and Clint Eastwood.
There are 13 legends that made the transition from silent film to the 'talkies': Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Barbara Stanwyck, Lillian Gish, Carole Lombard, Mary Pickford, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, John Wayne, the Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, and Edward G. Robinson. The Marx Brothers are the sole legendary 'team' among the legends, while 10 of the screen legends comprised 5 legendary duos: Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy, Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall, and Clark Gable & Carole Lombard.
A majority of the legends were born in the 20th century. The legends born in the 19th century, nonetheless, were Humphrey Bogart, Fred Astaire, James Cagney, Charlie Chaplin, all four Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton and Edward G. Robinson among the males; and Mae West, Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford among the females. (Gish was the last survivor among all those born in the 19th century.)
Eight legends were born in New York City: Bogart, Cagney, the Marx Brothers, Barbara Stanwyck, Mae West, Rita Hayworth, Lauren Bacall, and Burt Lancaster. Thirteen legends were born outside the United States: Cary Grant, Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor, and Laurence Olivier were from England; Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo from Sweden; Audrey Hepburn, Belgium; Marlene Dietrich, Germany; Claudette Colbert, France; Vivien Leigh, India; Sophia Loren, Italy; Mary Pickford, Canada; and Edward G. Robinson, Romania.
As of February 2021 The earliest female death was Jean Harlow in 1937, and earliest male death was James Dean in 1955. The most recent death was in 2020 with Kirk Douglas, who, as of 2021, remains the legend to have lived the longest. (To surpass Douglas, Poitier would have to live until at least 2030 and Loren 2037)., Poitier and Loren are the list's only living honorees.
A total of 500 stars were nominated for top 50 "Greatest Screen Legends" status, including 250 male and 250 female stars.
Among the 225 male stars who ultimately did not make the list were:
Among the 225 female stars who ultimately did not make the list were: