Top Box Office Actors of the 1960's

Posted on 6 Jun 00:00


The era of the 1960's has a superior reputation for Hollywood, as the epoch of the 1960's is still regarded as the most exceptional and distinct era for Hollywood. Some fans and critics regard the 1960's as the second golden era of movies as limitations on atrocity, sexual content and ferocity were loosened, which gave a fair playing field to the directors regarding provocative content. Below are some remarkable on-screen actors of the 1960's who captured millions of hearts during the second golden era of Hollywood.

1)  Elizabeth Taylor

Fervent film performances, multiple marriages, and her delightful violet eyes will always be the cause for remembering one of the top film actresses of the 1960's. Elizabeth Taylor born as Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor on February 27, 1932. She was an eminent British-American actress who started her career in 1942 with “There’s One Born Every Minute”.

She garnered much of the limelight because of her scandalous behavior and multiple marriages. In 1963, Elizabeth Taylor was paid one million dollars to play the title role in the most expensive movie of that time “Cleopatra”. Though married at the time, both she and Richard Burton began their scandalous affair during the making of “Cleopatra”.

Elizabeth Taylor exhibited numerous sizzling performances in the 1960's in movies like “Cleopatra” (1963), “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966), and “The Taming of The Shrew” (1967). Although her career began to decline in the late 1960's, the actress had a long film career after the 60's as well. She received a lot of attention from her unique and priceless jewelry, eight marriages, and several illnesses. On 23rd march 2011, the actress died of heart failure at the age of 79.

2)  Paul Newman

Famous for his blue eyes, Paul Leonard Newman was born on 26 January 1925, in Ohio. Paul wanted to pursue a career as a pilot but he was told that he would never be able to fly the jets because he was colorblind. Newman made his film debut in 1953 with the movie “The Silver Chalice” during his poverty stricken days. His film career was boosted with his robust performance in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958), opposite Elizabeth Taylor. He also won his first academy award nomination for the movie.

During the 1960's he did some of his most impressive work and rose to meteoric fame with his role in “The Hustler” (1961). Paul Newman performed in numerous other hits of the 1960's. Some of his renowned movies of the 60's were “Cool and Luke” (1967), “Hud” (1963), and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969). His greatest legacy is his creation of 'Newman's Own' brand of salad dressings, of which he donated the profits to charity, it continues today.  On 26 September 2008 Paul died of lung cancer at the age of 83 years.

3)  Julie Andrews

Julia Elizabeth Wells was born on October 1, 1935. Julie Andrews made her debut in feature films in 1964 in the movie “Mary Poppins”. She won the academy award for the best actress for the lead role. In 1965, she again won a golden globe award for best actress for “The Sound of Music” (1965).

Andrews has married twice in her life first with a set designer Tony Walton (1959-1967) and then to famous director Blake Edwards (1969 - 2010, until his death). With her dazzling voice and charming on-screen performances, Julie Andrew represented the epitome of  class during the 1960's. Her most famous movies were “The Sound of Music” (1965), “Mary Poppins” (1964), “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (1967), and “The Americanization of Emily” (1964) not only won her numerous film honors and awards but also a spot on the top actresses of 1960s list.

4)  Elvis Presley

Elvis Aaron Presley, also known as 'The King of Rock and Roll' was born in Mississippi, on January 8, 1935. After perusing a successful career in singing Presley made his debut in “Love Me Tender” (1956). Though Elvis had only one marriage with Priscilla, though he had been involved in numerous affairs.

In the era of 1960's, Presley had more focus on his film career rather than his singing career and performed astonishingly well in the movies like “Viva Las Vegas” (1964), “Blue Hawaii” (1961), “Follow that dream” (1962) and “Change of Habit” (1969). Elvis Presley won a lifetime achievement award in 1971 for his attractive hits of the 1960's. He received multiple halls of fame in 1999, 2002 and 2007 for showcasing his vocal and on-screen performances. On August 16, 1977, Presley, the King of Rock and Roll died at the age of 42 years of a heart attack.

5)  Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier was born in Florida on 20 February 1927. He was the first African American to win an academy award for the best actor for the movie “Lilies of the Field” (1963). His first major break out role was in the movie “No Way Out” (1950) in which he played the role of a doctor who treats a criminal. He also won an Oscar nomination for the  50's film “The Defiant Ones” (1958) co-starring with Tony Curtis.

Poitier’s movies “To Sir with Love” (1967) and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967) made him the top box office draw of the year. He had numerous hits to his name in the 1960's which puts him on the list of the top actors of the 1960's. His other 60's hits include “In the Heart of the Night” (1967), “A Patch of Blue” (1965), “A Raisin in the Sun” (1961) and "All The Young Men" (1960).

6)  Sandra Dee

Born Alexandra Zuck on April 23, 1942, in New Jersey, Sandra Dee was a famous American actress of the 1960's. Dee started her successful career as a teenager and won a Golden Globe award for promising newcomers in 1958 for “Until they Sail”.

Dee was the nation’s seventh-biggest superstar in 1960. Her most popular movies of the 1960's include “That Funny Feeling” (1965), “Tammy Tell Me true” (1961), “If a Man Answers” (1962), “Tammy and The Doctor” (1963) and "The Reluctante Debutant" (1958). Sandra Dee at the end of her career, Sandra suffered a number of serious illnesses. On February 20, 2005, at the age of 62 years, Dee died of complications from kidney disease.

7.  Jack Lemmon

John Uhler Lemmon  was born on the 8th of February 1925 and starred in over 60 movies. He won an academy award for best actors twice and was nominated for academy awards eight times.

He won numerous awards for his extraordinary performances such as in “The Apartment” (1960), “The Odd Couple” (1968), “The Fortune Cookie” (1966) and “Days of Wines and Roses” (1962). Jack Lemmon is still regarded as the finest, most popular and funniest actor of 1960. Lemmon died of complications of bladder cancer on June 27, 2001, at the age of 76.


The decade of the 1960's has been of remarkable value for the film industry. Top actors of the 1960's are still alive in the hearts of numerous fans and critics who were enthralled by their brilliance in extraordinary performances.

Movie Buffs Forever stocks classic movies on DVD from the 1940's to the early 2000's. Browse our vast collection of old, rare and out of print classic movies on DVD.

Why We Still Love DVDs