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Top Five Cool Actors

Updated on July 5, 2016

Top 5

Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen
Robert Mitchum
Robert Mitchum
Russell Brand
Russell Brand
Michael Madsen
Michael Madsen
David Carradine
David Carradine

Some actors radiate cool. It's probably best not to pinpoint why.

Martin Sheen

Apocalypse Now, The Departed, The California Kid, Badlands. In the opening scene of Apocalypse Now, Martin Sheen actually punched a glass mirror while playing Captain Benjamin L. Willard. The blood's real. The breakdown is legit. Sheen let his drunken body be plastered across movie screens because it made the movie memorable. (He was an alcoholic at the time.)

Robert Mitchum

Night of the Hunter, The Story of G.I. Joe, Cape Fear. Bob Mitchum makes smoking look cool. Even in an age when everyone in the audience pictures his lungs black and feels superior because they're not smoking, Mitchum crutches his unfiltered Pall Malls in a way that commands attention. His body was an imposing image.Entertainment Weekly reported he slept with Lucille Ball, Ava Gardner, and Shirley MacLaine. He wrote poetry.

Russell Brand

Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek. His movies don't earn good reviews or money, nor does his stand-up, and his book and sequel have fallen by the wayside of lots of critics. But Russell Brand, as a person, is cool. He has the beat-up history—drug, alcohol and sex addiction; arrests—of someone who's been down. Yet he makes talk-show hosts laugh impromptu, and he put a ring on Katy Perry. His vocabulary is spontaneous and mind-blowing, and plenty of online footage shows off his bantering talent. He named his cat after Morrissey.

Michael Madsen

Reservoir Dogs, Sin City, Donnie Brasco, Kill Bill, Die Another Day. He's got a deep scratchy voice. He rides a motorcycle, writes poetry, and combines the two on his website. He's built an acting image almost totally on playing bad-ass characters (apart from the Free-Willy father) and appears in plenty of Quentin Tarantino films. And since he started making movies a few decades ago, he's racked up a resume that screams good work ethic. He's also a photographer and he named the family parrot after Marlon Brando.

David Carradine

Kung Fu (TV series), Kill Bill, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat He died masturbating. He auto-asphyxiated too far in a Thailand hotel closet. Many years earlier he'd created the face of Kung Fu on television, and even played Woody Guthrie in a movie. He served in the U.S. Army, won loads of acting awards, and recorded music.


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