The 12 Last True Movie Stars That Still Exist in Hollywood

Over the past 20 years, audiences have seen cinema evolve considerably. Box-office staples include tent poles, sequels, and franchises. Consequently, the days of movie stars, where the actors are the draw for audiences, might be long gone. It makes us question whether any are left. Though there’s less out there, movie stars do still exist.

1. Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Leonardo DiCaprio epitomizes the idea of the movie star. Charismatic and handsome, when fans see him on the red carpet in a tuxedo, he gives off that aura and vibe. A selective actor, DiCaprio has a knack for choosing projects that make audiences take notice, especially his long-time partnership with director Martin Scorsese.

2. Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Like DiCaprio, Denzel Washington exudes the aura of a movie star, especially on a red carpet premiere or award show. But he also proves to be a draw for moviegoers still. Washington embodies the modern film climate with a “movie star spin.”

He plays the game by making a franchise with The Equalizer films. But unlike other franchises where the actors do not necessarily pull in the crowds alone, Washington draws in audiences with his on-screen presence.

3. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

When viewers think of the term “movie star,” chances are Tom Cruise pops into their heads almost instantly. Committed to making four-quadrant entertainment, he’s always looking to amp up what he does in his films with his stunts and commitment to authenticity.

Although nostalgia helped, Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick proved to be a juggernaut success, thanks to his involvement. A sequel without him never would have performed as well. Some may argue that Mission: Impossible- Dead Reckoning’s box office numbers disprove his movie star status, but that had more to do with a poor release date. Cruise can still put people in seats.

4. Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Even though Tom Hanks admits he will never have another run like he did in the 90s, he still qualifies as a bonafide movie star. From 1992 to 2000, Hanks’ 12 films made approximately 3.5 billion dollars worldwide (7.5 billion by today’s standards) and earned him two Best Actor Oscars.

Days like this will likely never be seen again for any actor, let alone Hanks. Still, audiences will go to theaters just for him. A Man Named Otto was a modest success but proves Hanks remains a draw for audiences.

5. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Brad Pitt will always be an actor fans consider a movie star. Popularity aside, he’s another selective actor that filmgoers pay attention to, especially since he’s never let his good looks define or pigeonhole him. Of course, his attractiveness does not hurt how people perceive him.

6. George Clooney

George Clooney
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

More so than anyone else, George Clooney embodies the Old Hollywood style of a movie star. Obviously, some roles epitomize this more than others, but on and off screen, he’s charming, suave, handsome, and classy, with a terrific sense of humor. Moviegoers will still purchase a ticket based mainly on his involvement. The rom-com Ticket to Paradise perfectly showcases his ability to attract audiences.

7. Julia Roberts

Julia Roberts
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Like her Ticket to Paradise co-star, George Clooney, the radiant and effervescent Julia Roberts has retained her charm and appeal for many filmgoers. Rom-coms do not garner the box office numbers they once did but put a couple of bonafide stars in one, and you’ll likely have a hit. Roberts makes fewer films these days, but Ticket to Paradise shows her evergreen appeal because it wasn’t the plot people flocked to see- it was to see her and Clooney together.

8. Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Sandra Bullock still charms and moves audiences worldwide. We consider her a movie star but a down-to-earth one we’d love to grab a coffee and laugh with. The Lost City and Ocean’s Eight show that mid-budget films with appealing stars can still succeed. Likewise, Netflix’s Bird Box proves how much of a star Bullock continues to be. It became one of the streaming service’s most-watched films ever, and it sure wasn’t because of the plot.

9. Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Like Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves epitomizes an actor who plays the modern cinema game. He still has movie star status that audiences love to watch on screen. Most fans will admit that every single John Wick film plays out similarly. People do not go for a complex story. They go to see Keanu Reeves kick some, you know what, and look cool while doing it.

10. Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Meryl Streep demonstrates how someone can simultaneously be a movie star and one of the greatest actresses of all time. While many typically only fit into one category, Streep slips as easily into both as she does every character she portrays.

11. Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I cannot think of another actress working today who epitomizes vintage Hollywood glamour more than Nicole Kidman. Although not every film she’s in will be a hit (she chooses substance over style mostly), no one can deny how brightly she shines.

12. Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

One of the most successful actors of his generation, Samuel L. Jackson, always delivers his own particular dynamic on-screen presence that many filmgoers love. A part of so many successful franchises, he’s carved out a niche in Hollywood that few can claim. Now, that’s a star.


The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


+ posts