5 Famous Actors and Actresses from Manhattan That You Should Be Aware of

A photo of a movie reel projector

For many people, adapting to a new environment after moving can be tough. One of the ways to deal with homesickness is to learn about the history of your new home. In case that home is Manhattan, one of the first things that come to mind is learning about its cinematic history. After all, Manhattan is the most famous and glamorous of all the NYC boroughs. As such, it was both the topic and setting of many well-known films. A renowned writer-director Woody Allen even made a movie simply called Manhattan! The more you learn about the great history of this borough, the sooner you’ll feel like home. Also, you might even impress a few people with your knowledge of cinema. You can begin by reading this article and getting acquainted with some of the plethoras of famous actors and actresses from Manhattan.

One of the performers with most range out of all famous actors and actresses from Manhattan

Among the most famous actors and actresses from Manhattan, Al Pacino is surely one of the most high-profile ones. He has received many prizes. Namely, an Academy Award, four Golden Globe Awards, two Tony Awards… Pacino first gained worldwide recognition in 1972 for his portrayal of Michael Corleone in the acclaimed crime drama trilogy The Godfather. He kept landing major roles in the following years. He received his first Oscar nomination for the role of an honest cop Serpico in the eponymous film from 1973.

a photo of a theater
Pacino has also achieved great success in the theater, winning two Tony Awards

Throughout his career, Pacino kept the status of a major film star. Some of his more iconic roles include the portrayals of gangsters Tony Montana and Carlito Brigande, in Brian De Palma’s classic crime movies Scarface (1983) and Carlito’s Way (1993). Among the myriad notable roles Pacino had, his parts in films Heat, Glengarry Glen Rose and You Don’t Know Jack are considered to be some of the more critically appreciated ones. He is set to star in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming crime film The Irishman. This will be his first collaboration with the much-respected filmmaker from New York.

One of the most loved child actors

Macaulay Culkin started his career in the 1990s as a child actor. Thanks to his parts in films My Girl, Getting Even with Dad and, especially, the Home Alone series, Culkin was at the time considered to be one of the top child actors in history. His distinctive look and an endearing screen personality quickly made him a household name. Culkin later appeared on VH1’s list of 100 greatest kid stars ranking at number two, in turn making him the most popular child star from Manhattan. And for a good reason. Even though there are plenty of ways to spend the Saturday night in Manhattan, sometimes nothing’s better than staying at home and watching Home Alone.

a picture of a camera
Culkin is one of the most popular child stars that were ever captured on camera

Unfortunately, in 1994 Culkin paused his career. To the despair of his fans, he never found the same success when he again started acting at the turn of the millenium. However, he has somewhat remained in the spotlight due to his controversial friendship with the pop star Michael Jackson. The now-diseased pop giant was later accused of sexually molesting children. However, Macaulay dismissed the allegations as being laughable and completely untrue.

An actress from Manhattan who elevated the status women had in cinema

Sigourney Weaver is one of the top actresses from Manhattan. Thanks to her portrayal of Ripley in the Alien series, Weaver not only gained international fame and success but also helped to change the status women had in film industry. Namely, she portrayed Ripley as an action heroine who could kick ass just like any man. This form of feminism can be considered controversial, but it nevertheless paved the way for further development of the feminist movement as applied to the cinematic arts.

Her other important roles include parts in the much-loved comedy-horror series Ghostbusters as the main character’s love interest Dana Barrett, the villain known as the Director in another horror-comedy Cabin in the Woods, and roles in successful animated features WALL-E and Finding Dory. These roles have helped Weaver achieve the status of one of the most celebrated female artists from Manhattan.

A living, walking legend among the famous actors and actresses from Manhattan

Apart from Al Pacino, the other actor from Manhattan known for his roles in crime movies is the great Robert De Niro. Another similarity between the two actors is the fact that they both got their career starts with The Godfather series. For his portrayal of young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II, De Niro received international recognition and an Oscar nomination. During the 1970s, de Niro was featured in a plethora of classic pictures. Among them are such classics as Taxi Driver, The Last Tycoon, and The Deer Hunter.

His fame never waned and throughout his career, De Niro kept the status of a huge movie star. He has payed his respects to his roots as an artist from Manhattan by starring in Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York. Together, they made nine pictures. Some of the more renowned ones are Raging Bull, The King of Comedy and Goodfellas. He has also appeared in such classics as Midnight Run, The Untouchables, Brazil, Jackie Brown, Silver Linings Playbook… If you are low on cash and looking for the cheapest ways to have fun in Manhattan, De Niro’s movies will keep you covered for a long time.

A now rehabilitated movie star

Another Robert among actors from Manhattan is Robert Downey Jr. He is the son of a respected filmmaker Robert Downey Sr. Downey Jr. began his career as a part of the so-called Brat Pack, featuring other popular young actors from the 1980s. These actors frequently appeared together in major Hollywood hits. The most important role in his early filmography is the part of Chaplin in the eponymous film. This part has earned him an Oscar nomination.

This was followed by a period of heavy substance abuse. Unfortunately, this problem put a dent on his reputation and halted his career during the 90s. However, thanks to the roles in films such as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) and Tropic Thunder (2008), Downey Jr. managed to rehabilitate his career as one of the most popular actors originating in Manhattan. This has led to him being cast as Iron Man in the extremely profitable film adaptations of Marvel superhero comics.

A Charlie Chaplin figure - one of famous actors and actresses from Manhattan
Chaplin earned Robert Downey Jr. an Oscar nomination, making him one of the youngest actors among other famous actors and actresses from Manhattan who have received this honor

Some of the other actors and actresses who were born and raised in Manhattan include:

  • Billy Crystal (an actor mostly known and loved for his comedic roles)
  • Angela Bassett (an actress recognized for parts in biographical pictures)
  • George Carlin (a renowned comedian with a string of cult movie roles)
  • Burt Lancaster (a major film star from Manhattan during the 1950s and 1960s)
  • Whoopi Goldberg (an actress respected both for her roles in comedic and dramatic movies)

Getting to know the history of your new place of residence after moving can be very helpful

It is normal to feel stress after moving. However, learning about these famous actors and actresses from Manhattan will help you to alleviate it. Give yourself enough time and immerse yourself in the cultural background of your new home. You’ll gradually stop feeling like an outsider, and start enjoying your new life to the fullest.

Of course, becoming friends with new people helps. There are a lot of ways to make friends after the move. One of them is to get to know about these actors and actresses, and then find the folks who are also interested in the cinematic history of Manhattan. You can even convert and fascinate people who aren’t that interested in film. Have fun and good luck!

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