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1. Cary Grant
For comedy timing, elegance, thriller sharpness and a certain ambiguity.

2. Katharine Hepburn
For her ability to bring tenderness and intelligence to farce and the heaviest drama.

3. Sir Alec Guinness
An actor with enormous range; for portrayals of inhibited emotion, fanaticism, for stillness and understatement.

4. Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi can speak Shakespeare as though she had just invented the words herself. She has tremendous wit and incisiveness, and of course, the catch in her throat.

5. Robert de Niro
A great screen actor, primarily for the New Yorkers he has played for director Martin Scorcese.

6. Marlon Brando
The most imitated actor of several generations. He had an extraordinary ability to inhabit the character and rivet your attention.

7. Meryl Streep
For her range of characters and nationalities, and for her human intelligence.

8. Charles Laughton
A fat, ugly man with the most expressive face and body you could see on stage and screen.

9. Anna Magnani
A formidable Italian actress of stage and screen. With all her nerve endings on the outside, she could laugh and cry at the same time and express raw emotion with memorable fidelity.

10. Marcello Mastroianni
The perfect screen actor, a man who could embody world-weary sophistication and play high comedy. He made hundreds of films, but see La Dolce Vita and White Nights.

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Mark Shivas
Mark Shivas was head of television drama and then television films at the BBC from 1988 to 1997. During that period he was executive producer of more than 30 feature films including Truly Madly Deeply, Enchanting April, the Snapper, Priest, Jude, Regeneration and I Went Down.

Between 1980 and 1988, Mr Shivas was independent, producing the films, Moonlighting, A Private Function and The Witches and two series for Channel 4 in Britain.

As a producer for BBC Television in the 1970s, he made The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Casanova, and more than 100 hours of television drama, including 84 Charing Cross Road.

Mr Shivas now has his own company, Perpetual Motion Pictures. His most recent works are Talking Heads 2 for BBC Television and the film, Hideous Kinky, starring Kate Winslet.