In honor of Ben Affleck's new nail-biting spy thriller "Argo" in which the Hollywood star both acts and directs, here's my list of the Top 5 actors who took up directing and made their mark behind the camera.

  • "George Clooney": First this one-time TV star (remember "ER?) crossed over into Oscar-winning movie star territory ("Syriana"). Then he drew acclaim for a series of piercingly intelligent films such as "Good Night, and Good Luck," "The Ides of March" and "Leatherheads."

  • "Mel Gibson": Perhaps most beloved for his status as a celebrity trainwreck, Gibson has directed a number of hit movies such as "Apocalypto," "Braveheart" and the controversial "The Passion of the Christ." He got his start, natch, starring as Mad Max in the Thunderdome action franchise.

  • "Clint Eastwood": The iconic Western movie star has turned out to be one of the most prolific filmmakers out there with a staggering resume including "Gran Torino," "Million Dollar Baby," "Unforgiven," "In the Line of Fire," "Mystic River." Oh, yeah and sometimes he talks to empty chairs.

  • "Ron Howard": When Richie Cunningham of "Happy Days" fame grew up, he became a Tinseltown titan, directing blockbusters such as "A Beautiful Mind," "Apollo 13," "The Da Vinci Code," "Cocoon" and "Splash."

  • "Robert Redford": The dashing star first turned his hand to directing back in 1980 with the Oscar-winning "Ordinary People" and he has continued to shoot blockbuster ever since including "The Horse Whisperer," "Quiz Show" and "A River Runs Through It."


    Advertisement

    Contact Karen D'Souza at 408-271-3772. Read her at www.mercurynews.com/karen-dsouza, follow her at Twitter.com/KarenDSouza4 and like her at www.facebook.com/Dsouzatheaterpage