The Generational Divide


Differences between Generation X and Millennials are the topics of frequent writings and studies. This is in part due to the fast paced changes and advances the world has experienced during the lifetime of Millennials. From technology to the definition of “famous”, these two groups see the world very distinctly. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they also differ in their opinions of many of Hollywood’s celebrities.

We asked members of Generation X and Millennials to rate their favorite 20 actors. The results show many differences between the 2 generations.


Only 7 celebrities show up on both lists with varying appeal scores. However, Gen X and Millennials can agree on one thing: the love of Betty White. She takes the top spot on both lists and is ranked way above average for both generations. Best known as a comedian, television star and animal rights activist it comes as no surprise she has an appeal that spans generations. Betty is not alone is receiving love from both groups, six others also appeared on both lists.

Two celebrities joining Betty White with cross-over appeal between both categories are Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman. Both had consistent appeal scores between the generational groups, 44% and 43% respectively. While Denzel Washington ranks 8th with Gen X, he drops to 14th with Millennials. Likewise, Morgan Freeman’s ranking goes from 10 with Gen-Xers to 17 with Millennials. Though they both see a drop in appeal from Gen. X to Millennials, the fact that both make our list of top celebrities in both categories is a testament to their abilities and demand as actors.

While Denzel and Mr. Freeman’s appeal was unaffected by the generational divide, Chris Pratt is a different story. While he shows up on both lists, his appeal gap is the largest between the generations. Whereas Millennials ranked him 3rd with 51% appeal, Generation X gave him the #12 spot with 43%. Although his ranking does fluctuate between the two, there are others who appear, with varying results, on both lists as well.

While the majority of celebrities are exclusive to one list or the other, Betty, Denzel, Mr. Freeman, and Chris Pratt are part of a group that also includes: Maggie Smith, Tom Hanks and Shemar Moore. This cross-over section proves that there are similarities among these contrasting groups.

We can see many differences between the two generations from this list. However, with a common favorite and six additional actors on both lists, maybe the differences aren’t that extreme.

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