Ross Bonaime, Staff Writer

In the next few weeks, many famous actors will be going behind the camera to try their hands at directorial debuts. In honor of this, I present the greatest actors turned directors:

10. George Clooney
He may have started off as Dr. Ross on ER, but now George Clooney is also known for his exceptional directing. Good Night and Good Luck earned him an Oscar nomination for best director, and even though his other films Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Leatherheads haven’t been as good, he shows a style that beckons back to the golden age of film.

9. Mel Gibson
Say what you will about the man, but Mel Gibson can direct. With 1995’s Braveheart, which won Best Picture, and controversial choices like The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, Gibson isn’t afraid to tackle unusual topics and come out surprising the audience with what he can do.

8. Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller has directed three of the most famous cult comedies in recent years: Reality Bites, The Cable Guy and Zoolander.
However last summer’s Tropic Thunder showed Stiller’s range, from the fake trailers at the beginning to the action-heavy comedy, Stiller announced himself as a great comedic director.

7. Jon Favreau
Jon Favreau first broke into the film world with parts in films like Rudy but really broke it big after writing Swingers in 1996. Recently, Favreau has returned off-screen to direct Elf and Iron Man. Recently, Favreau finished the next installment of Iron Man and is in talks to direct the highly-anticipated superhero film The Avengers, currently making him one of Hollywood’s most sought after directors.

6. Sofia Coppola
While her acting roles have centered around almost single-handedly ruining The Godfather: Part III and a role in a Chemical Brothers video, her movies are as gorgeous as they are moving.
The daughter of Francis Ford Coppola has shown the talent of her father with movies like The Virgin Suicides, Lost In Translation and Marie Antoinette. Hopefully her career will be as long as her father’s, too.

5. Gene Kelly
After singing and dancing his way to stardom with films like Anchors Aweigh, Gene Kelly decided to take his turn at directing. With only his second attempt, he co-directed what is considered by many to be the greatest musical of all time, Singin’ in the Rain, proving not only could he dance and sing, he could direct.

4. Rob Reiner
Rob Reiner got his start on television in the ‘60s and ‘70s, most famously for his role of Meathead on All in the Family. Six years after the show ended, he directed one of the greatest mockumentaries ever, This Is Spinal Tap. Reiner went on to direct other favorites like Stand By Me, The Princess Bride , When Harry Met Sally…, and last year’s The Bucket List.

3. Ron Howard
After famous roles on classic TV shows like Happy Days and The Andy Griffith Show, Ron Howard became a genuine director with movies like Apollo 13, Cinderella Man and the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind. While older audiences will probably always remember Howard as Opie, a new generation knows him now as a great director.

2. Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood became a household name with countless westerns that showed him as a man not to mess with. His skill behind the camera has done just the same. With best picture nominees like Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby and Letters From Iwo Jima, Eastwood has proven to be a directing powerhouse.

1. Charlie Chaplin
While the silent film legend is known for his hilarious antics in front of the camera, Chaplin was also known as the meticulous director of over 70 films spanning six decades. His films include the classic comedies City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator and The Gold Rush.
As one of the first to be an actor-turned-director, Chaplin set the bar so high, no one has been able to pass him yet.