The list has been prepared ahead of the Oscar night on March 7 and has actors from India, China, Japan, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Korea. With five actors listed, India has highest number of entries.
"In the history of the Academy Awards only two Asians have ever taken home Best Actor or Actress statue (we don't count Ben Kingsley as true Asian). Yet Asia has produced incredibly talented thespians that have changed the course of their nations cinematic history," CNN said.
Comparing Guru Dutt to Orson Welles (Citizen Kane), the website said the actor-filmmaker ushered in the golden era in Hindi cinema with movies like 'Pyaasa' and 'Kaagaz Ke Phool'. He has been named in the list "because of his soulful acting". His role of a struggling poet 1957 movie 'Pyaasa' has been named his best performance.
Bachchan, 67, has been picked up for his role of brooding inspector Khanna in 'Zanjeer', which cemented the actor's image as the 'angry young man' of Indian cinema.
Pran, who starred in close to 300 Indian films has been described as the pre-eminent villain of Hindi cinema.
Nargis has been described as one of the greatest actresses in the history of cinema with her "versatility and natural expression"."Nargis stole the show in the Oscar-nominated 'Mother India' (1957), known as the Indian 'Gone with the Wind'. She plays a strong-willed woman, Radha, who survives tragedy after tragedy," it said.
Actress Meena Kumari, famous for playing grief-stricken parts that mirrored the sufferings in her private life, is the fifth Indian actor in the list.The 'Tragedy Queen', as she is popularly known, is in the list for her role in 'Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam' (1962) where Kumari's role was eerily similar to her real life: alcoholism, destructive relationships, the yearning to be understood.
Two actors from Pakistan, Mohammad Ali and Zeba Bakhtiar, have made it to the list. Zeba also starred in Bollywood film 'Heena', a cross-border love story between an Indian boy and a Pakistani girl.India is followed by China, which has three names in the list Zhou Xun, Gong Li and Ruan Lingyu, the faces of Chinese silent cinema.