The headlines from the BBC
Hollywood great Rooney dies at 93
What is that word 'great' there? Can adjective be used this way? Or is it noun there? But then two nouns? Or Hollywood becomes adjective then? Really?
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Here "great" acts as a noun.
Hollywood great (personality) Rooney dies at 93.
It's exactly the same as saying the noun "legend" in that context. It's also an unusual case in that it is grammatically correct without a comma or article. "Legend" in that context is the same way. So "great" is acting as a noun.