Much attention has been given to ionic electroactive devices constructed using conducting polymers due to their low voltage requirements, high strain, and similarities to natural muscle. However, the time response and output force of conducting polymer actuators has always been a limiting factor in their implementation. In this study, we report on a processing technique and parametric optimization for multilayer polypyrrole-gold-polyvinylidene fluoride (PPy-Au-PVDF) composite actuators that have the possibility of overcoming the prior problems. These actuators are operable in air, have faster time response, and are projected to generate higher force compared to that of conventional conducting polymer actuators. These improvements are made possible due to the improvement in processing conditions and novel multilayer geometry of the actuators. A five layer PPy-Au-PVDF-Au-PPy actuator operating in air with 0.5M KCl electrolyte was shown to generate deflections up to 90% of the actuator length at a rate of 50% per second.