Oscars The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie  

Ranker Film
2.6k votes 514 voters 33.4k views 18 items

List Rules Actors and actresses who won an Oscar for their first performance in a film.

Has anyone won an Oscar for their first film role? Winning an Academy Award is a huge lifetime achievement. It's hard enough being cast in a movie, much less being cast in a film with the pedigree and brilliance to win an Oscar. Even then, you still have to be so fantastic in your debut that you blow all the other actors that year out of the water. No pressure.

But even with all the cards stacked against them there are many actors who won Oscars for debut films. Sometimes they are young and go on to have flourishing careers (Anna Paquin, who won when she was 11 years old), sometimes they are in their prime and still go on to have flourishing careers (Julie Andrews was 29 in Mary Poppins). Still other times they come into acting later in life (Haing S. Ngor was 44 when he made his debut) and knock it out of the park.

These are the actors who won Oscars for their first movie - those who delivered such incredible performances from the outset that they couldn't possibly be ignored. Vote up the best actors who won Academy Awards for their film debuts and see who comes out on top among these award-winning stars.

1
316 35
Julie Andrews is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Julie Andrews Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Shrek 2 Best Actress for Mary Poppins, 1964

2
170 68
Lupita Nyong'o is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Lupita Nyong'o Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, The Oscars, Non-Stop Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave, 2013 

3
151 82
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Barbra Streisand Funny Girl, A Star Is Born, Yentl Best Actress for Funny Girl, 1968

4
135 77
Anna Paquin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Anna Paquin The Piano, Jane Eyre, True Blood Best Supporting Actress for The Piano, 1993

5
131 87
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Jennifer Hudson American Idol, Dreamgirls, Sex and the City Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls, 2006

6
95 60
Marlee Matlin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Marlee Matlin Children of a Lesser God, What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?, Reasonable Doubts Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God, 1986

7
71 47
Eva Marie Saint is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Eva Marie Saint North by Northwest, Superman Returns, On the Waterfront Best Supporting Actress for On the Waterfront, 1954

8
90 70
Timothy Hutton is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Timothy Hutton Leverage, The Ghost Writer, Secret Window Best Supporting Actor for Ordinary People, 1980

9
68 50
Haing S. Ngor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Haing S. Ngor The Killing Fields, Heaven & Earth, My Life Best Supporting Actor for The Killing Fields, 1984

10
74 62
Tatum O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Tatum O'Neal Wicked Wicked Games, Paper Moon, The Bad News Bears Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon, 1973

11
33 52
Shirley Booth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Shirley Booth The Year Without a Santa Claus, Hazel, Come Back Best Actress for Come Back, Little Sheba, 1952

12
34 58
Mercedes McCambridge is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Mercedes McCambridge The Exorcist, Touch of Evil, Giant Best Supporting Actress for All the Kings Men, 1949

13
36 64
Harold Russell is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Harold Russell The Best Years of Our Lives, Inside Moves, Dogtown Best Supporting Actor for The Best Years of out Lives, 1946

14
29 57
Jo Van Fleet is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Jo Van Fleet Cool Hand Luke, The Tenant, East of Eden Best Supporting Actress for East of Eden, 1955

15
18 55
Gale Sondergaard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Gale Sondergaard The Life of Emile Zola, The Mark of Zorro, The Letter Best Supporting Actress for Anthony Adverse, 1936

16
17 56
Claude Jarman, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Claude Jarman, Jr. The Yearling, Rio Grande, The Great Locomotive Chase Academy Juvenile Award for The Yearling, 1946

17
18 61
Katina Paxinou is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Katina Paxinou Rocco and His Brothers, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Mr. Arkadin Best Supporting Actress for For Whom the Bell Tolls, 1943

18
15 60
Vincent Winter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors Who Won Oscars for Their First Movie
Vincent Winter The Three Lives of Thomasina, Gorgo, Almost Angels Academy Juvenile Award for The Little Kidnappers, 1954