VOTE The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked  

Ranker Film
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List Rules Vote up the greatest performances that WON the Academy Award, either for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor

Over the years, many great actors and actresses have been awarded the title of "Best Actor" for their portrayal of classic characters in film. Some of these Oscar-winning performances were based on real people, while other performances that won Oscars were based on fictional characters. 

Who are some of the best character portrayals that have earned actors Oscars? Forrest Gump from Forrest Gump made our list. Tom Hanks won a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of this multi-talented man. Forrest Gump was based on the 1986 Winston Groom book of the same name. Anthony Hopkins's iconic portrayal of Hannibal Lecter in the film The Silence of the Lambs also made our list. Hopkins took home the Best Actor Oscar in 1991.

Several Best Supporting Actor performances also made the cut. Gregory Peck's performance as Atticus Finch in the film To Kill A Mockingbird, based on the novel by Harper Lee, earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1962. Other supporting actor roles that are featured on this list include Tommy DeVito from Goodfellas, played by Joe Pesci, and Rod Tidwell from Jerry McGuire, played by Cuba Gooding Jr.

Which best actor performance is your favorite? Vote up your favorite Oscar-winning character below! 
list ordered by

1
3,322 653
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Forrest Gump Tom Hanks - Best Actor (1994).

2
2,772 641
Andrew Beckett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Philadelphia Tom Hanks - Best Actor (1993).

3
1,486 2,447
The Joker is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Dark Knight Heath Ledger - Best Supporting Actor (2008).

4
1,111 1,871
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Silence of the Lambs Anthony Hopkins - Best Actor (1991).

5
1,103 1,583
Vito Corleone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Godfather Marlon Brando - Best Actor (1972).

6
744 319
Atticus Finch is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
To Kill a Mockingbird Gregory Peck - Best Actor (1962).

7
897 1,014
Randle Patrick McMurphy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Jack Nicholson - Best Actor (1975).

8
605 435
Anton Chigurh is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
No Country for Old Men Javier Bardem - Best Supporting Actor (2007).

9
589 409
Hans Landa is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Inglourious Basterds Christoph Waltz - Best Supporting Actor (2009).

10
483 457
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Raging Bull Robert De Niro - Best Actor (1980).

11
625 650
Raymond Babbitt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Rain Man Dustin Hoffman - Best Actor (1988).

12
376 292
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added Dear Friend Hitler Ben Kingsley-Best Actor (1982)

13
538 350
Tommy DeVito is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Goodfellas Joe Pesci - Best Supporting Actor (1990).

14
360 209
General George S. Patton, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Patton George C. Scott - Best Actor (1970).

15
522 306
Sean Maguire is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Good Will Hunting Robin Williams - Best Supporting Actor (1997).

16
390 251
Terence Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Whiplash J. K. Simmons - Best Supporting Actor (2014).

17
408 325
Abraham Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Abraham Lincoln Lincoln Daniel Day-Lewis - Best Actor (2012).

18
376 325
King George VI is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The King's Speech Colin Firth - Best Actor (2010).

19
388 339
Stephen Hawking is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Theory of Everything Eddie Redmayne - Best Actor (2014).

20
389 296
Daniel Plainview is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
There Will Be Blood Daniel Day-Lewis - Best Actor (2007).

21
506 428
Maximus Decimus Meridius is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Gladiator Russell Crowe - Best Actor (2000).

22
323 225
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Capote Philip Seymour Hoffman - Best Actor (2005).

23
424 313
Roger 'Verbal' Kint is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey - Best Supporting Actor (1995).

24
345 274
Dr. Schultz is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Django Unchained Christoph Waltz - Best Supporting Actor (2012).

25
282 220
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The French Connection Gene Hackman - Best Actor (1971).

26
318 354
Lester Burnham is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
American Beauty Kevin Spacey - Best Actor (1999).

27
297 272
Melvin Udall is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
As Good as It Gets Jack Nicholson - Best Actor (1997).

28
357 264
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Ray Jamie Foxx - Best Actor (2004).

29
276 206
Idi Amin Dada is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Last King of Scotland Forest Whitaker - Best Actor (2006).

30
168 166
Christy Brown is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
My Left Foot

31
297 312
Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Training Day Denzel Washington - Best Actor (2001).

32
249 222
Wladyslaw Szpilman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Pianist Adrien Brody - Best Actor (2002).

33
154 152
Howard Beale is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added Network Peter Finch- Best Actor (1976)

34
288 191
Dickie Eklund is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Fighter Christian Bale - Best Supporting Actor (2010).

35
304 201
Samuel Gerard is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Fugitive Tommy Lee Jones - Best Supporting Actor (1993).

36
261 175
Nick Chevotarevich is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Nick Chevotarevich The Deer Hunter Christopher Walken - Best Supporting Actor (1978).

37
286 255
Hugh Glass is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added The Revenant Leonardo DiCaprio - Best Actor (2015).

38
222 169
Antonio Salieri is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Amadeus F. Murray Abraham - Best Actor (1984).

39
181 176
Bela Lugosi is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Ed Wood Martin Landau - Best Supporting Actor (1994).

40
220 139
Captain Jack Sparrow is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
heesung237 added Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

41
142 85
Frank Serpico is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Serpico

42
176 129
T. E. Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
CarstenSchultz added Lawrence of Arabia, A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia

43
215 129
Aaron Stampler is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Morgan Snyder added Primal Fear

Edward Norton

44
147 89
Norman Stansfield is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Léon: The Professional

45
174 156
Homer Smith is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Lilies of the Field Sidney Poitier - Best Actor (1963).

46
171 260
Jimmy Markum is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Mystic River Sean Penn - Best Actor (2003).

47
209 193
Ron Woodroof is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Dallas Buyers Club Matthew McConaughey - Best Actor (2013).

48
131 169
David Helfgott is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Shine Geoffrey Rush - Best Actor (1996).

49
203 229
Rooster Cogburn is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
DonPhillips added True Grit, Rooster Cogburn John Wayne - Best Actor (1969).

50
81 84
Gordon Gekko is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
salesgal added Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Wall Street Michael Douglas - Best Actor (1987).