fictional characters The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked  

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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
1,196 346
Forrest Gump is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Forrest Gump Forrest Gump Tom Hanks - Best Actor (1994).

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2
959 308
Andrew Beckett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Andrew Beckett Philadelphia Tom Hanks - Best Actor (1993).

3
479 355
Randle McMurphy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Randle McMurphy One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Jack Nicholson - Best Actor (1975).

4
559 468
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs Anthony Hopkins - Best Actor (1991).

5
351 177
Atticus Finch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Atticus Finch To Kill a Mockingbird Gregory Peck - Best Actor (1962).

6
525 414
Vito Corleone is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Vito Corleone The Godfather Marlon Brando - Best Actor (1972).

7
726 771
The Joker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Joker The Dark Knight Heath Ledger - Best Supporting Actor (2008).

8
281 186
Anton Chigurh is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Anton Chigurh No Country for Old Men Javier Bardem - Best Supporting Actor (2007).

9
342 294
Raymond Babbitt is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Raymond Babbitt Rain Man Dustin Hoffman - Best Actor (1988).

10
193 145
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added Mahatma Gandhi Gandhi Ben Kingsley-Best Actor (1982)

11
274 216
Tommy DeVito is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tommy DeVito Goodfellas Joe Pesci - Best Supporting Actor (1990).

12
248 246
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Jake LaMotta Raging Bull Robert De Niro - Best Actor (1980).

13
249 213
Hans Landa is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Hans Landa Inglourious Basterds Christoph Waltz - Best Supporting Actor (2009).

14
193 112
General George S. Patton, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
General George S. Patton, Jr. Patton George C. Scott - Best Actor (1970).

15
250 252
Abraham Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Abraham Lincoln Lincoln Daniel Day-Lewis - Best Actor (2012).

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16
171 130
Terence Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Terence Fletcher Whiplash J. K. Simmons - Best Supporting Actor (2014).

17
221 188
Roger 'Verbal' Kint is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Roger 'Verbal' Kint The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey - Best Supporting Actor (1995).

18
194 193
King George VI is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
King George VI The King's Speech Colin Firth - Best Actor (2010).

19
232 175
Sean Maguire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Sean Maguire Good Will Hunting Robin Williams - Best Supporting Actor (1997).

20
161 123
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle The French Connection Gene Hackman - Best Actor (1971).

21
162 129
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Truman Capote Capote Philip Seymour Hoffman - Best Actor (2005).

22
174 179
Stephen Hawking is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Stephen Hawking The Theory of Everything Eddie Redmayne - Best Actor (2014).

23
242 296
Maximus Decimus Meridius is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Maximus Decimus Meridius Gladiator Russell Crowe - Best Actor (2000).

24
155 116
Samuel Gerard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard The Fugitive Tommy Lee Jones - Best Supporting Actor (1993).

25
145 92
Nick Chevotarevich is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Nick Chevotarevich The Deer Hunter Christopher Walken - Best Supporting Actor (1978).

26
150 116
Idi Amin Dada is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Idi Amin Dada The Last King of Scotland Forest Whitaker - Best Actor (2006).

27
174 208
Lester Burnham is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Lester Burnham American Beauty Kevin Spacey - Best Actor (1999).

28
156 109
Dickie Eklund is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Dickie Eklund The Fighter Christian Bale - Best Supporting Actor (2010).

29
180 166
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Ray Charles Ray Jamie Foxx - Best Actor (2004).

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30
97 50
Aaron Stampler is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Morgan Snyder added Aaron Stampler Primal Fear

Edward Norton

31
136 162
Dr. King Schultz is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Dr. King Schultz Django Unchained Christoph Waltz - Best Supporting Actor (2012).

32
147 163
Melvin Udall is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Melvin Udall As Good as It Gets Jack Nicholson - Best Actor (1997).

33
89 59
T. E. Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
CarstenSchultz added T. E. Lawrence Lawrence of Arabia, A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia

34
111 136
Wladyslaw Szpilman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Wladyslaw Szpilman The Pianist Adrien Brody - Best Actor (2002).

35
164 213
Daniel Plainview is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Daniel Plainview There Will Be Blood Daniel Day-Lewis - Best Actor (2007).

36
104 82
Homer Smith is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Homer Smith Lilies of the Field Sidney Poitier - Best Actor (1963).

37
115 88
Antonio Salieri is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Antonio Salieri Amadeus F. Murray Abraham - Best Actor (1984).

38
126 150
Hugh Glass is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added Hugh Glass The Revenant Leonardo DiCaprio - Best Actor (2015).

39
72 65
Howard Beale is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added Howard Beale Network Peter Finch- Best Actor (1976)

40
131 205
Alonzo Harris is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Alonzo Harris Training Day Denzel Washington - Best Actor (2001).

41
86 89
David Helfgott is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
David Helfgott Shine Geoffrey Rush - Best Actor (1996).

42
97 96
Bela Lugosi is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Bela Lugosi Ed Wood Martin Landau - Best Supporting Actor (1994).

43
65 82
Christy Brown is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Christy Brown My Left Foot

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44
115 134
Rooster Cogburn is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
DonPhillips added Rooster Cogburn True Grit, Rooster Cogburn John Wayne - Best Actor (1969).

45
29 21
Frank Serpico is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Frank Serpico Serpico

46
24 13
Captain Jack Sparrow is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
heesung237 added Captain Jack Sparrow 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

47
57 65
Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Lana Bradstream added Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade

48
92 126
Ron Woodroof is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Ron Woodroof Dallas Buyers Club Matthew McConaughey - Best Actor (2013).

49
26 26
Sonny is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Sonny Dog Day Afternoon

50
28 17
Norman Stansfield is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Norman Stansfield Léon: The Professional