oscars The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked  

Ranker Film
Originally by
30.7k votes 3.2k voters 23k views 79 items Embed

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
1,330 403
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).

2
677 506
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs Anthony Hopkins - Best Actor (1991).

3
650 443
Vito Corleone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Vito Corleone The Godfather Marlon Brando - Best Actor (1972).

4
886 812
The Joker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Joker The Dark Knight Heath Ledger - Best Supporting Actor (2008).

5
1,010 365
Andrew Beckett is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Andrew Beckett Philadelphia Tom Hanks - Best Actor (1993).

6
577 391
Randle Patrick McMurphy is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Randle Patrick McMurphy One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Jack Nicholson - Best Actor (1975).

7
408 329
Raymond Babbitt is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Raymond Babbitt Rain Man Dustin Hoffman - Best Actor (1988).

8
420 200
Atticus Finch is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Atticus Finch To Kill a Mockingbird Gregory Peck - Best Actor (1962).

9
354 223
Anton Chigurh is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Anton Chigurh No Country for Old Men Javier Bardem - Best Supporting Actor (2007).

10
295 268
Jake LaMotta is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Jake LaMotta Raging Bull Robert De Niro - Best Actor (1980).

11
329 243
Hans Landa is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Hans Landa Inglourious Basterds Christoph Waltz - Best Supporting Actor (2009).

12
242 177
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added Mahatma Gandhi Dear Friend Hitler Ben Kingsley-Best Actor (1982)

The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever

13
336 241
Tommy DeVito is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tommy DeVito Goodfellas Joe Pesci - Best Supporting Actor (1990).

14
298 194
Sean Maguire is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Sean Maguire Good Will Hunting Robin Williams - Best Supporting Actor (1997).

15
227 132
General George S. Patton, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
General George S. Patton, Jr. Patton George C. Scott - Best Actor (1970).

16
218 148
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
242 213
King George VI is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
King George VI The King's Speech Colin Firth - Best Actor (2010).

The Best Free Google Apps

18
221 210
Stephen Hawking is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Stephen Hawking The Theory of Everything Eddie Redmayne - Best Actor (2014).

19
270 213
Roger 'Verbal' Kint is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Roger 'Verbal' Kint The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey - Best Supporting Actor (1995).

21
199 151
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
304 321
Maximus Decimus Meridius is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Maximus Decimus Meridius Gladiator Russell Crowe - Best Actor (2000).

23
188 144
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle The French Connection Gene Hackman - Best Actor (1971).

Oscar Winning Performances from the Past 50 Years, Ranked

24
213 224
Daniel Plainview is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Daniel Plainview There Will Be Blood Daniel Day-Lewis - Best Actor (2007).

25
211 238
Lester Burnham is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Lester Burnham American Beauty Kevin Spacey - Best Actor (1999).

26
183 190
Dr. Schultz is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Dr. Schultz Django Unchained Christoph Waltz - Best Supporting Actor (2012).

27
179 136
Idi Amin Dada is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Idi Amin Dada The Last King of Scotland Forest Whitaker - Best Actor (2006).

28
217 186
Ray Charles is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Ray Charles Ray Jamie Foxx - Best Actor (2004).

Stars Who Passed on Iconic Hollywood Roles

29
160 221
Alonzo is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Alonzo Harris Training Day Denzel Washington - Best Actor (2001).

30
177 108
Nick Chevotarevich is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Nick Chevotarevich The Deer Hunter Christopher Walken - Best Supporting Actor (1978).

31
90 94
Christy Brown is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Christy Brown My Left Foot

32
90 83
Howard Beale is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added Howard Beale Network Peter Finch- Best Actor (1976)

33
180 133
Samuel Gerard is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard The Fugitive Tommy Lee Jones - Best Supporting Actor (1993).

The Very Best Actress Performances, Ranked

34
172 190
Melvin Udall is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Melvin Udall As Good as It Gets Jack Nicholson - Best Actor (1997).

35
188 127
Dickie Eklund is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Dickie Eklund The Fighter Christian Bale - Best Supporting Actor (2010).

36
140 155
Wladyslaw Szpilman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Wladyslaw Szpilman The Pianist Adrien Brody - Best Actor (2002).

37
115 111
Béla Lugosi is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Béla Lugosi Ed Wood Martin Landau - Best Supporting Actor (1994).

38
150 168
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).

Things That Introverts Have The Hardest Time With

39
121 66
Aaron Stampler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Morgan Snyder added Aaron Stampler Primal Fear

Edward Norton

40
118 95
Homer Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Homer Smith Lilies of the Field Sidney Poitier - Best Actor (1963).

41
106 73
T. E. Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
CarstenSchultz added T. E. Lawrence Lawrence of Arabia, A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia

42
140 104
Antonio Salieri is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Antonio Salieri Amadeus F. Murray Abraham - Best Actor (1984).

43
95 104
David Helfgott is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
David Helfgott Shine Geoffrey Rush - Best Actor (1996).

The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies

44
133 156
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
53 35
Frank Serpico is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Frank Serpico Serpico

46
50 32
Norman Stansfield is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Norman Stansfield Léon: The Professional

47
64 47
Captain Jack Sparrow is listed (or ranked) 47 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

48
100 191
Jimmy Markum is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Jimmy Markum Mystic River Sean Penn - Best Actor (2003).

49
105 196
Harvey Milk is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Harvey Milk Milk Sean Penn - Best Actor (2008).

50
119 142
Ron Woodroof is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Ron Woodroof Dallas Buyers Club Matthew McConaughey - Best Actor (2013).