Entertainment

The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked  

Ranker Film
Originally by
67.8k votes 9.8k voters 44.9k views 64 items

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
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
Andrew Beckett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
3
Vito Corleone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
4
Atticus Finch is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
5
Randle McMurphy is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Jack Nicholson - Best Actor (1975).
6
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
7
The Joker is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger - Best Supporting Actor (2008).

More The Joker

#10 of 93 The Most Likable Movie Antiheroes #10 of 3,785 The Best Movie Characters of All Time #94 of 102 Movie Tough Guys Without Super Powers or a Super Suit

8
Raymond Babbitt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Rain Man
Dustin Hoffman - Best Actor (1988).
9
Anton Chigurh is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
10
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
Hans Landa is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Inglourious Basterds
Christoph Waltz - Best Supporting Actor (2009).

More Hans Landa

#19 of 962 The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time #145 of 3,785 The Best Movie Characters of All Time #1 of 41 The Best Quentin Tarantino Characters of All Time

12
Tommy DeVito is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
13
Mahatma Gandhi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Tom Islava added Ghandi
Ben Kingsley-Best Actor (1982)

More Mahatma Gandhi

#30 of 931 People We Wish Were Still Alive #18 of 2,834 The Most Influential People of All Timefeaturing The Best Mahatma Gandhi Quotes

14
General George S. Patton... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Patton
George C. Scott - Best Actor (1970).
15
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
Abraham Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Paul Stewart0 added Abraham Lincoln Lincoln

Daniel Day Lewis as

17
Terence Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Whiplash
J. K. Simmons - Best Supporting Actor (2014).
18
Maximus Decimus Meridius... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
19
Roger 'Verbal' Kint is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Usual Suspects
Kevin Spacey - Best Supporting Actor (1995).

More Roger 'Verbal' Kint

#139 of 3,785 The Best Movie Characters of All Time #38 of 93 The Most Likable Movie Antiheroes #125 of 962 The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time

20
Stephen Hawking is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Theory of Everything
Eddie Redmayne - Best Actor (2014).
21
Daniel Plainview is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
22
King George VI is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The King's Speech
Colin Firth - Best Actor (2010).
23
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Capote
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Best Actor (2005).
24
Dr. King Schultz is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
25
Jimmy 'Popeye' Doyle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked