Entertainment 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
4,380 749
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
3,766 729
Andrew Beckett is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Philadelphia
Tom Hanks - Best Actor (1993).
3
835 367
Atticus Finch is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
To Kill a Mockingbird
Gregory Peck - Best Actor (1962).
4
1,244 1,722
Vito Corleone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Godfather
Marlon Brando - Best Actor (1972).
5
1,657 3,121
The Joker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger - Best Supporting Actor (2008).
6
1,266 2,393
Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Silence of the Lambs
Anthony Hopkins - Best Actor (1991).
7
1,031 1,098
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
712 688
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
689 482
Anton Chigurh is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
No Country for Old Men
Javier Bardem - Best Supporting Actor (2007).
10
557 496
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
689 459
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).
12
607 387
Tommy DeVito is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Goodfellas
Joe Pesci - Best Supporting Actor (1990).
13
425 339
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)
14
413 247
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
599 347
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
493 384
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
443 289
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
448 388
Stephen Hawking is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
The Theory of Everything
Eddie Redmayne - Best Actor (2014).
19
381 249
Truman Capote is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Capote
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Best Actor (2005).
20
582 480
Maximus Decimus Meridius is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
Gladiator
Russell Crowe - Best Actor (2000).
21
453 336
Daniel Plainview is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Oscar-Winning Actor Performances, Ranked
There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day-Lewis - Best Actor (2007).
22
423 422
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
481 350
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
397 313
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
318 246
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).