VOTE The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role  

Ranker Film
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18.6k votes 3.3k voters 28.4k views 81 items

Every year the Academy evaluates a year's worth of brilliant performances and picks what they believe to be the best of the best, nominating these for the most prestigious acting awards in cinema: the Oscars. This in itself is an honor - just to be nominated for an Academy Award. But only one person can win each year, and the men listed here have all taken home Oscar gold for Best Actor in a Leading Role - so which Best Actor Oscar winners are the best?

Of the leading men who have won Best Actor, who is the best Best Actor?! Do you think it's a classic choice like Marlon Brando? Clark Gable? Humphrey Bogart? Is it a more recent recipient like Philip Seymour Hoffman? Sean Penn? Jack Nicholson?

With so many options choosing the best is hard, but that's where you come in. Vote up the very best actors of all the Best Actor Academy Award winners below!
list ordered by

1
1,885 181
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 62 - Philadelphia (1993), Forrest Gump (1994)

2
340 181
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 77 (1905-1982) - On Golden Road (1981)

3
380 303
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 81 - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), As Good as It Gets (1997)

4
376 260
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Raging Bull (1980)

5
304 163
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 88 - The French Connection (1971)

6
271 141
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 89 (1908-1997) - The Philadelphia Story (1940)

7
350 262
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

8
155 61
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 58

9
262 144
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 80 (1924-2004) - On the Waterfront (1954), The Godfather (1972)

10
279 179
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 78 - Scent of a Woman (1992)

11
207 113
Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 87 - Tender Mercies (1983)

12
211 133
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 83 (1925-2008) - The Color of Money (1986)

13
225 133
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 81 - Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Rain Man (1988)

14
193 109
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 87 (1916-2003) - To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

15
93 53
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 70 - Reversal of Fortune (1990)

16
148 105
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 91 - Lilies in the Field (1963)

17
187 120
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 47 (1967-2014) - Capote (2005)

18
130 106
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 58 (1899-1957) - The African Queen (1951)

19
154 114
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 69 - Crazy Heart (2009)

20
212 194
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 61 - My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007), Lincoln (2012)

21
118 95
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Gandhi (1982)

22
96 61
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 86 (1914-2000)

23
149 107
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 76 (1925-2001) - Save the Tiger (1973)

24
144 105
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 82 (1907-1989) - Hamlet (1948)

25
141 112
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 67 (1900-1967) - Captain Courageous (1937), Boys Town (1938)

26
619 456
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 60 -

The Darkest Hour (2017)

27
116 91
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 59 (1901-1960) - It Happened One Night (1934)

28
126 128
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 74 - Wall Street (1987)

29
81 64
Richard Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 71

30
92 52
Forest Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 57

31
70 50
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 67 - Shine (1996)

32
90 49
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added age 82

33
101 74
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 60 (1901-1961) - Sergeant York (1941), High Noon (1952)

34
161 178
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 54 - Gladiator (2000)

35
110 84
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

36
216 227
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 44

37
72 53
George C. Scott is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 72 (1927-1999)

38
169 158
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 59 - American Beauty (1999)

39
64 55
Burt Lancaster is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 81 (1913-1994)

40
224 221
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 64 - Training Day (2001)

41
139 138
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 49 - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

42
70 53
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 63 (1924-1987)

43
126 108
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 72 (1907-1979) - True Grit (1969)

44
69 50
Eddie Redmayne is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 36

45
66 49
Yul Brynner is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 65 (1920-1985)

46
57 47
James Cagney is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 87 (1899-1986)

47
73 56
William Hurt is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 68 - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

48
50 42
William Holden is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 63 (1918-1981)

49
66 62
Ernest Borgnine is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 95 (1917-2012) - Marty (1955)

50
45 42
David Niven is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 73 (1910-1983)