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

Ranker Film
Originally by
21.2k votes 3.7k voters 28.9k 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
2,061 261
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
346 260
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
323 243
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 88 - The French Connection (1971)

4
385 348
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
388 396
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 5 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)

6
293 218
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
358 344
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

8
249 193
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
270 222
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
284 257
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
246 207
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 81 - Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Rain Man (1988)

12
230 191
Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 87 - Tender Mercies (1983)

13
216 180
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 13 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)

14
222 206
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 14 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)

15
119 100
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
622 524
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 60 -

The Darkest Hour (2017)

17
156 159
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 69 - Crazy Heart (2009)

18
127 116
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 72 (1907-1979) - True Grit (1969)

19
220 254
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 44

20
77 57
William Hurt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 68 - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

21
121 133
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
141 151
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 49 - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

23
172 180
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 59 - American Beauty (1999)

24
164 199
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 54 - Gladiator (2000)

25
61 49
James Cagney is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 87 (1899-1986)

26
94 69
Forest Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 57

27
142 146
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 27 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)

28
133 149
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 58 (1899-1957) - The African Queen (1951)

29
67 65
Burt Lancaster is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 81 (1913-1994)

30
217 255
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 30 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)

31
189 173
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 47 (1967-2014) - Capote (2005)

32
227 243
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 64 - Training Day (2001)

33
83 83
Richard Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 71

34
113 102
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

35
129 154
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 74 - Wall Street (1987)

36
151 144
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 76 (1925-2001) - Save the Tiger (1973)

37
152 157
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 91 - Lilies in the Field (1963)

38
119 119
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 38 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)

39
104 92
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 39 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)

40
145 140
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 82 (1907-1989) - Hamlet (1948)

41
98 92
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 86 (1914-2000)

42
76 68
George C. Scott 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 72 (1927-1999)

43
74 63
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 63 (1924-1987)

44
71 54
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
73 66
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 67 - Shine (1996)

46
93 68
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added age 82

47
68 52
Yul Brynner is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 65 (1920-1985)

48
51 43
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
67 63
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
46 43
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)