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

Ranker Film
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21.1k votes 3.6k 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
2,060 254
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
346 253
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
385 340
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Raging Bull (1980)

4
322 236
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 88 - The French Connection (1971)

5
388 388
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
292 211
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
358 336
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

8
270 214
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 8 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)

9
284 249
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 78 - Scent of a Woman (1992)

10
246 200
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 81 - Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Rain Man (1988)

11
230 184
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
216 173
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 12 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)

13
238 193
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 58

14
222 199
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
116 96
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
622 517
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
133 147
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 58 (1899-1957) - The African Queen (1951)

18
76 66
George C. Scott is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 72 (1927-1999)

19
217 252
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 19 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)

20
164 197
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 54 - Gladiator (2000)

21
74 61
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 63 (1924-1987)

22
142 144
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 22 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)

23
113 100
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

24
93 65
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added age 82

25
227 240
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 64 - Training Day (2001)

26
172 178
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 59 - American Beauty (1999)

27
129 152
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 74 - Wall Street (1987)

28
104 90
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 28 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)

29
73 64
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 67 - Shine (1996)

30
119 117
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 30 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)

31
220 252
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 44

32
98 90
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 86 (1914-2000)

33
152 155
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 91 - Lilies in the Field (1963)

34
67 64
Burt Lancaster is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 81 (1913-1994)

35
151 142
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 76 (1925-2001) - Save the Tiger (1973)

36
121 132
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Gandhi (1982)

37
127 115
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 72 (1907-1979) - True Grit (1969)

38
189 171
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 47 (1967-2014) - Capote (2005)

39
145 138
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 82 (1907-1989) - Hamlet (1948)

40
94 68
Forest Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 57

41
83 82
Richard Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 71

42
156 158
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 69 - Crazy Heart (2009)

43
141 150
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 49 - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

44
61 49
James Cagney is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 87 (1899-1986)

45
77 57
William Hurt is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 68 - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

46
70 54
Eddie Redmayne is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 36

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)