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

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18.3k 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
1,884 170
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
340 169
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
379 292
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
304 152
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
270 130
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 89 (1908-1997) - The Philadelphia Story (1940)

6
375 251
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Raging Bull (1980)

7
350 251
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

8
262 133
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
279 168
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
207 102
Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 87 - Tender Mercies (1983)

11
211 122
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 11 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)

12
193 98
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
224 124
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
143 61
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 58

15
148 94
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 91 - Lilies in the Field (1963)

16
187 110
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 47 (1967-2014) - Capote (2005)

17
87 51
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 70 - Reversal of Fortune (1990)

18
154 104
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 69 - Crazy Heart (2009)

19
130 99
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 58 (1899-1957) - The African Queen (1951)

20
118 88
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Gandhi (1982)

21
212 187
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 21 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)

22
96 56
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 98
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 96
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
141 103
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
116 86
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 26 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)

27
618 448
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 60 -

The Darkest Hour (2017)

28
126 123
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 60
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 48
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
90 45
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added age 82

32
161 171
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 54 - Gladiator (2000)

33
169 153
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 59 - American Beauty (1999)

34
101 72
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 34 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)

35
70 50
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 67 - Shine (1996)

36
215 223
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 52
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
110 83
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

39
64 54
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
139 135
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 49 - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

41
223 218
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 64 - Training Day (2001)

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
126 107
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
57 47
James Cagney 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 87 (1899-1986)

46
66 49
Yul Brynner 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 65 (1920-1985)

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)