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

Ranker Film
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18.9k 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
1,923 190
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
341 190
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
308 172
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
275 149
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 89 (1908-1997) - The Philadelphia Story (1940)

5
382 320
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
378 274
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
351 271
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

8
263 152
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
281 187
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
217 122
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
163 78
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 58

12
215 140
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
233 140
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
197 114
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
98 55
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
150 110
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
187 126
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
213 199
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 18 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)

19
155 119
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
131 111
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 58 (1899-1957) - The African Queen (1951)

21
118 100
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
619 462
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 60 -

The Darkest Hour (2017)

23
96 66
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 86 (1914-2000)

24
144 110
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
141 117
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
149 113
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 76 (1925-2001) - Save the Tiger (1973)

27
117 93
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
127 129
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 66
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
71 50
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 67 - Shine (1996)

31
93 53
Forest Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 57

32
112 84
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

33
91 50
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added age 82

34
74 53
George C. Scott 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 72 (1927-1999)

35
102 75
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 35 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)

36
218 228
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
162 179
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 54 - Gladiator (2000)

38
170 159
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
65 56
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
225 222
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
140 139
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
71 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
126 109
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
59 47
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
69 51
Eddie Redmayne is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 36

46
67 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
74 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)