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

Ranker Film
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21.1k 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
2,061 257
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
346 256
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
323 239
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
293 214
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
385 344
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Raging Bull (1980)

6
388 392
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 6 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)

7
358 340
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

8
270 218
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
284 253
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
244 193
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 58

11
246 203
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
230 187
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
216 176
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
222 202
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
117 98
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
622 520
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
73 64
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 67 - Shine (1996)

18
98 90
Alec Guinness 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 86 (1914-2000)

19
220 252
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
151 142
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 76 (1925-2001) - Save the Tiger (1973)

21
152 155
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 91 - Lilies in the Field (1963)

22
67 64
Burt Lancaster 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 81 (1913-1994)

23
189 171
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 47 (1967-2014) - Capote (2005)

24
121 132
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Gandhi (1982)

25
127 115
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 72 (1907-1979) - True Grit (1969)

26
94 68
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
145 138
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 82 (1907-1989) - Hamlet (1948)

28
217 253
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 28 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)

29
156 158
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 69 - Crazy Heart (2009)

30
141 150
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 49 - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

31
227 241
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 64 - Training Day (2001)

32
83 82
Richard Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 71

33
164 198
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 54 - Gladiator (2000)

34
133 148
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 58 (1899-1957) - The African Queen (1951)

35
172 179
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 59 - American Beauty (1999)

36
142 145
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 36 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)

37
113 101
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

38
129 153
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 74 - Wall Street (1987)

39
119 118
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 39 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)

40
76 67
George C. Scott is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 72 (1927-1999)

41
93 66
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added age 82

42
104 91
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 42 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)

43
74 62
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
77 57
William Hurt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 68 - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

45
61 49
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
71 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)