award shows The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role  

Ranker Film
Originally by
8.2k votes 1.1k voters 14.9k views 80 items Embed

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
645 74
Tom Hanks is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Tom Hanks age 61 - Philadelphia (1993), Forrest Gump (1994)

The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever The Best Official Republican Candidates for 2016

2
171 105
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jack Nicholson age 80 - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), As Good as It Gets (1997)

3
150 64
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Henry Fonda Died at 77 (1905-1982) - On Golden Road (1981)

4
103 43
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Paul Newman Died at 83 (1925-2008) - The Color of Money (1986)

5
182 108
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Robert De Niro age 74 - Raging Bull (1980)

6
117 48
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
James Stewart Died at 89 (1908-1997) - The Philadelphia Story (1940)

7
102 44
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Gregory Peck Died at 87 (1916-2003) - To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

8
124 59
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Gene Hackman age 87 - The French Connection (1971)

9
161 107
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Anthony Hopkins age 80 - The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

10
125 62
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dustin Hoffman age 80 - Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Rain Man (1988)

11
102 49
Robert Duvall is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Robert Duvall age 86 - Tender Mercies (1983)

12
133 72
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Marlon Brando Died at 80 (1924-2004) - On the Waterfront (1954),  The Godfather (1972)

13
74 37
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Humphrey Bogart Died at 58 (1899-1957) - The African Queen (1951)

14
97 48
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Spencer Tracy Died at 67 (1900-1967) - Captain Courageous (1937), Boys Town (1938)

15
95 47
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Laurence Olivier Died at 82 (1907-1989) - Hamlet (1948)

The Most Overrated Actors of All Time Stars Who Passed on Iconic Hollywood Roles

16
148 107
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Al Pacino age 77 - Scent of a Woman (1992)

17
88 42
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jack Lemmon Died at 76 (1925-2001) - Save the Tiger (1973)

18
70 38
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Clark Gable Died at 59 (1901-1960) - It Happened One Night (1934)

19
116 78
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Kevin Spacey age 58 - American Beauty (1999)

20
71 43
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Sidney Poitier age 90 - Lilies in the Field (1963)

21
66 39
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Ben Kingsley age 74 - Gandhi (1982)

22
98 54
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Philip Seymour Hoffman Died at 47 (1967-2014) - Capote (2005)

23
67 37
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Gary Cooper Died at 60 (1901-1961) - Sergeant York (1941), High Noon (1952)

24
75 52
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges age 68 - Crazy Heart (2009)

25
94 88
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Russell Crowe age 53 - Gladiator (2000)

26
77 70
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Michael Douglas age 73 - Wall Street (1987)

27
39 21
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Alec Guinness Died at 86 (1914-2000)

28
68 58
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Leonardo DiCaprio age 43

29
31 19
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 Burt Lancaster Died at 81 (1913-1994)

The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting) Jordan Harbinger's Tips on Being a Better Host

30
37 12
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 Forest Whitaker age 56

31
41 26
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Colin Firth age 57

32
30 20
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Jeremy Irons age 69 - Reversal of Fortune (1990)

33
38 22
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Lee Marvin Died at 63 (1924-1987)

34
115 99
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Denzel Washington age 63 - Training Day (2001)

35
31 17
James Cagney is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added James Cagney Died at 87 (1899-1986)

36
30 21
Richard Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Richard Dreyfuss age 70

37
32 20
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 George C. Scott Died at 72 (1927-1999)

38
63 50
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Charlton Heston Died at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

39
31 18
Yul Brynner is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Yul Brynner Died at 65 (1920-1985)

40
42 35
Ernest Borgnine is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Ernest Borgnine Died at 95 (1917-2012) - Marty (1955)

41
24 18
William Holden is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added William Holden Died at 63 (1918-1981)

42
115 121
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis age 60 - My Left Foot (1989),  There Will Be Blood (2007), Lincoln (2012)

43
25 19
David Niven is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added David Niven Died at 73 (1910-1983)

2018 Golden Globe Nominees for Best Leading Actress The Best Dogs for Allergies

44
25 22
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Geoffrey Rush age 66 - Shine (1996)

45
75 71
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
John Wayne Died at 72 (1907-1979) - True Grit (1969)

46
25 21
Ray Milland is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Ray Milland Died at 79 (1907-1986)

47
42 35
William Hurt is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
William Hurt age 67 - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

48
20 17
Charles Laughton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Charles Laughton Died at 63 (1899-1962)

49
27 17
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added Robert Redford age 81

50
25 21
Jon Voight is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Jon Voight age 79