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

Ranker Film
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18.4k 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
1,884 174
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
340 173
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
379 296
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
304 156
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
270 134
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
375 255
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
350 255
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

8
262 137
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
279 172
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
207 106
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
211 126
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
147 61
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 58

13
193 102
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
224 128
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 81 - Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Rain Man (1988)

15
148 98
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
88 52
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 70 - Reversal of Fortune (1990)

17
187 114
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
154 108
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
130 102
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
212 190
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 20 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)

21
118 91
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
96 57
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
149 101
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 99
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
141 106
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
618 451
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 60 -

The Darkest Hour (2017)

27
116 87
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
126 124
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 61
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 49
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 46
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
161 174
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
101 72
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 33 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)

34
70 50
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 67 - Shine (1996)

35
110 83
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

36
72 52
George C. Scott is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 72 (1927-1999)

37
169 156
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 59 - American Beauty (1999)

38
215 225
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 44

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
139 136
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
223 220
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)