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

Ranker Film
Originally by
14.4k votes 2.1k voters 24.8k 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
1,200 129
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 62 - Philadelphia (1993), Forrest Gump (1994)

2
284 127
Henry Fonda is listed (or ranked) 2 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)

3
251 107
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Gene Hackman age 88 - The French Connection (1971)

4
217 87
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 4 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)

5
323 226
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jack Nicholson age 81 - One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), As Good as It Gets (1997)

6
302 192
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Anthony Hopkins age 81 - The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

7
178 87
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 7 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)

8
212 98
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 8 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)

9
323 215
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Robert De Niro age 75 - Raging Bull (1980)

10
162 64
Gregory Peck is listed (or ranked) 10 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)

11
167 69
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 87 - Tender Mercies (1983)

12
193 94
Dustin Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dustin Hoffman age 81 - Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Rain Man (1988)

13
224 131
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Al Pacino age 78 - Scent of a Woman (1992)

14
128 59
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Sidney Poitier age 90 - Lilies in the Field (1963)

The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever

15
111 66
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 15 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)

16
127 70
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges age 69 - Crazy Heart (2009)

17
158 77
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 17 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)

18
170 126
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Leonardo DiCaprio age 44

19
127 71
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Laurence Olivier Died at 82 (1907-1989) - Hamlet (1948)

20
126 71
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 20 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)

21
77 36
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 21 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)

The Best Looking Car Brands

22
183 138
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis age 61 - My Left Foot (1989),  There Will Be Blood (2007), Lincoln (2012)

23
117 79
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 23 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)

24
137 126
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Russell Crowe age 54 - Gladiator (2000)

25
193 152
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Denzel Washington age 64 - Training Day (2001)

26
97 65
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Ben Kingsley age 75 - Gandhi (1982)

27
96 67
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 27 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)

28
60 41
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Jeremy Irons age 70 - Reversal of Fortune (1990)

The Best Actresses to Ever Win Oscars for Best Actress

29
151 123
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Kevin Spacey age 59 - American Beauty (1999)

30
77 52
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Colin Firth age 58

31
102 98
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Michael Douglas age 74 - Wall Street (1987)

32
580 418
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Gary Oldman age 60 - The Darkest Hour (2017)

33
59 43
Richard Dreyfuss is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Richard Dreyfuss age 71

34
70 32
Forest Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Forest Whitaker age 57

35
88 59
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 35 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)

The 50 Most Absurd Translations of Film Titles

36
66 29
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added Robert Redford age 81

37
55 41
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
89 69
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
55 43
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Geoffrey Rush age 67 - Shine (1996)

40
57 43
Lee Marvin is listed (or ranked) 40 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)

41
49 45
Burt Lancaster is listed (or ranked) 41 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)

42
49 37
James Cagney is listed (or ranked) 42 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)

2018 Golden Globe Nominees For Best Leading Actor

43
114 119
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Matthew McConaughey age 49 - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

44
105 91
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 44 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)

45
54 39
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 Eddie Redmayne age 36

46
54 41
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 Yul Brynner Died at 65 (1920-1985)

47
40 35
William Holden is listed (or ranked) 47 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)

48
58 55
Ernest Borgnine is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Ernest Borgnine Died at 95 (1917-2012) - Marty (1955)

49
62 50
William Hurt is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
William Hurt age 68 - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

50
32 32
Maximilian Schell is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Maximilian Schell Died at 84 (1930-2014)