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

Ranker Film
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21.4k votes 3.7k voters 29k 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
2,062 269
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
346 268
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
385 356
Robert De Niro is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Raging Bull (1980)

4
388 404
Jack Nicholson is listed (or ranked) 4 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)

5
323 251
Gene Hackman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 88 - The French Connection (1971)

6
261 194
Colin Firth is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 58

7
293 226
James Stewart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 89 (1908-1997) - The Philadelphia Story (1940)

8
358 352
Anthony Hopkins is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role

9
270 230
Marlon Brando is listed (or ranked) 9 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)

10
285 264
Al Pacino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 78 - Scent of a Woman (1992)

11
246 214
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
230 198
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
216 187
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
125 101
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 70 - Reversal of Fortune (1990)

15
222 213
Paul Newman is listed (or ranked) 15 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)

16
622 531
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
94 71
Forest Whitaker is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 57

18
164 202
Russell Crowe is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 54 - Gladiator (2000)

19
145 142
Laurence Olivier is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 82 (1907-1989) - Hamlet (1948)

20
220 258
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 44

21
71 55
Eddie Redmayne is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 36

22
189 176
Philip Seymour Hoffman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 47 (1967-2014) - Capote (2005)

23
113 104
Charlton Heston is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 85 (1923-2008) - Ben-Hur (1959)

24
119 121
Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 24 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)

25
77 59
William Hurt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 68 - Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

26
73 67
Geoffrey Rush is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 67 - Shine (1996)

27
141 154
Matthew McConaughey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added age 49 - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

28
127 119
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 72 (1907-1979) - True Grit (1969)

29
142 149
Spencer Tracy is listed (or ranked) 29 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)

30
227 247
Denzel Washington is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 64 - Training Day (2001)

31
104 94
Gary Cooper is listed (or ranked) 31 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)

32
83 85
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
121 136
Ben Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 75 - Gandhi (1982)

34
217 259
Daniel Day-Lewis is listed (or ranked) 34 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)

35
133 152
Humphrey Bogart is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 58 (1899-1957) - The African Queen (1951)

36
61 51
James Cagney 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 87 (1899-1986)

37
152 160
Sidney Poitier is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 91 - Lilies in the Field (1963)

38
151 147
Jack Lemmon is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Dec. at 76 (1925-2001) - Save the Tiger (1973)

39
93 69
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Margaret Anne Chalmers Hunt added age 82

40
67 67
Burt Lancaster 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 81 (1913-1994)

41
98 94
Alec Guinness is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
Matthew Baker added Dec. at 86 (1914-2000)

42
172 184
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 59 - American Beauty (1999)

43
156 163
Jeff Bridges is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 69 - Crazy Heart (2009)

44
68 52
Yul Brynner 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 65 (1920-1985)

45
129 157
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Actors to Ever Win Best Actor in a Leading Role
age 74 - Wall Street (1987)

46
76 70
George C. Scott 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 72 (1927-1999)

47
74 65
Lee Marvin 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 63 (1924-1987)

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)