Over the years, there have been so many great actors and actresses who have won Oscars for portraying classic characters. Some of these best actor Oscar performances were for roles based on real people, while others were based on fictional characters.
Who are some of the best characters to win an Oscar? Randle Patrick McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest made our list. Jack Nicholson won a Best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of this not-so-crazy patient in 1975. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was based on the 1962 Ken Kesey book of the same name. Marlon Brando's iconic portrayal of Vito Corleone in the film The Godfather also made our list. Brando took home the Best Actor Oscar in 1972.
Several Best Actress performances also made this list. Julia Robert's portrayal of Erin Brockovich in the film of the same name, earned her an Oscar for Best Actress in 2000. Other Best Actress roles that are featured on this list include Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) from Black Swan and Clarice Starling (Jody Foster) from The Silence of the Lambs. Halle Berry was the first African American woman to win an Oscar for her performance as Leticia Musgrove in Monster's Ball.Which best actor Oscar-winning performance is your favorite? Vote up your favorite role, and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section.
- 1Forrest Gump
Actor: Tom HanksTom Hanks - Best Actor (1994).
Actor: Kathy BatesKathy Bates - Best Actress (1990).
- 3The Bridge on the River Kwai
Actor: Alec Guinness
Alec Guinness - Best Actor (1957)
Actor: F. Murray AbrahamF. Murray Abraham-Best Actor (1984)
- 5A Streetcar Named Desire, A Streetcar Named Desire
Actor: Jessica Lange, Vivien Leigh, Ann-MargretVivien Leigh-Best Actress (1951)
- 6The Queen
Actor: Helen MirrenHelen Mirren-Best Actress (2006)
- 7Sophie's Choice
Actor: Meryl StreepMeryl Streep-Best Actress (1982)
Actor: Charlton HestonCharlton Heston -- Best Actor (1959)
- 9To Kill a Mockingbird
Actor: Gregory PeckGregory Peck - Best Actor (1962).
- 10Black Swan
Actor: Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman - Best Actress (2010).
Actor: Tom HanksTom Hanks - Best Actor (1993).
- 12Boys Don't Cry
Actor: Hilary SwankHilary Swank - Best Actress (1999).
Norma RaeNorma Rae
Actor: Sally FieldSally Field - Best Actress (1979).
- 14The Usual Suspects
Actor: Kevin SpaceyKevin Spacey - Best Supporting Actor (1995).
- 15The Miracle Worker
Actor: Patty DukePatty Duke - Best Supporting Actress (1962).
- 16Dear Friend Hitler
Actor: Avijit DuttBen Kingsley - Best Actor (1982)
Actor: Jamie FoxxJamie Foxx - Best Actor (2004).
- 18Django Unchained
Actor: Christoph WaltzChristoph Waltz - Best Supporting Actor (2012).
- 19Mary Poppins
Actor: Julie AndrewsJulie Andrews -- Best Actress (1964)
- 20The Help
Actor: Octavia SpencerOctavia Spencer - Best Supporting Actress (2011).
- 21No Country for Old Men
Actor: Javier BardemJavier Bardem - Best Supporting Actor (2007).
Actor: Philip Seymour HoffmanPhilip Seymour Hoffman - Best Actor (2005).
- 23The French Connection
Actor: Gene HackmanGene Hackman - Best Actor (1971).
- 24Million Dollar Baby
Actor: Hilary SwankHilary Swank - Best Actress (2004).
Actor: Frances McDormandFrances McDormand - Best Actress (1996).