Entertainment Oscar Winning Performances from the Past 50 Years, Ranked  

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List Rules List includes all actors and actresses who won an Oscar for a leading role after 1965.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issues the be-all and end-all of acting awards in the United States: the coveted Oscar. Only one man and one woman get to win the Academy Awards for leading roles every year, but which of the performances turned in by the talented and highly-praised actors below are truly the best of the best? This list ranks the best Oscar-winning performances by actors and actresses in leading roles over the last 50 years - since 1966.

These performances were (according to the Academy) the absolute best that each year had to offer. But which of those is the absolute best? Is it the iconic portrayal of Vito Corleone turned in by Marlon Brando in The Godfather? Maybe it's Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice? Or is it a more recent recipient? Maybe Julianne Moore in Still Alice or Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything? Use your votes to decide!

Below you'll find the best leading performances since the 1966 Academy Awards - honoring films released in 1965, through to today. Vote up your the leading performances by an actor or actress you think were the best and see your picks rise to the top!
list ordered by

1
3,474 608
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Forrest Gump, 1995

2
2,581 505
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Andrew Beckett
Philadelphia, 1994

3
639 526
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4
913 722
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The Godfather, 1973

5
1,072 905
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6
633 575
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The King's Speech, 2011

7
795 674
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976

8
256 219
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Coal Miner's Daughter, 1981

9
251 206
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Driving Miss Daisy, 1990

10
200 159
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11
655 575
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The Silence of the Lambs, 1992

12
218 170
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Dustin Hoffman as Ted Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer, 1980

13
538 470
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14
402 369
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976

15
602 547
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Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowska
Sophie's Choice, 1983

16
167 125
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On Golden Pond, 1982

17
265 219
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18
557 480
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Raging Bull, 1981

19
303 255
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20
422 380
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21
206 164
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22
157 118
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Katharine Hepburn as Christina Drayton
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? 1968

23
476 419
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24
199 161
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Jodie Foster as Sarah Tobias
The Accused, 1989

25
212 163
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