Oscars 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
3,671 631
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Forrest Gump, 1995
2
2,775 528
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Andrew Beckett
Philadelphia, 1994
3
643 550
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4
916 749
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The Godfather, 1973
5
1,076 939
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6
799 706
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976
7
697 689
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The King's Speech, 2011
8
658 598
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The Silence of the Lambs, 1992
9
257 232
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Coal Miner's Daughter, 1981
10
424 389
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11
381 338
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12
559 491
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Raging Bull, 1981
13
420 374
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14
169 130
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On Golden Pond, 1982
15
305 262
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16
340 285
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Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 1967
17
212 182
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Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine
The Lion in Winter, 1969 (tied with Barbra Streisand)
18
604 560
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Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowska
Sophie's Choice, 1983
19
650 558
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There Will Be Blood, 2008
20
403 378
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976
21
258 204
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22
181 157
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As Good as It Gets, 1998
23
265 229
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24
477 428
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25
539 481
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