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
3,666 630
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Forrest Gump, 1995
2
2,770 527
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Andrew Beckett
Philadelphia, 1994
3
643 549
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4
916 748
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The Godfather, 1973
5
1,076 938
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6
799 705
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976
7
694 682
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The King's Speech, 2011
8
403 377
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976
9
266 224
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10
252 217
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Driving Miss Daisy, 1990
11
200 165
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Jodie Foster as Sarah Tobias
The Accused, 1989
12
288 243
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13
274 241
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14
604 559
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Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowska
Sophie's Choice, 1983
15
331 250
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16
477 427
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17
198 135
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18
332 299
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Dallas Buyers Club, 2014
19
434 321
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La Vie en Rose, 2008
20
539 480
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21
363 320
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22
378 323
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Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena
Boys Don't Cry, 2000
23
322 298
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24
268 253
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Erin Brockovich, 2001
25
273 215
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Daniel Day-Lewis as Christy Brown
My Left Foot, 1990