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
3,468 607
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Forrest Gump, 1995

2
2,575 504
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Andrew Beckett
Philadelphia, 1994

3
639 525
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4
913 720
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The Godfather, 1973

5
1,072 903
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6
630 574
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The King's Speech, 2011

7
795 672
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976

8
256 217
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Coal Miner's Daughter, 1981

9
200 157
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10
251 205
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Driving Miss Daisy, 1990

11
655 574
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The Silence of the Lambs, 1992

12
218 169
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Dustin Hoffman as Ted Kramer
Kramer vs. Kramer, 1980

13
167 124
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On Golden Pond, 1982

14
157 117
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Katharine Hepburn as Christina Drayton
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? 1968

15
265 218
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16
199 160
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Jodie Foster as Sarah Tobias
The Accused, 1989

17
422 379
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18
402 369
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, 1976

19
538 470
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20
602 547
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Meryl Streep as Sophie Zawistowska
Sophie's Choice, 1983

21
557 480
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Raging Bull, 1981

22
206 164
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23
303 255
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24
212 163
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25
476 419
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