Academy Award (Best Actor Winners)

by sweeneytodd_barnabascoll | created - 24 May 2013 | updated - 28 May 2013 | Public

From 1971-present

1. Gene Hackman

Actor | The French Connection

Eugene Allen Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Anna Lyda Elizabeth (Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman, who operated a newspaper printing press. He is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German), English, and Scottish ancestry, partly by way of Canada, where his mother was born. After ...

1971, The French Connection

Nominees: George C. Scott (The Hospital) Peter Finch (Sunday Bloody Sunday) Walter Matthau (Kotch) Topol (Fiddler on the Roof)

2. Marlon Brando

Actor | Apocalypse Now

Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in ...

1972, The Godfather

Nominees:

Laurence Olivier (Sleuth) Michael Caine (Sleuth) Peter O’Toole (The Ruling Class) Paul Winfield (Sounder)

3. Jack Lemmon

Actor | The Apartment

Jack Lemmon was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Mildred Lankford Noel and John Uhler Lemmon, Jr., the president of a doughnut company. His ancestry included Irish (from his paternal grandmother) and English. Jack attended Ward Elementary near his Newton, MA home. At age 9 he was sent to Rivers ...

1973. Save the Tiger

Nominees:

Al Pacino (Serpico) Marlon Brando (Last Tango in Paris) Jack Nicholson (The Last Detail) Robert Redford (The Sting)

4. Art Carney

Actor | Harry and Tonto

Art Carney was born on November 4, 1918 in Mount Vernon, New York, USA as Arthur William Matthew Carney. He was an actor, known for Harry and Tonto (1974), Firestarter (1984) and Going in Style (1979). He was married to Jean Wilson Myers (remarried), Barbara Carney and Jean Wilson Myers. He died on...

1974, Harry and Tonto

Nominees :

Al Pacino (The Godfather, Part II) Jack Nicholson (Chinatown) Dustin Hoffman (Lenny) Albert Finney (Murder on the Orient Express)

5. Jack Nicholson

Actor | Chinatown

Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received Oscar nomination in every decade from the 1960s through the...

1975, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Nominees:

Al Pacino (Dog Day Afternoon) Maximilian Schell (The Man in the Glass Booth) Walter Matthau (The Sunshine Boys) James Whitmore (Give ’em Hell, Harry!)

6. Peter Finch

Actor | Network

Despite being one of the finest actors of his generation, Peter Finch will be remembered as much for his reputation as a hard-drinking, hell-raising womanizer as for his performances on the screen. He was born in London in 1916 and went to live in Sydney, Australia, at the age of ten. There, he ...

1976, Network

Nominees:

Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver) William Holden (Network) Giancarlo Giannini (Seven Beauties)

7. Richard Dreyfuss

Actor | The Goodbye Girl

Richard Dreyfuss is an American leading man, who has played his fair share of irritating pests and brash, ambitious hustlers.

He was born Richard Stephen Dreyfus in Brooklyn, New York, to Geraldine (Robbins), an activist, and Norman Dreyfus, a restaurateur and attorney. His paternal grandparents ...

1977, The Goodbye Girl

Nominees:

John Travolta (Saturday Night Fever) Woody Allen (Annie Hall) Richard Burton (Equus) Marcello Mastroianni (A Special Day)

8. Jon Voight

Actor | Anaconda

Jon Voight was born on December 29, 1938 in Yonkers, New York, USA as Jonathan Vincent Voight. He is an actor, known for Anaconda (1997), Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Transformers (2007). He was previously married to Marcheline Bertrand and Lauri Peters.

1978, Coming Home

Nominees:

Robert De Niro (The Deer Hunter) Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait) Laurence Olivier (The Boys from Brazil) Gary Busey (The Buddy Holly Story)

9. Dustin Hoffman

Actor | Tootsie

Dustin Lee Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California, to Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who was a furniture salesman and prop supervisor for Columbia Pictures. He was raised in a Jewish family (from Ukraine, Russia-Poland, and Romania). Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955, ...

1979, Kramer vs. Kramer

Nominees:

Al Pacino (And Justice for All) Jack Lemmon (The China Syndrome) Roy Scheider (All That Jazz) Peter Sellers (Being There)

10. Robert De Niro

Actor | Raging Bull

One of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro was born on August 17, 1943 in Manhattan, New York City, to artists Virginia (Admiral) and Robert De Niro Sr. His paternal grandfather was of Italian descent, and his other ancestry is English, Dutch, German, French and Irish. He was trained at...

1980, Raging Bull

Nominees :

Robert Duvall (The Great Santini) Jack Lemmon (Tribute) Peter O’Toole (The Stunt Man) John Hurt (The Elephant Man)

11. Henry Fonda

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Henry Jaynes Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Elma Herberta (Jaynes) and William Brace Fonda, who worked in advertising and printing. His recent ancestry included Dutch, English, and Scottish.

Fonda started his acting debut with the Omaha Community Playhouse, a local amateur theater ...

1981, On Golden Pond

Nominees :

Warren Beatty (Reds) Dudley Moore (Arthur) Paul Newman (Absence of Malice) Burt Lancaster (Atlantic City)

12. Ben Kingsley

Actor | Gandhi

Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Bhanji on December 31, 1943 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. His father, Rahimtulla Harji Bhanji, was a Kenyan-born medical doctor, of Gujarati Indian descent, and his mother, Anna Lyna Mary (Goodman), was an English actress. Ben began to act in stage plays during ...

1982, Gandhi

Nominees:

Dustin Hoffman (Tootsie) Paul Newman (The Verdict) Jack Lemmon (Missing) Peter O’Toole (My Favorite Year)

13. Robert Duvall

Actor | The Apostle

Veteran actor and director Robert Selden Duvall was born on January 5, 1931, in San Diego, CA, to Mildred Virginia (Hart), an amateur actress, and William Howard Duvall, a career military officer who later became an admiral. Duvall majored in drama at Principia College (Elsah, IL), then served a ...

1983, Tender Mercies

Nominees:

Michael Caine (Educating Rita) Albert Finney (The Dresser) Tom Courtenay (The Dresser) Tom Conti (Reuben, Reuben)

14. F. Murray Abraham

Actor | The Grand Budapest Hotel

Academy Award-winning actor F. Murray Abraham was born on October 24, 1939 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in El Paso, Texas. His father, Frederick Abraham, was from an Assyrian Christian (Antiochian) family, from Syria. His mother, Josephine (Stello) Abraham, was the daughter of Italian ...

1984, Amadeus

Nominees:

Tom Hulce (Amadeus) Jeff Bridges (Starman) Albert Finney (Under the Volcano) Sam Waterston (The Killing Fields)

15. William Hurt

Actor | A History of Violence

William McChord Hurt was born in Washington, D.C., to Claire Isabel (McGill) and Alfred McChord Hurt, who worked at the State Department. He was trained at Tufts University and The Juilliard School and has been nominated for four Academy Awards, including the most recent nomination for his ...

1985, Kiss of the Spider Woman

Nominees:

Jack Nicholson (Prizzi’s Honor) Harrison Ford (Witness) Jon Voight (Runaway Train) James Garner (Murphy’s Romance)

16. Paul Newman

Actor | The Hustler

Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Theresa (Fetsko) and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Paul's father was Jewish, the son of emigrants from Poland and Hungary; he owned...

1986, The Color of Money

Nominees:

William Hurt (Children of a Lesser God) James Woods (Salvador) Bob Hoskins (Mona Lisa) Dexter Gordon (Round Midnight)

17. Michael Douglas

Actor | Wonder Boys

An actor with over forty years of experience in theatre, film, and television, Michael Douglas branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny ...

1987, Wall Street

Nominees:

Jack Nicholson (Ironweed) William Hurt (Broadcast News) Robin Williams (Good Morning, Vietnam) Marcello Mastroianni (Dark Eyes)

18. Dustin Hoffman

Actor | Tootsie

Dustin Lee Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California, to Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who was a furniture salesman and prop supervisor for Columbia Pictures. He was raised in a Jewish family (from Ukraine, Russia-Poland, and Romania). Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955, ...

1988, Rain Man

Nominees:

Tom Hanks (Big) Gene Hackman (Mississippi Burning) Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver) Max von Sydow (Pelle the Conqueror)

19. Daniel Day-Lewis

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Nicholas Blake, Poet Laureate of the U.K., and his second wife, actress Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and head of the famous Ealing ...

1989, My Left Foot

Nominees:

Tom Cruise (Born on the Fourth of July) Morgan Freeman (Driving Miss Daisy) Robin Williams (Dead Poets Society) Kenneth Branagh (Henry V)

20. Jeremy Irons

Actor | Dead Ringers

British actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England. He is the son of Barbara Anne Brereton (Sharpe) and Paul Dugan Irons, an accountant. Young Jeremy didn't prove very fond of figures. He visited mainland England only once a year. He wound up ...

1990, Reversal of Fortune

Nominees:

Kevin Costner (Dances With Wolves) Robert De Niro (Awakenings) Richard Harris (The Field) Gerard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac)

21. Anthony Hopkins

Actor | The Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, ...

1991, The Silence of the Lambs

Nominees:

Warren Beatty (Bugsy) Robert De Niro (Cape Fear) Nick Nolte (The Prince of Tides) Robin Williams (The Fisher King)

22. Al Pacino

Actor | Serpico

One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of cinema's most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

Alfredo James Pacino was born on April 25, 1940 in Manhattan, New York City, to an ...

1992, Scent of a Woman

Nominees:

Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven) Denzel Washington (Malcolm X) Robert Downey Jr. (Chaplin) Stephen Rea (The Crying Game)

23. Tom Hanks

Producer | Cast Away

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese, while his father was of mostly English ancestry. Tom grew up in what he has ...

1993, Philadelphia

Nominees:

Anthony Hopkins (The Remains of the Day) Daniel Day-Lewis (In the Name of the Father) Liam Neeson (Schindler's List) Laurence Fishburne (What's Love Got to Do with It)

24. Tom Hanks

Producer | Cast Away

Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an itinerant cook. His mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese, while his father was of mostly English ancestry. Tom grew up in what he has ...

1994, Forrest Gump

Nominees:

John Travolta (Pulp Fiction) Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) Paul Newman (Nobody's Fool) Nigel Hawthorne (The Madness of King George)

25. Nicolas Cage

Actor | Face/Off

Nicolas Cage was born Nicolas Kim Coppola in Long Beach, California, the son of comparative literature professor August Coppola (whose brother is director Francis Ford Coppola) and dancer/choreographer Joy Vogelsang. He is of Italian (father) and Polish, German, and English (mother) descent. Cage ...

1995, Leaving Las Vegas

Nominees:

Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking) Anthony Hopkins (Nixon) Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland's Opus) Massimo Troisi (The Postman)

26. Geoffrey Rush

Actor | The King's Speech

Geoffrey Roy Rush was born on July 6, 1951, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia, to Merle (Bischof), a department store sales assistant, and Roy Baden Rush, an accountant for the Royal Australian Air Force. His mother was of German descent and his father had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. ...

1996, Shine

Nominees:

Tom Cruise (Jerry Maguire) Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient) Woody Harrelson (The People Vs. Larry Flynt)

27. Jack Nicholson

Actor | Chinatown

Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received Oscar nomination in every decade from the 1960s through the...

1997, As Good as It Gets

Nominees:

Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) Dustin Hoffman (Wag the Dog) Robert Duvall (The Apostle) Peter Fonda (Ulee's Gold)

28. Roberto Benigni

Actor | La vita è bella

Roberto Benigni was born on October 27, 1952 in Manciano La Misericordia, Castiglion Fiorentino, Tuscany, Italy as Roberto Remigio Benigni. He is an actor and writer, known for Life Is Beautiful (1997), La tigre e la neve (2005) and Down by Law (1986). He has been married to Nicoletta Braschi since...

1998, Life is Beautiful

Nominees:

Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan) Edward Norton (American History X) Nick Nolte (Affliction) Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters)

29. Kevin Spacey

Actor | The Usual Suspects

Kevin Spacey Fowler, better known by his stage name Kevin Spacey, is an American actor of screen and stage, film director, producer, screenwriter and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in...

1999, American Beauty

Nominees:

Denzel Washington (The Hurricane) Russell Crowe (The Insider) Sean Penn (Sweet and Lowdown) Richard Farnsworth (The Straight Story

30. Russell Crowe

Actor | Les Misérables

Russell Ira Crowe was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to Jocelyn Yvonne (Wemyss) and John Alexander Crowe, both of whom catered movie sets. His maternal grandfather, Stanley Wemyss, was a cinematographer. Crowe's recent ancestry includes Welsh (where his paternal grandfather was born, in Wrexham),...

2000, Gladiator

Nominees:

Tom Hanks (Cast Away) Ed Harris (Pollock) Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls) Geoffrey Rush (Quills)

31. Denzel Washington

Actor | Fences

Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. was born on December 28, 1954 in Mount Vernon, New York. He is the middle of three children of a beautician mother, Lennis, from Georgia, and a Pentecostal minister father, Denzel Washington, Sr., from Virginia. After graduating from high school, Denzel enrolled at ...

2001, Training Day

Nominees:

Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind) Sean Penn (I Am Sam) Will Smith (Ali) Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom)

32. Adrien Brody

Actor | The Pianist

Adrien Nicholas Brody was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the only child of retired history professor Elliot Brody and Hungarian-born photographer Sylvia Plachy. He accompanied his mother on assignments for the Village Voice, and credits her with making him feel comfortable in front of the ...

2002, The Pianist

Nominees:

Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt) Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York) Michael Caine (The Quiet American) Nicolas Cage (Adaptation)

33. Sean Penn

Actor | Mystic River

Sean Penn is a powerhouse film performer capable of intensely moving work, who has gone from strength to strength during a colourful film career, and who has drawn much media attention for his stormy private life and political viewpoints.

Sean Justin Penn was born in Los Angeles, California, the ...

2003, Mystic River

Nominees:

Bill Murray (Lost in Translation) Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) Ben Kingsley (House of Sand and Fog) Jude Law (Cold Mountain)

34. Jamie Foxx

Actor | Django Unchained

Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the biographical film Ray (2004). The same year, he was nominated for the Academy...

2004, Ray

Nominees:

Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator) Johnny Depp (Finding Neverland) Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda)

35. Philip Seymour Hoffman

Actor | The Master

Film and stage actor and theater director Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in the Rochester, New York, suburb of Fairport on July 23, 1967. He was the son of Marilyn (Loucks), a lawyer and judge, and Gordon Stowell Hoffman, a Xerox employee, and was mostly of German, Irish, English and Dutch ...

2005, Capote

Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow) Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line) David Strathairn, (Good Night, and Good Luck)

36. Forest Whitaker

Actor | The Last King of Scotland

Forest Steven Whitaker has packaged a king-size talent into his hulking 6' 2", 220 lb. frame. He won an Academy Award for his performance as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in the film The Last King of Scotland (2006), and has also won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. He is the fourth African-American male to...

2006, The Last King of Scotland

Nominees:

Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond) Peter O'Toole (Venus), Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson), Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness)

37. Daniel Day-Lewis

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Nicholas Blake, Poet Laureate of the U.K., and his second wife, actress Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and head of the famous Ealing ...

2007, There Will Be Blood

Nominees :

George Clooney (Michael Clayton) Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah) Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

38. Sean Penn

Actor | Mystic River

Sean Penn is a powerhouse film performer capable of intensely moving work, who has gone from strength to strength during a colourful film career, and who has drawn much media attention for his stormy private life and political viewpoints.

Sean Justin Penn was born in Los Angeles, California, the ...

2008, Milk

Nominees:

Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) Brad Pitt (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) Richard Jenkins (The Visitor)

39. Jeff Bridges

Actor | The Big Lebowski

Jeffrey Leon Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California, the son of well-known film and TV star Lloyd Bridges and his long-time wife Dorothy Dean Bridges (née Simpson). He grew up amid the happening Hollywood scene with big brother Beau Bridges. Both boys popped up, without ...

2009, Crazy Heart

Nominees :

George Clooney (Up in the Air) Morgan Freeman (Invictus) Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) Colin Firth (A Single Man)

40. Colin Firth

Actor | A Single Man

Colin Andrew Firth was born into an academic family in Grayshott, Hampshire, England. His mother, Shirley Jean (Rolles), was a comparative religion lecturer at the Open University, and his father, David Norman Lewis Firth, lectured on history at Winchester University College (formerly King Alfred's...

2010, The Kings Speech

Nominees :

Jeff Bridges (True Grit) James Franco (127 Hours) Jessie Eisenberg (The Social Network) Javier Bardem (Biutiful)

41. Jean Dujardin

Actor | The Artist

In 1995 he began his first one man show, the same year he met Bruno Salomone, Eric Collado, Emmanuel Joucla and Eric Massot with whom he created the "Nous C nous". In 1999, he became "Loulou" in Un gars, une fille (1999). This part permitted him to show his talent to a larger public. Since the end ...

2011, The Artist

Nominees :

George Clooney (The Descendants) Brad Pitt (Moneyball) Demián Bichir (A Better Life) Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)

42. Daniel Day-Lewis

Actor | There Will Be Blood

Born in London, England, Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is the second child of Nicholas Blake, Poet Laureate of the U.K., and his second wife, actress Jill Balcon. His maternal grandfather was Sir Michael Balcon, an important figure in the history of British cinema and head of the famous Ealing ...

2012, Lincoln

Nominees:

Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) Denzel Washington (Flight) Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)



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