Academy Award for Best Actor

Academy Award for Best Actor
Casey Affleck at the Manchester by the Sea premiere (30199719155) (cropped).jpg
Awarded for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Country United States
Presented by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)
First awarded 1929 (for performance in films released during the 1927/ 1928 film season)
Currently held by Casey Affleck
Manchester by the Sea ( 2016)
Website oscars.org

The Academy Award for Best Actor is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the film industry.

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with Emil Jannings receiving the award for his roles in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. [1] Currently, nominees are determined by single transferable vote within the actors branch of AMPAS; winners are selected by a plurality vote from the entire eligible voting members of the Academy. [2]

In the first three years of the awards, actors were nominated as the best in their categories. At that time, all of their work during the qualifying period (as many as three films, in some cases) was listed after the award. [3] However, during the 3rd ceremony held in 1930, only one of those films was cited in each winner's final award, even though each of the acting winners had two films following their names on the ballots. [4] The following year, this system was replaced by the current system in which an actor is nominated for a specific performance in a single film. [3] Starting with the 9th ceremony held in 1937, the category was officially limited to five nominations per year. [3]

Since its inception, the award has been given to 80 actors. Daniel Day-Lewis has received the most awards in this category with three Oscars. Spencer Tracy and Laurence Olivier were nominated on nine occasions, more than any other actor. As of the 2017 ceremony, Casey Affleck is the most recent winner in this category for his role as Lee Chandler in Manchester by the Sea.

Photographs and summaries of all winners are available in Media related to Academy Award for Best Actor at Wikimedia Commons.

Winners and nominees

In the following table, the years are listed as per Academy convention, and generally correspond to the year of film release in Los Angeles County; the ceremonies are always held the following year. [5] For the first five ceremonies, the eligibility period spanned twelve months from August 1 to July 31. [6] For the 6th ceremony held in 1934, the eligibility period lasted from August 1, 1932, to December 31, 1933. [6] Since the 7th ceremony held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31. [6]

Table key
Award winner Indicates the winner
§ Indicates winner who refused the award
^ Indicates posthumous winner
* Indicates posthumous nominee
Year Actor Role(s) Film Ref.
1927/ 28
(1st)
Emil Jannings Award winner [A] Grand Duke Sergius Alexander
August Schilling
The Last Command
The Way of All Flesh
[7]
Richard Barthelmess Nickie Elkins
Patent Leather Kid
The Noose
The Patent Leather Kid
1928/ 29
(2nd)
Warner Baxter Award winner The Cisco Kid In Old Arizona [8]
George Bancroft Thunderbolt Jim Lang Thunderbolt
Chester Morris Chick Williams (No. 1065) Alibi
Paul Muni James Dyke The Valiant
Lewis Stone Count Pahlen The Patriot
1929/ 30
(3rd)
George Arliss Award winner [B] Benjamin Disraeli Disraeli [9]
George Arliss [B] The Raja The Green Goddess
Wallace Beery Butch "Machine Gun" Schmidt The Big House
Maurice Chevalier [B] Pierre Mirande
Count Alfred Renard
The Big Pond
The Love Parade
Ronald Colman [B] Capt. Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond
Michel
Bulldog Drummond
Condemned
Lawrence Tibbett Yegor The Rogue Song
1930/ 31
(4th)
Lionel Barrymore Award winner Stephen Ashe A Free Soul [10]
Jackie Cooper Skippy Skinner Skippy
Richard Dix Yancey Cravat Cimarron
Fredric March Tony Cavendish The Royal Family of Broadway
Adolphe Menjou Walter Burns The Front Page
1931/ 32
(5th)
Wallace Beery Award winner [C] Andy Purcell – The Champ The Champ [11]
Fredric March Award winner [C] Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Alfred Lunt The Actor The Guardsman
1932/ 33
(6th)
Charles Laughton Award winner King Henry VIII of England The Private Life of Henry VIII [12]
Leslie Howard Peter Standish Berkeley Square
Paul Muni James Allen I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
1934
(7th)
Clark Gable Award winner Peter Warne It Happened One Night [13]
Frank Morgan Alessandro – Duke of Florence The Affairs of Cellini
William Powell Nick Charles The Thin Man
1935
(8th)
Victor McLaglen Award winner Gypo Nolan The Informer [14]
Clark Gable Lieutenant Fletcher Christian Mutiny on the Bounty
Charles Laughton Captain William Bligh
Franchot Tone Midshipman Roger Byam
Paul Muni [D] Joe Radek Black Fury
1936
(9th)
Paul Muni Award winner Louis Pasteur The Story of Louis Pasteur [15]
Gary Cooper Longfellow Deeds Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Walter Huston Sam Dodsworth Dodsworth
William Powell Godfrey Park My Man Godfrey
Spencer Tracy Father Tim Mullin San Francisco
1937
(10th)
Spencer Tracy Award winner Manuel Fidello Captains Courageous [16]
Charles Boyer Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte Conquest
Fredric March Norman Maine A Star Is Born
Robert Montgomery Danny Night Must Fall
Paul Muni Émile Zola The Life of Emile Zola
1938
(11th)
Spencer Tracy Award winner Father Flanagan Boys Town [17]
Charles Boyer Pepe le Moko Algiers
James Cagney Rocky Sullivan Angels with Dirty Faces
Robert Donat Dr. Andrew Manson The Citadel
Leslie Howard Professor Henry Higgins Pygmalion
1939
(12th)
Robert Donat Award winner Charles Edward Chipping Goodbye, Mr. Chips [18]
Clark Gable Rhett Butler Gone with the Wind
Laurence Olivier Heathcliff Wuthering Heights
Mickey Rooney Mickey Moran Babes in Arms
James Stewart Jefferson Smith Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
1940
(13th)
James Stewart Award winner Macaulay "Mike" Connor The Philadelphia Story [19]
Charlie Chaplin Adenoid Hynkel / The Barber The Great Dictator
Henry Fonda Tom Joad The Grapes of Wrath
Raymond Massey Abraham Lincoln Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Laurence Olivier Maximilian "Maxim" de Winter Rebecca
1941
(14th)
Gary Cooper Award winner Sgt. Alvin York Sergeant York [20]
Cary Grant Roger Adams Penny Serenade
Walter Huston Mr. Scratch All That Money Can Buy
Robert Montgomery Joe Pendleton Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Orson Welles Charles Foster Kane Citizen Kane
1942
(15th)
James Cagney Award winner George M. Cohan Yankee Doodle Dandy [21]
Ronald Colman Charles Rainier Random Harvest
Gary Cooper Lou Gehrig The Pride of the Yankees
Walter Pidgeon Clem Miniver Mrs. Miniver
Monty Woolley Howard The Pied Piper
1943
(16th)
Paul Lukas Award winner Kurt Muller Watch on the Rhine [22]
Humphrey Bogart Rick Blaine Casablanca
Gary Cooper Robert Jordan For Whom the Bell Tolls
Walter Pidgeon Pierre Curie Madame Curie
Mickey Rooney Homer Macauley The Human Comedy
1944
(17th)
Bing Crosby Award winner Father Chuck O'Malley Going My Way [23]
Charles Boyer Gregory Anton Gaslight
Barry Fitzgerald Father Fitzgibbon Going My Way
Cary Grant Ernie Mott None but the Lonely Heart
Alexander Knox Woodrow Wilson Wilson
1945
(18th)
Ray Milland Award winner Don Birnam The Lost Weekend [24]
Bing Crosby Father Chuck O'Malley The Bells of St. Mary's
Gene Kelly Joseph Brady Anchors Aweigh
Gregory Peck Father Francis The Keys of the Kingdom
Cornel Wilde Frédéric Chopin A Song to Remember
1946
(19th)
Fredric March Award winner Al Stephenson The Best Years of Our Lives [25]
Laurence Olivier King Henry V of England Henry V
Larry Parks Al Jolson The Jolson Story
Gregory Peck Ezra "Penny" Baxter The Yearling
James Stewart George Bailey It's a Wonderful Life
1947
(20th)
Ronald Colman Award winner Anthony John A Double Life [26]
John Garfield Charlie Davis Body and Soul
Gregory Peck Philip Schuyler Green Gentleman's Agreement
William Powell Clarence Day, Sr. Life with Father
Michael Redgrave Orin Mannon Mourning Becomes Electra
1948
(21st)
Laurence Olivier Award winner Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Hamlet [27]
Lew Ayres Dr. Robert Richardson Johnny Belinda
Montgomery Clift Ralph "Steve" Stevenson The Search
Dan Dailey "Skid" Johnson When My Baby Smiles at Me
Clifton Webb Lynn Aloysius Belvedere Sitting Pretty
1949
(22nd)
Broderick Crawford Award winner Willie Stark All the King's Men [28]
Kirk Douglas Michael "Midge" Kelly Champion
Gregory Peck Brig. General Frank Savage Twelve O'Clock High
Richard Todd Cpl. Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan The Hasty Heart
John Wayne Sergeant John M. Stryker Sands of Iwo Jima
1950
(23rd)
José Ferrer Award winner Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano de Bergerac [29]
Louis Calhern Oliver Wendell Holmes The Magnificent Yankee
William Holden Joe Gillis Sunset Boulevard
James Stewart Elwood P. Dowd Harvey
Spencer Tracy Stanley T. Banks Father of the Bride
1951
(24th)
Humphrey Bogart Award winner Charlie Allnut The African Queen [30]
Marlon Brando Stanley Kowalski A Streetcar Named Desire
Montgomery Clift George Eastman A Place in the Sun
Arthur Kennedy Larry Nevins Bright Victory
Fredric March Willy Loman Death of a Salesman
1952
(25th)
Gary Cooper Award winner Marshal Will Kane High Noon [31]
Marlon Brando Emiliano Zapata Viva Zapata!
Kirk Douglas Jonathan Shields The Bad and the Beautiful
José Ferrer Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Comte Alphonse de Toulouse-Lautrec
Moulin Rouge
Alec Guinness Holland The Lavender Hill Mob
1953
(26th)
William Holden Award winner Sgt. J.J. Sefton Stalag 17 [32]
Marlon Brando Mark Antony Julius Caesar
Richard Burton Marcellus Gallio The Robe
Montgomery Clift Pvt. Robert E. Lee "Prew" Prewitt From Here to Eternity
Burt Lancaster 1st Sgt. Milton Warden
1954
(27th)
Marlon Brando Award winner Terry Malloy On the Waterfront [33]
Humphrey Bogart Lt. Cmdr. Philip Francis Queeg The Caine Mutiny
Bing Crosby Frank Elgin The Country Girl
James Mason Norman Maine A Star Is Born
Dan O'Herlihy Robinson Crusoe Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
1955
(28th)
Ernest Borgnine Award winner Marty Piletti Marty [34]
James Cagney Martin Snyder Love Me or Leave Me
James Dean * [35] Cal Trask East of Eden
Frank Sinatra Frankie Machine The Man with the Golden Arm
Spencer Tracy John J. Macreedy Bad Day at Black Rock
1956
(29th)
Yul Brynner Award winner King Mongkut of Siam The King and I [36]
James Dean * [35] Jett Rink Giant
Kirk Douglas Vincent van Gogh Lust for Life
Rock Hudson Jordan "Bick" Benedict Jr. Giant
Laurence Olivier King Richard III of England Richard III
1957
(30th)
Alec Guinness Award winner Lt. Colonel L. Nicholson, D.S.O. The Bridge on the River Kwai [37]
Marlon Brando Major Lloyd "Ace" Gruver, USAF Sayonara
Anthony Franciosa Polo Pope A Hatful of Rain
Charles Laughton Sir Wilfrid Robarts Witness for the Prosecution
Anthony Quinn Gino Wild Is the Wind
1958
(31st)
David Niven Award winner Major Angus Pollock Separate Tables [38]
Tony Curtis John "Joker" Jackson The Defiant Ones
Paul Newman Brick Pollitt Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Sidney Poitier Noah Cullen The Defiant Ones
Spencer Tracy The Old Man The Old Man and the Sea
1959
(32nd)
Charlton Heston Award winner Judah Ben-Hur Ben-Hur [39]
Laurence Harvey Joe Lampton Room at the Top
Jack Lemmon Jerry / Daphne Some Like It Hot
Paul Muni Dr. Sam Abelman The Last Angry Man
James Stewart Paul Biegler Anatomy of a Murder
1960
(33rd)
Burt Lancaster Award winner Elmer Gantry Elmer Gantry [40]
Trevor Howard Walter Morel Sons and Lovers
Jack Lemmon C. C. "Bud" Baxter The Apartment
Laurence Olivier Archie Rice The Entertainer
Spencer Tracy Henry Drummond Inherit the Wind
1961
(34th)
Maximilian Schell Award winner Hans Rolfe Judgment at Nuremberg [41]
Charles Boyer Cesar Fanny
Paul Newman Eddie Felson The Hustler
Spencer Tracy Chief Judge Dan Haywood Judgment at Nuremberg
Stuart Whitman Jim Fuller The Mark
1962
(35th)
Gregory Peck Award winner Atticus Finch To Kill a Mockingbird [42]
Burt Lancaster Robert Franklin Stroud Birdman of Alcatraz
Jack Lemmon Joe Clay Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni Ferdinando Cefalù Divorce Italian Style
Peter O'Toole T. E. Lawrence Lawrence of Arabia
1963
(36th)
Sidney Poitier Award winner Homer Smith Lilies of the Field [43]
Albert Finney Tom Jones Tom Jones
Richard Harris Frank Machin This Sporting Life
Rex Harrison Julius Caesar Cleopatra
Paul Newman Hud Bannon Hud
1964
(37th)
Rex Harrison Award winner Professor Henry Higgins My Fair Lady [44]
Richard Burton Thomas Becket Becket
Peter O'Toole King Henry II of England
Anthony Quinn Alexis Zorba Zorba the Greek
Peter Sellers Group Captain Lionel Mandrake
President Merkin Muffley
Dr. Strangelove
Dr. Strangelove
1965
(38th)
Lee Marvin Award winner Kid Shelleen
Tim Strawn
Cat Ballou [45]
Richard Burton Alec Leamas The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
Laurence Olivier Othello Othello
Rod Steiger Sol Nazerman The Pawnbroker
Oskar Werner Willie Schumann Ship of Fools
1966
(39th)
Paul Scofield Award winner Sir Thomas More A Man for All Seasons [46]
Alan Arkin Lt. Rozanov The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming
Richard Burton George Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Michael Caine Alfie Elkins Alfie
Steve McQueen Jake Holman The Sand Pebbles
1967
(40th)
Rod Steiger Award winner Police Chief Bill Gillespie In the Heat of the Night [47]
Warren Beatty Clyde Barrow Bonnie and Clyde
Dustin Hoffman Benjamin Braddock The Graduate
Paul Newman Lucas "Cool Hand Luke" Jackson Cool Hand Luke
Spencer Tracy * [35] Matt Drayton Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
1968
(41st)
Cliff Robertson Award winner Charly Gordon Charly [48]
Alan Arkin John Singer The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
Alan Bates Yakov Bok The Fixer
Ron Moody Fagin Oliver!
Peter O'Toole King Henry II of England The Lion in Winter
1969
(42nd)
John Wayne Award winner Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn True Grit [49]
Richard Burton King Henry VIII of England Anne of the Thousand Days
Dustin Hoffman Enrico Salvatore "Ratso" "Rico" Rizzo Midnight Cowboy
Peter O'Toole Arthur Chipping Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Jon Voight Joe Buck Midnight Cowboy
1970
(43rd)
George C. Scott § [50] General George S. Patton Jr. Patton [51]
Melvyn Douglas Tom Garrison I Never Sang for My Father
James Earl Jones Jack Jefferson The Great White Hope
Jack Nicholson Robert Eroica Dupea Five Easy Pieces
Ryan O'Neal Oliver Barrett IV Love Story
1971
(44th)
Gene Hackman Award winner Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle The French Connection [52]
Peter Finch Dr. Daniel Hirsh Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walter Matthau Joseph P. Kotcher Kotch
George C. Scott Dr. Herbert Bock The Hospital
Topol Tevye Fiddler on the Roof
1972
(45th)
Marlon Brando § [50] Vito Corleone The Godfather [53]
Michael Caine Milo Tindle Sleuth
Laurence Olivier Andrew Wyke
Peter O'Toole Jack Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney The Ruling Class
Paul Winfield Nathan Lee Morgan Sounder
1973
(46th)
Jack Lemmon Award winner Harry Stoner Save the Tiger [54]
Marlon Brando Paul Last Tango in Paris
Jack Nicholson Signalman First Class Billy L. "Badass" Buddusky The Last Detail
Al Pacino Frank Serpico Serpico
Robert Redford Johnny "Kelly" Hooker The Sting
1974
(47th)
Art Carney Award winner Harry Coombes Harry and Tonto [55]
Albert Finney Hercule Poirot Murder on the Orient Express
Dustin Hoffman Lenny Bruce Lenny
Jack Nicholson J. J. "Jake" Gittes Chinatown
Al Pacino Michael Corleone The Godfather Part II
1975
(48th)
Jack Nicholson Award winner Randle Patrick "Mac" McMurphy One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest [56]
Walter Matthau Willy Clark The Sunshine Boys
Al Pacino Sonny Wortzik Dog Day Afternoon
Maximilian Schell Arthur Goldman The Man in the Glass Booth
James Whitmore Harry S. Truman Give 'em Hell, Harry!
1976
(49th)
Peter Finch ^ [35] Howard Beale Network [57]
Robert De Niro Travis Bickle Taxi Driver
Giancarlo Giannini Pasqualino Frafuso Seven Beauties
William Holden Max Schumacher Network
Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa Rocky
1977
(50th)
Richard Dreyfuss Award winner Elliot Garfield The Goodbye Girl [58]
Woody Allen Alvy Singer Annie Hall
Richard Burton Martin Dysart Equus
Marcello Mastroianni Gabriele A Special Day
John Travolta Anthony "Tony" Manero Saturday Night Fever
1978
(51st)
Jon Voight Award winner Luke Martin Coming Home [59]
Warren Beatty Joe Pendleton Heaven Can Wait
Gary Busey Buddy Holly The Buddy Holly Story
Robert De Niro Michael Vronsky The Deer Hunter
Laurence Olivier Ezra Lieberman The Boys from Brazil
1979
(52nd)
Dustin Hoffman Award winner Ted Kramer Kramer vs. Kramer [60]
Jack Lemmon Jack Godell The China Syndrome
Al Pacino Arthur Kirkland ...And Justice for All
Roy Scheider Joe Gideon All That Jazz
Peter Sellers Chance the Gardener, aka Chauncey Gardiner Being There
1980
(53rd)
Robert De Niro Award winner Jake LaMotta Raging Bull [61]
Robert Duvall Lieutenant Colonel Wilbur "Bull" Meechum The Great Santini
John Hurt John Merrick The Elephant Man
Jack Lemmon Scottie Templeton Tribute
Peter O'Toole Eli Cross The Stunt Man
1981
(54th)
Henry Fonda Award winner Norman Thayer Jr. On Golden Pond [62]
Warren Beatty John Silas "Jack" Reed Reds
Burt Lancaster Lou Pascal Atlantic City
Dudley Moore Arthur Bach Arthur
Paul Newman Michael Colin Gallagher Absence of Malice
1982
(55th)
Ben Kingsley Award winner Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Gandhi [63]
Dustin Hoffman Michael Dorsey, aka Dorothy Michaels Tootsie
Jack Lemmon Ed Horman Missing
Paul Newman Frank Galvin The Verdict
Peter O'Toole Alan Swann My Favorite Year
1983
(56th)
Robert Duvall Award winner Mac Sledge Tender Mercies [64]
Michael Caine Dr. Frank Bryant Educating Rita
Tom Conti Gowan McGland Reuben, Reuben
Tom Courtenay Norman The Dresser
Albert Finney Sir
1984
(57th)
F. Murray Abraham Award winner Antonio Salieri Amadeus [65]
Jeff Bridges Starman Starman
Albert Finney Geoffrey Firmin Under the Volcano
Tom Hulce Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Amadeus
Sam Waterston Sydney Schanberg The Killing Fields
1985
(58th)
William Hurt Award winner Luis Molina Kiss of the Spider Woman [66]
Harrison Ford Detective Captain John Book Witness
James Garner Murphy Jones Murphy's Romance
Jack Nicholson Charley Partanna Prizzi's Honor
Jon Voight Oscar "Manny" Manheim Runaway Train
1986
(59th)
Paul Newman Award winner Fast Eddie Felson The Color of Money [67]
Dexter Gordon Dale Turner Round Midnight
Bob Hoskins George Mona Lisa
William Hurt James Leeds Children of a Lesser God
James Woods Richard Boyle Salvador
1987
(60th)
Michael Douglas Award winner Gordon Gekko Wall Street [68]
William Hurt Tom Grunick Broadcast News
Marcello Mastroianni Romano Dark Eyes
Jack Nicholson Francis Phelan Ironweed
Robin Williams Adrian Cronauer Good Morning, Vietnam
1988
(61st)
Dustin Hoffman Award winner Raymond Babbitt Rain Man [69]
Gene Hackman Agent Rupert Anderson Mississippi Burning
Tom Hanks Josh Baskin Big
Edward James Olmos Jaime Escalante Stand and Deliver
Max von Sydow Lassefar Pelle the Conqueror
1989
(62nd)
Daniel Day-Lewis Award winner Christy Brown My Left Foot [70]
Kenneth Branagh King Henry V of England Henry V
Tom Cruise Ron Kovic Born on the Fourth of July
Morgan Freeman Hoke Colburn Driving Miss Daisy
Robin Williams John Charles "Keats" Keating Dead Poets Society
1990
(63rd)
Jeremy Irons Award winner Claus von Bülow Reversal of Fortune [71]
Kevin Costner Lieutenant John J. Dunbar Dances with Wolves
Robert De Niro Leonard Lowe Awakenings
Gérard Depardieu Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano de Bergerac
Richard Harris "Bull" McCabe The Field
1991
(64th)
Anthony Hopkins Award winner Dr. Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs [72]
Warren Beatty Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel Bugsy
Robert De Niro Maximilian "Max" Cady Cape Fear
Nick Nolte Tom Wingo The Prince of Tides
Robin Williams Henry "Parry" Sagan The Fisher King
1992
(65th)
Al Pacino Award winner Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade Scent of a Woman [73]
Robert Downey Jr. Charlie Chaplin Chaplin
Clint Eastwood William "Will" Munny Unforgiven
Stephen Rea Fergus The Crying Game
Denzel Washington Malcolm X Malcolm X
1993
(66th)
Tom Hanks Award winner Andrew Beckett Philadelphia [74]
Daniel Day-Lewis Gerry Conlon In the Name of the Father
Laurence Fishburne Ike Turner What's Love Got to Do with It
Anthony Hopkins James Stevens The Remains of the Day
Liam Neeson Oskar Schindler Schindler's List
1994
(67th)
Tom Hanks Award winner Forrest Gump Forrest Gump [75]
Morgan Freeman Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding The Shawshank Redemption
Nigel Hawthorne King George III The Madness of King George
Paul Newman Donald "Sully" Sullivan Nobody's Fool
John Travolta Vincent Vega Pulp Fiction
1995
(68th)
Nicolas Cage Award winner Ben Sanderson Leaving Las Vegas [76]
Richard Dreyfuss Glenn Holland Mr. Holland's Opus
Anthony Hopkins Richard Nixon Nixon
Sean Penn Matthew Poncelet Dead Man Walking
Massimo Troisi * [35] Mario Ruoppolo Il Postino
1996
(69th)
Geoffrey Rush Award winner David Helfgott Shine [77]
Tom Cruise Jerry Maguire Jerry Maguire
Ralph Fiennes Count László de Almásy The English Patient
Woody Harrelson Larry Flynt The People vs. Larry Flynt
Billy Bob Thornton Karl Childers Sling Blade
1997
(70th)
Jack Nicholson Award winner Melvin Udall As Good as It Gets [78]
Matt Damon Will Hunting Good Will Hunting
Robert Duvall Euliss "Sonny" Dewey The Apostle
Peter Fonda Ulysses "Ulee" Jackson Ulee's Gold
Dustin Hoffman Stanley Motss Wag the Dog
1998
(71st)
Roberto Benigni Award winner Guido Orefice Life Is Beautiful [79]
Tom Hanks Captain John Miller Saving Private Ryan
Ian McKellen James Whale Gods and Monsters
Nick Nolte Wade Whitehouse Affliction
Edward Norton Derek Vinyard American History X
1999
(72nd)
Kevin Spacey Award winner Lester Burnham American Beauty [80]
Russell Crowe Jeffrey Wigand The Insider
Richard Farnsworth Alvin Straight The Straight Story
Sean Penn Emmet Ray Sweet and Lowdown
Denzel Washington Rubin "The Hurricane" Carter The Hurricane
2000
(73rd)
Russell Crowe Award winner Maximus Decimus Meridius Gladiator [81]
Javier Bardem Reinaldo Arenas Before Night Falls
Tom Hanks Chuck Noland Cast Away
Ed Harris Jackson Pollock Pollock
Geoffrey Rush The Marquis de Sade Quills
2001
(74th)
Denzel Washington Award winner Detective Alonzo Harris Training Day [82]
Russell Crowe John Forbes Nash Jr. A Beautiful Mind
Sean Penn Sam Dawson I Am Sam
Will Smith Muhammad Ali Ali
Tom Wilkinson Dr. Matt Fowler In the Bedroom
2002
(75th)
Adrien Brody Award winner Władysław Szpilman The Pianist [83]
Nicolas Cage Charlie Kaufman
Donald Kaufman
Adaptation
Michael Caine Thomas Fowler The Quiet American
Daniel Day-Lewis William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting Gangs of New York
Jack Nicholson Warren R. Schmidt About Schmidt
2003
(76th)
Sean Penn Award winner Jimmy Markum Mystic River [84]
Johnny Depp Captain Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ben Kingsley Massoud Amir Behrani House of Sand and Fog
Jude Law W. P. Inman Cold Mountain
Bill Murray Bob Harris Lost in Translation
2004
(77th)
Jamie Foxx Award winner Ray Charles Ray [85]
Don Cheadle Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp J. M. Barrie Finding Neverland
Leonardo DiCaprio Howard Hughes The Aviator
Clint Eastwood Frankie Dunn Million Dollar Baby
2005
(78th)
Philip Seymour Hoffman Award winner Truman Capote Capote [86]
Terrence Howard Djay Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger Ennis Del Mar Brokeback Mountain
Joaquin Phoenix Johnny Cash Walk the Line
David Strathairn Edward R. Murrow Good Night, and Good Luck
2006
(79th)
Forest Whitaker Award winner Idi Amin The Last King of Scotland [87]
Leonardo DiCaprio Danny Archer Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling Dan Dunne Half Nelson
Peter O'Toole Maurice Venus
Will Smith Chris Gardner The Pursuit of Happyness
2007
(80th)
Daniel Day-Lewis Award winner Daniel Plainview There Will Be Blood [88]
George Clooney Michael Clayton Michael Clayton
Johnny Depp Sweeney Todd / Benjamin Barker Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones Hank Deerfield In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen Nikolai Luzhin Eastern Promises
2008
(81st)
Sean Penn Award winner Harvey Milk Milk [89]
Richard Jenkins Walter Vale The Visitor
Frank Langella Richard Nixon Frost/Nixon
Brad Pitt Benjamin Button The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke Randy "The Ram" Robinson The Wrestler
2009
(82nd)
Jeff Bridges Award winner Otis "Bad" Blake Crazy Heart [90]
George Clooney Ryan Bingham Up in the Air
Colin Firth George Falconer A Single Man
Morgan Freeman Nelson Mandela Invictus
Jeremy Renner SFC William James The Hurt Locker
2010
(83rd)
Colin Firth Award winner King George VI The King's Speech [91]
Javier Bardem Uxbal Biutiful
Jeff Bridges Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg Mark Zuckerberg The Social Network
James Franco Aron Ralston 127 Hours
2011
(84th)
Jean Dujardin Award winner George Valentin The Artist [92]
Demián Bichir Carlos Galindo A Better Life
George Clooney Matthew King The Descendants
Gary Oldman George Smiley Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt Billy Beane Moneyball
2012
(85th)
Daniel Day-Lewis Award winner Abraham Lincoln Lincoln [93]
Bradley Cooper Patrizio "Pat" Solitano, Jr. Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman Jean Valjean Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix Freddie Quell The Master
Denzel Washington William "Whip" Whitaker, Sr. Flight
2013
(86th)
Matthew McConaughey Award winner Ron Woodroof Dallas Buyers Club [94]
Christian Bale Irving Rosenfeld American Hustle
Bruce Dern Woodrow "Woody" Grant Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio Jordan Belfort The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor Solomon Northup 12 Years a Slave
2014
(87th)
Eddie Redmayne Award winner Stephen Hawking The Theory of Everything [95]
Steve Carell John du Pont Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper Chris Kyle American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch Alan Turing The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton Riggan Thomson Birdman
2015
(88th)
Leonardo DiCaprio Award winner Hugh Glass The Revenant [96]
Bryan Cranston Dalton Trumbo Trumbo
Matt Damon Mark Watney The Martian
Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne Lili Elbe The Danish Girl
2016
(89th)
Casey Affleck Award winner Lee Chandler Manchester by the Sea [97]
Andrew Garfield Desmond Doss Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling Sebastian Wilder La La Land
Viggo Mortensen Ben Cash Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington Troy Maxson Fences
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