Saturday, 15 September 2012

All-Time Best 20 Actors in Movie History


Last updated on February 26 2017, after the 89th Academy Awards presented for achievements in 2016.

The all-time best 20 film actors are presented below, according to points awarded as follows:

4 points for a Best Actor Award;
3 points for a Best Actor nomination;
2 points for a Best Supporting Actor Award; and,
1 point for a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

Ties are broken by a count-back according to the above sequence.  Years shown are the film release dates (the Academy Awards are presented the following year).

Rank 18 (tie)
James Stewart
16 points










1939: Nominated, Best Actor, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
1940: Winner, Best Actor, The Philadelphia Story
1946: Nominated, Best Actor, It's A Wonderful Life
1950: Nominated, Best Actor, Harvey
1959: Nominated, Best Actor, Anatomy Of A Murder


Rank 18 (tie)
Gregory Peck
16 points













1945: Nominated, Best Actor, The Keys Of The Kingdom
1946: Nominated, Best Actor, The Yearling
1947: Nominated, Best Actor, Gentleman's Agreement
1949: Nominated, Best Actor, Twelve O'Clock High
1962: Winner, Best Actor, To Kill A Mockingbird


Rank 18 (tie)
Paul Muni
16 points













1929: Nominated, Best Actor, The Valiant
1932: Nominated, Best Actor, I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang
1936: Winner, Best Actor, The Story Of Louis Pasteur
1937: Nominated, Best Actor, The Life Of Emile Zola
1959: Nominated, Best Actor, The Last Angry Man
Note: Muni was not nominated as Best Actor for 1935's Black Fury, but came in second based on write-in voting.


Rank 14 (tie)
Sean Penn
17 points













1995: Nominated, Best Actor, Dead Man Walking
1999: Nominated, Best Actor, Sweet And Lowdown
2001: Nominated, Best Actor, I Am Sam
2003: Winner, Best Actor, Mystic River
2008: Winner, Best Actor, Milk


Rank 14 (tie)
Fredric March
17 points













1930: Nominated, Best Actor, The Royal Family Of Broadway
1931: Winner, Best Actor, Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
1937: Nominated, Best Actor, A Star Is Born
1946: Winner, Best Actor, The Best Years Of Our Lives
1951: Nominated, Best Actor, Death Of A Salesman


Rank 14 (tie)
Tom Hanks
17 points













1988: Nominated, Best Actor, Big
1993: Winner, Best Actor, Philadelphia
1994: Winner, Best Actor, Forrest Gump
1998: Nominated, Best Actor, Saving Private Ryan
2000: Nominated, Best Actor, Cast Away


Rank 14 (tie)
Gary Cooper
17 points













1936: Nominated, Best Actor, Mr. Deeds Goes To Town
1941: Winner, Best Actor, Sergeant York
1942: Nominated, Best Actor, The Pride Of The Yankees
1943: Nominated, Best Actor, For Whom The Bell Tolls
1952: Winner, Best Actor, High Noon


Rank 13
Daniel Day-Lewis
18 points










1989: Winner, Best Actor, My Left Foot
1993: Nominated, Best Actor, In The Name Of The Father
2002: Nominated, Best Actor, Gangs Of New York
2007: Winner, Best Actor, There Will Be Blood
2012: Winner, Best Actor, Lincoln


Rank 12
Richard Burton
19 points













1952: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, My Cousin Rachel
1953: Nominated, Best Actor, The Robe
1964: Nominated, Best Actor, Becket
1965: Nominated, Best Actor, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold
1966: Nominated, Best Actor, Anne Of The Thousand Days
1977: Nominated, Best Actor, Equus


Rank 11
Al Pacino
19 points










1972: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, The Godfather
1973: Nominated, Best Actor, Serpico
1974: Nominated, Best Actor, The Godfather Part II
1975: Nominated, Best Actor, Dog Day Afternoon
1979: Nominated, Best Actor, ...And Justice For All
1990: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Dick Tracy
1992: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Glengarry Glen Ross
1992: Winner, Best Actor, Scent Of A Woman


Rank 9 (tie)
Denzel Washington
19 points













1987: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Cry Freedom
1989: Winner, Best Supporting Actor, Glory
1992: Nominated, Best Actor, Malcolm X
1999: Nominated, Best Actor, The Hurricane
2001: Winner, Best Actor, Training Day
2012: Nominated, Best Actor, Flight
2016: Nominated, Best Actor, Fences


Rank 9 (tie)
Robert De Niro
19 points













1974: Winner, Best Supporting Actor, The Godfather Part II
1976: Nominated, Best Actor, Taxi Driver
1978: Nominated, Best Actor, The Deer Hunter
1980: Winner, Best Actor, Raging Bull
1990: Nominated, Best Actor, Awakenings
1991: Nominated, Best Actor, Cape Fear
2012: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Silver Linings Playbook


Rank 8
Dustin Hoffman
23 points









1967: Nominated, Best Actor, The Graduate
1969: Nominated, Best Actor, Midnight Cowboy
1974: Nominated, Best Actor, Lenny
1979: Winner, Best Actor, Kramer vs. Kramer
1982: Nominated, Best Actor, Tootsie
1988: Winner, Best Actor, Rain Man
1997: Nominated, Best Actor, Wag The Dog


Rank 7
Peter O'Toole
24 points









1962: Nominated, Best Actor, Lawrence Of Arabia
1964: Nominated, Best Actor, Becket
1968: Nominated, Best Actor, The Lion In Winter
1969: Nominated, Best Actor, Goodbye Mr. Chips
1972: Nominated, Best Actor, The Ruling Class
1980: Nominated, Best Actor, The Stunt Man
1982: Nominated, Best Actor, My Favorite Year
2006: Nominated, Best Actor, Venus


Rank 6
Jack Lemmon
24 points













1955: Winner, Best Supporting Actor, Mister Roberts
1959: Nominated, Best Actor, Some Like It Hot
1960: Nominated, Best Actor, The Apartment
1962: Nominated, Best Actor, Days Of Wine And Roses
1973: Winner, Best Actor, Save The Tiger
1979: Nominated, Best Actor, The China Syndrome
1980: Nominated, Best Actor, Tribute
1982: Nominated, Best Actor, Missing


Rank 5
Marlon Brando
24 points










1951: Nominated, Best Actor, A Streetcar Named Desire
1952: Nominated, Best Actor, Viva Zapata!
1953: Nominated, Best Actor, Julius Caesar
1954: Winner, Best Actor, On The Waterfront
1957: Nominated, Best Actor, Sayonara
1972: Winner, Best Actor, The Godfather
1973: Nominated, Best Actor, Last Tango In Paris
1989: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, A Dry White Season


Rank 4
Paul Newman
26 points













1958: Nominated, Best Actor, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof
1961: Nominated, Best Actor, The Hustler
1963: Nominated, Best Actor, Hud
1967: Nominated, Best Actor, Cool Hand Luke
1981: Nominated, Best Actor, Absence Of Malice
1982: Nominated, Best Actor, The Verdict
1986: Winner, Best Actor, The Color Of Money
1994: Nominated, Best Actor, Nobody's Fool
2002: Nominated: Best Supporting Actor, Road To Perdition


Rank 3
Laurence Olivier
29 points













1939: Nominated, Best Actor, Wuthering Heights
1940: Nominated, Best Actor, Rebecca
1946: Nominated, Best Actor, Henry V
1948: Winner, Best Actor, Hamlet
1956: Nominated, Best Actor, Richard III
1960: Nominated, Best Actor, The Entertainer
1965: Nominated, Best Actor, Othello
1972: Nominated, Best Actor, Sleuth
1976: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Marathon Man
1978: Nominated, Best Actor, The Boys From Brazil


Rank 2
Spencer Tracy
29 points













1936: Nominated, Best Actor, San Francisco
1937: Winner, Best Actor, Captain Courageous
1938: Winner, Best Actor, Boys Town
1950: Nominated, Best Actor, Father Of The Bride
1955: Nominated, Best Actor, Bad Day At Black Rock
1958: Nominated, Best Actor, The Old Man And The Sea
1960: Nominated, Best Actor, Inherit The Wind
1961: Nominated, Best Actor, Judgement At Nuremberg
1967: Nominated, Best Actor, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner


Rank 1
Jack Nicholson
31 points










1969: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Easy Rider
1970: Nominated, Best Actor, Five Easy Pieces
1973: Nominated, Best Actor, The Last Detail
1974: Nominated, Best Actor, Chinatown
1975: Winner, Best Actor, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
1981: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, Reds
1983: Winner, Best Supporting Actor, Terms Of Endearment
1985: Nominated, Best Actor, Prizzi's Honor
1987: Nominated, Best Actor, Ironweed
1992: Nominated, Best Supporting Actor, A Few Good Men
1997: Winner, Best Actor, As Good As It Gets
2002: Nominated, Best Actor, About Schmidt


All Ace Black Blog Movie Reviews are here.
The Index of Movie Stars is here.


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