Academy Awards

Best Actor


Facts & Trivia
Note: Oscar® and Academy Awards® and Oscar® design mark are the trademarks and service marks and the Oscar© statuette the copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This site is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Note: The films that are marked with a yellow star are the films that "The Greatest Films" site has selected as the 100 Greatest Films.


Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Sections
Best Actor - Facts & Trivia | Best Supporting Actor - Facts & Trivia | Winners Chart


The Best Actor Academy Awards
Facts and Trivia

The Best Actor award should actually be titled "the best performance by an actor in a leading role." The same rules that govern the Best Actor category apply to the Best Actress category. (See the complete list of all Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor winners here)

The Top Best Actor Winner:

Daniel Day-Lewis is the only actor to win three Best Actor awards: My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007), and Lincoln (2012). (His nominations were from 1989-2012.)

Eight actors have won the Best Actor Oscar twice:

The most nominated actors (Best Actor roles only) are Laurence Olivier (9) and Spencer Tracy (9).

Top Best Actor Oscar
Winner/Nominee
Best Actor Wins

Daniel Day-Lewis
5 career nominations
(5 B.A. noms),
3 wins
My Left Foot (1989)
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Lincoln (2012)

Spencer Tracy
9 career nominations
(9 B.A. noms),
2 wins
Captains Courageous (1937)
Boys Town (1938)

Other Top Best Actor Oscar
Winners and Nominees
Best Actor Wins

Jack Nicholson
12 career nominations
(8 B.A. noms),
3 wins (2 B.A.)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
As Good As It Gets (1997)

Marlon Brando
8 career nominations
(7 B.A. noms),
2 wins
On The Waterfront (1954)
The Godfather (1972)

Dustin Hoffman
7 career nominations
(7 B.A. noms),
2 wins
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
Rain Man (1988)

Gary Cooper
5 career nominations
(5 B.A. noms),
2 wins
Sergeant York (1941)
High Noon (1952)

Fredric March
5 career nominations
(5 B.A. noms),
2 wins
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931/32)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Tom Hanks
5 career nominations
(5 B.A. noms),
2 wins
Philadelphia (1993)
Forrest Gump (1994)

Sean Penn
5 career nominations
(5 B.A. noms),
2 wins

Mystic River (2003)
Milk (2008)

Laurence Olivier
11 career nominations
10 acting nominations
(9 B.A. noms),
1 Win
Hamlet (1948)

The Most Best Actor Wins:

There were eight actors who received two Best Actor Oscar wins (details above):

  • Spencer Tracy (9) - with two wins (Captains Courageous (1937), Boys Town (1938)); three were consecutive nominations (from 1936-1938), and two others were consecutive nominations (from 1960-1961)
  • Jack Nicholson (8) - with two wins ( One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), As Good As It Gets (1997)); three were consecutive nominations (from 1973-1975)
  • Marlon Brando (7) - with two wins ( On the Waterfront (1954), The Godfather (1972)); four were consecutive nominations (from 1951-1954) (A RECORD!); also consecutive from 1972-1973
  • Dustin Hoffman (7) - with two wins (Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Rain Man (1988))
  • Gary Cooper (5) - with two wins (Sergeant York (1941), High Noon (1952)); three were consecutive nominations (from 1941-1943)
  • Fredric March (5) - with two wins (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931/32), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1930/31-1931/32)
  • Tom Hanks (5) - with two wins (Philadelphia (1993), Forrest Gump (1994)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1993-1994)
  • Sean Penn (5) - with two wins (Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008)); nominations were from 1995-2008

The Most Best Actor Nominations:

Actors with the highest number of Best Actor acting nominations (in parentheses) include:

  • Spencer Tracy (9) - with two wins
  • Laurence Olivier (9) - with one win (Hamlet (1948)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1939-1940)

  • Jack Nicholson (8) - with two wins
  • Paul Newman (8) - with one win (The Color of Money (1986)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1981-1982)
  • Peter O'Toole (8) - with no wins; two were consecutive nominations (from 1968-1969); nominations from 1962-2006

  • Marlon Brando (7) - with two wins
  • Dustin Hoffman (7) - with two wins
  • Jack Lemmon (7) - with one win (Save the Tiger (1973)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1959-1960, and from 1979-1980)

  • Paul Muni (6) - with one win (The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)); three were consecutive nominations (from 1935-1937)
  • Richard Burton (6) - with no wins; three were consecutive nominations (from 1964-1966)

  • Gary Cooper (5) - with two wins
  • Tom Hanks (5) - with two wins
  • Fredric March (5) - with two wins
  • Sean Penn (5) - with two wins
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (5) - with three wins
  • James Stewart (5) - with one win ( The Philadelphia Story (1940)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1939-1940)
  • Gregory Peck (5) - with one win ( To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)); three were consecutive nominations (from 1945-1947)
  • Robert De Niro (5) - with one win ( Raging Bull (1980)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1990-1991)
  • Al Pacino (5) - with one win (Scent of a Woman (1992)); three were consecutive nominations (from 1973-1975)

  • Burt Lancaster (4) - with one win (Elmer Gantry (1960)); nominations were from 1953-1981
  • Albert Finney (4) - with no wins; two were consecutive nominations (from 1983-1984); nominations from 1963-1984
  • Denzel Washington (4) - with one win (Training Day (2001)); highest for an African-American, nominations from 1992-2012

  • Charles Laughton (3) - with one win (The Private Life of Henry VIII (1932/33)); nominations from 1932/33-1957
  • Clark Gable (3) - with one win ( It Happened One Night (1934)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1934-1935)
  • James Cagney (3) - with one win ( Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)); the two others were in different decades: 1938 and 1955
  • Bing Crosby (3) - with one win (Going My Way (1944)); two were consecutive nominations (from 1944-1945); nominations from 1944-1954
  • Ronald Colman (3) - with one win (A Double Life (1947)); one set of nominations was in the same year (1929/30); nominations from 1929/30 to 1947
  • Humphrey Bogart (3) - with one win ( The African Queen (1951)); nominations from 1943-1954
  • William Holden (3) - with one win (Stalag 17 (1953)); nominations from 1950-1976
  • Jon Voight (3) - with one win (Coming Home (1978)); nominations from 1969-1985
  • Robert Duvall (3) - with one win (Tender Mercies (1983)); nominations from 1980-1997
  • William Hurt (3) - with one win (Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)); three were consecutive nominations (from 1985-1987)
  • Anthony Hopkins (3) - with one win (The Silence of the Lambs (1991)); nominations from 1991-1995
  • Russell Crowe (3) - with one win (Gladiator (2000)); three were consecutive nominations (from 1999-2001)
  • Jeff Bridges (3) - with one win (Crazy Heart (2009)); nominations from 1984-2010
  • George Clooney (3) - with no wins; nominations from 2007-2011

Consecutive Best Actor-Winning Performers:

There are only two actresses (Luise Rainer and Katharine Hepburn) who have received two consecutive Best Actress awards, as there are only two actors who have received two consecutive Best Actor statuette wins:

  • Spencer Tracy (Captains Courageous (1937) and Boys Town (1938))
  • Tom Hanks (Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994))
    [Note: Jason Robards won two consecutive Best Supporting Actor Oscars in 1976 and 1977.]

Winners of Both a Lead and Supporting Actor Oscar:

In 1997, Jack Nicholson tied Walter Brennan for the most wins (3) for a male performer (Brennan has three Best Supporting Actor trophies, Nicholson has two for Best Actor and one for Best Supporting Actor). The only stars to win both a Best Actor and a Best Supporting Actor (BSA) Oscar are the following:

The Only Best Actor Tie:

In the Best Actor category, an unusual tie (the only occurrence among male acting performances) occurred in 1931/32 between Wallace Beery and Fredric March, for their respective performances in The Champ (1931/32) and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931/32).

The Most Best Actor Oscar Nominations - Without Winning:

Peter O'Toole is the only star with eight Best Actor Oscar nominations without a single win. His record extends 44 years, from 1962 to 2006.

Richard Burton was nominated seven times (and never won), although his first nomination was as Best Supporting Actor for My Cousin Rachel (1952) -- his last six nominations were as Best Actor.

Oscar-Winning Actor Roles and Trends:

Biographies of remarkable, real-life individuals (military figures or soldiers, law-and-order enforcers, historical figures) and portrayals of the mentally ill are heavily represented among male Oscar winners, particularly in the acting awards. It helps an actor's chances of winning an Oscar if the character dies a tragic death during the movie, or is slightly eccentric (or genius).

Physical and Mental Disabilities or Diseases

An overwhelming number of actors have won (or been nominated for) the top acting (and supporting) awards for portraying characters with physical or mental disabilities (personality disorders, amnesia) or diseases (with handicaps, such as blindness or muteness, tics, etc.):

  • Fredric March won the Best Actor Oscar for his dual, split personality role as a respected doctor and as a fiendish mad-man in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931/32)
  • Ronald Colman was nominated as Best Actor for his role as shell-shocked amnesiac Charles Rainier in Random Harvest (1942)
  • Harold Russell (real-life amputee) won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as courageous and resourceful returning sailor Homer Parrish in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) [Note: Russell is the only performer to win two Oscars for the same performance. In 1946, he won Best Supporting Actor and was voted an Honorary Oscar that same year for his performance.]
  • Arthur Kennedy was nominated as Best Actor for his role as veteran Larry Nevins made blind in WWII combat in Bright Victory (1951)
  • Cliff Robertson won the Best Actor Oscar for his title role as Charly Gordon - a mentally-retarded, thirty year-old bakery worker temporarily made a genius through surgery in Charly (1968)
  • Alan Arkin was nominated as Best Actor for his role as deaf-mute Singer in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968)
  • Sir John Mills won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as mute, gentle, mis-shaped village idiot Michael in Ryan's Daughter (1970) - he became the sole male actor to win an Oscar for a non-speaking role
  • Jack Nicholson won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as life-affirming, ill-fated, free-spirited, anarchic misfit patient Randle Patrick McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  • Jon Voight won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as handicapped Luke Martin - a bitter but sensitive paraplegic veteran paralyzed during the Vietnam War in Coming Home (1978)
  • Timothy Hutton won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as guilt-ridden, depressed teenaged Conrad Jarrett in Ordinary People (1980)
  • John Malkovich was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role as blind boarder Mr. Will in Places in the Heart (1984)
  • Dustin Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as institutionalized, ultimately loveable, autistic idiot savant Raymond ('Ray(n)' 'Man(d)') Babbitt in Rain Man (1988)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Irish-born artist and author Christy Brown - a self-reliant, spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy victim who could only write and draw with his foot in My Left Foot (1989)
  • Anthony Hopkins won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as cannibalistic, menacing, psychopathic serial psychiatrist/killer Dr. Hannibal "Cannibal" Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Al Pacino won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as foul-mouthed, suicidal, blind (as a result of a boozing-related accident), retired Lt. Col. Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman (1992)
  • Tom Hanks won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as AIDS-infected corporate attorney and victim Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia (1993) - Hanks' 1994 acceptance speech for his Best Actor Oscar win for Philadelphia (1993) directly inspired the homosexuality-themed film In & Out (1997), about an outed English literature teacher (Kevin Kline) in an Indiana town when one of his former students (Matt Dillon) thanked him at the Academy Awards and mentioned he was gay
  • Tom Hanks won the Best Actor Oscar again for his title role as Forrest Gump, a good-hearted, naive, eccentric, dim-witted protagonist (an idiot-savant) in Forrest Gump (1994)
  • Geoffrey Rush won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as talented but agonizingly-troubled, mentally-disabled Australian concert pianist David Helfgott who suffered a crippling nervous breakdown in Shine (1996)
  • Jack Nicholson won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as rich, bigoted, obsessive-compulsive romance novelist Melvin Udall living in New York in As Good As It Gets (1997)
  • Geoffrey Rush was also nominated as Best Actor for his role as sexually-crazed French novelist Marquis de Sade in Quills (2000)
  • Jamie Foxx won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as legendary blues singer and blind pianist Ray Charles in Ray (2004)
  • Forest Whitaker won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as brutal, infamous, genocidal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland (2006)
  • Colin Firth won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as stuttering monarch George VI in The King's Speech (2010)

Alcoholics

And a number of other actors have won Oscar awards (or been nominated) for portraying alcoholic characters:

  • Lionel Barrymore won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as dissolute and drunken lawyer Stephen Ashe (co-star Norma Shearer's father) in A Free Soul (1930/31)
  • Van Heflin won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Shakespeare-quoting, alcoholic confidant Jeff Hartnett who befriended gangster co-star Robert Taylor in Johnny Eager (1942)
  • Ray Milland won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as whiskey-soaked, boozing, writer's blocked Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend (1945)
  • Fredric March won Best Actor for his role as anguished, middle-aged, alcoholic banking executive - and returning war veteran and ex-sergeant Al Stephenson in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • James Mason was nominated as Best Actor for his role as ruined, alcoholic actor Norman Maine in A Star Is Born (1954)
  • Jack Lemmon was nominated as Best Actor for his role as alcoholic advertising man Joe Clay in Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
  • Lee Marvin won the Best Actor Oscar for his dual role as cold-eyed, ruthlessly evil desperado Tim Strawn (with an artificial silver nose) and Strawn's aging, once-famous, drunken and whiskey-soaked twin gunman Kid Shelleen in Cat Ballou (1965)
  • Dudley Moore was nominated as Best Actor for his role as drunk, spoiled, amiable and millionaire-rich playboy - title character Arthur Bach in Arthur (1981)
  • Paul Newman was nominated as Best Actor for his role as alcoholic, ambulance-chasing, Boston trial lawyer Frank P. Galvin in The Verdict (1982)
  • Robert Duvall won Best Actor for his role as ex-drinking, ex-country/western music star Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies (1983)
    Note: in 1983, all five Best Actor nominees played drunks of one sort or another (two were nominated for the film The Dresser (1983), Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay)
  • Albert Finney was nominated as Best Actor for his role as self-destructive alcoholic Geoffrey Firmin drinking himself to death in the shadow of a Mexican volcano in Under the Volcano (1984)
  • Nicolas Cage won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as failed, Hollywood scriptwriter and fatally-destructive, genial, but suicidal alcoholic Ben Sanderson in Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
  • Robert Duvall was nominated as Best Actor for his role as Texas Pentecostal preacher Eulis ("Sonny") Dewey who became 'The Apostle' of God in Louisiana to escape his past in The Apostle (1997)
  • James Coburn won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Nick Nolte's tyrannical, abusive and alcoholic father Glen "Pop" Whitehouse in Affliction (1998)
  • Jeff Bridges won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as broken-down, aging, boozy country-music singer Bad Blake in Crazy Heart (2009)
  • Denzel Washington was nominated as Best Actor for his role as tragic, heroic, and addicted boozy airline pilot Whip Whitaker in Flight (2012)

Homosexual Roles

Some straight actors have been nominated (and often won) for homosexual roles:

  • Peter Finch received his first Best Actor nomination (without winning) for his role as middle-aged, homosexual Jewish Dr. Daniel Hirsh involved in a three-sided love story in Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971)
  • William Hurt won Best Actor for his role as imprisoned, flamboyant gay South American Luis Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
  • Tom Hanks won Best Actor for his role as dying AIDS patient Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia (1993)
  • Sean Penn won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as openly pioneering San Francisco gay camera store owner Harvey Milk who successfully was serving in public office as mayoral aide when he was assassinated, in Milk (2008)

Mediocre or Compensatory Oscar Wins:

Oscar victories for Best Actor haven't always been for the stars' best work either, but have often been an effort to right past injustices, or retroactively for an entire body of work:

  • 56 year-old Ronald Colman's late win as Best Actor for A Double Life (1947) - a tribute to his entire silent and sound film career
  • 62 year-old John Wayne's belated win as Best Actor for True Grit (1969), when he should have been honored years earlier for Stagecoach (1939), Red River (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956), or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
  • James Stewart's win for Best Actor (his first and sole award) for his role in The Philadelphia Story (1940) was because he had lost the previous year for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • Jack Lemmon won his sole Best Actor award for Save the Tiger (1973), but he should have won instead when nominated for Some Like It Hot (1959), The Apartment (1960), or Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
  • Paul Newman's sole Oscar win for reprising his "Hustler" role as pool player Eddie Felson in The Color of Money (1986) was a dubious honor - it really represented praise for his entire career's work, for his colorful non-conformist roles in The Hustler (1961), Hud (1963), and Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  • A late-career win was also given to Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman (1992) for his role as a blind, suicidal ex-Army officer, after seven acting nominations, including four Best Actor losses for Serpico (1973), The Godfather, Part II (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and And Justice For All (1979), and three other Best Supporting Actor losses ( The Godfather (1972), Dick Tracy (1990) and Glengarry Glen Ross (1992))
  • Sean Connery won Best Supporting Actor for The Untouchables (1987), but he should have been nominated (and won) for earlier, more deserving performances in The Hill (1965), The Molly Maguires (1970), or The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
  • John Gielgud won Best Supporting Actor for his performance as the butler in Arthur (1981), but he should have won instead for either Julius Caesar (1953), Richard III (1955) or Becket (1964)
  • A seriously-ill, 76 year-old Henry Fonda won Best Actor for On Golden Pond (1981), despite the brilliant performance of Burt Lancaster in Atlantic City (1981). Fonda should have won years earlier for any number of performances, including The Grapes of Wrath (1940) or The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

Also, elderly nominees seem to fare better, such as 54 year-old Art Carney winning the Best Actor Oscar for Harry and Tonto (1974), 60 year-old Peter Finch's posthumous Best Actor award for Network (1976), 80 year-old George Burns winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Sunshine Boys (1975), Melvyn Douglas winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Being There (1979), Don Ameche winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Cocoon (1985), and 72 year-old Alan Arkin winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine (2006).

Many other elderly actors have been nominated for supporting roles, including Eric von Stroheim for Sunset Boulevard (1950), Sessue Hayakawa for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), John Mills for Ryan's Daughter (1970), Lee Strasberg for The Godfather, Part II (1974), Burgess Meredith for Rocky (1976), Robert Preston for Victor/Victoria (1982), Denholm Elliott for A Room With a View (1986), and Armin Mueller-Stahl for Shine (1996).

Post-Humous Acting Nominations and Award(s):

There are only been seven post-humous performance nominees in Academy history. Only two posthumous nominees have won the Oscar: the first by Peter Finch and and the second by Heath Ledger - see below:

  • Jeanne Eagels - unofficially nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for The Letter (1928/29) posthumously (Academy records indicated that she was "under consideration" for an award)
  • James Dean - the only actor who was twice nominated (in two consecutive years) for a Best Actor Oscar after his death and lost, for East of Eden (1955), and Giant (1956)
  • Spencer Tracy - nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) posthumously
  • Peter Finch - nominated and winning the Best Actor Oscar for Network (1976) posthumously - Finch was the first performer to have won the Oscar after his death
  • Ralph Richardson - nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) posthumously
  • Italian actor Massimo Troisi - nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for The Postman (Il Postino) (1995) posthumously
  • Heath Ledger - nominated and winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Dark Knight (2008) posthumously - the second performer to win posthumously

The Most Best Actor Nominations for a Single Film:

The film with the most Best Actor nominations (3) was Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), for Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, and Charles Laughton. It was the first film to have three acting nominations, and the first film to have three co-performers competing against each other in the same category - as Best Actor.

African-American (or Black) Notables:

There have only been twenty African-American (or black) nominations for Best Actor, divided amongst thirteen different performers. Four actors (Poitier, Freeman, Washington and Smith) have been nominated twice (or more) for the top award. Some regard Denzel Washington as the first African-American performer to win Best Actor -- because previous Oscar-winner Sidney Poitier was of Bahamas descent:

#
Best Actor Nominee
Film
1
Sidney Poitier The Defiant Ones (1958)
2
Sidney Poitier Lilies of the Field (1963) (win)
3
James Earl Jones The Great White Hope (1970)
4
Paul Winfield Sounder (1972)
5
Dexter Gordon 'Round Midnight (1986)
6
Morgan Freeman Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
7
Morgan Freeman The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
8
Denzel Washington Malcolm X (1992)
9
Denzel Washington The Hurricane (1999)
10
Denzel Washington Training Day (2001) (win)
11
Laurence Fishburne What's Love Got to Do With It (1993)
12
Will Smith Ali (2001)
13
Will Smith The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
14
Don Cheadle Hotel Rwanda (2004)
15
Jamie Foxx Ray (2004) (win)
16
Terrence Howard Hustle & Flow (2005)
17
Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland (2006) (win)
18 Morgan Freeman Invictus (2009)
19 Denzel Washington Flight (2012)
20 Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave (2013)

In total, there have only been 23 different African-American (or black) performers nominated for the top award (either Best Actor or Best Actress). Only fourteen awards have been won by African-Americans (or blacks) in both lead and supporting categories (four Best Actor, one Best Actress, four Best Supporting Actor, and five Best Supporting Actress). Only five black performers have won the Oscar in the lead category (four Best Actor, one Best Actress).

Only four African-American actors have won the Best Actor Oscar:

  • Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field (1963)
  • Denzel Washington for Training Day (2001)
  • Jamie Foxx for Ray (2004)
  • Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (2006)

Five of the 20 acting nominations in 2004 and 2006 were African-American nominees. This bested the record of three nominated blacks that occurred in three different years (2001, 1985, and 1972):

2006
2004
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Djimon Honsou, Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Jamie Foxx, Ray
Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda
Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx, Collateral
Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda
  • 2001: Halle Berry for Monster's Ball, Denzel Washington for Training Day, and Will Smith for Ali
  • 1985: Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey for The Color Purple
  • 1972: Diana Ross for Lady Sings the Blues, and Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield for Sounder

Jamie Foxx also set a record for being the first black to debut as a nominee in two categories in the same year, lead and supporting, for Ray (2004) and Collateral (2004).

Denzel Washington is the only black actor nominated six times for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor. With his nomination for Flight (2012), he became the most nominated African-American actor in Academy history. He is the only black actor to have won two competitive Oscars (as Best Supporting Actor for Glory (1989) and as Best Actor for Training Day (2001)).

Two African-American actors have been nominated for Best Actor in the same year, numerous times:

Year Best Actor Nominees
2006 Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland (2006)
2004 Don Cheadle for Hotel Rwanda (2004), Jamie Foxx for Ray (2004)
2001 Will Smith for Ali (2001), Denzel Washington for Training Day (2001)

Morgan Freeman's Best Supporting Actor win for Million Dollar Baby (2004), paired with Jamie Foxx's Best Actor win for Ray (2004), was the first time that African-American actors won in their respective categories in the same year.

In three instances, African-Americans have won two of the four acting prizes:

  • 2006: Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland, Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls
  • 2004: Morgan Freeman for Million Dollar Baby, Jamie Foxx for Ray
  • 2001: Halle Berry for Monster's Ball, Denzel Washington for Training Day

Latino, Asian and Other Ethnic-Minority (Non-English) Performers:

There have been only a few Best Actor Oscar wins by ethnic/other minority (or non-English) performers:

  • French actor Jean Dujardin won Best Actor for The Artist (2011) - he was the first French actor to win the Best Actor Oscar
  • Italian actor Roberto Benigni won the Best Actor Oscar for Life is Beautiful (1998) - he was the first male actor to win an Oscar for a foreign-language film (his Best Actor Oscar win was only the second time a nominee won an acting Oscar for a foreign language film role - the earlier winner was Sophia Loren)
  • Ben Kingsley, with half-Indian (birth name Krishna Bhanji) and half-English descent, won the Best Actor Oscar for Gandhi (1982) - he became the first South Asian performer to achieve such a feat
  • Puerto Rican-born Jose Ferrer won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)

Notable ethnic/minority performance nominations for Best Actor include:

  • Australian actor Hugh Jackman was nominated as Best Actor for Les Miserables (2012)
  • Mexican-born actor Demián Bichir was nominated as Best Actor for A Better Life (2011)
  • Ben Kingsley was nominated as Best Actor for House of Sand and Fog (2003)
  • Spanish/Latino actor Javier Bardem was nominated as Best Actor for Before Night Falls (2000) and for Biutiful (2010) - he was the first Best Actor nominee for a fully Spanish-language role
  • Australian actor Geoffrey Rush was nominated as Best Actor for Shine (1996) (win) and Quills (2000) - Geoffrey Rush became the first Australian actor to win Best Actor (for the role of the mad pianist in Shine (1996)) since Peter Finch won posthumously for Network (1976)
  • Italian actor Massimo Troisi was nominated as Best Actor for The Postman (Il Postino) (1995)
  • French actor Gerard Depardieu was nominated as Best Actor for Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
  • Swedish actor Max Von Sydow was nominated as Best Actor for Pelle the Conqueror (1988)
  • Mexican-American Edward James Olmos was nominated as Best Actor for Stand and Deliver (1988)
  • Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni was nominated as Best Actor for Dark Eyes (1987)
  • Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni was nominated as Best Actor for A Special Day (1977)
  • Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini was nominated as Best Actor for Seven Beauties (1976)
  • Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni was nominated as Best Actor for Divorce - Italian Style (1962)
  • Mexican-born Anthony Quinn was nominated twice as Best Actor for Wild Is the Wind (1957) and Zorba the Greek (1964)
  • Puerto Rican-born Jose Ferrer was nominated as Best Actor for Moulin Rouge (1952)

Note: In 1985, all ten of the Best Actor/Actress nominees were American-born - the first time in Oscar history. Also, in 1964 and in 2007, all four winners of the performance/acting Oscars were non-Americans.

Multiple Nominations for the Same Character -- The Most Oscar-Friendly Role:

The character of Henry VIII has the most acting nominations (three) and is the most Oscar-friendly role:

  • Charles Laughton as Henry VIII in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) - the only winner of the three - a Best Actor Oscar
  • Robert Shaw as Henry VIII in A Man for All Seasons (1966) - nominated as Best Supporting Actor
  • Richard Burton as Henry VIII in Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) - nominated as Best Actor

Other historical or fictional characters with two acting nominations include: Norman Maine, Mr. Arthur Chipping ("Mr. Chips"), Abraham Lincoln, Father Chuck O'Malley, King Henry V, Professor Henry Higgins, Cyrano de Bergerac, Joe Pendleton, President Richard Nixon, Vito Corleone. (See below).

Only two nominees in Oscar history have been nominated for playing the role of a real-life Oscar nominee: Cate Blanchett as Best Supporting Actress (win) for playing the role of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator (2004), and Robert Downey, Jr. nominated as Best Actor for the title role of Oscar nominee Charlie Chaplin in Chaplin (1992).

Multiple Nominations for the Same Character:

Four actors have been nominated twice for playing the same character in two different films (wins are marked with an *):

  • Bing Crosby as Father Charles "Chuck" O'Malley in Going My Way (1944)* and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
  • Paul Newman as 'Fast' Eddie Felson in The Hustler (1961) and The Color of Money (1986)*
  • Peter O'Toole as King Henry II in Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968)
  • Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather, Part II (1974)

(*Crosby won Best Actor for his first role, and Newman won Best Actor for his second role.)

Performers who were nominated as Best Actor for the same character in different films in different years include:

  • Fredric March and James Mason as Norman Maine in A Star is Born (1937) and A Star is Born (1954)
  • Robert Donat and Peter O'Toole as Mr. Arthur Chipping ("Mr. Chips") in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969)
  • Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh as King Henry V in Henry V (1944) and Henry V (1989) - both were directed by their stars
  • Charles Laughton and Richard Burton as King Henry VIII in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) and Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)
  • Leslie Howard and Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins in Pygmalion (1938) and My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Jose Ferrer and Gerard Depardieu as Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano de Bergerac (1950) and Cyrano de Bergerac (1990)
  • Robert Montgomery and Warren Beatty as Joe Pendleton in Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and Heaven Can Wait (1978)
  • Anthony Hopkins and Frank Langella as President Richard Nixon in Nixon (1995) and Frost/Nixon (2008)
  • John Wayne and Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit (1969) and True Grit (2010)
  • Raymond Massey and Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) and Lincoln (2012)

Robert De Niro won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather, Part II (1974), the role for which Marlon Brando had previously won Best Actor in The Godfather (1972).

Only one actress has ever received two nominations for playing the same character in two different films:

  • Cate Blanchett became the fifth performer to draw mentions for the same role (Queen Elizabeth I) in two different films: Best Actress for Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) and Best Actress for Elizabeth (1998)

Multiple Nominations:

After 1929/30, an actor could not receive more than one nomination per category. In 1944, the rules permitted Barry Fitzgerald to be nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor (which he won) for the same performance - Father Fitzgibbon in Going My Way (1944). Subsequently, new rules have prevented this from re-occurring, although an actor may still be nominated in both categories for two different roles. (See the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress pages for further information on double nominees.)

Barry Fitzgerald is the only actor to be nominated for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for the same character (or performance) in the same year. Since then, two other male performers have been double-nominated in a single year (wins are marked with *) - Pacino was the first actor to be nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in two different roles; the second actor in Oscar history to do so was Jamie Foxx in 2004:

  • Barry Fitzgerald (Best Actor for Going My Way (1944)* and Best Supporting Actor for Going My Way (1944))
  • Al Pacino (Best Actor for Scent of a Woman (1992)* and Best Supporting Actor for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992))
  • Jamie Foxx (Best Actor for Ray (2004)* and Best Supporting Actor for Collateral (2004))

One Nomination for Multiple Roles:

Peter Sellers is the only actor to be nominated (as Best Actor) for playing three entirely-different roles in the same film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) - as Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove. He lost his bid to Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (1964).

Entire Cast Nominations:

Three films have had the entire speaking casts nominated for awards:

  • Sleuth (1972), with Best Actor nominations for Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier
  • Give 'Em Hell, Harry! (1975), with a Best Actor nomination for James Whitmore
  • Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), with various nominations for all four cast members, Elizabeth Taylor (Best Actress win), Richard Burton (Best Actor loss), George Segal (Best Supporting Actor loss), and Sandy Dennis (Best Supporting Actress win)

Actors Who Won An Oscar for a Dual Role:

  • Fredric March, Best Actor winner for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931/32): Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Laurence Olivier, Best Actor winner for Hamlet (1948, UK): Hamlet and the Voice of the Ghost (uncredited)
  • Lee Marvin, Best Actor winner for Cat Ballou (1965): Tim Strawn and Kid Shelleen

The Best Actor Award for Two Films in the Same Year:

  • Emil Jannings was the only performer to win the Best Actor award for his performances in two films in the same year: The Last Command (1927/28) and The Way of All Flesh (1927/28) - he was the very first actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor; the Switzerland-born actor was the first non-American to win the award, which was presented to him a month before the ceremony.

Winning Co-Stars: Best Actor and Best Actress in the Same Film:

Seven films have won in both the leading actor and leading actress categories:

Male Performers with Oscars in Both Lead and Supporting Categories: (in order of accomplishment)

Films With the Most Oscars for Acting: (see also here)
The Only Films in Which Three Stars Won Performance Oscars

  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - 12 nominations total, 4 acting nominations, 3 acting wins: Vivien Leigh (Best Actress), Karl Malden (Best Supporting Actor), Kim Hunter (Best Supporting Actress)
  • Network (1976) - 10 nominations total, 5 acting nominations, 3 acting wins: Peter Finch (Best Actor), Faye Dunaway (Best Actress), Beatrice Straight (Best Supporting Actress)

Film Debut Nominees/Winners for Best Actor Oscars:

Not a single actor has ever won the Best Actor Oscar for a feature film debut. A few of those below had very small debuting roles before a substantial film appearance. Others have received nominations for Best Actor for their debut role (a sampling):

  • Paul Muni in The Valiant (1928/29) (nomination)
  • Lawrence Tibbett in The Rogue Song (1929-30) (nomination)
  • Orson Welles in Citizen Kane (1941) (nomination)
  • Montgomery Clift in The Search (1948) (nomination)
  • Alan Arkin in The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1966) (nomination) (he had a minor role in a film a decade earlier)
  • Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate (1967) (nomination)
  • Ben Kingsley in Gandhi (1982) (win) (he had a bit role in his feature film debut, Fear is the Key (1972))
  • Geoffrey Rush in Shine (1997) (win) (he had a bit role in a few earlier films, including Hoodwink (1981))

Reprising an Acclaimed Stage Role:

Six Best Actor winners won the Oscar for an acclaimed stage role that they reprised on the screen. Those with an asterisk (*) won both a Best Actor Oscar and a Tony Award for musical roles they had created on stage:

  • George Arliss for Disraeli (1929/30)
  • Paul Lukas for Watch on the Rhine (1943)
  • Jose Ferrer for Cyrano de Bergerac (1950)
  • Yul Brynner for The King and I (1956) *
  • Rex Harrison for My Fair Lady (1964) *
  • Paul Scofield in A Man For All Seasons (1966)

Oscar-Winning Roles First on TV:

The only two Best Actor winners who first played their Oscar-winning roles on TV were:

  • Maximilian Schell for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) [Note: Schell is the lowest-billed performer to win a Best Actor Academy Award. He received fifth billing - behind Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, and Marlene Dietrich.]
  • Cliff Robertson for Charly (1968)

Best Actors Refusing Their Oscar Trophy:

  • George C. Scott refused his Best Actor Oscar for Patton (1970)
  • Marlon Brando refused his Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather (1972)
  • Note: Much earlier in 1935, Dudley Nichols (the Best Writing Oscar winner for The Informer (1935)) also boycotted the Oscars, thereby refusing his Academy Award

Actors/Actresses With the Most Consecutive Acting Nominations (in both Leading and Supporting categories)
(wins marked with *):

Five Nominations in Consecutive Years: Films
Bette Davis (1938-1942) Jezebel (1938)*, Dark Victory (1939), The Letter (1940), The Little Foxes (1941), Now, Voyager (1942)
Greer Garson (1941-1945) Blossoms in the Dust (1941), Mrs. Miniver (1942)*, Madame Curie (1943), Mrs. Parkington (1944), The Valley of Decision (1945)
Four Nominations in Consecutive Years:  
Jennifer Jones (1943-1946) The Song of Bernadette (1943)*, Since You Went Away (1944), Love Letters (1945), Duel in the Sun (1946)
Thelma Ritter (1950-1953) - all for Best Supporting Actress All About Eve (1950), The Mating Season (1951), With a Song in My Heart (1952), Pickup on South Street (1953)
Marlon Brando (1951-1954) A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Viva Zapata! (1952), Julius Caesar (1953), On the Waterfront (1954)*
Elizabeth Taylor (1957-1960) Raintree County (1957), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Butterfield 8 (1960)*
Al Pacino (1972-1975) The Godfather (1972), Serpico (1973), The Godfather, Part II (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Three Nominations in Consecutive Years:  
Spencer Tracy (1936-1938) San Francisco (1936), Captains Courageous (1937)*, Boys Town (1938)*
Gary Cooper (1941-1943) Sergeant York (1941)*, The Pride of the Yankees (1942), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)
Ingrid Bergman (1943-1945) For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Gaslight (1944)*, The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
Gregory Peck (1945-1947) The Keys of the Kingdom (1945), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
Deborah Kerr (1956-1958) The King and I (1956), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), Separate Tables (1958)
Richard Burton (1964-1966) Becket (1964), The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (1965), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Jack Nicholson (1973-1975) The Last Detail (1973), Chinatown (1974), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)*
Jane Fonda (1977-1979) Julia (1977), Coming Home (1978)*, The China Syndrome (1979)
Meryl Streep (1981-1983) The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), Sophie's Choice (1982)*, Silkwood (1983)
Glenn Close (1982-1984) The World According to Garp (1982), The Big Chill (1983), The Natural (1984)
William Hurt (1985-1987) Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)*, Children of a Lesser God (1986), Broadcast News (1987)
Russell Crowe (1999-2001) The Insider (1999), Gladiator (2000)*, A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Renee Zellweger (2001-2003) Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), Chicago (2002), Cold Mountain (2003)*

Longest Time Period Between First and Last Nomination/Win:

  • 48 years - Katharine Hepburn was first nominated and won Best Actress for Morning Glory (1932/33) and then 48 years later was nominated and won Best Actress for On Golden Pond (1981) - her fourth (and last) Oscar win!
  • 46 years - Alan Arkin was nominated as Best Actor for The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming! (1966) and then two years later as Best Actor for The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1968). Then, there was a long gap - 38 years later, after which he won Best Supporting Actor for Little Miss Sunshine (2006). He topped that with another six year wait for another Best Supporting Actor nomination for Argo (2012).
  • 41 years - Henry Fonda was first nominated in 1940 as Best Actor for The Grapes Of Wrath (1940), and wasn't nominated again until 41 years later - when he won his sole Oscar (Best Actor) for On Golden Pond (1981)
  • 40 years - Mickey Rooney was first nominated as Best Actor for Babes in Arms (1939), then as Best Actor for The Human Comedy (1943), then as Best Supporting Actor for The Bold and the Brave (1956), and then as Best Supporting Actor for The Black Stallion (1979), 40 years later, but he didn't ever win!
  • 39 years - Jack Palance was nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Sudden Fear (1952) and then as Best Supporting Actor for Shane (1953) - it was a time span of 39 years from his first nomination to his eventual victory as Best Supporting Actor for City Slickers (1991)!
  • 38 years - Helen Hayes had to wait 38 years between her only Oscar nominations (both wins), Best Actress for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931/32), and Best Supporting Actress for Airport (1970)
  • 37 years - Albert Finney was first nominated as Best Actor for Tom Jones (1963) and then received three more nominations for Best Actor: for Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Dresser (1983), and Under the Volcano (1984) -- 37 years after his first nomination, he received his fifth and final Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Erin Brockovich (2000) - he never won!

Longest Gap Between First Nomination and First Winning Film:

  • 41 years - Henry Fonda was first nominated in 1940 as Best Actor for The Grapes Of Wrath (1940), and didn't win an acting award (Best Actor) until 41 years later for On Golden Pond (1981), and these were his only two career acting nominations (Note: Fonda did receive a producing Best Picture nomination for 12 Angry Men (1957))
  • 32 years - Geraldine Page was first nominated in 1953 as Best Supporting Actress for Hondo (1953), and won Best Actress for A Trip to Bountiful (1985), 32 years later; she was the only actress with seven unsuccessful nominations (in both categories) before finally winning Best Actress with nomination # 8
  • 28 years - Paul Newman was first nominated in 1958 as Best Actor for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), and won Best Actor for The Color of Money (1986), 28 years later; he was the only actor with six unsuccessful Best Actor nominations before finally winning Best Actor with nomination # 7 - and he later added another nomination as Best Actor for Nobody's Fool (1994), and his first Best Supporting Actor nomination also came later for Road to Perdition (2002)
  • 25 years - Shirley MacLaine was first nominated in 1958 as Best Actress for Some Came Running (1958), and won Best Actress for Terms of Endearment (1983), 25 years later
  • 20 years - Al Pacino was first nominated in 1972 as Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather (1972), and won Best Actor for Scent of a Woman (1992), 20 years later
  • 20 years - John Wayne was first nominated in 1949 as Best Actor for Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), and won Best Actor for True Grit (1969), 20 years later
  • 18 years - Ronald Colman was first nominated in 1929/30 as Best Actor for Bulldog Drummond (1929/30), and won Best Actor for A Double Life (1947), 18 years later
  • 17 years - Gregory Peck was first nominated in 1945 as Best Actor for The Keys of the Kingdom (1945), and won Best Actor for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), 17 years later
  • 14 years - Susan Sarandon was first nominated in 1981 as Best Actress for Atlantic City (1981), and won Best Actress for Dead Man Walking (1995), 14 years later
  • 13 years - Rod Steiger was first nominated in 1954 as Best Supporting Actor for On the Waterfront (1954), and won Best Actor for In the Heat of the Night (1967), 13 years later

Shortest Best Actor Performance:

  • Anthony Hopkins had the shortest screen time for his Best Actor Oscar win - as Hannibal "Cannibal" Lecter in Silence of the Lambs (1991) - supposedly 16 minutes of screen time

Only Non-Human Best Actor-Nominated Performance:

  • Jeff Bridges as the alien 'Starman' in Starman (1984)

Directors Directing Themselves to a Best Actor Oscar or Nomination:

There are only two actors/performers that have directed themselves to an Oscar-winning Best Actor Oscar:

  • British actor Laurence Olivier as the title character in Hamlet (1948, UK) - Olivier became the first individual to win both an acting Oscar and Best Picture Oscar (as producer) - this time for the same film
  • Italian actor Roberto Benigni as Guido in Life is Beautiful (1998, It.)

Many actors have directed themselves to Best Actor Oscar nominations, most prominently:

  • Charles Chaplin for The Great Dictator (1940)
  • Orson Welles for Citizen Kane (1941)
  • Laurence Olivier for Henry V (1946), Hamlet (1948) and Richard III (1956)
  • Woody Allen for Annie Hall (1977)
  • Warren Beatty for Heaven Can Wait (1978) and Reds (1981)
  • Kenneth Branagh for Henry V (1989)
  • Billy Bob Thornton for Sling Blade (1996)
  • Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful (1998)
  • Ed Harris for Pollock (2000)
  • Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Michael Douglas became the second individual to win both an acting Oscar and Best Picture Oscar, this time for different films: Best Picture ( One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)) and Best Actor (Wall Street (1987)).

Winning Performances Portraying Royalty:

  • Charles Laughton, Best Actor as King Henry VIII in The Private Life of Henry VIII (1932/33)
  • Yul Brynner, Best Actor as King Mongkut of Siam in The King and I (1956)
  • Ingrid Bergman, Best Actress as Anastasia (possibly daughter of murdered Russian czar Nicholas II) in Anastasia (1956)
  • Katharine Hepburn, Best Actress as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter (1968)
  • Helen Mirren, Best Actress as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006)
  • Colin Firth, Best Actor as King George VI in The King's Speech (2010)

Married (or Attached) Oscar-Winners:

Only three times have married couples (husband-wife) won acting Oscars:

  • Laurence Olivier, Best Actor for Hamlet (1948), and Vivien Leigh, Best Actress for Gone With the Wind (1939) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) [Note: They were not yet married when Leigh won her first Oscar in 1939.]
  • Paul Newman, Best Actor for The Color of Money (1986), and Joanne Woodward, Best Actress for The Three Faces of Eve (1957). [Note: They were married in 1958, prior to Woodward receiving 1957's Best Actress Award.] Newman also directed Woodward to her second Best Actress nomination for his Best Picture-nominated film Rachel, Rachel (1968).
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones, Best Supporting Actress for Chicago (2002), and husband Michael Douglas, Best Actor for Wall Street (1987) [Note: The couple were not married until the year 2000.]

There are others (girlfriend/boyfriend, or unmarried companions) who are close to (or have achieved) the same milestone:

  • Spencer Tracy, Best Actor and Katharine Hepburn, Best Actress for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
  • Diane Keaton, Best Actress winner for Best Director-winning Woody Allen's Annie Hall (1977) - although they were romantically linked, they never married
  • Amy Madigan, Best Supporting Actress for Twice in a Lifetime (1985), and Ed Harris, nominated four times (1995, 1998, 2000, 2002) [Note: Harris directed himself to a Best Actor nomination for Pollock (2000).]
  • Susan Sarandon, Best Actress for Dead Man Walking (1995) (directed by her Best Director-nominated husband (unofficial live-in) Tim Robbins); Robbins won Best Supporting Actor for Mystic River (2003); earlier, Sarandon was married to Chris Sarandon, nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
  • Others: Jack Nicholson-Anjelica Huston, Al Pacino-Diane Keaton, and William Hurt-Marlee Matlin

Married (or Attached) Oscar-Nominees:

Five married couples have earned acting nominations in the same year (three times, a husband-and-wife team have been nominated for the same picture):

  • Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, Best Actor and Best Actress nominations for The Guardsman (1932) - both lost
  • Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress nominations for Witness for the Prosecution (1957) - both lost
  • Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (win), Best Actor and Best Actress nominations for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  • Frank Sinatra, Best Supporting Actor nomination (and win) for From Here to Eternity (1953), and Ava Gardner, Best Actress nomination for Mogambo (1953)
  • Rex Harrison, Best Actor nomination for Cleopatra (1963), and Rachel Roberts, Best Actress nomination for This Sporting Life (1963)

The only divorced couple to co-star in a film with each receiving an Oscar nomination:

Brother-Sister Oscar Winners/Nominees:

The only brother and sister to win acting Oscars are:

  • Lionel Barrymore, Best Actor for A Free Soul (1930/31)
  • Ethel Barrymore, Best Supporting Actress for None But the Lonely Heart (1944)

The only sisters to win acting Oscars are:

  • Joan Fontaine, Best Actress for Suspicion (1941)
  • Olivia de Havilland, Best Actress for To Each His Own (1946), and The Heiress (1949)

The only brothers nominated for acting Oscars are:

  • River Phoenix, nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Running on Empty (1988)
  • Joaquin Phoenix, nominated as Best Supporting Actor for Gladiator (2000), Best Actor for Walk the Line (2005), and Best Actor for The Master (2012)

Youngest and Oldest Best Actors: Nominees and Winners

Note: The calculated time is from date of birth to the date of either (1) the nominations announcement, or (2) the date of the awards ceremony.

Youngest Best Actor Nominee
Youngest Best Actor Winner
Oldest Best Actor Nominee
Oldest Best Actor Winner
       
9 years (and 20 days)
Jackie Cooper for Skippy (1930/31) (Cooper's uncle, Norman Taurog, was the Best Director Oscar winner)
29 years (and 343 days)
Adrien Brody for The Pianist (2002)
79 years (and 167 days)
Richard Farnsworth for The Straight Story (1999)
76 years (and 317 days)
Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond (1981)

[Note: To date, Henry Fonda is the only Best Actor Oscar winner in his 70s when he won]

Runner-Ups:
19 years (and 142 days)
Mickey Rooney for Babes in Arms (1939)

23 years (and 137 days)
Mickey Rooney for The Human Comedy (1943)

24 years (and 3 days)
John Travolta for Saturday Night Fever (1977)

25 years (and 10 days)
James Dean for East of Eden (1955)

26 years (and 10 days)
James Dean for Giant (1956)

26 years (and 72 days)
Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson (2006)

26 years (and 279 days)
Orson Welles for Citizen Kane (1941)

26 years (and 302 days)
Heath Ledger for Brokeback Mountain (2005)

27 years (and 112 days)
Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network (2010)

Runner-Ups:
30 years (and 156 days)
Richard Dreyfuss for The Goodbye Girl (1977)

30 years (and 361 days)
Marlon Brando for On The Waterfront (1954)

31 years (and 122 days)
Maximilian Schell for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)


32 years (and 78 days)
Nicolas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

32 years (and 283 days)
James Stewart for The Philadelphia Story (1940)

32 years (and 331 days)
Daniel Day-Lewis for My Left Foot (1989)

34 years (and 26 days)
Clark Gable for It Happened One Night (1934)

34 years (and 258 days)
Charles Laughton for The Private Life of Henry VIII (1932/33)

34 years (and 348 days)
Robert Donat for Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

Runner-Ups:
76 years (and 271 days)
Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond (1981)

74 years (and 239 days)
Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby (2004)

74 years (and 174 days)
Peter O'Toole for Venus (2006)

72 years (and 246 days)
Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009)

71 years (and 274 days)
Laurence Olivier for The Boys From Brazil (1978)

71 years (and 21 days)
Frank Langella for Frost/Nixon (2008)

70 years (and 19 days)
Paul Newman for Nobody's Fool (1994)

69 years (and 334 days)
Michael Caine for The Quiet American (2002)

69 years (and 323 days)
Melvyn Douglas for I Never Sang for My Father (1970)

Runner-Ups:
62 years (and 316 days)
John Wayne for True Grit (1969)

62 years (and 209 days)
George Arliss for Disraeli (1929/30)

62 years (and 63 days)
Paul Newman for The Color of Money (1986)

60 years (and 335 days)
Jack Nicholson for As Good As It Gets (1997)

60 years (and 181 days)
Peter Finch for Network (1976)

60 years (and 93 days)
Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)

57 years (and 40 days)
Ronald Colman for A Double Life (1947)

57 years (and 31 days)
Rex Harrison for My Fair Lady (1964)

56 years (and 155 days)
Art Carney for Harry and Tonto (1974)

Six years (and 310 days) Shirley Temple was the youngest performer to win an Academy Award when she won an unofficial honorary 'juvenile' Academy Award statuette in 1934, presented on February 27, 1935.

94 years (and 341 days) Eli Wallach was the oldest male performer to receive an honorary statuette in 2010, presented on November 13, 2010.

85 years (and 215 days) Myrna Loy was the oldest female performer to receive an honorary statuette in 1990, presented on March 25, 1991.



Previous Page Next Page