Who has won the most Best Actor Oscars in Academy Awards history?

And the Oscar goes to...

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

The Academy Awards is the pinnacle of Hollywood’s glammed-out awards season, a grand gala of Tinsel Town that takes place in March (or April, which has occurred twice) to celebrate the previous year’s films.

And while many of the Oscar statuettes handed out during the night for things like Best Picture, Best Director, and the nods to the supporting cast create a large amount of buzz, few last in silver screen infamy more than the Best Actor recipients.

(Say the name of the film and, chances are, you picture their character almost instantly.)

From Clark Gable to Humphrey Bogart to Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, and Tom Hanks—the names who have hoisted the 8.5-pound pop-culture staple have been part of our collective movie nights for nearly a century.

Who has the most Best Actor awards?

Let’s take a look through Oscars History and find out…

1929: The 1st Academy Awards

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Emil Jannings for “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh”

1930: The 2nd Academy Awards


Warner Baxter for “In Old Arizona”

1931: The 3rd Academy Awards

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George Arliss for “Disraeli”

1932: The 4th Academy Awards

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Lionel Barrymore for “A Free Soul”

1933: The 5th Academy Awards

Fredric March acknowledges the applause. (AP Photo)

Fredric March | Wallace Beery: “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” | “The Champ

1934: The 6th Academy Awards

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Charles Laughton for “The Private Life of Henry VIII”

1935: The 7th Academy Awards

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Clark Gable for “It Happened One Night”

1936: The 8th Academy Awards

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Victor McLaglen for “The Informer”

1937: The 9th Academy Awards

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Paul Muni for “The Story of Louis Pasteur”

1938: The 10th Academy Awards

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Spencer Tracy for “Captains Courageous”

1939: The 11th Academy Awards

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Spencer Tracy for “Boys Town”

1940: The 12th Academy Awards

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Robert Donat for “Goodbye, Mr. Chips”

1941: The 13th Academy Awards

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James Stewart for “The Philadelphia Story”

1942: The 14th Academy Awards

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Gary Cooper for “Sergeant York”

1943: The 15th Academy Awards

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James Cagney for “Yankee Doodle Dandy”

1944: The 16th Academy Awards

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Paul Lukas for “Watch on the Rhine”

1945: The 17th Academy Awards

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Bing Crosby for “Going My Way”

1946: The 18th Academy Awards

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Ray Milland for “The Lost Weekend”

1947: The 19th Academy Awards

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Fredric March for “The Best Years of Our Lives”

1948: The 20th Academy Awards

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Ronald Colman for “A Double Life”

1949: The 21st Academy Awards

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Laurence Olivier for “Hamlet”

1950: The 22nd Academy Awards

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Broderick Crawford for “All the King’s Men”

1951: The 23rd Academy Awards

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Jose Ferrer for “Cyrano de Bergerac”

1952: The 24th Academy Awards

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Humphrey Bogart for “The African Queen”

1953: The 25th Academy Awards

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Gary Cooper for “High Noon”

1954: The 26th Academy Awards

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William Holden for “Stalag 17”

1955: The 27th Academy Awards

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Marlon Brando for “On The Waterfront”

1956: The 28th Academy Awards

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Ernest Borgnine for “Marty”

1957: The 29th Academy Awards

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Yul Brynner for “The King and I”

1958: The 30th Academy Awards

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Alec Guinness for “The Bridge On The River Kwai”

1959: The 31st Academy Awards

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David Niven for “Separate Tables”

1960: The 32nd Academy Awards

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Charlton Heston for “Ben-Hur”

1961: The 33rd Academy Awards

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Burt Lancaster for “Elmer Gantry”

1962: The 34th Academy Awards

Istvan Bajzat/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

Maximillian Schell for “Judgment at Nuremberg”

1963: The 35th Academy Awards

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Gregory Peck for “To Kill a Mockingbird”

1964: The 36th Academy Awards

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Sidney Poitier for “Lilies of the Field”

1965: The 37th Academy Awards

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Rex Harrison for “My Fair Lady”

1966: The 38th Academy Awards

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Lee Marvin for “Cat Ballou”

1967: The 39th Academy Awards

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Paul Scofield for “A Man for All Seasons”

Note: British actress Wendy Hiller (right) accepted the best actor award for Paul Scofield, who was absent.

1968: The 40th Academy Awards

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Rod Steiger for “In the Heat of the Night”

1969: The 41st Academy Awards

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Cliff Robertson for “Charly”

1970: The 42nd Academy Awards

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John Wayne for “True Grit”

1971: The 43rd Academy Awards

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George C. Scott for “Patton”

Note: Goldie Hawn was left holding the Oscar statuette after announcing Scott’s win, as the actor famously refused the award.

1972: The 44th Academy Awards

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Gene Hackman for “The French Connection”

1973: The 45th Academy Awards

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Marlon Brando for “The Godfather”

Note: Another famous no-show, Sacheen Littlefeather (pictured) informed the audience that Brando would not accept his Oscar as best actor—a protest of  Hollywood’s treatment of American Indians.

1974: The 46th Academy Awards

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Jack Lemmon for “Save the Tiger”

1975: The 47th Academy Awards

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Art Carney for “Harry and Tonto”

1976: The 48th Academy Awards

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Jack Nicholson for “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”

1977: The 49th Academy Awards

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Peter Finch for “Network”

Note: Finch, who died of a heart attack in January of 1977, was the first actor to win the award posthumously. (Pictured is the writer of the film, Paddy Chayefsky.)

1978: The 50th Academy Awards

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Richard Dreyfuss for “The Goodbye Girl”

1979: The 51st Academy Awards

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Jon Voight for “Coming Home”

1980: The 52nd Academy Awards

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Dustin Hoffman for “Kramer vs. Kramer”

1981: The 53rd Academy Awards

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Robert De Niro for “Raging Bull”

1982: The 54th Academy Awards

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Henry Fonda for “On Golden Pond”

Note: Jane Fonda accepted on behalf of her father, Henry Fonda.

1983: The 55th Academy Awards

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Ben Kingsley for “Gandhi”

1984: The 56th Academy Awards

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Robert Duvall for “Tender Mercies”

1985: The 57th Academy Awards


F. Murray Abraham for “Amadeus”

1986: The 58th Academy Awards

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William Hurt for “Kiss of the Spider Woman”

1987: The 59th Academy Awards

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Paul Newman for “The Color of Money”

Notes: Actor Robert Wise (left) accepted Newman’s award. He did not attend.

1988: The 60th Academy Awards

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Michael Douglas for “Wall Street”

1989: The 61st Academy Awards

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Dustin Hoffman for “Rain Man”

1990: The 62nd Academy Awards

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Daniel Day-Lewis for “My Left Foot”

1991: The 63rd Academy Awards

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Jeremy Irons for “Reversal of Fortune”

1992: The 64th Academy Awards

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Anthony Hopkins for “The Silence of the Lambs”

1993: The 65th Academy Awards

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Al Pacino for “Scent of a Woman”

1994: The 66th Academy Awards

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Tom Hanks for “Philadelphia”

1995: The 67th Academy Awards

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Tom Hanks for “Forrest Gump”

1996: The 68th Academy Awards

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Nicolas Cage for “Leaving Las Vegas”

1997: The 69th Academy Awards

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Geoffrey Rush for “Shine”

1998: The 70th Academy Awards

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Jack Nicholson for “As Good as It Gets”

1999: The 71st Academy Awards

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Roberto Benigni for “Life is Beautiful”

2000: The 72nd Academy Awards

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Kevin Spacey for “American Beauty”

2001: The 73rd Academy Awards

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Russell Crowe for “Gladiator”

2002: The 74th Academy Awards

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Denzel Washington for “Training Day”

2003: The 75th Academy Awards

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Adrien Brody for “The Pianist”

2004: The 76th Academy Awards

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Sean Penn for “Mystic River”

2005: The 77th Academy Awards

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Jamie Foxx for “Ray”

2006: The 78th Academy Awards

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Philip Seymour Hoffman for “Capote”

2007: The 79th Academy Awards

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Forest Whitaker for “The Last King of Scotland”

2008: The 80th Academy Awards

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Daniel Day-Lewis for “There Will Be Blood”

2009: The 81st Academy Awards

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Sean Penn for “Milk”

2010: The 82nd Academy Awards

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Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart”

2011: The 83rd Academy Awards

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Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech”

2012: The 84th Academy Awards

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Jean Dujardin for “The Artist”

2013: The 85th Academy Awards

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Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”

2014: The 86th Academy Awards

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Matthew McConaughey for “Dallas Buyers Club”

2015: The 87th Academy Awards

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Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything”

2016: The 88th Academy Awards

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Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant”

2017: The 89th Academy Awards

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Casey Affleck for “Manchester By the Sea”

2018: The 90th Academy Awards

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Gary Oldman for “Darkest Hour”

2019: The 91st Academy Awards

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Rami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody”

2020: The 92nd Academy Awards

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Joaquin Phoenix for “Joker”

2021: The 93rd Academy Awards

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Anthony Hopkins for “The Father”

Note: Hopkins did not attend.

The Most Academy Awards for Best Actor?

(Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Daniel Day-Lewis has the most Best Actor wins of all time: three.

It’s an impressive achievement and one that receives little argument from critics.

Story originally appeared on List Wire