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Every best actor winner at the Oscars

After 95 years of great performances, here's a look back at all the leading men who brought home trophies.
Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro and Brendan Fraser.
Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin In the Last King of Scotland. Robert De Niro in Raging Bull and Brendan Fraser in The Whale.Everett Collection

Since the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, one actor has gloriously taken home the Oscar for having the greatest performance in a leading role.

There have been many historic moments among the 95 different best actor wins. Sidney Poitier was the first Black man to be honored, with his performance in "Lilies of the Field" in 1964, and Daniel Day-Lewis currently has the most best actor trophies, taking home three for some of his most powerful performances.

With veteran-actors like Paul Giamatti, 12-time nominee Bradley Cooper, and first-time nominee Colman Domingo, who is the second openly-gay man nominated for playing a gay character, the 96th Academy Awards for best actor is already shaping up to be a historic one.

As we reflect on comeback stories such as Brendan Fraser's 2023 win for "The Whale" to Leonardo DiCaprio's arguably long-time-coming win for his role in 2016's "The Revenant," here's a list of every best actor winner at the Oscars.

Every best actor winner at the Oscars

  • 2023 - Brendan Fraser, "The Whale"
  • 2022 - Will Smith, "King Richard"
  • 2021 - Anthony Hopkins, "The Father"
  • 2020 - Joaquin Phoenix, "Joker"
  • 2019 - Rami Malek, "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  • 2018 - Gary Oldman, "Darkest Hour"
  • 2017 - Casey Affleck, "Manchester by the Sea"
  • 2016 - Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Revenant"
  • 2015 - Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"
  • 2014 - Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
  • 2013 - Daniel Day-Lewis, "Lincoln"
  • 2012 - Jean Dujardin, "The Artist"
  • 2011 - Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
  • 2010 - Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
  • 2009 - Sean Penn, "Milk"
  • 2008 - Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
  • 2007 - Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"
  • 2006 - Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"
  • 2005 - Jamie Foxx, "Ray"
  • 2004 - Sean Penn, "Mystic River"
  • 2003 - Adrien Brody, "The Pianist"
  • 2002 - Denzel Washington, "Training Day"
  • 2001 - Russell Crowe, "Gladiator"
  • 2000 - Kevin Spacey, "American Beauty"
  • 1999 - Roberto Benigni, "Life Is Beautiful"
  • 1998 - Jack Nicholson, "As Good as It Gets"
  • 1997 - Geoffrey Rush, Shine
  • 1996 - Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas
  • 1995 - Tom Hanks, "Forrest Gump"
  • 1994 - Tom Hanks, "Philadelphia"
  • 1993 - Al Pacino, "Scent of a Woman"
  • 1992 - Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs
  • 1991 - Jeremy Irons, "Reversal of Fortune"
  • 1990 - Daniel Day-Lewis, My Left Foot
  • 1989 - Dustin Hoffman, "Rain Man"
  • 1988 - Michael Douglas, "Wall Street"
  • 1987 - Paul Newman, "The Color of Money"
  • 1986 - William Hurt, "Kiss of the Spider Woman"
  • 1985 - F. Murray Abraham, "Amadeus"
  • 1984 - Robert Duvall, "Tender Mercies"
  • 1983 - Ben Kingsley, "Gandhi"
  • 1982 - Henry Fonda, "On Golden Pond"
  • 1981 - Robert De Niro, "Raging Bull"
  • 1980 - Dustin Hoffman, "Kramer vs. Kramer"
  • 1979 - Jon Voight, "Coming Home"
  • 1978 - Richard Dreyfuss, "The Goodbye Girl"
  • 1977 - Peter Finch, "Network"
  • 1976 - Jack Nicholson, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
  • 1975 - Art Carney, "Harry and Tonto"
  • 1974 - Jack Lemmon, Save the Tiger
  • 1973 - Marlon Brando, "The Godfather"
  • 1972 - Gene Hackman, "The French Connection"
  • 1971 - George C. Scott, Patton
  • 1970 - John Wayne, "True Grit"
  • 1969 - Cliff Robertson, "Charly"
  • 1968 - Rod Steiger, "In the Heat of the Night"
  • 1967 - Paul Scofield, "A Man for All Seasons"
  • 1966 - Lee Marvin, "Cat Ballou"
  • 1965 - Rex Harrison, "My Fair Lady"
  • 1964 - Sidney Poitier, "Lilies of the Field"
  • 1963 - Gregory Peck, "To Kill a Mockingbird"
  • 1962 - Maximilian Schell, "Judgement at Nuremberg"
  • 1961 - Burt Lancaster, "Elmer Gantry"
  • 1960 - Charlton Heston, "Ben-Hur"
  • 1959 - David Niven, "Separate Tables"
  • 1958 - Alec Guinness, "The Bridge on the River Kwai"
  • 1957 - Yul Brynner, "The King and I"
  • 1956 - Ernest Borgnine, "Marty"
  • 1955 - Marlon Brando, "On the Waterfront"
  • 1954 - William Holden, "Stalag 17"
  • 1953 - Gary Cooper, "High Noon"
  • 1952 - Humphrey Bogart, "The African Queen"
  • 1951 - José Ferrer, "Cyrano de Bergerac"
  • 1950 - Broderick Crawford, "All the King's Men"
  • 1949 - Laurence Olivier, "Hamlet"
  • 1948 - Ronald Colman, "A Double Life"
  • 1947 - Fredric March, "The Best Years of Our Lives"
  • 1946 - Ray Milland, "The Lost Weekend"
  • 1945 - Bing Crosby, "Going My Way"
  • 1944 - Paul Lukas, "Watch on the Rhine"
  • 1943 - James Cagney, "Yankee Doodle Dandy"
  • 1942 - Gary Cooper, "Sergeant York"
  • 1941 - James Stewart, "The Philadelphia Story"
  • 1940 - Robert Donat, Goodbye, "Mr. Chips"
  • 1939 - Spencer Tracy, "Boys Town"
  • 1938 - Spencer Tracy, "Captains Courageous"
  • 1937 - Paul Muni, "The Story of Louis Pasteur"
  • 1936 - Victor McLaglen, "The Informer"
  • 1935 - Clark Gable, "It Happened One Night"
  • 1934 - Charles Laughton, "The Private Life of Henry VIII"
  • 1933 - Wallace Beery, "The Champ"
  • 1932 - Lionel Barrymore, "A Free Soul"
  • 1931 - George Arliss, "Disraeli"
  • 1930 - Warner Baxter, "In Old Arizona"
  • 1929 - Emil Jannings, "The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command"