Best Actor

This page lists all Oscar nominees for Best Actor. Reviews of films on the original 1001 Films list are linked here.
As I finish each set of films for a given year and category, I will revisit those films and determine which film I think should have won and why. Those posts will be linked here as well.

Best Actor
1928: Who should have won?
Emil Jannings: The Last Command (winner)

Richard Barthelmess: The Noose
Richard Barthelmess: The Patent Leather Kid
Emil Jannings: Way of All Flesh (winner)

1929:Who should have won?
Chester Morris: Alibi
Warner Baxter: In Old Arizona (winner)

Lewis Stone: The Patriot
George Bancroft: Thunderbolt
Paul Muni: The Valiant

1930: Who should have won?
Wallace Beery: The Big House
Maurice Chevalier: The Big Pond
Ronald Colman: Bulldog Drummond
Ronald Colman: Condemned
George Arliss: Disraeli (winner)
George Arliss: The Green Goddess
Maurice Chevalier: The Love Parade
Lawrence Tibbett: The Rogue Song

1931: Who should have won?
Richard Dix: Cimarron
Lionel Barrymore: A Free Soul (winner)
Adolphe Menjou: The Front Page
Fredric March: The Royal Family of Broadway
Jackie Cooper: Skippy

1932: Who should have won?
Wallace Beery: The Champ (co-winner)
Fredic March: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (co-winner)
Alfred Lunt: The Guardsman

1933: Who should have won?
Leslie Howard: Berkeley Square
Paul Muni: I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
Charles Laughton: The Private Life of Henry VIII (winner)

1934: Who should have won?
Frank Morgan: Affairs of Cellini
Clark Gable: It Happened One Night(winner)
William Powell: The Thin Man

1935: Who should have won?
Paul Muni: Black Fury (write-in)
Victor McLaglen: The Informer (winner)
Clark Gable: Mutiny on the Bounty
Charles Laughton: Mutiny on the Bounty
Franchot Tone: Mutiny on the Bounty

1936: Who should have won?
Walter Huston: Dodsworth
Gary Cooper: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
William Powell: My Man Godfrey
Spencer Tracy: San Francisco
Paul Muni: The Story of Louis Pasteur (winner)

1937: Who should have won?
Spencer Tracy: Captains Courageous (winner)
Charles Boyer: Conquest
Paul Muni: The Life of Emile Zola
Robert Montgomery: Night Must Fall
Fredric March: A Star is Born

1938: Who should have won?
Charles Boyer: Algiers
James Cagney: Angels with Dirty Faces
Spencer Tracy: Boys Town (winner)
Robert Donat: The Citadel
Leslie Howard: Pygmalion

1939: Who should have won?
Mickey Rooney: Babes in Arms
Clark Gable: Gone with the Wind
Robert Donat: Goodbye, Mr. Chips (winner)
James Stewart: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Laurence Olivier: Wuthering Heights

1940: Who should have won?
Raymond Massey: Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Henry Fonda: The Grapes of Wrath
Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator
James Stewart: The Philadelphia Story (winner)
Laurence Olivier: Rebecca

1941: Who should have won?
Orson Welles: Citizen Kane
Walter Huston: The Devil and Daniel Webster
Robert Montgomery: Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Cary Grant: Penny Serenade
Gary Cooper: Sergeant York (winner)

1942:Who should have won?
Walter Pidgeon: Mrs. Miniver
Monty Woolley: The Pied Piper
Gary Cooper: The Pride of the Yankees
Ronald Colman: Random Harvest
James Cagney: Yankee Doodle Dandy (winner)

1943: Who should have won?
Humphrey Bogart: Casablanca
Gary Cooper: For Whom the Bell Tolls
Mickey Rooney: The Human Comedy
Walter Pidgeon: Madame Curie
Paul Lukas: Watch on the Rhine (winner)

1944: Who should have won?
Charles Boyer: Gaslight
Bing Crosby: Going My Way (winner)
Barry Fitzgerald: Going My Way
Cary Grant: None by the Lonely Heart
Alexander Knox: Wilson

1945: Who should have won?
Gene Kelly: Anchors Aweigh
Bing Crosby: The Bell’s of St. Mary’s
Gregory Peck: The Keys of the Kingdom
Ray Milland: The Lost Weekend (winner)
Cornel Wilde: A Song to Remember

1946: Who should have won?
Fredric March: The Best Years of Our Lives (winner)
Laurence Olivier: Henry V
James Stewart: It’s a Wonderful Life
Larry Parks: The Jolson Story
Gregory Peck: The Yearling

1947: Who should have won?
John Garfield: Body and Soul
Ronald Colman: A Double Life (winner)
Gregory Peck: Gentleman’s Agreement
William Powell: Life with Father
Michael Redgrave: Mourning Becomes Electra

1948: Who should have won?
Laurence Olivier: Hamlet (winner)
Lew Ayres: Johnny Belinda
Montgomery Clift: The Search
Clifton Webb: Sitting Pretty
Dan Dailey: When My Baby Smiles at Me

1949: Who should have won?
Broderick Crawford: All the King’s Men (winner)
Kirk Douglas: Champion
Richard Todd: The Hasty Heart
John Wayne: Sands of Iwo Jima
Gregory Peck: Twelve O’Clock High

1950: Who should have won?
Jose Ferrer: Cyrano de Bergerac (winner)
Spencer Tracy: Father of the Bride
James Stewart: Harvey
Louis Calhern: The Magnificent Yankee
William Holden: Sunset Boulevard

1951: Who should have won?
Humphrey Bogart: The African Queen (winner)
Arthur Kennedy: Bright Victory
Fredric March: Death of a Salesman
Montgomery Clift: A Place in the Sun
Marlon Brando: A Streetcar Named Desire

1952: Who should have won?
Kirk Douglas: The Bad and the Beautiful
Gary Cooper: High Noon (winner)
Alec Guinness: The Lavender Hill Mob
Jose Ferrer: Moulin Rouge
Marlon Brando: Viva Zapata!

1953: Who should have won?
Montgomery Clift: From Here to Eternity
Burt Lancaster: From Here to Eternity
Marlon Brando: Julius Caesar
Richard Burton: The Robe
William Holden: Stalag 17 (winner)

1954: Who should have won?
Dan O’Herlihy: The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Humphrey Bogart: The Caine Mutiny
Bing Crosby: The Country Girl
Marlon Brando: On the Waterfront (winner)
James Mason: A Star is Born

1955: Who should have won?
Spencer Tracy: Bad Day at Black Rock
James Dean: East of Eden
James Cagney: Love Me or Leave Me
Frank Sinatra: The Man with the Golden Arm
Ernest Borgnine: Marty (winner)

1956: Who should have won?
James Dean: Giant
Rock Hudson: Giant
Yul Brynner: The King and I (winner)
Kirk Douglas: Lust for Life
Laurence Olivier: Richard III

1957: Who should have won?
Alec Guinness: The Bridge on the River Kwai (winner)
Anthony Franciosa: A Hatful of Rain
Marlon Brando: Sayonara
Anthony Quinn: Wild is the Wind
Charles Laughton: Witness for the Prosecution

1958: Who should have won?
Paul Newman: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Tony Curtis: The Defiant Ones
Sidney Poitier: The Defiant Ones
Spencer Tracy: The Old Man and the Sea
David Niven: Separate Tables (winner)

1959: Who should have won?
James Stewart: Anatomy of a Murder
Charlton Heston: Ben-Hur (winner)
Paul Muni: The Last Angry Man
Laurence Harvey: Room at the Top
Jack Lemmon: Some Like it Hot

1960: Who should have won?
Jack Lemmon: The Apartment
Burt Lancaster: Elmer Gantry (winner)
Laurence Olivier: The Entertainer
Spencer Tracy: Inherit the Wind
Trevor Howard: Sons and Lovers

1961: Who should have won?
Charles Boyer: Fanny
Paul Newman: The Hustler
Maximilian Schell: Judgment at Nuremberg (winner)
Spencer Tracy: Judgment at Nuremberg
Stuart Whitman: The Mark

1962: Who should have won?
Burt Lancaster: Birdman of Alcatraz
Jack Lemmon: Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni: Divorce, Italian Style
Peter O’Toole: Lawrence of Arabia
Gregory Peck: To Kill a Mockingbird (winner)

1963: Who should have won?
Rex Harrison: Cleopatra
Paul Newman: Hud
Sidney Poitier: Lillies of the Field (winner)
Richard Harris: This Sporting Life
Albert Finney: Tom Jones

1964: Who should have won?
Richard Burton: Becket
Peter O’Toole: Becket
Peter Sellers: Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Rex Harrison: My Fair Lady (winner)
Anthony Quinn: Zorba the Greek

1965: Who should have won?
Lee Marvin: Cat Ballou (winner)
Laurence Olivier: Othello
Rod Steiger: The Pawnbroker
Oskar Werner: Ship of Fools
Richard Burton: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

1966: Who should have won?
Michael Caine: Alfie
Paul Scofield: A Man for All Seasons (winner)
Alan Arkin: The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming
Steve McQueen: The Sand Pebbles
Richard Burton: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1967: Who should have won?
Warren Beatty: Bonnie and Clyde
Paul Newman: Cool Hand Luke
Dustin Hoffman: The Graduate
Spencer Tracy: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
Rod Steiger: In the Heat of the Night (winner)

1968: Who should have won?
Cliff Robertson: Charly (winner)
Alan Bates: The Fixer
Alan Arkin: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Peter O’Toole: The Lion in Winter
Ron Moody: Oliver!

1969: Who should have won?
Richard Burton: Anne of the Thousand Days
Peter O’Toole: Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Dustin Hoffman: Midnight Cowboy
Jon Voight: Midnight Cowboy
John Wayne: True Grit (winner)

1970: Who should have won?
Jack Nicholson: Five Easy Pieces
James Earl Jones: The Great White Hope
Melvyn Douglas: I Never Sang for My Father
Ryan O’Neal: Love Story
George C. Scott: Patton (winner)

1971: Who should have won?
Chaim Topol: Fiddler on the Roof
Gene Hackman: The French Connection (winner)
George C. Scott: The Hospital
Walter Matthau: Kotch
Peter Finch: Sunday Bloody Sunday

1972: Who should have won?
Marlon Brando: The Godfather (winner)
Peter O’Toole: The Ruling Class
Michael Caine: Sleuth
Laurence Olivier: Sleuth
Paul Winfield: Sounder

1973: Who should have won?
Jack Nicholson: The Last Detail
Marlon Brando: The Last Tango in Paris
Jack Lemmon: Save the Tiger (winner)
Al Pacino: Serpico
Robert Redford: The Sting

1974: Who should have won?
Jack Nicholson: Chinatown
Al Pacino: The Godfather Part II
Art Carney: Harry and Tonto (winner)
Dustin Hoffman: Lenny
Albert Finney: Murder on the Orient Express

1975: Who should have won?
Al Pacino: Dog Day Afternoon
James Whitmore: Give ‘em Hell, Harry!
Maximilian Schell: Man in the Glass Booth
Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (winner)
Walter Matthau: The Sunshine Boys

1976: Who should have won?
Peter Finch: Network (winner)
William Holden: Network
Sylvester Stallone: Rocky
Giancarlo Giannini: Seven Beauties
Robert De Niro: Taxi Driver

1977: Who should have won?
Woody Allen: Annie Hall
Richard Burton: Equus
Richard Dreyfus: The Goodbye Girl (winner)
John Travolta: Saturday Night Fever
Marcello Mastroianni: A Special Day

1978: Who should have won?
Laurence Olivier: The Boys from Brazil
Gary Busey: The Buddy Holly Story
Jon Voight: Coming Home (winner)
Robert De Niro: The Deer Hunter
Warren Beatty: Heaven Can Wait

1979: Who should have won?
Roy Scheider: All That Jazz
Al Pacino: ...And Justice for All
Peter Sellers: Being There
Jack Lemmon: The China Syndrome
Dustin Hoffman: Kramer vs. Kramer (winner)

1980: Who should have won?
John Hurt: The Elephant Man
Robert Duvall: The Great Santini
Robert De Niro: Raging Bull (winner)
Peter O’Toole: The Stunt Man
Jack Lemmon: Tribute

1981: Who should have won?
Paul Newman: Absence of Malice
Dudley Moore: Arthur
Burt Lancaster: Atlantic City
Henry Fonda: On Golden Pond (winner)
Warren Beatty: Reds

1982: Who should have won?
Ben Kingsley: Gandhi (winner)
Jack Lemmon: Missing
Peter O’Toole: My Favorite Year
Dustin Hoffman: Tootsie
Paul Newman: The Verdict

1983: Who should have won?
Tom Courtenay: The Dresser
Albert Finney: The Dresser
Michael Caine: Educating Rita
Tom Conti: Reuben, Reuben
Robert Duvall: Tender Mercies (winner)

1984: Who should have won?
F. Murray Abraham: Amadeus (winner)
Tom Hulce: Amadeus
Sam Waterston: The Killing Fields
Jeff Bridges: Starman
Albert Finney: Under the Volcano

1985: Who should have won?
William Hurt: Kiss of the Spider Woman (winner)
James Garner: Murphy’s Romance
Jack Nicholson: Prizzi’s Honor
Jon Voight: Runaway Train
Harrison Ford: Witness

1986: Who should have won?
William Hurt: Children of a Lesser God
Paul Newman: The Color of Money (winner)
Bob Hoskins: Mona Lisa
Dexter Gordon: Round Midnight
James Woods: Salvador

1987: Who should have won?
William Hurt: Broadcast News
Marcello Mastroianni: Dark Eyes
Robin Williams: Good Morning, Vietnam
Jack Nicholson: Ironweed
Michael Douglas: Wall Street (winner)

1988: Who should have won?
Tom Hanks: Big
Gene Hackman: Mississippi Burning
Max von Sydow: Pelle the Conqueror
Dustin Hoffman: Rain Man (winner)
Edward James Olmos: Stand and Deliver

1989: Who should have won?
Tom Cruise: Born on the Fourth of July
Robin Williams: Dead Poets Society
Morgan Freeman: Driving Miss Daisy
Kenneth Branagh: Henry V
Daniel Day-Lewis: My Left Foot (winner)

1990: Who should have won?
Robert De Niro: Awakenings
Gerard Depardieu: Cyrano de Bergerac
Kevin Costner: Dances with Wolves
Richard Harris: The Field
Jeremy Irons: Reversal of Fortune (winner)

1991: Who should have won?
Warren Beatty: Bugsy
Robert De Niro: Cape Fear
Robin Williams: The Fisher King
Nick Nolte: The Prince of Tides
Anthony Hopkins: The Silence of the Lambs (winner)

1992: Who should have won?
Robert Downey, Jr.: Chaplin
Stephen Rea: The Crying Game
Denzel Washington: Malcolm X
Al Pacino: Scent of a Woman (winner)
Clint Eastwood: Unforgiven

1993: Who should have won?
Daniel Day-Lewis: In the Name of the Father
Tom Hanks: Philadelphia (winner)
Anthony Hopkins: The Remains of the Day
Liam Neeson: Schindler’s List
Laurence Fishburne: What’s Love Got to Do with It?

1994: Who should have won?
Tom Hanks: Forrest Gump (winner)
Nigel Hawthorne: The Madness of King George
Paul Newman: Nobody’s Fool
John Travolta: Pulp Fiction
Morgan Freeman: The Shawshank Redemption

1995: Who should have won?
Sean Penn: Dead Man Walking
Nicolas Cage: Leaving Las Vegas (winner)
Richard Dreyfuss: Mr. Holland’s Opus
Anthony Hopkins: Nixon
Massimo Troisi: Il Postino

1996: Who should have won?
Ralph Fiennes: The English Patient
Tom Cruise: Jerry Maguire
Woody Harrelson: The People vs. Larry Flynt
Geoffrey Rush: Shine (winner)
Billy Bob Thornton: Sling Blade

1997: Who should have won?
Robert Duvall: The Apostle
Jack Nicholson: As Good as it Gets (winner)
Matt Damon: Good Will Hunting
Peter Fonda: Ulee’s Gold
Dustin Hoffman: Wag the Dog

1998: Who should have won?
Nick Nolte: Affliction
Edward Norton: American History X
Ian McKellen: Gods and Monsters
Roberto Benigni: Life is Beautiful (winner)
Tom Hanks: Saving Private Ryan

1999: Who should have won?
Kevin Spacey: American Beauty (winner)
Denzel Washington: The Hurricane
Russell Crowe: The Insider
Richard Farnsworth: The Straight Story
Sean Penn: Sweet and Lowdown

2000: Who should have won?
Javier Bardem: Before Night Falls
Tom Hanks: Cast Away
Russell Crowe: Gladiator (winner)
Ed Harris: Pollock
Geoffrey Rush: Quills

2001: Who should have won?
Will Smith: Ali
Russell Crowe: A Beautiful Mind
Sean Penn: I am Sam
Tom Wilkinson: In the Bedroom
Denzel Washington: Training Day (winner)

2002: Who should have won?
Jack Nicholson: About Schmidt
Nicolas Cage: Adaptation
Daniel Day-Lewis: Gangs of New York
Adrien Brody: The Pianist (winner)
Michael Caine: The Quiet American

2003: Who should have won?
Jude Law: Cold Mountain
Ben Kingsley: House of Sand and Fog
Bill Murray: Lost in Translation
Sean Penn: Mystic River (winner)
Johnny Depp: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

2004: Who should have won?
Leonardo DiCaprio: The Aviator
Johnny Depp: Finding Neverland
Don Cheadle: Hotel Rwanda
Clint Eastwood: Million Dollar Baby
Jamie Foxx: Ray (winner)

2005: Who should have won?
Heath Ledger: Brokeback Mountain
Philip Seymour Hoffman: Capote (winner)
David Straithairn: Good Night and Good Luck
Terrence Howard: Hustle & Flow
Joaquin Phoenix: Walk the Line

2006: Who should have won?
Leonardo DiCaprio: Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling: Half Nelson
Forest Whitaker: The Last King of Scotland (winner)
Will Smith: The Pursuit of Happyness
Peter O’Toole: Venus

2007: Who should have won?
Viggo Mortensen: Eastern Promises
Tommy Lee Jones: In the Valley of Elah
George Clooney: Michael Clayton
Johnny Depp: Sweeny Todd
Daniel Day-Lewis: There Will Be Blood (winner)

2008: Who should have won?
Brad Pitt: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frank Langella: Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn: Milk (winner)
Richard Jenkins: The Visitor
Mickey Rourke: The Wrestler

2009: Who should have won?
Jeff Bridges: Crazy Heart (winner)
Jeremy Renner: The Hurt Locker
Morgan Freeman: Invictus
Colin Firth: A Single Man
George Clooney: Up in the Air

2010: Who should have won?
James Franco: 127 Hours
Javier Bardem: Biutiful
Colin Firth: The King’s Speech (winner)
Jesse Eisenberg: The Social Network
Jeff Bridges: True Grit

2011: Who should have won?
Jean Dujardin: The Artist (winner)
Demain Bichir: A Better Life
George Clooney: The Descendants
Brad Pitt: Moneyball
Gary Oldman: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

2012: Who should have won?
Denzel Washington: Flight
Daniel Day-Lewis: Lincoln (winner)
Joaquin Phoenix: The Master
Hugh Jackman: Les Miserables
Bradley Cooper: Silver Linings Playbook

2013: Who should have won?
Chiwetel Ejiofor: 12 Years a Slave
Christian Bale: American Hustle
Matthew McConaughey: Dallas Buyers Club (winner)
Bruce Dern: Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio: The Wolf of Wall Street

2014: Who should have won?
Bradley Cooper: American Sniper
Michael Keaton: Birdman
Steve Carrell: Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch: The Imitation Game
Eddie Redmayne: The Theory of Everything (winner)

2015: Who should have won?
Eddie Redmayne: The Danish Girl
Matt Damon: The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio: The Revenant (winner)
Michael Fassbender: Steve Jobs
Bryan Cranston: Trumbo

2016: Who should have won?
Viggo Mortensen: Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington: Fences
Andrew Garfield: Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling: La La Land
Casey Affleck: Manchester by the Sea (winner)

2017: Who should have won?
Timothee Chalamet: Call Me by Your Name
Gary Oldman: Darkest Hour (winner)
Daniel Kaluuya: Get Out
Daniel Day-Lewis: Phantom Thread
Denzel Washington: Roman J. Israel, Esq.

2018: Who should have won?
Willem Dafoe: At Eternity's Gate
Rami Malek: Bohemian Rhapsody (winner)
Viggo Mortensen: Green Book
Bradley Cooper: A Star is Born
Christian Bale: Vice

2019: Who should have won?
Joaquin Phoenix: Joker (winner)
Adam Driver: Marriage Story
Leonardo DiCaprio: Once Upon a Hollywood
Antonio Banderas: Pain and Glory
Jonathan Pryce: The Two Popes

2020: Who should have won?
Anthony Hopkins: The Father (winner)
Chadwick Boseman: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Gary Oldman: Mank
Steven Yeun: Minari
Riz Ahmed: Sound of Metal

2021: Who should have won?
Javier Bardem: Being the Ricardos
Andrew Garfield: Tick, Tick...BOOM!
Will Smith: King Richard (winner)
Benedict Cumberbatch: The Power of the Dog
Denzel Washington: The Tragedy of Macbeth

2022: Who should have won?
Paul Mescal: Aftersun
Colin Farrell: The Banshees of Inisherin
Ausin Butler: Elvis
Bill Nighy: Living
Brendan Fraser: The Whale (winner)

Jeffrey Wright: American Fiction
Paul Giamatti: The Holdovers
Bradley Cooper: Maestro
Cillian Murphy: Oppenheimer (winner)
Colman Domingo: Rustin

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