To win an Oscar is a life changing honor in itself and the actors to win it are automatically considered to be great in what they do. No matter how many Grammys or Primetime Emmys you’ve got on your top shelf, you need an Oscar to have your name written among the elite of the industry; Jim Carrey, for all the amazing work he has done over the years, hasn’t even been nominated for Oscars. This shows just how much effort you need to put out of your talent hole to get nominated, let alone to win the damned Award.
87 Oscars have been given out to the creme of the industry and with 88th ceremony looming large, we take a look at the Best of the Best Actors to have won the award os far.
8. Gregory Peck – To Kill A Mockingbird
To be really honest, that long speech in To Kill A Mockingbird alone could have won him the Oscar. A man trying to defend a black man who is framed for rape in the depression era and teaching his children lessons on tolerance; a superhero in every sense. Gregory Peck played Atticus Finch like it was a role he meant to play, effortlessly and with noble dignity.
7. Daniel Day-Lewis – There Will Be Blood
An illustrious career, so much so that even this Award winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis can’t be termed as his best so far; Lincoln, Gangs Of New York are some of the titles he has made his own despite the A-list directors and actors working with him. There Will Be Blood is a material transformation only he could have done and he did, with a devastating reality to all of it. Don’t forget: “I drink your milkshake”
6. Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Who could be Abraham Linclon? A guy with a high-pitched reedy voice changed the way generations knew Lincoln’s presence from the history books and cut through the mythologies of Civil War. Day-Lewis portrayed Lincoln with a Speilberg-isque class and carved the act for ages.
5. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory Of Everything
The light and the darkness, the hope and the fear that live in all of us is something Redmayne took and encrypted in the role of handicapped genius Stephen Hawking. The ability to portray someone with such a physical condition is remarkable in itself, but the way he never cramps himself in the limitations of the physicality and keeps the gentleness of genius that Hawking is, alive, is what won him the Oscar that year.
4. Jack Nicholson – One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest
Prior to Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicholson had been nominated four times in six years, without a win. But his triumph at the 1976 ceremony was not simply a recognition of his remarkable hot streak. Nicholson’s portrayal of a rebellious mental hospital inmate is a phenomenal combination of sly intelligence. Nicholson’s fireworks would be subsequently aped, and amped up to over-the-top proportions, by other actors and by the Batman star himself. Here, however, his anti-authoritarian antics perfectly light up one of cinema’s great masterpieces.
3. Marlon Brando – The Godfather
As soon as the movie released in 1972, it got engraved in the American movie culture in such a way that even after a better part of 4 decades the movie is considered by many as the best Mafia movie of all time. Marlon Brando who needed a comeback after rolling past the 60’s could not have asked for a better script and acting scope, to showcase how to win an Oscar. He was just 46 when he did the role.
2. Daniel Day-Lewis – My Left Foot
It should be challenging to identify an absolute “best performance” from an actor as distinguished as Daniel Day-Lewis, who owns three Oscars. But as cerebral palsy-afflicted artist and writer Christy Brown, Day-Lewis completely disappeared into a role that requires him to be excruciatingly vulnerable and impossibly charming — all without the use of his limbs, save his titular foot. Day-Lewis’ fragile delivery keeps the entire movie from teetering off a cliff of sentimentality, if only until the film’s ending ultimately takes that plunge for him.
1. Robert De Niro – Raging Bull
Robert De Niro is one of the greatest of all time and has given many memorable performances over the years but working with Martin Scorsese brought another dimension to Bob’s acting class, everytime. De Niro took method acting to another extreme for playing LaMotta past his prime years. A staggering achievement in greatness is what Raging Bull is, a portray of jealousy, pride, anger and how it destroyed the manhood of a once great fighter.