Schauspieler Emil Jannings
1929: Emil Jannings - The Last Command and The Way of All FleshImagno/Getty Images
Schauspieler Emil Jannings
Warner Baxter
George Arliss (1868-1946), English actor, 20th century.
Cinema Personalities. pic: circa 1930's. American actor Lionel Barrymore. (1878-1954) a major star of films and a famed actor. He was also noted as a artist, author, composer and director, one of the famous Barrymore acting family.
Fredric March
Wallace Beery
Charles Laughton
Clark Gable
Victor McLaglen, British boxer and actor, 1934-1935.
Paul Muni, American film actor, 1934-1935.
Spencer Tracy
Robert Donat
James Stewart
Cooper Promo Shot
Cinema. Personalities. circa 1940's. American actor James Cagney portrait one of Hollywood's pre-eminent stars famous for his "tough-guy" roles.
Paul Lukas
Bing Crosby
Ray Milland
Portrait of Ronald Colman
Portrait Of Laurence Olivier
Broderick Crawford
José Ferrer in Anything Can Happen
Humphrey Bogart In 'Sabrina'
Marlon Brando
Ernest Borgnine
Yul Brynner
Barnacle Bill
David Niven
Charlton Heston dressed as Ben Hur
Burt Lancaster
Maximillian Schell
Gregory Peck
Publicity Still From 'For Love Of Ivy'
Rex Harrison In 'My Fair Lady'
Lee Marvin
Paul Scofield In 'A Man For All Seasons'
In The Heat of the Night
Cliff Robertson
John Wayne
Gene Hackman In 'The French Connection'
Jack Lemmon
47th Annual Academy Awards, 1975
Jack Nicholson In 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest'
Peter Finch In 'Network'
35th Annual Golden Globe Awards
"The Champ" Press Party
AFI Salute to James Stewart
Actor's Studio Conference
JAN 2 1980, AUG 12 1982, AUG 13 1982, MAR 18 1983; At ceremonies at the Denver Center for the Perfor
Ben Kingsley
Robert Duvall
57th Annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon
William Hurt
The Color Of Money
People's Choice
62nd Annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon
16th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards
"Howard's End" Benefit for AmFAR
American Museum of the Moving Image Tribute to Al Pacino
Tom Hanks
1996 National Board of Review Awards Dinner
Presentation of Memorabilia From "Shine"
4th Broadcast Film Critics Awards
"The Big Kahuna" Premiere
Celebs at British Academy Film Awards
74th Annual Academy Awards - Pressroom
The 75th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room
Sean Penn arrives for the 76th Academy A
Onset For Jamie Foxx Music Video
Stars Promote 'Mission Impossible III' In Rome
22nd Annual Santa Barbara Film Festival - American Riviera Award Presented to Forest Whitaker
9th Annual New York Times Arts & Leisure Weekend - Day 3
The Debt - UK Premiere - Inside Arrivals
BAFTA Los Angeles 18th Annual Awards Season Tea Party - Red Carpet
86th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room
88th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room
89th Annual Academy Awards -  Press Room
1929: Emil Jannings - The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh
Imagno/Getty Images
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See Every Best Actor in Oscar History

Updated: Feb 24, 2019 11:59 PM ET | Originally published: Feb 19, 2015

Since the first Academy Awards in 1929, one actor has been chosen each year as the previous year's best movie performer. From Clark Gable to Tom Hanks, the winners are legendary, though not without controversy. Adrien Brody's 2003 win for The Pianist surprised viewers who expected the Academy to go for more established choices like Jack Nicholson or Daniel-Day Lewis. In 2016, Leonardo DiCaprio broke what many considered a long-standing curse, winning Best Actor for his performance in The Revenant — his first ever Academy Award. In 2017, Casey Affleck won the award for his role in Manchester By the Sea. In 2018, Gary Oldman nabbed it for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Rami Malek's performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury earned him the statue in 2019.

MORE See All the Best Actress Winners in Oscar History

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