An Oscar is only bestowed upon the best of the best brilliant performers in the industry. An Academy Award is a huge deal for any film star, catapulting them into a different category of true artists and opening the door to better films.
Almost the same cast of actors, directors, and producers attends the Oscars each year, only a few have ever won more than two Academy Awards. The world record holder is Katharine Hepburn, who has four Academy Awards to her name, as well as the honour of being nominated 12 times.
When it comes to male stars, the Academy’s top picks are measured first by the number of acting awards they’ve received, then by the cumulative number of nominations.
These actors have typically received an Academy Award for Best Acting or Best Supporting Actor. Here are the stars who have won the most Oscars, taking into account both their awards and the number of times they have been nominated during their careers.
Anthony Quinn; 2 Wins, 4 Nominations
A well-known Mexican-American actor, painter, writer, and film director Anthony Quinn was rewarded for his acting with four nominations for Academy Awards.
He was nominated for best actor twice for Wild is the Wind (1957) and Zorba the Greek (1964) but didn’t win any Oscar. He ended up winning two Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his performances in Viva Zapata! (1952) and opposite Marlon Brando Lust for Life (1956) opposite Kirk Douglas.
Gary Cooper; 2 Wins, 5 Nominations
Gary Cooper raged over Hollywood for forty decades. for his genuine and naturalistic acting method from the 1920s to the 1960s. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for five years and received the award twice.
He was nominated and won for his starring role in the epic war romance Sergeant York (1941) and his performance in the western High Noon (1952). He was also nominated for Best Actor for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), the Ernest Hemingway adaptation For Whom the Bells Toll (1943), and The Pride of the Yankees (1942). (1942).
Gene Hackman; 2 Wins, 5 Nominations
Gene Hackman’s career in the industry lasted for multiple decades and was acknowledged with several awards and had given innumerable legendary performances. He was nominated for five Academy Awards, for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, and winning one Oscar in each category.
Hackman was nominated for Best Actor in Mississippi Burning (1988)and won for his role in The French Connection (1971). He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in Bonnie and Clyde (1967)and I Never Sang for My Father (1970)and won for his supporting role alongside Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven (1992).
Fredric March; 2 Wins, 5 Nominations
Fredric March earned five Academy Award nominations, all for the Best Actor category, and won two in the 1930s-1950s for his starring role in the war drama The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and his work in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931). He was also nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Death of a Salesman (1951), A Star is Born (1937), and The Royal Family of Broadway (1930).
Sean Penn; 2 Wins, 5 Nominations
Penn first has been acting since the 1970s but came to prominence in the 1980s film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but he later established himself as a serious performer in films such as At Close Range, State of Grace, and Carlito’s Way.
Sean Penn has received two Academy Awards, both in the 2000s, for the crime thriller Mystic River (2003) and the biopic Milk (2008). He was nominated five times in all, with the three others being for Dead Man Walking (1995), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), and I Am Sam (2001).
Tom Hanks; 2 Wins, 6 Nominations
With a stellar legacy in Hollywood, Hanks’ leading roles have shown incredible variation, with roles ranging from Sleepless in Seattle to Captain Phillips, as well as the voice actor of Woody in the Toy Story films.
Tom Hanks was nominated for his part in the sitcom Big and won two Oscars for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994). Since then, he’s earned three more nominations, Saving Private Ryan (1998), Cast Away (2000), and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019).
Michael Caine; 2 Wins, 6 Nominations
British film legend, Caine was a double recipient of the Oscars receiving the award for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and The Cider House of Laws (1999). Alfie (1966), Sleuth (1972), Educating Rita (1983), and The Quiet American (1986) are his other four selections (2002) to be nominated for the Academy Awards.
Dustin Hoffman; 2 Wins, 7 Nominations
Dustin Hoffman has been nominated for an Academy Award seven times, and won once for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and once for Rain Man (1988). The Graduate (1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Lenny (1974), Tootsie (1982), and Wag the Dog (1983) are the other five (1997).
Hoffman has appeared recently in light-hearted famous comedy films, Meet the Fockers (2004) and Little Fockers (2010), as well as a voiceover in the animated Kung Fu Panda films.
Robert De Niro; 2 Wins, 7 Nominations
De Niro the two-time Oscar nominee won for The Godfather: Part II (1974) and Raging Bull (1980). He was also nominated for Taxi Driver (1976), The Deer Hunter (1978), Awakenings (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and The Irishman (2012). De Niro recently starred in Joker, a Martin Scorsese film that earned 11 Academy Award nominations.
Denzel Washington; 2 Wins, 8 Nominations
Washington, the sole Black man on the chart, has two wins and eight nominations to his name. Glory (1989) was his first victory, and Training Day (1990) was his second (2001). Cry Freedom (1987), Malcolm X (1992), The Hurricane (1999), Flight (2012), Fences (2016), and Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017) are among his other nominees.
Jack Lemmon; 2 Wins, 8 Nominations
Lemmon starred in several films that did not win Academy Awards but were major box office successes, including JFK (1991), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), and Grumpy Old Men (1993). Sadly, at the age of 76, Lemmon died in 2001.
Some Like It Sticky (1959), The Apartment (1960), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The China Syndrome (1979), Tribute (1980), and Missing (1980) are among Jack Lemmon’s six nominations (1982). Mister Roberts (1955) and Save the Tiger (1973) were his two major Oscar winners.
Marlon Brando; 2 Wins, 8 Nominations
Brando, one of the most influential actors of the twentieth century, has won two Oscars and earned eight nominations during his amazing career. He won for his depiction of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972) and for On the Waterfront (1954).
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Viva Zapata! (1952), Julius Caesar (1953), Sayonara (1957), Last Tango in Paris (1972), and A Dry White Season (1972) are the six films for which he was nominated but did not receive an Academy Award (1989). Brando died in 2004 at the age of 80.
Spencer Tracy; 2 Wins, 9 Nominations
Spencer Tracy has earned the second-most nominations of any actor in history. Captain Brave (1937) and Boys Town (1938) were his two Oscar nominations (1938). Throughout the remainder of his career, he received many Oscar nominations including San Francisco (1936), accompanied by Father of the Bride (1950), Bad Day at Black Rock (1955), The Old Man and the Sea (1958), Inherit the Wind (1960), Nuremberg (1961), and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967). Tract received his last Oscar posthumously when he died just weeks before the shooting of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner wrapped.
Walter Brennan; 3 Wins, 4 Nominations
Although Walter Brennan has fewer nominations than any of the others on this list, he has won three-fourth of his Oscars nominations that are, for Come and Get It (1936), Kentucky (1938), and The Westerner (1939).
He was nominated for Sergeant York, but lost, that too, only once! Brennan is one of only three actors to have won an Oscar in three different categories. He died in 1974 at the age of 80.
Daniel Day-Lewis; 3 Wins, 6 Nominations
Daniel Day-Lewis has an outstanding record, which features three Oscar wins and six awards, making him one of only three actors in history to win three Oscars. He won for the first time in 1989 for My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown, and nearly after two decades he won for There Will Be Blood (2007) His most recent film was Lincoln (2012), in which he portrayed former United States President Abraham Lincoln.
In the Name of the Father (1993), Gangs of New York (2002), and Phantom Thread (2017) were also nominated. Post-release of his latest film in 2017, the esteemed actor revealed that he will be retiring from the industry.
Jack Nicholson; 3 Wins, 12 Nominations
Though he shares the most Oscar wins with two other stars, no other male actor gets close to his overall number of nominations. Five Easy Pieces (1970), The Last Detail (1973), Chinatown (1974), Reds (1981), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), Ironweed (1987), A Few Good Men (1992), and About Schmidt (1992) were among his eight non-winning nominees (2002).
Nicholson’s three awards span three decades, reflecting his lasting success as an actor. The first was for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), the second was for Terms of Endearment (1983), and the third was for As Good as It Gets (1997).