The Best Actor Oscar category has seen plenty of long performances win in its 92-year history. To date, four dozen have surpassed the category’s one-hour, nine-minute, and nine-second average, all of which are considered to be undoubtedly lead roles. Here is a look at the 10 longest winners of all time. (And here’s the list of the 10 shortest winning performances for Best Actor.)
10. Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”)
1 hour, 36 minutes, 52 seconds (86.85% of the film)
After garnering five Oscar nominations over the course of 38 years, Bridges scored a win in 2010 for his role as struggling country singer Bad Blake. In terms of percentage, the performance became the second longest to win in any acting category. Bridges earned another Best Actor nomination the very next year for playing Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit,” a role with nearly half the amount of screen time (49 minutes and 43 seconds).
9. Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”)
1 hour, 37 minutes, 27 seconds (65.38% of the film)
Four of 2003’s Best Actor nominees had previously won and were vying for another trophy, but the ultimate victor was this first-timer. Brody remains the only actor to achieve such a feat, and still holds the record for youngest winner in the lead male category, having won at age 29. His performance as Holocaust survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman also became the fifth longest to ever win in the category at the time.
8. Jamie Foxx (“Ray”)
1 hour, 39 minutes, 35 seconds (65.39% of the film)
Foxx’s first and second Oscar nominations both came in 2005. He won in the lead category for his portrayal of legendary musician Ray Charles and was nominated for the supporting award for his role as cab driver Max Durocher in “Collateral.” He remains the most recent male to receive two acting nominations in the same year, and his two performances add up to a higher total (two hours, 43 minutes, 48 seconds) than any of the other pairs in the 12 cases that have resulted in double nods.
7. Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”)
1 hour, 40 minutes, 2 seconds (72.80% of the film)
After an unsuccessful Best Supporting Actor nomination in 2008, Affleck pulled off a Best Actor win in 2017 for playing grief-stricken Lee Chandler. He is one of only 10 actors to win an Oscar for having at least 100 minutes of screen time, with only 7% of performances nominated in the lead categories having passed that total. Isabelle Huppert was also nominated in 2017 for her nearly 110-minute performance in “Elle,” making it the most recent time that two actors were recognized for such long performances in the same year, and the first since 1996.
6. Art Carney (“Harry and Tonto”)
1 hour, 40 minutes, 26 seconds (87.13% of the film)
In 1975, this five-time Emmy winner won an Oscar for his second credited film role as elderly cross-country traveler Harry Coombes. At age 56, Carney was one of the five oldest actors to win in the lead category to that time. He famously prevailed over a lineup of actors who had each previously received at least one nomination and were between the ages of 34 and 38. Though four longer performances with higher amounts of actual screen time had already won, Carney’s broke and still holds the record for longest Oscar-winning performance by percentage in any category.
5. Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”)
1 hour, 43 minutes, 44 seconds (85.25% of the film)
At the most recent Oscars ceremony, Phoenix won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Arthur Fleck, a mentally unstable aspiring comedian who comes to be known as “Joker.” His previously nominated performances in “Walk the Line” and “The Master” each consisted of over 90 minutes of screen time as well, making him one very few actors to receive bids for three different roles of such length. The distinction also applies to Rosalind Russell, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Denzel Washington.
4. Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump”)
1 hour, 45 minutes, 28 seconds (74.31% of the film)
Fifty-six years after Spencer Tracy took home back-to-back Best Actor Oscars, Hanks did the same with wins for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump. His earnest performance as the Best Picture winner’s title character made his second win an easy and well-liked one. With 54 minutes and 55 seconds of screen time in “Philadelphia,” Hanks went from winning for the shortest performance nominated in the 1994 Best Actor category to the longest the next year.
3. George C. Scott (“Patton”)
1 hour, 48 minutes, 48 seconds (63.53% of the film)
After being nominated twice in the supporting category, Scott won as a lead in 1971 for playing the role of major World War II figure General George S. Patton. At the time, Scott’s screen time fell less than 13 minutes short of making his the longest Best Actor-winning performance, but he did make history as the first actor to refuse his trophy. Nonetheless, he was recognized again in 1972 for “The Hospital,” becoming the first male actor in 14 years to be nominated in the year following his win.
2. Daniel Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood”)
1 hour, 57 minutes (73.93% of the film)
Eighteen years after his first Best Actor win, Day-Lewis won the second of his eventual three prizes in the category for his performance as ruthless oilman Daniel Plainview. He sailed to a predictable win in 2008, with his screen time towering over his competitors by a margin of 45 minutes and 17 seconds. The only instance of a greater lead occuring in the history of the category is the 46-minute and 10-second margin between Denzel Washington (“Malcolm X”) and Al Pacino (“Scent of a Woman”) in 1993.
1. Charlton Heston (“Ben-Hur”)
2 hours, 1 minute, 23 seconds (54.54% of the film)
Three years after starring as Moses in “The Ten Commandments,” Heston took the lead role in another biblical epic, this time winning his first and only Oscar. His performance as Judah Ben-Hur remains one of only three to win at the Oscars with over two hours of screen time, and the only one in either male category. Though he holds the record for most actual time on screen among Best Actor winners, the film’s 212-minute runtime makes his percentage of screen time relatively small. Indeed, at the time of his win in 1960, his performance did not even rank among the 20 longest winners in the category in terms of percentage.
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