1 Oscar Actors: Best Actor Winners and Nominees–Backgrounds, Occupational Inheritance, Mobility

June 19, 2022: Research in Progress

It includes the 5 nominated in 2020 and 2021.

Occupational Inheritance in the Acting Profession

Occupational inheritance refers to the phenomenon where sons and daughters follow in the career paths of their parents.

This trend has been documented in the professions of engineering, medicine, military, and education.

Our essay examines the extent of occupational inheritance in the acting profession by focusing on Oscar winning actors.

Over the past 93 years of the Academy Awards (first given in 1929), 83 men have won the Best Actor Oscar (some more than once), and 155 men have been nominated.

In 2020, the five nominees were: Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman (black, posthumous), Anthony Hopkins (winner, second Oscar), Gary Oldman (previous winner) Steven Yeun (Asian).

In 2021, the nominees were: Xavier Bardem, Cumberbatch, Andrew Garfield, Will Smith, Denzel Washington

Winners: 83

Nominees: 155

Total: 238

A: 6

B: 22

C: 26

D: 21

E: 2

F: 15

G: 8

H: 22

I: 1

J: 4

K: 6

L: 7

M: 20

N: 6

O: 5

P: 10

Q: 1

R: 9

S: 13

T: 8


V: 2

W: 15


Y: 1 (Yeun)


Winners’ names are bolded

A (6)

Abrahams, F. Murray, 1984

Ahmed, Riz (2020)

Allen, Woody

Arkin, Alan (winner of Supp. Actor)

Arliss, George, 1930

Ayres, Lew



B (22)

Bale, Christian (winner of Supp. Actor)

Bancroft, George

Banderas, Antonio

Bardem, Javier (winner of supp. actor)

Barrymore, Lionel

Barthelmess, Richard

Bates, Alan                     

Baxter, Warner

Beatty, Warren

Beery, Wallace

Begnini, Roberto

Bogart, Humphrey

Borgnine, Ernest

Boseman, Chadwick (2020, black)

Boyer, Charles

Branagh, Kenneth (nominee, supp. actor)

Brando, Marlon (nominee, supp. actor)

Bridges, Jeff (nominee, supp. actor)

Brody, Adrien

Brynner, Yul

Burton, Richard

22. Busey, Gary


C (26)

Cage, Nicholas

Cagney, James

Caine, Michael (winner of 3 Supp. Actor)

Calhern, Lewis

Carney, Art

Carell, Steve

Chalamet, Timothee

Chaplin, Charlie

Cheadle, Don

Chevalier, Maurice

Clift, Montgomery (nominee, supp. actor)

Clooney, George (winner of Supp. Actor)

Colman, Ronald

Conti, Tom

Cooper, Bradley (nominee, supp. actor)

Cooper, Gary

Cooper, Jackie

Costner, Kevin

Courtnay, Tom

Cranston, Bryan

Crawford, Broderick

Crosby, Bing

Crowe, Russell

Cruise, Tom (nominee, supp. actor)

Cumberbatch, Benedict

Curtis, Tony


D (21)

Dafoe, Willem (nominee, supp)

Dailey, Dan

Damon, Matt (nominee, supp)

Day-Lewis, Daniel

Dean, James

De Niro, Robert (also winner of Supp. Actor)

Depardieu, Gerard

Depp, Johnny

Dern, Bruce (nominee, supp.)

Dexter, Gordon

DiCaprio, Leonard (nominee, supp)

Dix, Richard

Donat, Robert

Douglas, Kirk

Douglas, Melvyn (winner of 2 Supp. Actor)

Douglas, Michael

Downey, Robert Jr.

Dreyfuss, Richard

Driver, Adam

DuJardin, Jean

21. Duvall, Robert (nominee, supp)


E (2)

Eastwood, Clint

Ejiofor, Chiwetel


F (15)

Farnsworth, Richard (nominee, supp)

Fassbender, Michael

Ferrer, Jose (nominee, supp)

Fiennes, Ralph (nominee, supp)

Finch, Peter

Finney, Albert (nominee, supp)

Firth, Colin

Fishburne, Laurence

Fitzgerald, Barry (winner of Supp. Actor)

Fonda, Henry

Fonda, Peter

Ford, Harrison

Foxx, Jamie (nominee, supp)

Franciosa, Anthony

Freeman, Morgan (winner of Supp. Actor)


G (8)

Gable, Clark

Garfield, Andrew

Garfield, John, working class; father clothes presser and part-time cantor (nominee, supp)

Garner, James

Giannini, Giancarlo

Gosling, Ryan

Grant, Cary

Guinness, Alec (nominee, supp)


H (22)

Hackman, Gene (also winner of Supp. Actor)

Hanks, Tom (also nom, supp)

Harrelson, Woody (nom, supp)

Harris, Ed (nom, supp)

Harris, Richard

Harrison, Rex

Harvey, Laurence

Hawthorne, Nigel

Heston, Charles

Hoffman, Dustin

Hoffman, Philip Seymour (also nominee, supp)

Holden, William

Hopkins, Anthony (2 Oscars, 1991 and 2020l also supp)

Hoskins, Bob

Howard, Leslie

Howard, Terrence

Howard, Trevor

Hudson, Rock

Hulce, Tom

Hurt, John (nominee, supp)

Hurt, William (nominee, supp)

22. Huston, Walter (winner of Supp. Actor)


 I (1)

Irons, Jeremy 


J (4)

Jannings, Emil

Jenkins, Richard

Jones, James Earl

Jones, Tommy Lee (winner of Supp. Actor)


K (6)

Kaluuya, Daniel (winner, supp)

Keaton, Michael (nominee, supp)

Kelly, Gene

Kennedy, Arthur (nominee, supp)

Kingsley, Ben (nominee, supp)

Knox, Alexander


L (7)

Lancaster, Burt

Langella, Frank

Laughton, Charles

Ledger, Heath (winner of Supp. Actor)

Lemmon, Jack (winner of Supp. Actor)

Lukas, Paul

Lunt, Alfred


M (20)

McConaughey, Matthew

McKellen, Ian (nominee, supp)

McLaglen, Victor (nominee, supp)

McQueen, Steve

March, Fredric

Marvin, Lee

Mason, James (nominee, supp)

Massey, Raymond

Mastroianni, Marcello

Matthau, Walter (winner of Supp. Actor)

Menjou, Adolph

Milland, Ray

Montgomery, Robert

Moody, Ron

Moore, Dudley

Morgan, Frank

Morris, Chester

Mortensen, Vigo

Muni, Paul

20. Murray, Bill


N (6)

Neeson, Liam

Newman, Paul (nominee, supp)

Nicholson, Jack (also winner of Supp Actor)

Niven, David

Nolte, Nick (nom, supp)

Norton, Edward (nom, supp)


O (5)

O’Herlihy, Dan

Olivier, Laurence (nom, supp)

Olmos, Edward James

O’Neal, Ryan

O’Toole, Peter


P (10)

Pacino, Al (nom, supp)

Parks, Larry

Peck, Gregory

Penn, Sean

Phoenix, Joaquin (nom, supp)

Pidgeon, Walter

Pitt, Brad (winner of Supp. Actor)

Poitier, Sidney

Powell, William

Pryce, Jonathan


Q (1)

Quinn, Anthony (winner of 2 Supp. Actor)


R (9)

Rea, Stephen

Redford, Robert

Redmayne, Eddie

Redgrave, Michael

Renner, Jeremy (nom, supp)

Robertson, Cliff

Rooney, Mickey (nom, supp)

Rourke, Mickey

Rush, Geoffrey (nom, supp)


S (13)

Scheider, Roy (nom, supp)

Schell, Maximilian

Scofield, Paul (nom, supp)

Scott, George C. (nom, supp)

Sellers, Peter

Sinatra, Frank (winner, supp)

Smith, Will, 2021

Spacey, Kevin (winner of Supp. Actor)

Stallone, Sylvester

Steiger, Rod (nom, supp)

Stewart, James

Stone, Lewis

Strathairn, David


T (8)

Thornton, Billy Bob (nom, supp)

Tibbett, Lawrence

Todd, Richard

Tone, Franchot


Tracy, Spencer

Travolta, John

Troisi, Massimo




V (2)

 Voight, Jon (nom, supp)

Von Sydow, Max


W (15)

Washington, Denzel (winner of Supp. Actor)

Waterston, Sam

Wayne, John

Webb, Clifton

Welles, Orson

Werner, Oskar

Whitaker, Forest

Whitman, Stuart

Whitmore, James

Wilde, Cornell

Wilkinson, Tom

Williams, Robin (winner of Supp. Actor)

Winfield, Paul

Wood, James

Woolley, Monty

Y: 1

Yeun, Steven (2020)