Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama


The Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama is an annual award. It is part of the Golden Globe Awards. It is given by Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Golden Globe for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Smith in July 2017
The 2021 recipient: Will Smith
Awarded forBest Performance by a Leading Actor in a Drama
LocationUnited States
Presented byHollywood Foreign Press Association
Currently held byWill Smith for King Richard (2021)

The following actors have multiple awards: Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brando, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dustin Hoffman, Peter O'Toole, Al Pacino, Gregory Peck and Jon Voight. The actors with more than five nominations are: Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Newman, Tom Hanks and Jack Lemmon.

Nominations and Awards

Year Actor Character Film
1943 Paul Lukas Kurt Muller Watch on the Rhine
1944 Alexander Knox Woodrow Wilson Wilson
1945 Ray Milland Don Birnam The Lost Weekend
1946 Gregory Peck Penny Baxter The Yearling
1947 Ronald Colman Anthony John A Double Life
1948 Laurence Olivier Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Hamlet
1949 Broderick Crawford Willie Stark All the King's Men
Richard Todd Cpl. Lachlan "Lachie" MacLachlan The Hasty Heart
Year Actor Character Film
1950 José Ferrer Cyrano de Bergerac Cyrano de Bergerac
Louis Calhern Oliver Wendell Holmes The Magnificent Yankee
James Stewart Elwood P. Dowd Harvey
1951 Fredric March Willy Loman Death of a Salesman
Kirk Douglas Det. James McLeod Detective Story
Arthur Kennedy Larry Nevins Bright Victory
1952 Gary Cooper Marshal Will Kane High Noon
Ray Milland Allan Fields The Thief
Charles Boyer Jacques Bonnard The Happy Time
1953 Spencer Tracy Clinton Jones The Actress
1954 Marlon Brando Terry Malloy On the Waterfront
1955 Ernest Borgnine Marty Piletti Marty
1956 Kirk Douglas Vincent van Gogh Lust for Life
Karl Malden Archie Lee Meighan Baby Doll
Gary Cooper Jess Birdwell Friendly Persuasion
Burt Lancaster Bill Starbuck The Rainmaker
Charlton Heston Moses The Ten Commandments
1957 Alec Guinness Colonel Nicholson The Bridge on the River Kwai
Marlon Brando Maj. Lloyd "Ace" Gruver Sayonara
1958 David Niven Major Pollock Separate Tables
Tony Curtis John "Joker" Jackson The Defiant Ones
Robert Donat The Mandarin of Yang Cheng The Inn of the Sixth Happiness
Sidney Poitier Noah Cullen The Defiant Ones
Spencer Tracy Santiago (The Old Man) The Old Man and the Sea
1959 Anthony Franciosa Sam Lawson Career
Richard Burton Jimmy Porter Look Back in Anger
Charlton Heston Judah Ben-Hur Ben-Hur
Fredric March Jerry Kingsley Middle of the Night
Joseph Schildkraut Otto Frank The Diary of Anne Frank
Year Actor Character Film
1960 Burt Lancaster Elmer Gantry Elmer Gantry
Trevor Howard Walter Morel Sons and Lovers
Laurence Olivier Crassus Spartacus
Dean Stockwell Paul Morel Sons and Lovers
Spencer Tracy Henry Drummond Inherit the Wind
1961 Maximilian Schell Hans Rolfe Judgment at Nuremberg
Warren Beatty Bud Stamper Splendor in the Grass
Maurice Chevalier Pannisse Fanny
Paul Newman Fast Eddie Felson The Hustler
Sidney Poitier Walter Lee Younger A Raisin in the Sun
1962 Gregory Peck Atticus Finch To Kill a Mockingbird
Laurence Harvey Wilhelm Grimm/The Cobbler The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
Burt Lancaster Robert Franklin Stroud Birdman of Alcatraz
Jack Lemmon Joe Clay Days of Wine and Roses
James Mason Humbert Humbert Lolita
Paul Newman Chance Wayne Sweet Bird of Youth
Peter O'Toole T. E. Lawrence Lawrence of Arabia
Anthony Quinn Auda ibu Tayi
1963 Sidney Poitier Homer Smith Lilies of the Field
Marlon Brando Harrison Carter MacWhite The Ugly American
Stathis Giallelis Stavros Topouzoglou America America
Rex Harrison Julius Caesar Cleopatra
Steve McQueen Rocky Papasano Love with the Proper Stranger
Paul Newman Hud Bannon Hud
Gregory Peck Captain Josiah Newman Captain Newman, M.D.
Tom Tryon Stephen Fermoyle The Cardinal
1964 Peter O'Toole King Henry II Becket
Richard Burton Thomas Becket Becket
Anthony Franciosa Juan Luis Rodriguez Rio Conchos
Fredric March President Lyman Seven Days in May
Anthony Quinn Alexis Zorba Zorba the Greek
1965 Omar Sharif Yuri Zhivago Doctor Zhivago
Rex Harrison Pope Julius II The Agony and the Ecstasy
Sidney Poitier Gordon Ralfe A Patch of Blue
Rod Steiger Sol Nazerman The Pawnbroker
Oskar Werner Willie Schumann Ship of Fools
1966 Paul Scofield Sir Thomas More A Man for All Seasons
Richard Burton George Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Michael Caine Alfie Alfie
Steve McQueen Machinist's Mate 1st Class Jake Holman The Sand Pebbles
Max von Sydow Reverend Abner Hale Hawaii
1967 Rod Steiger Police Chief Bill Gillespie In the Heat of the Night
Alan Bates Gabriel Oak Far from the Madding Crowd
Warren Beatty Clyde Barrow Bonnie and Clyde
Paul Newman Lucas "Luke" Jackson Cool Hand Luke
Sidney Poitier Detective Virgil Tibbs In the Heat of the Night
Spencer Tracy Matt Drayton Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
1968 Peter O'Toole King Henry II The Lion in Winter
Alan Arkin John Singer The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter
Alan Bates Yakov Bok The Fixer
Tony Curtis Albert DeSalvo The Boston Strangler
Cliff Robertson Charlie Gordon Charly
1969 John Wayne Rooster Cogburn True Grit
Alan Arkin Abraham "Popi" Rodriguez Popi
Richard Burton King Henry VIII Anne of the Thousand Days
Dustin Hoffman Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo Midnight Cowboy
Jon Voight Joe Buck
Year Actor Character Film
1970 George C. Scott George S. Patton Patton
Melvyn Douglas Tom Garrison I Never Sang for My Father
James Earl Jones Jack Jefferson The Great White Hope
Jack Nicholson Robert Eroica Dupea Five Easy Pieces
Ryan O'Neal Oliver Barret IV Love Story
1971 Gene Hackman Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle The French Connection
Peter Finch Daniel Hirsh Sunday Bloody Sunday
Malcolm McDowell Alex DeLarge A Clockwork Orange
Jack Nicholson Jonathan Fuerst Carnal Knowledge
George C. Scott Dr. Herbert Bock The Hospital
1972 Marlon Brando Vito Corleone The Godfather
Michael Caine Milo Tindle Sleuth
Laurence Olivier Andrew Wyke
Al Pacino Michael Corleone The Godfather
Jon Voight Ed Deliverance
1973 Al Pacino Frank Serpico Serpico
Robert Blake John Wintergreen Electra Glide in Blue
Jack Lemmon Harry Stoner Save the Tiger
Steve McQueen Henri "Papillon" Charrière Papillon
Jack Nicholson Signalman 1st Class Billy L. "Badass" Buddusky The Last Detail
1974 Jack Nicholson J. J. "Jake" Gittes Chinatown
James Caan Axel Freed The Gambler
Gene Hackman Harry Caul The Conversation
Dustin Hoffman Lenny Bruce Lenny
Al Pacino Michael Corleone The Godfather Part II
1975 Jack Nicholson Randle Patrick "Mac" McMurphy One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Gene Hackman Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle French Connection II
Al Pacino Sonny Wortzik Dog Day Afternoon
Maximilian Schell Arthur Goldman The Man in the Glass Booth
James Whitmore Harry S. Truman Give 'em Hell, Harry!
1976 Peter Finch (posthumous) Howard Beale Network
David Carradine Woody Guthrie Bound for Glory
Robert De Niro Travis Bickle Taxi Driver
Dustin Hoffman "Babe" Levy Marathon Man
Sylvester Stallone Rocky Balboa Rocky
1977 Richard Burton Dr. Martin Dysart Equus
Marcello Mastroianni Gabriele A Special Day
Al Pacino Bobby Deerfield Bobby Deerfield
Gregory Peck Douglas MacArthur MacArthur
Henry Winkler Jack Dunne Heroes
1978 Jon Voight Luke Martin Coming Home
Brad Davis Billy Hayes Midnight Express
Robert De Niro Michael Vronsky The Deer Hunter
Anthony Hopkins Corky Withers / "Fats" Magic
Gregory Peck Dr. Josef Mengele The Boys from Brazil
1979 Dustin Hoffman Ted Kramer Kramer vs. Kramer
Jack Lemmon Jack Godell The China Syndrome
Al Pacino Arthur Kirkland ...And Justice for All
Jon Voight Billy Flynn The Champ
James Woods Gregory Powell The Onion Field
Year Actor Character Film
1980 Robert De Niro Jake LaMotta Raging Bull
John Hurt John Merrick The Elephant Man
Jack Lemmon Scottie Templeton Tribute
Peter O'Toole Eli Cross The Stunt Man
Donald Sutherland Calvin Jarrett Ordinary People
1981 Henry Fonda Norman Thayer On Golden Pond
Warren Beatty John Reed Reds
Timothy Hutton Brian Moreland Taps
Burt Lancaster Lou Pascal Atlantic City
Treat Williams Daniel Ciello Prince of the City
1982 Ben Kingsley Mahatma Gandhi Gandhi
Albert Finney George Dunlap Shoot the Moon
Richard Gere Zack Mayo An Officer and a Gentleman
Jack Lemmon Ed Horman Missing
Paul Newman Frank Galvin The Verdict
1983 Tom Courtenay Norman The Dresser
Robert Duvall Mac Sledge Tender Mercies
Tom Conti Gowan McGland Reuben, Reuben
Richard Farnsworth Bill Miner The Grey Fox
Albert Finney Sir The Dresser
Al Pacino Tony Montana Scarface
Eric Roberts Paul Snider Star 80
1984 F. Murray Abraham Antonio Salieri Amadeus
Jeff Bridges Starman ("Scott Hayden") Starman
Albert Finney Geoffrey Firmin Under the Volcano
Tom Hulce Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Amadeus
Sam Waterston Sydney Schanberg The Killing Fields
1985 Jon Voight Oscar Manheim Runaway Train
Harrison Ford John Book Witness
Gene Hackman Harry MacKenzie Twice in a Lifetime
William Hurt Luis Molina Kiss of the Spider Woman
Raul Julia Valentin Arregui
1986 Bob Hoskins George Mona Lisa
Harrison Ford Allie Fox The Mosquito Coast
Dexter Gordon Dale Turner Round Midnight
William Hurt James Leeds Children of a Lesser God
Jeremy Irons Father Gabriel The Mission
Paul Newman Fast Eddie Felson The Color of Money
1987 Michael Douglas Gordon Gekko Wall Street
John Lone Puyi The Last Emperor
Jack Nicholson Francis Phelan Ironweed
Nick Nolte Lee Umstetter Weeds
Denzel Washington Steve Biko Cry Freedom
1988 Dustin Hoffman Raymond Babbitt Rain Man
Gene Hackman Rupert Anderson Mississippi Burning
Tom Hulce Dominick Luciano Dominick and Eugene
Edward James Olmos Jaime Escalante Stand and Deliver
Forest Whitaker Charlie Parker Bird
1989 Tom Cruise Ron Kovic Born on the Fourth of July
Daniel Day-Lewis Christy Brown My Left Foot
Jack Lemmon Jake Tremont Dad
Al Pacino Frank Keller Sea of Love
Robin Williams John Keating Dead Poets Society
Year Actor Character Film
1990 Jeremy Irons Claus von Bülow Reversal of Fortune
Kevin Costner Lt. John J. Dunbar / Dances with Wolves Dances with Wolves
Richard Harris Bull McCabe The Field
Al Pacino Michael Corleone The Godfather Part III
Robin Williams Dr. Malcolm Sayer Awakenings
1991 Nick Nolte Tom Wingo The Prince of Tides
Warren Beatty Bugsy Siegel Bugsy
Kevin Costner Jim Garrison JFK
Robert De Niro Max Cady Cape Fear
Anthony Hopkins Dr. Hannibal Lecter The Silence of the Lambs
1992 Al Pacino Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade Scent of a Woman
Tom Cruise Lt. Daniel Kaffee, USN, JAG Corps A Few Good Men
Robert Downey Jr. Charlie Chaplin Chaplin
Jack Nicholson Jimmy Hoffa Hoffa
Denzel Washington Malcolm X Malcolm X
1993 Tom Hanks Andrew Beckett Philadelphia
Daniel Day-Lewis Gerry Conlon In the Name of the Father
Harrison Ford Dr. Richard Kimble The Fugitive
Anthony Hopkins James Stevens The Remains of the Day
Liam Neeson Oskar Schindler Schindler's List
1994 Tom Hanks Forrest Gump Forrest Gump
Morgan Freeman Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding The Shawshank Redemption
Paul Newman Donald "Sully" Sullivan Nobody's Fool
Brad Pitt Tristan Ludlow Legends of the Fall
John Travolta Vincent Vega Pulp Fiction
1995 Nicolas Cage Ben Sanderson Leaving Las Vegas
Richard Dreyfuss Glenn Holland Mr. Holland's Opus
Anthony Hopkins Richard Nixon Nixon
Ian McKellen King Richard III Richard III
Sean Penn Matthew Poncelet Dead Man Walking
1996 Geoffrey Rush David Helfgott Shine
Ralph Fiennes László de Almásy The English Patient
Mel Gibson Tom Mullen Ransom
Woody Harrelson Larry Flynt The People vs. Larry Flynt
Liam Neeson Michael Collins Michael Collins
1997 Peter Fonda Ulee Jackson Ulee's Gold
Matt Damon Will Hunting Good Will Hunting
Daniel Day-Lewis Danny Flynn The Boxer
Leonardo DiCaprio Jack Dawson Titanic
Djimon Hounsou Joseph Cinqué Amistad
1998 Jim Carrey Truman Burbank The Truman Show
Stephen Fry Oscar Wilde Wilde
Tom Hanks Captain John H. Miller Saving Private Ryan
Ian McKellen James Whale Gods and Monsters
Nick Nolte Wade Whitehouse Affliction
1999 Denzel Washington Rubin "Hurricane" Carter The Hurricane
Russell Crowe Jeffrey Wigand The Insider
Matt Damon Tom Ripley The Talented Mr. Ripley
Richard Farnsworth Alvin Straight The Straight Story
Kevin Spacey Lester Burnham American Beauty
Year Actor Character Film
2000[1] Tom Hanks Chuck Noland Cast Away
Javier Bardem Reinaldo Arenas Before Night Falls
Russell Crowe Maximus Decimus Meridius Gladiator
Michael Douglas Grady Tripp Wonder Boys
Geoffrey Rush Marquis de Sade Quills
2001 Russell Crowe John Nash A Beautiful Mind
Will Smith Muhammad Ali Ali
Kevin Spacey Quoyle The Shipping News
Billy Bob Thornton Ed Crane The Man Who Wasn't There
Denzel Washington Detective Alonzo Harris Training Day
2002 Jack Nicholson Warren R. Schmidt About Schmidt
Adrien Brody Władysław Szpilman The Pianist
Michael Caine Thomas Fowler The Quiet American
Daniel Day-Lewis William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting Gangs of New York
Leonardo DiCaprio Frank Abagnale, Jr. Catch Me If You Can
2003 Sean Penn Jimmy Markum Mystic River
Russell Crowe Captain Jack Aubrey Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Tom Cruise Captain Nathan Algren The Last Samurai
Ben Kingsley Massoud Behrani House of Sand and Fog
Jude Law W. P. Inman Cold Mountain
2004 Leonardo DiCaprio Howard Hughes The Aviator
Javier Bardem Ramón Sampedro The Sea Inside
Don Cheadle Paul Rusesabagina Hotel Rwanda
Johnny Depp J. M. Barrie Finding Neverland
Liam Neeson Alfred Kinsey Kinsey
2005 Philip Seymour Hoffman Truman Capote Capote
Russell Crowe James J. Braddock Cinderella Man
Terrence Howard DJay Hustle & Flow
Heath Ledger Ennis Del Mar Brokeback Mountain
David Strathairn Edward R. Murrow Good Night, and Good Luck
2006 Forest Whitaker Idi Amin The Last King of Scotland
Leonardo DiCaprio Danny Archer Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio William "Billy" Costigan, Jr. The Departed
Peter O'Toole Maurice Russell Venus
Will Smith Chris Gardner The Pursuit of Happyness
2007 Daniel Day-Lewis Daniel Plainview There Will Be Blood
George Clooney Michael Clayton Michael Clayton
James McAvoy Robbie Turner Atonement
Viggo Mortensen Nikolai Luzhin Eastern Promises
Denzel Washington Frank Lucas American Gangster
2008 Mickey Rourke Randy "The Ram" Robinson The Wrestler
Leonardo DiCaprio Frank Wheeler Revolutionary Road
Frank Langella Richard Nixon Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn Harvey Milk Milk
Brad Pitt Benjamin Button The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2009 Jeff Bridges Otis "Bad" Blake Crazy Heart
George Clooney Ryan Bingham Up in the Air
Colin Firth George Falconer A Single Man
Morgan Freeman Nelson Mandela Invictus
Tobey Maguire Captain Sam Cahill Brothers
Year Actor Character Film
2010 Colin Firth King George VI The King's Speech
Jesse Eisenberg Mark Zuckerberg The Social Network
James Franco Aron Ralston 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling Dean Pereira Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg Micky Ward The Fighter
2011 George Clooney Matt King The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio J. Edgar Hoover J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender Brandon Sullivan Shame
Ryan Gosling Stephen Meyers The Ides of March
Brad Pitt Billy Beane Moneyball
2012 Daniel Day-Lewis Abraham Lincoln Lincoln
Richard Gere Robert Miller Arbitrage
John Hawkes Mark O'Brien The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix Freddie Quell The Master
Denzel Washington William "Whip" Whitaker, Sr. Flight
2013 Matthew McConaughey Ron Woodroof Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor Solomon Northup 12 Years a Slave
Idris Elba Nelson Mandela Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Tom Hanks Captain Richard Phillips Captain Phillips
Robert Redford Our Man All Is Lost
2014 Eddie Redmayne Stephen Hawking The Theory of Everything
Steve Carell John Eleuthère du Pont Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch Alan Turing The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal Louis "Lou" Bloom Nightcrawler
David Oyelowo Martin Luther King Jr. Selma
2015 Leonardo DiCaprio Hugh Glass The Revenant
Bryan Cranston Dalton Trumbo Trumbo
Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne Lili Elbe The Danish Girl
Will Smith Dr. Bennet Omalu Concussion
2016 Casey Affleck Lee Chandler Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton Richard Loving Loving
Andrew Garfield Desmond T. Doss Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen Ben Cash Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington Troy Maxson Fences
2017 Gary Oldman Winston Churchill Darkest Hour
Timothée Chalamet Elio Perlman Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis Reynolds Woodcock Phantom Thread
Tom Hanks Ben Bradlee The Post
Denzel Washington Roman J. Israel Roman J. Israel, Esq.
2018 Rami Malek Freddie Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody
Bradley Cooper Jackson Maine A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe Vincent van Gogh At Eternity's Gate
Lucas Hedges Jared Eamons Boy Erased
John David Washington Ron Stallworth BlacKkKlansman
2019 Joaquin Phoenix Arthur Fleck / Joker Joker
Christian Bale Ken Miles Ford v. Ferrari
Antonio Banderas Salvador Mallo Pain and Glory
Adam Driver Charlie Barber Marriage Story
Jonathan Pryce Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio The Two Popes
Year Actor Character Film
2020 Chadwick Boseman (posthumous) Levee Green Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Riz Ahmed Ruben Stone Sound of Metal
Anthony Hopkins Anthony The Father
Gary Oldman Herman J. Mankiewicz Mank
Tahar Rahim Mohamedou Ould Salahi The Mauritanian
2021 Will Smith Richard Williams King Richard
Mahershala Ali Cameron Turner Swan Song
Javier Bardem Desi Arnaz Being The Ricardos
Benedict Cumberbatch Phil Burbank The Power of the Dog
Denzel Washington Lord Macbeth The Tragedy of Macbeth

Multiple nominations


Multiple wins



  1. "Golden Globes announce TV, film award nominees". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Associated Press. December 22, 2000. p. 8B. Retrieved August 22, 2010.[permanent dead link]