Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

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SAG Award for Best Actor
Awarded for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Location Los Angeles, California
Presented by SAG-AFTRA
Currently held by Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Official website

The Screen Actors' Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role is an award presented annually by the Screen Actors Guild to honour the finest male acting achievements in a motion picture in a lead role. The award is presented at a ceremony alongside the other guild awards since the awards inception in 1994.


Winners and nominees[edit]


Year Winners and nominees Film Role
1994 Tom Hanks Forrest Gump Forrest Gump
Morgan Freeman The Shawshank Redemption Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding
Paul Newman Nobody's Fool Sully Sullivan
Tim Robbins The Shawshank Redemption Andy Dufresne
John Travolta Pulp Fiction Vincent Vega
1995 Nicolas Cage Leaving Las Vegas Ben Sanderson
Anthony Hopkins Nixon Richard Nixon
James Earl Jones Cry, the Beloved Country Rev. Stephen Kumalo
Sean Penn Dead Man Walking Matthew Poncelet
Massimo Troisi The Postman (Il postino) Mario Ruoppolo
1996 Geoffrey Rush Shine David Helfgott
Tom Cruise Jerry Maguire Jerry Maguire
Ralph Fiennes The English Patient Count Laszlo de Almásy
Woody Harrelson The People vs. Larry Flynt Larry Flynt
Billy Bob Thornton Sling Blade Karl Childers
1997 Jack Nicholson As Good as It Gets Melvin Udall
Matt Damon Good Will Hunting Will Hunting
Robert Duvall The Apostle Euliss "Sonny" Dewey
Peter Fonda Ulee's Gold Ulee Jackson
Dustin Hoffman Wag the Dog Stanley Motss
1998 Roberto Benigni Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella) Guido Orefice
Joseph Fiennes Shakespeare in Love William Shakespeare
Tom Hanks Saving Private Ryan Capt. John H. Miller
Ian McKellen Gods and Monsters James Whale
Nick Nolte Affliction Wade Whitehouse
1999 Kevin Spacey American Beauty Lester Burnham
Jim Carrey Man on the Moon Andy Kaufman
Russell Crowe The Insider Jeffrey Wigand
Philip Seymour Hoffman Flawless Rusty
Denzel Washington The Hurricane Rubin Carter


Year Winners and nominees Film Role
2000 Benicio del Toro Traffic Javier Rodriguez
Jamie Bell Billy Elliot Billy
Russell Crowe Gladiator Maximus
Tom Hanks Cast Away Chuck Noland
Geoffrey Rush Quills Marquis de Sade
2001 Russell Crowe A Beautiful Mind John Forbes Nash, Jr.
Kevin Kline Life as a House George Monroe
Sean Penn I Am Sam Sam Dawson
Denzel Washington Training Day Det. Alonzo Harris
Tom Wilkinson In the Bedroom Matt Fowler
2002 Daniel Day-Lewis Gangs of New York Bill "The Butcher" Cutting
Adrien Brody The Pianist Władysław Szpilman
Nicolas Cage Adaptation. Charlie Kaufman/Donald Kaufman
Richard Gere Chicago Billy Flynn
Jack Nicholson About Schmidt Warren R. Schmidt
2003 Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Jack Sparrow
Peter Dinklage The Station Agent Finbar McBride
Ben Kingsley House of Sand and Fog Behrani
Bill Murray Lost in Translation Bob Harris
Sean Penn Mystic River Jimmy Markum
2004 Jamie Foxx Ray Ray Charles
Don Cheadle Hotel Rwanda Paul Rusesabagina
Johnny Depp Finding Neverland J. M. Barrie
Leonardo DiCaprio The Aviator Howard Hughes
Paul Giamatti Sideways Miles
2005 Philip Seymour Hoffman Capote Truman Capote
Russell Crowe Cinderella Man Jim Braddock
Heath Ledger Brokeback Mountain Ennis Del Mar
Joaquin Phoenix Walk the Line Johnny Cash
David Strathairn Good Night, and Good Luck Edward R. Murrow
2006 Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland Idi Amin
Leonardo DiCaprio Blood Diamond Archer
Ryan Gosling Half Nelson Dan Dunne
Peter O'Toole Venus Maurice
Will Smith The Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner
2007 Daniel Day-Lewis There Will Be Blood Daniel Plainview
George Clooney Michael Clayton Michael Clayton
Ryan Gosling Lars and the Real Girl Lars Lindstrom
Emile Hirsch Into the Wild Christopher McCandless
Viggo Mortensen Eastern Promises Nikolai
2008 Sean Penn Milk Harvey Milk
Richard Jenkins The Visitor Walter Vale
Frank Langella Frost/Nixon Richard Nixon
Brad Pitt The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke The Wrestler Randy
2009 Jeff Bridges Crazy Heart Bad Blake
George Clooney Up in the Air Ryan Bingham
Colin Firth A Single Man George Falconer
Morgan Freeman Invictus Nelson Mandela
Jeremy Renner The Hurt Locker Staff Sgt. William James


Year Winners and nominees Film Role
2010 Colin Firth The King's Speech King George VI
Jeff Bridges True Grit Rooster Cogburn
Robert Duvall Get Low Felix Bush
Jesse Eisenberg The Social Network Mark Zuckerberg
James Franco 127 Hours Aron Ralston
2011 Jean Dujardin The Artist George Valentin
Demián Bichir A Better Life Carlos Galindo
George Clooney The Descendants Matt King
Leonardo DiCaprio J. Edgar J. Edgar Hoover
Brad Pitt Moneyball Billy Beane
2012 Daniel Day-Lewis Lincoln Abraham Lincoln
Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook Patrick "Pat" Solitano, Jr.
John Hawkes The Sessions Mark O'Brien
Hugh Jackman Les Misérables Jean Valjean
Denzel Washington Flight Whip Whitaker
2013 Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club Ron Woodroof
Bruce Dern Nebraska Woody Grant
Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave Solomon Northup
Tom Hanks Captain Phillips Capt. Richard Phillips
Forest Whitaker Lee Daniels' The Butler Cecil Gaines
Steve Carell Foxcatcher John Eleuthère du Pont
Benedict Cumberbatch The Imitation Game Alan Turing
Jake Gyllenhaal Nightcrawler Louis Bloom
Michael Keaton Birdman Riggan Thomson
Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything Stephen Hawking


Superlative Leading Actor Supporting Actor Overall
Actor with most awards Daniel Day-Lewis 3 Daniel Day-Lewis 3
Actor with most nominations Russell Crowe, Tom Hanks, Sean Penn 4 Chris Cooper 3 George Clooney, Russell Crowe, Robert Duvall, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Geoffrey Rush, Sean Penn 4
Actor with most nominations without ever winning George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington 3 Chris Cooper 3 George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio 4
Film with most nominations The Shawshank Redemption 2 The Birdcage, The Contender, Crash, No Country for Old Men 2 Several films* 2
Oldest Winner Jack Nicholson
(As Good as It Gets, 1998)
60 Christopher Plummer
(Beginners, 2012)
82 Christopher Plummer
(Beginners, 2012)
Oldest Nominee Robert Duvall
(Get Low, 2011)
79 Robert Duvall
(The Judge, 2015)
83 Robert Duvall
(The Judge, 2015)
Youngest Winner Nicolas Cage
(Leaving Las Vegas, 1996)
32 Heath Ledger
(The Dark Knight, 2009)
28 Heath Ledger
(The Dark Knight, 2009)
Youngest Nominee Jamie Bell
(Billy Elliot, 2001)
14 Haley Joel Osment
(The Sixth Sense, 2000)
11 Haley Joel Osment
(The Sixth Sense, 2000)
* 12 Years a Slave, Affliction, As Good as It Gets, The Birdcage, Birdman, Captain Phillips, The Contender, Crash, Dallas Buyers Club, Forrest Gump, Foxcatcher, Good Will Hunting, Jerry Maguire, The King's Speech, Lincoln, Moneyball, No Country for Old Men, Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Silver Linings Playbook


Occasions over the past 20 years did the winner of the SAG Award for Best Leading Actor not win the Academy Award for Best Actor. This happened in:

  • 2000: Benicio del Toro (Traffic) lost to Russell Crowe (Gladiator)
  • 2001: Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind) lost to Denzel Washington (Training Day)
  • 2002: Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York) lost to Adrien Brody (The Pianist)
  • 2003: Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) lost to Sean Penn (Mystic River)

Multiple winners[edit]

3 wins

Multiple nominees[edit]

2 nominations
3 nominations
4 nominations
  • Russell Crowe (The Insider, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Cinderella Man)
  • Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Cast Away, Captain Phillips)
  • Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking, I Am Sam, Mystic River, Milk)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]