Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

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The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television presents an annual award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role to the best performance by a lead actor in a Canadian film. From 1980 until 2012, the award was presented as part of the Genie Awards ceremony; beginning in 2013, it will be presented as part of the new Canadian Screen Awards.

From 1980 to 1983, only Canadian actors were eligible for the award; non-Canadian actors appearing in Canadian films were instead considered for the separate Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor. After 1983, the latter award was discontinued, and both Canadian and foreign actors were eligible for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.


Year Nominee Film
1st Genie Awards
Christopher Plummer Murder by Decree
Geoffrey Bowes Something's Rotten
Robin Gammell Jack London's Klondike Fever
Thomas Hauff Summer's Children
Stephen Lack The Rubber Gun
2nd Genie Awards
Thomas Peacocke The Hounds of Notre Dame
Jocelyn Bérubé The Handyman (L'Homme à tout faire)
Lewis Furey Fantastica
Winston Rekert Suzanne
August Schellenberg The Coffin Affair (L'Affaire Coffin)
3rd Genie Awards
Nick Mancuso Ticket to Heaven
Gabriel Arcand The Plouffe Family (Les Plouffe)
Gordon Pinsent Silence of the North
Christopher Plummer The Amateur
Winston Rekert Heartaches
4th Genie Awards
Donald Sutherland Threshold
Gilles Renaud A Day in a Taxi (Une journée en taxi)
Saul Rubinek By Design
Marcel Sabourin Sweet Lies and Loving Oaths (Doux aveux)
August Schellenberg Latitude 55°
5th Genie Awards
Eric Fryer The Terry Fox Story
Pierre Curzi Lucien Brouillard
Guy L'Ecuyer Au clair de la lune
Nick Mancuso Maria Chapdelaine
Alan Scarfe Deserters
6th Genie Awards
Gabriel Arcand The Crime of Ovide Plouffe (Le Crime d'Ovide Plouffe)
Xavier Norman Petermann Mario
Winston Rekert Walls
Kiefer Sutherland The Bay Boy
Kenneth Welsh Reno and the Doc
7th Genie Awards
John Wildman My American Cousin
Serge Dupire The Alley Cat (Le Matou)
Ed McNamara Bayo
Alan Scarfe Overnight
R. H. Thomson Samuel Lount
8th Genie Awards
Gordon Pinsent John and the Missus
Pierre Curzi The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'empire américain)
Rémy Girard The Decline of the American Empire (Le Déclin de l'empire américain)
Winston Rekert The Blue Man
Kenneth Welsh Loyalties
9th Genie Awards
Roger Lebel Night Zoo (Un Zoo la nuit)
David Hemblen Family Viewing
Jason St. Amour Train of Dreams
Gilles Maheu Night Zoo (Un Zoo la nuit)
10th Genie Awards
Jeremy Irons Dead Ringers
Zachary Ansley Cowboys Don't Cry
Elias Koteas Malarek
Jan Rubeš Something About Love
Saul Rubinek The Outside Chance of Maximilian Glick
Ron White Cowboys Don't Cry


Year Nominee Film
11th Genie Awards
Lothaire Bluteau Jesus of Montreal (Jésus de Montréal)
Maury Chaykin Cold Comfort
Michel Côté Cruising Bar
Michael McManus Speaking Parts
Stephen Ouimette The Top of His Head
12th Genie Awards
Rémy Girard Love Crazy (Amoureux fou)
Brad Dourif Chaindance
Matthias Habich The Savage Woman (La Demoiselle sauvage)
Saeed Jaffrey Masala
Jean Rochefort Love Crazy (Amoureux fou)
13th Genie Awards
Tony Nardi La Sarrasine
Jacques Godin Being at Home with Claude
Don McKellar Highway 61
Gildor Roy Requiem for a Handsome Bastard (Requiem pour un beau sans-coeur)
Peter Weller Naked Lunch
14th Genie Awards
Tom McCamus I Love a Man in Uniform
Roy Dupuis Cap Tourmente
Rémy Girard La Florida
Gilbert Sicotte Cap Tourmente
R. H. Thomson The Lotus Eaters
15th Genie Awards
Maury Chaykin Whale Music
Martin Drainville Louis 19, King of the Airwaves (Louis 19, le roi des ondes]]
Gary Farmer Henry & Verlin
Elias Koteas Exotica
Gilbert Sicotte Les Pots cassés
16th Genie Awards
David La Haye L'Enfant d'eau
Lothaire Bluteau The Confessional (Le Confessionnal)
Matthew Ferguson Eclipse
Clive Russell Margaret's Museum
Peter Williams Soul Survivor
17th Genie Awards
William Hutt Long Day's Journey into Night
Jason Cadieux Lilies
Matthew Ferguson Lilies
Danny Gilmore Lilies
Tom McCamus Long Day's Journey into Night
Christopher Penn The Boys Club
18th Genie Awards
Ian Holm The Sweet Hereafter
Robin Aubert The Countess of Baton Rouge (La Comtesse de Bâton Rouge)
Bruce Greenwood The Sweet Hereafter
Peter Outerbridge Kissed
Alan Williams The Cockroach that Ate Cincinnati
19th Genie Awards
Roshan Seth Such a Long Journey
Rémy Girard Les Boys
Tony Nardi La Déroute
Jonathan Pryce Regeneration
Samuel West Rupert's Land
20th Genie Awards
Bob Hoskins Felicia's Journey
Gabriel Arcand Post Mortem
Denis Bouchard Winter Stories (Histoires d'hiver)
Joël Drapeau-Dalpé Winter Stories (Histoires d'hiver)
Ralph Fiennes Sunshine
Daniel MacIvor The Five Senses


Year Nominee Film
21st Genie Awards
Tony Nardi My Father's Angel
David Cubitt The Perfect Son
Colm Feore The Perfect Son
Timothy Webber My Father's Angel
James Whitmore Here's to Life!
22nd Genie Awards
Brendan Fletcher The Law of Enclosures
Zachary Bennett Desire
David La Haye Soft Shell Man (Un crabe dans la tête)
Peter Outerbridge Marine Life
Chris Owens The Uncles
Zinedine Soualem Tar Angel (L'Ange de goudron)
23rd Genie Awards
Luc Picard Savage Messiah
David Alpay Ararat
Philip DeWilde Turning Paige
Christopher Plummer Ararat
Colin Roberts Flower & Garnet
24th Genie Awards
Rémy Girard The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares)
Raymond Bouchard Seducing Doctor Lewis (La Grande séduction)
Philip Seymour Hoffman Owning Mahowny
Robert Lepage Far Side of the Moon (La Face cachée de la lune)
Barry Pepper The Snow Walker
25th Genie Awards
Roy Dupuis Looking for Alexander (Mémoires affectives)
Michel Côté The Last Tunnel (Le Dernier Tunnel)
David La Haye Nouvelle-France
Ian McKellen Émile
Nick Stahl Twist
26th Genie Awards
Michel Côté C.R.A.Z.Y.
Adam Butcher Saint Ralph
Marc-André Grondin C.R.A.Z.Y.
Paul Kaye It's All Gone Pete Tong
Luc Picard Audition (L'Audition)
27th Genie Awards
Roy Dupuis The Rocket (Maurice Richard)
Colm Feore Bon Cop, Bad Cop
Olivier Gourmet Congorama
Patrick Huard Bon Cop, Bad Cop
Luc Picard A Sunday in Kigali (Un dimanche à Kigali)
28th Genie Awards
Gordon Pinsent Away From Her
Roy Dupuis Shake Hands With the Devil
Marc Labrèche Days of Darkness (L'Âge des ténèbres)
Claude Legault The 3 Little Pigs (Les 3 p'tits cochons)
Viggo Mortensen Eastern Promises
29th Genie Awards
Natar Ungalaaq The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre)
Paul Gross Passchendaele
Rupinder Nagra Amal
Christopher Plummer Emotional Arithmetic
Aaron Poole This Beautiful City
30th Genie Awards
Joshua Jackson One Week
Jean-Carl Boucher 1981
Paul-Dylan Ivalu Before Tomorrow (Le Jour avant le lendemain)
Clark Johnson Nurse.Fighter.Boy
Stephen McHattie Pontypool


Year Nominee Film
31st Genie Awards
Paul Giamatti Barney's Version
Jay Baruchel The Trotsky
Robert Naylor 10½
Timothy Olyphant High Life
François Papineau Route 132
32nd Genie Awards
Mohamed Fellag Monsieur Lazhar
Garret Dillahunt Oliver Sherman
Michael Fassbender A Dangerous Method
Patrick Huard Starbuck
Scott Speedman Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster
1st Canadian Screen Awards
James Cromwell Still Mine
Patrick Drolet All That You Possess (Tout ce que tu possèdes)
Marc-André Grondin L'Affaire Dumont
David Morse Collaborator
Melvil Poupaud Laurence Anyways
2nd Canadian Screen Awards
Gabriel Arcand The Dismantling (Le Démantèlement)
Brendan Gleeson The Grand Seduction
Jake Gyllenhaal Enemy
Daniel Radcliffe The F Word
Rajesh Tailang Siddharth
3rd Canadian Screen Awards
Antoine Olivier Pilon Mommy
Evan Bird Maps to the Stars
Bruce Greenwood Elephant Song
Michael Murphy Fall
Ryan Reynolds The Captive
4th Canadian Screen Awards
Maxim Gaudette Our Loved Ones (Les Êtres chers)
Jasmin Geljo The Waiting Room
Christopher Plummer Remember
Rossif Sutherland River
Jacob Tremblay Room