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

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SAG Award for Best Actor
Photo of the 2018 recipient of the Best Actor award: Gary Oldman—a white male from England pictured in 2014 at 56 years of age, with brown hair brushed up and back, a salt-and-pepper goatee, wearing eyeglasses and a dark suit jacket with a white shirt.
The 2018 recipient: Gary Oldman
Awarded forOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
LocationLos Angeles, California
Presented bySAG-AFTRA
First awarded1994
Currently held byGary Oldman for Darkest Hour (2017)

The Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role is an award given by the Screen Actors Guild to honor the finest acting achievements in film.

Winners and nominees[edit]

Photo of Tom Hanks standing behind a podium at the Lincoln Memorial in 2009.
Tom Hanks won for his role in Forrest Gump (1994).
Nicolas Cage won for his performance in Leaving Las Vegas (1995).
Phhoto of Geoffrey Rush in 2017.
Geoffrey Rush won for his role as David Helfgott in Shine (1996).
Photo of Jack Nicholson attending the Cannes Film Festival in 2002.
Jack Nicholson won for his performance in As Good as It Gets (1997).
Roberto Benigni won for his role in Life Is Beautiful (1998).
Kevin Spacey @ San Diego Comic-Con 2008 - b.jpg
Kevin Spacey won for his performance in American Beauty (1999).
Photo of Benicio Del Toro speaking at San Diego Comic Con in 2013.
Benicio del Toro won for his role in Traffic (2000).
Photo of Daniel Day-Lewis at the 2013 Jaguar Mille Miglia event.
Daniel Day-Lewis won this award three times for his performances in Gangs of New York (2002), There Will Be Blood (2007) and Lincoln (2012).
Photo of Jamie Foxx at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International.
Jamie Foxx won for his performance as Ray Charles in Ray (2004).
Photo of Sean Penn attending the 81st Academy Awards in 2009.
Sean Penn won for his role in Milk (2008).
Photo of Jeff Bridges attending the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International.
Jeff Bridges won for his performance in Crazy Heart (2009).
Photo of Jean Dujardin attending the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Jean Dujardin won this award for his performance in The Artist (2011).
Photo of Denzel Washington after a performance of Julius Caesar in May 2005.
Denzel Washington won for Fences (2016).
Gary Oldman won for his performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour (2017).


  indicates the winner.


Year Nominee Film Role(s)


Tom Hanks Forrest Gump Forrest Gump
Morgan Freeman The Shawshank Redemption Ellis "Red" Redding
Paul Newman Nobody's Fool Donald "Sully" Sullivan
Tim Robbins The Shawshank Redemption Andy Dufresne
John Travolta Pulp Fiction Vincent Vega


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(posthumous) Il Postino: The Postman (Il postino) Mario Ruoppolo


Geoffrey Rush Shine David Helfgott
Tom Cruise Jerry Maguire Jerry Maguire
Ralph Fiennes The English Patient László Almásy
Woody Harrelson The People vs. Larry Flynt Larry Flynt
Billy Bob Thornton Sling Blade Karl Childers


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 Ulysses "Ulee" Jackson
Dustin Hoffman Wag the Dog Stanley Motss


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


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 "Hurricane" Carter


Year Nominee Film Role(s)


Benicio del Toro †† Traffic Javier Rodriguez
Jamie Bell Billy Elliot Billy Elliot
Russell Crowe Gladiator Maximus Decimus Meridius
Tom Hanks Cast Away Chuck Noland
Geoffrey Rush Quills Marquis de Sade


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 Alonzo Harris
Tom Wilkinson In the Bedroom Matt Fowler


Daniel Day-Lewis Gangs of New York William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting
Adrien Brody The Pianist Władysław "Wladek" Szpilman
Nicolas Cage Adaptation. Charlie Kaufman / Donald Kaufman
Richard Gere Chicago Billy Flynn
Jack Nicholson About Schmidt Warren Schmidt


Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Captain Jack Sparrow
Peter Dinklage The Station Agent Finbar McBride
Ben Kingsley House of Sand and Fog Colonel Massoud Amir Behrani
Bill Murray Lost in Translation Bob Harris
Sean Penn Mystic River Jimmy Markum


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 Raymond


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


Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland Idi Amin
Leonardo DiCaprio Blood Diamond Danny Archer
Ryan Gosling Half Nelson Dan Dunne
Peter O'Toole Venus Maurice Russell
Will Smith The Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner


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 Luzhin


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 "The Ram" Robinson


Jeff Bridges Crazy Heart Otis "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. First Class William James


Year Nominee Film Role(s)


Colin Firth The King's Speech King George VI
Jeff Bridges True Grit Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn
Robert Duvall Get Low Felix Bush
Jesse Eisenberg The Social Network Mark Zuckerberg
James Franco 127 Hours Aron Ralston


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


Daniel Day-Lewis Lincoln Abraham Lincoln
Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook Patrizio "Pat" Solitano, Jr.
John Hawkes The Sessions Mark O'Brien
Hugh Jackman Les Misérables Jean Valjean
Denzel Washington Flight William "Whip" Whitaker, Sr.


Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club Ron Woodroof
Bruce Dern Nebraska Woodrow "Woody" Grant
Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave Solomon Northup
Tom Hanks Captain Phillips Captain Richard Phillips
Forest Whitaker The Butler Cecil Gaines


Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything Stephen Hawking
Steve Carell Foxcatcher John Eleuthère du Pont
Benedict Cumberbatch The Imitation Game Alan Turing
Jake Gyllenhaal Nightcrawler Louis "Lou" Bloom
Michael Keaton Birdman Riggan Thomson


Leonardo DiCaprio The Revenant Hugh Glass
Bryan Cranston Trumbo Dalton Trumbo
Johnny Depp Black Mass Whitey Bulger
Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne The Danish Girl Lili Elbe / Einar Wegener


Denzel Washington Fences Troy Maxson
Casey Affleck Manchester by the Sea Lee Chandler
Andrew Garfield Hacksaw Ridge Desmond T. Doss
Ryan Gosling La La Land Sebastian Wilder
Viggo Mortensen Captain Fantastic Ben Cash


Gary Oldman Darkest Hour Winston Churchill
Timothée Chalamet Call Me by Your Name Elio Perlman
James Franco The Disaster Artist Tommy Wiseau
Daniel Kaluuya Get Out Chris Washington
Denzel Washington Roman J. Israel, Esq. Roman J. Israel


Superlative Leading Actor Supporting Actor Overall
Actor with most awards Daniel Day-Lewis 3 Daniel Day-Lewis 3
Actor with most nominations Denzel Washington 5 Chris Cooper 3 Leonardo DiCaprio, Denzel Washington 5
Actor with most nominations without ever winning George Clooney, Ryan Gosling 3 George Clooney 4
Film with most nominations The Shawshank Redemption 2 The Birdcage, The Contender, Crash, No Country for Old Men, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 2 Several films* 2
Oldest Winner Denzel Washington
(Fences, 2017)
62 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 Jacob Tremblay
(Room, 2016)
9 Jacob Tremblay
(Room, 2016)
* 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, Manchester by the Sea, Moneyball, No Country for Old Men, Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, Silver Linings Playbook, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


Occasions over the past 23 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) won Best Supporting Actor. Russell Crowe (Gladiator) won Best Actor.
  • 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)
  • 2016: Denzel Washington (Fences) lost to Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Multiple winners[edit]

3 wins
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York (2002), There Will Be Blood (2007), Lincoln (2012))

Multiple nominees[edit]

Note: Winners are indicated in bold type.

2 nominations
3 nominations
  • George Clooney (Michael Clayton (2007), Up in the Air (2009), The Descendants (2011))
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York (2002), There Will Be Blood (2007), Lincoln (2012))
  • Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Finding Neverland (2004), Black Mass (2015))
  • Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson (2006), Lars and the Real Girl (2007), La La Land (2016))
4 nominations
  • Russell Crowe (The Insider (1999), Gladiator (2000), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Cinderella Man (2005))
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator (2004), Blood Diamond (2006), J. Edgar (2011), The Revenant (2015))
  • Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump (1994), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Cast Away (2000), Captain Phillips (2013))
  • Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking (1995), I Am Sam (2001), Mystic River (2003), Milk (2008))
5 nominations
  • Denzel Washington (The Hurricane (1999), Training Day (2001), Flight (2012), Fences (2016), Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017))

See also[edit]

External links[edit]