National Board of Review Award for Best Actor
Current recipient: Paul Giamatti
Awarded forBest Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
CountryUnited States
Presented byNational Board of Review
First awardedRay Milland
The Lost Weekend (1945)
Currently held byPaul Giamatti
The Holdovers (2023)

The National Board of Review Award for Best Actor is one of the annual film awards given (since 1945) by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.[1]



Year Winner Film Role
1945 Ray Milland The Lost Weekend Don Birnam
1946 Laurence Olivier Henry V King Henry V
1947 Michael Redgrave Mourning Becomes Electra Orin Mannon
1948 Walter Huston The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Howard
1949 Ralph Richardson The Fallen Idol Baines
The Heiress Austin Sloper


Year Winner Film Role
1950 Alec Guinness Kind Hearts and Coronets Various
1951 Richard Basehart Fourteen Hours Robert Cosick
1952 Ralph Richardson Breaking the Sound Barrier John Ridgefield
1953 James Mason The Desert Rats Field Marshal Erwin von Rommel
Face to Face The Captain
Julius Caesar Brutus
The Man Between Ivo Kern
1954 Bing Crosby The Country Girl Frank Elgin
1955 Ernest Borgnine Marty Marty Piletti
1956 Yul Brynner Anastasia General Sergei Pavlovich Bounine
The King and I King Mongkut of Siam
The Ten Commandments Pharaoh Rameses II
1957 Alec Guinness The Bridge on the River Kwai Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson
1958 Spencer Tracy The Old Man and the Sea The Old Man / Narrator
1959 Victor Sjöström Wild Strawberries Professor Isak Borg


Year Winner Film Role
1960 Robert Mitchum Home from the Hill Wade Hunnicutt
The Sundowners Paddy Carmody
1961 Albert Finney Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Arthur Seaton
1962 Jason Robards, Jr. Long Day's Journey Into Night James Tyrone, Jr.
Tender Is the Night Dick Diver
1963 Rex Harrison Cleopatra Julius Caesar
1964 Anthony Quinn Zorba the Greek (Alexis Zorbas) Alexis Zorba
1965 Lee Marvin Cat Ballou Kid Shelleen / Tim Strawn
Ship of Fools Bill Tenny
1966 Paul Scofield A Man for All Seasons Sir Thomas More
1967 Peter Finch Far from the Madding Crowd William Boldwood
1968 Cliff Robertson Charly Charly Gordon
1969 Peter O'Toole Goodbye, Mr. Chips Arthur Chipping, MA (Oxon), Latin Master


Year Winner Film Role
1970 George C. Scott Patton George S. Patton, Jr.
1971 Gene Hackman The French Connection Detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle
1972 Peter O'Toole Man of La Mancha Don Quixote de La Mancha / Miguel de Cervantes / Alonso Quijana
The Ruling Class Jack Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney
1973 Al Pacino Serpico Francesco "Frank" Serpico
Robert Ryan The Iceman Cometh Larry Slade
1974 Gene Hackman The Conversation Harry Caul
1975 Jack Nicholson One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Randle "R.P." McMurphy
1976 David Carradine Bound for Glory Woodrow "Woody" Guthrie
1977 John Travolta Saturday Night Fever Anthony "Tony" Manero
1978 Jon Voight Coming Home Luke Martin
Laurence Olivier The Boys from Brazil Ezra Lieberman
1979 Peter Sellers Being There Chance


Year Winner Film Role
1980 Robert De Niro Raging Bull Jake LaMotta
1981 Henry Fonda On Golden Pond Norman Thayer
1982 Ben Kingsley Gandhi Mahatma Gandhi
1983 Tom Conti Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence John Lawrence
Reuben, Reuben Gowan McGland
1984 Victor Banerjee A Passage to India Dr. Aziz H. Ahmed
1985 William Hurt Kiss of the Spider Woman Luis Molina
Raúl Juliá Valentin Arregui
1986 Paul Newman The Color of Money Fast Eddie Felson
1987 Michael Douglas Wall Street Gordon Gekko
1988 Gene Hackman Mississippi Burning Agent Rupert Anderson
1989 Morgan Freeman Driving Miss Daisy Hoke Colburn


Year Winner Film Role
1990 Robert De Niro Awakenings Leonard Lowe
Robin Williams Dr. Malcolm Sayer
1991 Warren Beatty Bugsy Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel
1992 Jack Lemmon Glengarry Glen Ross Shelley "The Machine" Levene
1993 Anthony Hopkins The Remains of the Day James Stevens
Shadowlands Clive "C. S." Lewis
1994 Tom Hanks Forrest Gump Forrest Gump
1995 Nicolas Cage Leaving Las Vegas Ben Sanderson
1996 Tom Cruise Jerry Maguire Jerry Maguire
1997 Jack Nicholson As Good as It Gets Melvin Udall
1998 Ian McKellen Gods and Monsters James Whale
1999 Russell Crowe The Insider Dr. Jeffrey Wigand


Year Winner Film Role
2000 Javier Bardem Before Night Falls Reinaldo Arenas
2001 Billy Bob Thornton Bandits Terry Lee Collins
The Man Who Wasn't There Ed Crane
Monster's Ball Hank Grotowski
2002 Campbell Scott Roger Dodger Roger Swanson
2003 Sean Penn Mystic River Jimmy Markum
2004 Jamie Foxx Ray Ray Charles
2005 Philip Seymour Hoffman Capote Truman Capote
2006 Forest Whitaker The Last King of Scotland Idi Amin
2007 George Clooney Michael Clayton Michael Clayton
2008 Clint Eastwood Gran Torino Walt Kowalski
2009 George Clooney Up in the Air Ryan Bingham
Morgan Freeman Invictus Nelson Mandela


Year Winner Film Role
2010 Jesse Eisenberg The Social Network Mark Zuckerberg
2011 George Clooney The Descendants Matt King
2012 Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook Patrick "Pat" Solitano, Jr.
2013 Bruce Dern Nebraska Woodrow "Woody" Grant
2014 Oscar Isaac A Most Violent Year Abel Morales
Michael Keaton Birdman Riggan Thomson
2015 Matt Damon The Martian Mark Watney
2016 Casey Affleck Manchester by the Sea Lee Chandler
2017 Tom Hanks The Post Ben Bradlee
2018 Viggo Mortensen Green Book[2] Frank "Tony Lip" Vallelonga
2019 Adam Sandler Uncut Gems[3] Howard Ratner


Year Winner Film Role
2020 Riz Ahmed Sound of Metal[4] Ruben Stone
2021 Will Smith King Richard[5] Richard Williams
2022 Colin Farrell The Banshees of Inisherin[6] Pádraic Súilleabháin
2023 Paul Giamatti The Holdovers[7] Paul Hunham

Multiple awards

See also


  1. ^ "Best Actor Archives – National Board of Review". National Board of Review. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  2. ^ National Board of Review Names 'Green Book' Best Film of 2018 - Variety
  3. ^ National Board of Review 2019 Winners|IndieWire
  4. ^ 2021 National Board of Review Winners and Analysis - Variety
  5. ^ National Board of Review Winners 2021:|IndieWire
  6. ^ Top Gun: Maverick Named Best Movie of 2022 by National Board of Review - The Hollywood Reporter
  7. ^ ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Named Best Picture by National Board of Review, Lily Gladstone and Paul Giamatti Nab Top Acting Honors