Academy Award for Best Actor

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Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Prior to the 49th Academy Awards ceremony (1976), this award was simply known as the Academy Award of Merit for Performance by an Actor. Since its inception, however, the award has commonly been referred to as the Oscar for Best Actor. While actors are nominated for this award by Academy members who are actors and actresses themselves, winners are selected by the Academy membership as a whole.



Throughout the past 82 years, accounting for ties and repeat winners, AMPAS has presented a total of 83 Best Actor awards to 74 different actors. Winners of this Academy Award of Merit receive the familiar Oscar statuette, depicting a gold-plated knight holding a crusader's sword and standing on a reel of film. The first recipient was Emil Jannings, who was honored at the 1st Academy Awards ceremony (1929) for his performances in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. The most recent recipient was Jeff Bridges, who was honored at the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony (2010) for his performance in Crazy Heart.

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