Which Actors Have Taken Home the Most Academy Awards

The first Academy Awards began in 1929 and has presented thousands of awards since. Some actors are excluded from the Awards year after year despite exceptional performances, while others can claim more than a couple of awards for their work. Forty actors fall under the second category, each one bringing exception talent to their roles. Read on to see which winners you recognize!

The peerless Katharine Hepburn
Her body of work stands out among the Hollywood greats and because of that she holds the most Academy Awards of any actor. From 1932 to 1981, her films has earned her 4 Awards. Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter, and On Golden Pond are the films for which she was recognized. Known for her strong character, she has many memorable quotes about acting and life in general.

“I think most of the people involved in any art always secretly wonder whether they are really there because they’re good or there because they’re lucky.”

Three awards and going
Five of the actors to ever receive 3 awards are still working in Hollywood. Daniel Day-Lewis, Jack Nicholson, and Meryl Streep have each been recognized for their lead and supporting roles.

  • Streep won for Sophie’s Choice, The Iron Lady, and Kramer vs. Kramer.
  • Nicholson won for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, As Good as it Gets, and Terms of Endearment.
  • Day-Lewis won for My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood, and Lincoln.

Meryl has been nominated 18 times for the Academy Awards. Ingrid Bergman and Walter Brennan are the other two actors honored three times by the Oscars, while Brennan has only been recognized for his supporting roles.

Recent wins for hit movies
Christoph Waltz has won twice for Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Both movies were directed by Quentin Tarantino. Waltz’s roles are nearly opposite. In Inglourious Basterds, he plays a calculating military man, responsible for the deaths of many. Django Unchained has him portray an ingenious mercenary, edging on the side of good.
Cate Blanchett has the most recent second win for her incredible acting in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.

The list of the talented
Multiple nominations doesn’t always guarantee a win. Peter O’Toole was nominated 8 times yet never won. Below is a list of a few actors who share the prestige:

  • Helen Hayes
  • Luise Rainer
  • Vivien Leigh
  • Hilary Swank
  • Kevin Spacey
  • Sally Field
  • Melvyn Douglas

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