Which Actors Have Won The Most Oscars In The Past 99 Years?

Who's won the most Oscars in the history of well, the Oscars? We take a look at the Hollywood player's with the most coveted golden statuettes in Academy Awards history.

Pop Culture

Have you ever wondered which actors have won the most Oscars in the past 99 years?

We have the same question, so today on the blog we’re looking at which Hollywood actors throughout past & present history have won the most Academy Awards, or Oscar statues.

Did you know that the Oscar statue got it’s name from a librarian at the Academy who remarked that the finished statue looked like her cousin, whom she affectionally called ‘Uncle Oscar’? Just call him Uncle.

6. Jack Nicholson

  • Oscars: 3
  • Oscar Nominations: 12
  • Oscar Win Rate: 25%
jack nicholson wearing sunglasses lifting oscar in air for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Actor Jack Nicholson holds the Oscar statuette he won for best actor for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Ca., March 29, 1976. (AP Photo)

Jack Nicolson has won 3 Oscars, but has been nominated for 12 during his long career. Many people familiar with Nicolson were undoubtedly be impressed by his turns in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980), The Departed (2006) and Chinatown (1974), but he didn’t win an Oscar until 1976 for his performance in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) — the famed actor was nominated 4 times before finally winning.

5. Daniel Day-Lewis

  • Oscars: 3
  • Oscar Nominations: 6
  • Oscar Win Rate: 50%

Daniel Day-Lewis has 3 Oscar wins (like the majority of actors on this list) but a considerably higher win rate at 50%. Yes, this means he’s received less nominations overall, but if you count actual wins higher than nominations, Day-Lewis’ Oscars performance is nothing to snuff at.

Day-Lewis was nominated and won his first actor for Best Actor in My Left Foot (1989).

Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker with oscars for my left foot (1989) 62nd Annual Academy Awards

Daniel Day Lewis with his Oscar for best actor, and Brenda Fricker, with her Oscar for best supporting actress at the 62nd Annual Academy Awards in 1990. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)

4. Walter Brennan

  • Oscars: 3
  • Oscar Nominations: 5
  • Win Rate: 60%

Walter Brennan has the highest win rate of any actor on this list, and is best known for his roles in Red River (1948), The Westerner (1941) and To Have and Have Not (1944) — to name a few.

Brennan passed in 1974, but remains the only actor to win 3 separate Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor. He won for the films The Westerner (1941), Kentucky (1939), and Come and Get it (1937).

3. Ingrid Bergman

  • Oscars: 3
  • Oscar Nominations: 7
  • Win Rate: 43%

“Play it once Sam, for old times’ sake.” This is one of Ingrid Bergman’s most famous lines, but did you know she didn’t win an Oscar for her performance in Casablanca? Not only that, she wasn’t even nominated.

Bergman passed in 1982, and earned Oscar nominations up to 1978 for her performance in Ingmar Bergman’s (no relation) Autumn Sonata. This was her second-to-last role, followed up with a TV movie called A Woman Called Golda released the year she died.

Ingrid Bergman has the third-most nominations of others on this list, and is the second-most nominated woman in Oscars history.

2. Meryl Streep

  • Oscars: 3
  • Oscar Nominations: 21
  • Win Rate: 14%

Meryl Streep has a whopping 21 Oscar nominations under her belt, but like others on this list, her wins seem to top out at ‘magic number’ three.

Streep has won Academy Awards for her turns in The Iron Lady (2012), Sophie’s Choice (1983), and Kramer vs. Kramer (1980).

meryl streep on tiff red carpet

Meryl Streep at a premiere for “The Laundromat” at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2019. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Streep is the most nominated woman in Oscars history, and surpassed the next name on this list for most nominations when she earned a nom for her role in Adaptation (2002).

So, who has the most wins in Oscars history — that also happens to be a woman?

1. Katharine Hepburn

  • Oscars: 4
  • Oscar Nominations: 12
  • Win Rate: 33%

The actress with the most Oscar wins in Academy Awards history is Katharine Hepburn with four wins (and 12 total nominations). She’s just out-ranks Nicholson, Brennan, Day-Lewis, and Bergman with four wins to their three.

katharine hepburn profile shot black and white

Katharine Hepburn is shown in the 1940 film “The Philadelphia Story.” (AP Photo)

Hepburn won her Best Actress Oscar awards for her roles in On Golden Pond (1982), The Lion in Winter (1969), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), Morning Glory (1934).

One of Hepburn’s Oscar wins is also notable, with her 1969 win for The Lion in Winter the only tie in for Best Actress in Academy Awards history. The other winner? Audrey Hepburn for her role in Funny Girl (1968).

Oscars Viewers Down Year-Over-Year 

If you’re planning to watch the Oscars this year, you might be in scarce company — at least more-so than in previous years.

Oscars viewership is down year-over-year, with 2020’s ceremony bringing in 23.6m viewers compared to 29.6m in 2019. 2019 was a slight increase from 2018, which brought in 26.5m viewers, down from 2017’s 32.9m viewers.

number of academy award viewers by year

Interestingly enough, overall viewership of the Academy Awards is down, and only 10% of respondents in an online survey said they planned to follow along with the action on social media, while 56% reported they wouldn’t watch or follow along on social media.

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