Category:Silver Bear for Best Actor winners
Pages in category "Silver Bear for Best Actor winners"
The following 56 pages are in this category, out of 56 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 56 pages are in this category, out of 56 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Leonardo DiCaprio – Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio is an American actor and film producer. He began his career by starring as Josh in Critters 3. He starred in the adaptation of the memoir This Boys Life. Since 2000, DiCaprio has received acclaim for his work in a wide range of film genres. Edgar, the western Django Unchained, and the period drama The Great Gatsby and he also won his first Academy Award and BAFTA Award for his performance in The Revenant. DiCaprio is the founder of his own company, Appian Way Productions. Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born on November 11,1974 in Los Angeles and he is the only child of Irmelin, a legal secretary, and George DiCaprio, an underground comics artist and producer/distributor of comic books. DiCaprios father is of Italian and German descent, DiCaprios maternal grandfather, Wilhelm Indenbirken, was German. His maternal grandmother, Helene Indenbirken, was a Russian-born German citizen, in an interview in Russia, DiCaprio referred to himself as half-Russian and said that two of his grandparents were Russian. DiCaprios parents met while attending college and subsequently moved to Los Angeles, DiCaprio was named Leonardo because his pregnant mother was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting in a museum in Italy when he first kicked. His parents separated when he was an old, and he lived mostly with his mother. The two lived in several Los Angeles neighborhoods, such as Echo Park and Los Feliz, while his mother worked several jobs, DiCaprio attended Seeds Elementary School and John Marshall High School a few blocks away, after attending the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies for four years. However, he dropped out of school following his third year. DiCaprio spent part of his childhood in Germany with his grandparents, Wilhelm. He is conversant in German and Italian, DiCaprios career began with his appearance in several commercials and educational films. In 1990, he got his break on television when he was cast in the series based on the movie Parenthood. After Parenthood, DiCaprio had bit parts on several shows, including The New Lassie and Roseanne, as well as a stint on the soap opera Santa Barbara. His involvement in Parenthood and the daily soap earned him a nomination for the Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor each, released in 1991, the movie went direct-to-video
2. Jean Gabin – Jean Gabin was a French actor and sometime singer. Considered a key figure in French cinema, he starred in classic films including Pépé le Moko, La grande illusion, Le Quai des brumes, La bête humaine, Le jour se lève. Gabin was made a member of the Légion dhonneur in recognition of the important role he played in French cinema, Gabin was born Jean-Alexis Moncorgé in Paris, the son of Madeleine Petit and Ferdinand Moncorgé, a cafe entertainer whose stage name was Gabin. He grew up in the village of Mériel in the Seine-et-Oise département, the son of cabaret entertainers, he attended the Lycée Janson de Sailly. Gabin left school early, and worked as a laborer until the age of 19 when he entered business with a bit part in a Folies Bergères production. He continued performing in a variety of roles before going into the military. He was part of a troupe that toured South America, and his performances started getting noticed, and better stage roles came along that led to parts in two silent films in 1928. Two years later Gabin easily made the transition to talkies, in a 1930 Pathé Frères production titled Chacun sa Chance, playing secondary roles, he made more than a dozen films over the next four years, including films directed by Maurice and Jacques Tourneur. However, he only gained recognition for his performance in Maria Chapdelaine. He was then cast as a hero in a 1936 war drama titled La Bandera. The following year he teamed up with Duvivier again, this time in the highly successful Pépé le Moko and that same year he starred in the Jean Renoir film La Grande Illusion, an anti-war film that ran at a New York City theatre for an unprecedented six months. He was divorced from his wife in 1939. In the late 1930s Gabin was flooded with offers from Hollywood, for a time he turned them all down, after the German occupation of France in 1940, he joined Jean Renoir and Julien Duvivier in the United States. During his time in Hollywood, Gabin began a romance with actress Marlene Dietrich which lasted until 1948. However, his films in America – Moontide and The Impostor, Gabin was a difficult personality, he did serious damage to his Hollywood career while working for RKO Pictures. Scheduled to star in an RKO film, at the last minute he demanded Dietrich be given the co-starring role, after Gabin remained steadfast in his demand, he was fired, and the film project was shelved. Undaunted, he joined General Charles de Gaulles Free French Forces and earned the Médaille militaire, following D-Day, Gabin was part of the military contingent that entered a liberated Paris. He was hired by Marcel Carné in 1946 to star in the film, Les Portes de la Nuit, but his conduct got him fired again
3. Gene Hackman – Eugene Allen Gene Hackman is a retired American actor and novelist. In a career spanning five decades, Hackman was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning Best Actor in The French Connection and he won three Golden Globes and two BAFTAs. He first came to fame in 1967 with his performance as Buck Barrow in Bonnie and Clyde, in which he gained his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. His film roles during the 1990s featured, Unforgiven, The Firm, Crimson Tide, Get Shorty, The Birdcage, and Enemy of the State Later roles included, Behind Enemy Lines, and The Royal Tenenbaums. Hackmans final film appearance to date was the romantic comedy Welcome to Mooseport in 2004, Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Eugene Ezra Hackman and Anna Lyda Elizabeth. He has Pennsylvania Dutch, English, and Scottish ancestry, his mother was born in Lambton, according to a plaque in a city park, he worked for a time as a dog catcher for the local animal shelter. His family moved frequently, finally settling in Danville, Illinois, hackmans father operated the printing press for the Commercial-News, a local paper. As a teenager, Hackman knew Dick Van Dyke, who was friends with his older brother Richard and his parents divorced in 1943 and his father subsequently left the family. Hackman lived briefly in Storm Lake, Iowa and spent his year at Storm Lake High School. However, he left home at age 16 and lied about his age to enlist in the United States Marine Corps and he served four and a half years as a field radio operator. When the Communist Revolution conquered the mainland in 1949, Hackman was assigned to Hawaii, following his discharge, he moved to New York and worked in several jobs. His mother died in 1962 as a result of a fire she accidentally set while smoking, in 1956, he began pursuing an acting career, he joined the Pasadena Playhouse in California. It was there that he forged a friendship with another aspiring actor, already seen as outsiders by their classmates, they were later voted The Least Likely To Succeed. Determined to prove them wrong, Hackman moved to New York City, reinforcing The Least Likely To Succeed vote, the man said to him, See, Hackman, I told you you wouldnt amount to anything. From then on, Hackman was determined to become the finest actor he possibly could, the three former roommates have since earned 19 Academy Award nominations for acting, with five wins. Hackman got various bit roles, for example on the TV series Route 66 in 1963, in 1964, he had an offer to co-star in the play Any Wednesday with actress Sandy Dennis. This opened the door to film work and his first role was in Lilith, with Warren Beatty in the leading role. In 1967, he appeared in an episode of the television series The Invaders entitled The Spores, another supporting role, Buck Barrow in 1967s Bonnie and Clyde, earned him an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor
4. Tom Hanks – Thomas Jeffrey Hanks is an American actor and filmmaker. Hanks films have grossed more than $4.5 billion at U. S. and Canadian box offices and more than $9.0 billion worldwide, Hanks has been nominated for numerous awards during his career. In 2004, he received the Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. In 2014, he received a Kennedy Center Honor and, in 2016, he received a Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, in 2010, Spielberg and Hanks were executive producers on the HBO miniseries The Pacific. Hanks was born in Concord, California, the son of Janet Marylyn, a worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks. His mother was of Portuguese descent, while his father had English ancestry. The familys three oldest children, Sandra, Larry and Tom, went with their father, while the youngest, Jim, in his childhood, his family moved often. By the age of ten, Hanks had lived in ten different houses, while Hanks family religious history was Catholic and Mormon, he has characterized himself as being a Bible-toting evangelical for several years as a teenager. In school, Hanks was unpopular with students and teachers alike, later telling Rolling Stone magazine, I was a geek, I was horribly, painfully, terribly shy. At the same time, I was the guy whod yell out funny captions during filmstrips, but I didnt get into trouble. I was always a good kid and pretty responsible. In 1965, his father married Frances Wong, a San Francisco native of Chinese descent, Frances had three children, two of whom lived with Hanks during his high school years. Hanks acted in plays, including South Pacific, while attending Skyline High School in Oakland. Hanks studied theater at Chabot College in Hayward, California, and transferred to California State University, Sacramento, Hanks told New York magazine in 1986, Acting classes looked like the best place for a guy who liked to make a lot of noise and be rather flamboyant. I spent a lot of going to plays. I wouldnt take dates with me, id just drive to a theater, buy myself a ticket, sit in the seat and read the program, and then get into the play completely. I spent a lot of time like that, seeing Brecht, Tennessee Williams, Ibsen, during his years studying theater, Hanks met Vincent Dowling, head of the Great Lakes Theater Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. At Dowlings suggestion, Hanks became an intern at the festival and his internship stretched into a three-year experience that covered most aspects of theater production, including lighting, set design, and stage management, prompting Hanks to drop out of college
5. Samuel L. Jackson – Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American actor and film producer. With Jacksons permission, his likeness was used for the Ultimate version of the Marvel Comics character Nick Fury. He has also portrayed the character in the second and final episodes of the first season of the TV show Marvels Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D and he is married to LaTanya Richardson, with whom he has a daughter, Zoe. Samuel L. Jackson is ranked as the highest all-time box office star with over $4.9053 billion total box office gross, Jackson was born in Washington, D. C. the son of Elizabeth and Roy Henry Jackson. He grew up as a child in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His father lived away from the family in Kansas City, Missouri, Jackson only met his father twice during his life. Jackson was raised by his mother, who was a worker and later a supplies buyer for a mental institution. According to DNA tests, Jackson partially descends from the Benga people of Gabon, Jackson attended several segregated schools and graduated from Riverside High School in Chattanooga. Between the third and twelfth grades, he played the French horn, during childhood, he had a stuttering problem. While he eventually learned to pretend to be people who didnt stutter and use the curse word motherfucker as an affirmation word. Initially intent on pursuing a degree in biology, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta. After joining a local acting group to earn points in a class, Jackson found an interest in acting. Before graduating in 1972, he co-founded the Just Us Theatre, after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Jackson attended the funeral in Atlanta as one of the ushers. Jackson then flew to Memphis to join an equal rights protest march, in a Parade interview Jackson revealed, I was angry about the assassination, but I wasnt shocked by it. I knew that change was going to something different – not sit-ins. In 1969, Jackson and several other students held members of the Morehouse College board of trustees hostage on the campus, demanding reform in the schools curriculum and governance. The college eventually agreed to change its policy, but Jackson was charged with and eventually convicted of unlawful confinement, Jackson was then suspended for two years for his criminal record and his actions. He would later return to the college to earn his Bachelor of Arts in Drama in 1972, while he was suspended, Jackson was employed as a social worker in Los Angeles
6. Burt Lancaster – Burton Stephen Burt Lancaster was an American film actor. Initially known for playing tough guys, Lancaster went on to success with more complex. He was nominated four times for Academy Awards and won once for his work in Elmer Gantry in 1960 and he also won a Golden Globe for that performance and BAFTA Awards for The Birdman of Alcatraz and Atlantic City. During the 1950s his production company Hecht-Hill-Lancaster was highly successful, making such as Marty, Trapeze, Sweet Smell of Success, Run Silent, Run Deep. The American Film Institute ranks Lancaster as #19 of the greatest male stars of classic Hollywood cinema, Lancaster was born in Manhattan, New York City, at his parents home at 209 East 106th Street, between Second and Third Avenues, today the site of Benjamin Franklin Plaza. Lancaster was the son of Elizabeth and James Henry Lancaster, who was a mailman, both of his parents were Protestants of working class origin. All of Lancasters grandparents were Ulster immigrants to the United States, the family believed themselves to be related to Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts. Before he graduated from DeWitt Clinton, his mother died of a cerebral hemorrhage, Lancaster was accepted by New York University with an athletic scholarship, but subsequently dropped out. At the age of 19, Lancaster met Nick Cravat, with whom he developed a lifelong partnership, together they learned to act in local theatre productions and circus arts at Union Settlement, one of the citys oldest settlement houses. They formed the acrobat duo Lang and Cravat in the 1930s, however, in 1939, an injury forced Lancaster to give up the profession, with great regret. He then found work, first as a salesman for Marshall Fields. He served with General Mark Clarks Fifth Army in Italy from 1943–45, although initially unenthusiastic about acting, after returning to New York from his Army service, Lancaster auditioned for a Broadway play and was offered a role. Wallis, who signed him to an eight-movie contract, Lancasters first filmed movie was Desert Fury. Fortunately for Lancaster, producer Mark Hellinger approached him to star in The Killers, in 1946, the tall, muscular actor won significant acclaim and appeared in two more films the following year. Subsequently, he played in a variety of films, especially in dramas, thrillers, and military and adventure films. In two, The Flame and the Arrow and The Crimson Pirate, a friend from his circus years, Nick Cravat, played a key supporting role, in 1953, Lancaster played one of his best-remembered roles with Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity. The American Film Institute acknowledged the iconic status of the scene from film in which Deborah Kerr. The organization named it one of AFIs top 100 Most Romantic Films of all time, Lancaster won the 1960 Academy Award for Best Actor, a Golden Globe Award, and the New York Film Critics Award for his performance in Elmer Gantry
7. Jack Lemmon – John Uhler Jack Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. Lemmon was an eight time Academy Award nominee, with two wins, Lemmon was born on February 8,1925, in an elevator at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. He was the child of Mildred Burgess LaRue and John Uhler Lemmon. His paternal grandmother was from an Irish immigrant family, Lemmon attended John Ward Elementary School in Newton and the Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts. During his acceptance of his lifetime achievement award, he stated that he knew he wanted to be an actor from the age of eight, after graduation in 1947, Lemmon took up acting professionally, working on radio, television and Broadway. He studied acting under coach Uta Hagen and he was enamored of the piano and learned to play it on his own. He could also play the harmonica, guitar, organ, and he was close friends with actors Tony Curtis, Ernie Kovacs, Walter Matthau and Kevin Spacey. He made two films with Curtis, and eleven with Matthau, early in Lemmons career he met comedian Ernie Kovacs while co-starring with him in Operation Mad Ball. Lemmon and Kovacs became close friends and appeared together in two subsequent films, Bell, Book and Candle and It Happened to Jane, in 1977, PBS broadcast a compilation series of Kovacs television work, and Lemmon served as the narrator of the series. Lemmon discussed his friendship with Kovacs in the documentary Ernie Kovacs and he was a favorite of director Billy Wilder, starring in the films Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Irma la Douce, The Fortune Cookie, Avanti. The Front Page, and Buddy Buddy, the biography quotes Lemmon as saying, I am particularly susceptible to the parts I play. If my character was having a breakdown, I started to have one. Bell, Book and Candle and It Happened to Jane and How to Murder Your Wife, quine also directed Lemmons screen test when the actor was signed by Columbia. Lemmons singing voice was first heard on two film soundtracks in 1955, Three for the Show with Betty Grable and My Sister Eileen and he also performed songs in the 1956 film You Cant Run Away from It with Stubby Kaye and June Allyson. His first solo album A Twist of Lemmon was released in 1958 on Epic Records, while filming Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe in 1959, Lemmon released a second album, Some Like It Hot. Both featured Lemmons singing and piano solos, the two Epic albums were later released as A Twist of Lemmon/Some Like It Hot, a single cd on Collectors Choice Music, in 2001. Two singles, Daphne/Sleepy Lagoon and Im Forever Blowing Bubbles/I Cover the Waterfront did not appear on either album, Epic released a third single in 1960, Lemmons piano solo of the theme to the film The Apartment, backed with his own composition Lemmon Blues. In 1963, Lemmon released an album, this time on Capitol Records
8. Fredric March – Fredric March was a distinguished stage actor and one of Hollywoods most celebrated, versatile stars of the 1930s and 40s. March is the actor to have won both the Academy Award and the Tony Award twice. March was born in Racine, Wisconsin, the son of Cora Brown Marcher, a schoolteacher, and John F. Bickel, March attended the Winslow Elementary School, Racine High School, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi. He appeared on Broadway in 1926, and by the end of the decade, March served in the United States Army during World War I as an artillery lieutenant. March received an Oscar nomination for the 4th Academy Awards in 1930 for The Royal Family of Broadway and he returned to Broadway after a ten-year absence in 1937 with a notable flop Yr. Obedient Husband, but after the success of Thornton Wilders The Skin of Our Teeth he focused as much on Broadway theatre as Hollywood. He also had successes in A Bell for Adano in 1944 and Gideon in 1961. He also starred in films as I Married a Witch and Another Part of the Forest during this period. On March 25,1954, March co-hosted the 26th Annual Academy Awards ceremony from New York City, marchs neighbor in Connecticut, playwright Arthur Miller, was thought to favor March to inaugurate the part of Willy Loman in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Death of a Salesman. In 1957, March was awarded The George Eastman Award, given by George Eastman House for distinguished contribution to the art of film. March co-starred with Spencer Tracy in the 1960 Stanley Kramer film Inherit the Wind, in which he played a version of famous orator. Marchs Bible-thumping character provided a rival for Tracys Clarence Darrow-inspired character, the recordings were narrated by Charles Collingwood, with March and his wife Florence Eldridge performing dramatic readings from historical documents and literature. Following surgery for cancer in 1970, it seemed his career was over, yet he managed to give one last performance in The Iceman Cometh, as the complicated Irish saloon keeper. March was married to actress Florence Eldridge from 1927 until his death in 1975 and he died from prostate cancer, at age 77, in Los Angeles, California, he was buried at his estate in New Milford, Connecticut. Throughout his life, he and his wife were supporters of the Democratic Party, biographies of March include Fredric March, Craftsman First, Star Second by Deborah C. Peterson, and Fredric March, A Consummate Actor by Charles Tranberg, Fredric March at the Internet Movie Database Fredric March at the Internet Broadway Database Photographs of Fredric March
9. Lee Marvin – Lee Marvin was an American film and television actor. Known for his voice and prematurely white hair, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers. From 1957 to 1960, he starred as Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger in the NBC crime series, M Squad. In 1966, he won awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actor, and Best Actor BAFTA. Marvin was born in New York City and he was the son of Lamont Waltman Marvin, an advertising executive and the head of the New York and New England Apple Institute. His mother was Courtenay Washington, a writer and beauty consultant. As with his brother, Robert, he was named in honor of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. His father was a descendant of Matthew Marvin, Sr. who emigrated from Great Bentley, Essex, England, in 1635. Marvin studied violin when he was young, as a teenager, Marvin spent weekends and spare time hunting deer, puma, wild turkey, and bobwhite in the wilds of the then-uncharted Everglades. Marvin left school at 18 to enlist in the United States Marine Corps Reserve on August 12,1942 and he served with the 4th Marine Division in the Pacific Theater during World War II. He was shot by gun fire, which severed his sciatic nerve. After over a year of treatment in naval hospitals, Marvin was given a medical discharge with the rank of private first class in 1945 at Philadelphia. Contrary to rumors, Marvin did not serve on Iwo Jima, receive a Navy Cross, or serve with actor, producer, and former Marine Bob Keeshan during World War II. After the war, while working as an assistant at a local community theatre in upstate New York. He then began an amateur acting career in New York City. In 1950, Marvin moved to Hollywood and he found work in supporting roles, and from the beginning was cast in various war films. His debut was in Youre in the Navy Now, and in 1952, he appeared in films, including Don Siegels Duel at Silver Creek, Hangmans Knot. He played Gloria Grahames vicious boyfriend in Fritz Langs The Big Heat, Marvin had a small but memorable role in The Wild One opposite Marlon Brando, followed by Seminole and Gun Fury
10. Paul Newman – Paul Leonard Newman was an American actor. Newmans other films include The Hustler, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as Butch Cassidy, The Sting, and The Verdict. Despite being colorblind, Newman won several championships as a driver in Sports Car Club of America road racing. He was a co-founder of Newmans Own, a company from which he donated all post-tax profits. As of 2016, these donations have totaled over US$460 million and he was also a co-founder of Safe Water Network, a nonprofit that develops sustainable drinking water solutions for those in need. In 1988, Newman founded the SeriousFun Childrens Network, a family of summer camps. Newman was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the son of Theresa and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Newmans father was Jewish, and was the son of Simon Newman and Hannah Cohn, immigrants from Hungary, Newman had no religion as an adult, but described himself as a Jew, saying its more of a challenge. Newmans mother worked in his fathers store, while raising Paul and his brother, Arthur. Newman showed an early interest in the theater, his first role was at the age of seven, playing the court jester in a school production of Robin Hood. At age 10, Newman performed at the Cleveland Play House in a production of Saint George and the Dragon, graduating from Shaker Heights High School in 1943, he briefly attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where he was initiated into the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. Newman served in the United States Navy in World War II in the Pacific theater, initially, he enrolled in the Navy V-12 pilot training program at Yale University, but was dropped when his colorblindness was discovered. Boot camp followed, with training as a radioman and rear gunner, qualifying in torpedo bombers in 1944, Aviation Radioman Third Class Newman was sent to Barbers Point, Hawaii. He later flew as a gunner in an Avenger torpedo bomber. As a radioman-gunner, his unit was assigned to the USS Bunker Hill along with other replacements shortly before the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945, the pilot of his aircraft had an ear infection which kept their plane grounded. The rest of their squadron flew to the Bunker Hill, days later, a kamikaze attack on the vessel killed a number of service members, including the other members of his unit. After the war, Newman completed his Bachelor of Arts in drama and economics at Kenyon College in Gambier, shortly after earning his degree, he joined several summer stock companies, most notably the Belfry Players in Wisconsin and the Woodstock Players in Illinois. He toured with them for three months and developed his talents as a part of Woodstock Players and he later attended the Yale School of Drama for one year, before moving to New York City to study under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio
11. Sean Penn – Sean Justin Penn is an American actor, filmmaker, and political activist. He has won two Academy Awards, for his roles in the mystery drama Mystic River and the biopic Milk, Penn began his acting career in television with a brief appearance in episode 112 of Little House on the Prairie, directed by his father Leo Penn. He became known as a prominent leading actor with the drama Dead Man Walking, for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination, Penn made his feature film directorial debut with The Indian Runner, followed by the drama film The Crossing Guard and the mystery film The Pledge. Penn directed one of the 11 segments of 110901 September 11 and his fourth feature film, the biographical drama survival movie Into the Wild, garnered critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations. In January 2016, Penn published an interview with Mexican drug lord Joaquín El Chapo Guzmán in Rolling Stone, Penn was born in Los Angeles County, California, to actor and director Leo Penn, and actress Eileen Ryan. His older brother is musician Michael Penn and his younger brother, actor Chris Penn, died in 2006. His paternal grandparents were Ashkenazi Jewish emigrants from Lithuania and Russia, while his mother is a Catholic of Irish, Penn was raised in a secular home and attended Santa Monica High School. He began making films with some of his childhood friends, including actors Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen. Penn appeared in a 1974 episode of the Little House on the Prairie television series as an extra when his father, Leo, Penn launched his film career with the action-drama Taps, where he played a military high school cadet. A year later, he appeared in the hit comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, in the role of surfer-stoner Jeff Spicoli, next, Penn appeared as Mick OBrien, a troubled youth, in the drama Bad Boys. The role earned Penn favorable reviews and jump-started his career as a serious actor, Penn played Andrew Daulton Lee in the film The Falcon and the Snowman, which closely followed an actual criminal case. Lee was a drug dealer by trade, convicted of espionage for the Soviet Union and originally sentenced to life in prison. Penn starred in the drama At Close Range which received critical acclaim and he stopped acting for a few years in the early 1990s, having been dissatisfied with the industry, and focused on making his directing debut. The Academy Awards first recognized his work in nominating him for playing a racist murderer on death row in the drama film Dead Man Walking and he was nominated again for his comedic performance as an egotistical jazz guitarist in the film Sweet and Lowdown. He received his nomination after portraying a mentally handicapped father in I am Sam. Penn finally won for his role in the Boston crime-drama Mystic River, in 2004, Penn played Samuel Bicke, a character based on Samuel Byck, who in 1974 attempted and failed to assassinate President Richard Nixon, in The Assassination of Richard Nixon. The same year, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, next, Penn portrayed governor Willie Stark in an adaptation of Robert Penn Warrens classic 1946 American novel All the Kings Men. The film was a critical and commercial failure, named by a 2010 Forbes article as the biggest flop in the last five years, the film also earned Penn his fifth nomination and second win for the Academy Award for Best Actor
12. Sidney Poitier – Sir Sidney Poitier, KBE, is a Bahamian-American actor, film director, author and diplomat. In 1964, Poitier became the first Bahamian and first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actor, for his role in Lilies of the Field. In 1999, the American Film Institute named Poitier among the Greatest Male Stars of classic Hollywood cinema, from 1997 to 2007, he served as the non-resident Bahamian ambassador to Japan. On August 12,2009, Poitier was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 2016, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship for outstanding lifetime achievement in film. Sidney Poitiers parents were Evelyn and Reginald James Poitier, Bahamian farmers who owned a farm on Cat Island and traveled to Miami to sell tomatoes, Reginald worked as a cab driver in Nassau, Bahamas. Poitier was born in Miami while his parents were visiting and his birth was two months premature and he was not expected to survive, but his parents remained in Miami for three months to nurse him to health. Poitier grew up in the Bahamas, then a British Crown colony, because of his birth in the United States, he automatically received American citizenship. He mentions that the surname Poitier is a French name, Poitier lived with his family on Cat Island until he was 10, when they moved to Nassau. He was raised a Roman Catholic but, later became an agnostic with views closer to deism, at the age of 15, he was sent to Miami to live with his brother. At the age of 16, he moved to New York City, a waiter sat with him every night for several weeks helping him learn to read the newspaper. He lied about his age and enlisted in the Army during World War II in 1943, Poitier joined the North American Negro Theatre, but was rejected by audiences. Contrary to what was expected of African American actors at the time, determined to refine his acting skills and rid himself of his noticeable Bahamian accent, he spent the next six months dedicating himself to achieving theatrical success. By the end of 1949, he had to choose between leading roles on stage and an offer to work for Darryl F. Zanuck in the film No Way Out, Poitiers breakout role was as a member of an incorrigible high school class in Blackboard Jungle. Poitier was the first male actor of African descent to be nominated for a competitive Academy Award and he was also the first actor of African descent to win the Academy Award for Best Actor. Poitier worked relatively little over the year, he remained the only major actor of African descent. He acted in the first production of A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway in 1959 and he also gave memorable performances in The Bedford Incident, and A Patch of Blue co-starring Elizabeth Hartman and Shelley Winters. In 1967, he was the most successful draw at the box office, Poitier was aware of this pattern himself, but was conflicted on the matter. For instance, in 1966, he turned down an opportunity to play the lead in an NBC production of Othello with that spirit in mind, in 2002, Poitier received the 2001 Honorary Academy Award for his overall contribution to American cinema