Volpi Cup for Best Actor

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The Volpi Cup (Italian: Coppa Volpi) is the principal award given to actors at the Venice Film Festival and is named in honor of Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata, the founder of the Venice Film Festival. The name and number of prizes have been changed several times since their introduction, ranging from two to four awards per edition and sometimes acknowledging both leading and supporting performances.

‡ – indicates the performance was also nominated for an Academy Award

Gold Medal winners (1934)[edit]

The festival was officially competitive for the first time in 1934, the acting award was named Grande medaglia d'oro dell'Associazione Nazionale Fascista dello Spettacolo per il migliore attore (Great Gold Medal of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment for the Best Actor).

Year Actor Film Character
1932 United States Fredric March Special Award Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Dr. Henry Jekyll / Edward Hyde ‡
Festival Not Held
1934 United States Wallace Beery[1] Special Award Viva Villa! Pancho Villa

Volpi Cup winners (1935–1942)[edit]

Year Actor Film Character
1935 France Pierre Blanchar Crime et châtiment Raskolnikov
1936 United States Paul Muni The Story of Louis Pasteur Louis Pasteur
1937 Switzerland Emil Jannings Der Herrscher Matthias Clausen
1938 United Kingdom Leslie Howard Pygmalion Professor Henry Higgins ‡
No Award
No Award
1941 Italy Ermete Zacconi Don Buonaparte Don Geronimo Buonaparte
1942 Italy Fosco Giachetti Bengasi Captain Enrico Berti
Festival Not Held
Festival Not Held
Festival Not Held

International Award winners (1947–1950)[edit]

After a four-year hiatus caused by the war, the festival was once again competitive in 1947, the acting award in the immediate post-war period was named Premio Internazionale per il migliore attore (International Award for the Best Actor).[2][3][4][5]

Year Actor Film Character
1947 France Pierre Fresnay Monsieur Vincent Vincent de Paul
1948 Austria Ernst Deutsch The Trial Scharf
1949 United States Joseph Cotten Portrait of Jennie Eben Adams
1950 United States Sam Jaffe The Asphalt Jungle Erwin “Doc” Riedenschneider ‡

Volpi Cup winners (1951–1968)[edit]

Year Actor Film Character
1951 France Jean Gabin
La suit est mon royaume Raymond Pinsard
1952 United States Fredric March Death of a Salesman Willy Loman
1953 France Henri Vilbert Le bon Dieu sans confession François Dupont
1954 France Jean Gabin Air of Paris
Touchez pas au grisbi
Victor Le Garrec
Max dit Max le Menteur
1955 Germany Curd Jurgens
United Kingdom Kenneth More
Heroes and Sinners
Des Teufels General
The Deep Blue Sea
Wolf Gerke
Freddie Page
1956 France Bourvil The Trip Across Paris Marcel Martin
1957 United States Anthony Franciosa A Hatful of Rain Polo Pope ‡
1958 United Kingdom Alec Guinness The Horse’s Mouth Gulley Jimson
1959 United States James Stewart Anatomy of a Murder Paul Biegler ‡
1960 United Kingdom John Mills Tunes of Glory Lt. Col. Basil Barrow
1961 Japan Toshirō Mifune Yojimbo Sanjuro
1962 United States Burt Lancaster Birdman of Alcatraz Robert Stroud
1963 United Kingdom Albert Finney Tom Jones Tom Jones ‡
1964 United Kingdom Tom Courtenay King & Country Private Arthur Hamp
1965 Japan Toshirō Mifune Red Beard Dr. Kyojō Niide
1966 France Jacques Perrin Almost a Man
The Search
1967 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Ljubiša Samardžić The Morning Mali
1968 United States John Marley Faces Richard Forst

Acting Award winners (1983–1987)[edit]

The festival was again competitive in 1980 but the acting awards given by the competition jury were not reinstated until 1983: the prizes were no longer called Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup) but were simply referred to as Premio per il migliore attore (Best Actor Award), the winners did not receive cup-shaped awards but were instead given rectangular plaques.

Year Actor Film Character
1983 United States Guy Boyd
United States George Dzundza
United States David Alan Grier
United States Mitchell Lichtenstein
United States Matthew Modine
United States Michael Wright
Streamers Rooney
1984 India Naseeruddin Shah Paar Naurangia
1985 France Gérard Depardieu Police Louis Vincent Mangin
Italy Carlo Delle Piane Regalo di Natale Antonio Sant’Elia
United Kingdom Hugh Grant
United Kingdom James Wilby
Maurice Clive Durham
Maurice Hall

Volpi Cup winners (1988–present)[edit]

Jack Lemmon holding his Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the closing ceremony of the Venice Film Festival in 1992

In 1988, for the first time in 20 years, the most recognizable prizes of the festival were re-established, the two acting award was officially named Coppa Volpi per la migliore interpretazione maschile (Volpi Cup for the Best Actor).[6]

Year Actor Film Character
United States Don Ameche
United States Joe Mantegna
Things Change Gino
Italy Marcello Mastroianni
Italy Massimo Troisi
What Time Is It? Marcello
1990 Soviet Union Oleg Borisov The Only Witness Svidetel/Christo Panov
1991 United States River Phoenix My Own Private Idaho Mikey Waters
1992 United States Jack Lemmon Glengarry Glen Ross Shelley “The Machine” Levene
1993 Italy Fabrizio Bentivoglio
Italy Marcello Mastroianni (Supporting)
A Soul Split in Two
1, 2, 3, Sun
Pietro De Leo
Constantin Laspada
1994 China Xia Yu
Italy Roberto Citran (Supporting)
In the Heat of the Sun
Il Toro
Ma Xiaojun
1995 Germany Götz George
United Kingdom Ian Hart (Supporting)
Nothing Personal
Fritz Haarmann
1996 Republic of Ireland Liam Neeson
United States Chris Penn (Supporting)
Michael Collins
The Funeral
Michael Collins
Cesarian “Chez” Tempio
1997 United States Wesley Snipes One Night Stand Max Carlyle
1998 United States Sean Penn Hurlyburly Eddie
1999 United Kingdom Jim Broadbent Topsy-Turvy W.S. Gilbert
2000 Spain Javier Bardem Before Night Falls Reinaldo Arenas
2001 Italy Luigi Lo Cascio Light of My Eyes Antonio
2002 Italy Stefano Accorsi A Journey Called Love Dino Campana
2003 United States Sean Penn 21 Grams Paul Rivers
2004 Spain Javier Bardem The Sea Inside Ramón Sampedro
2005 United States David Strathairn Good Night, and Good Luck Edward R. Murrow
2006 United States Ben Affleck Hollywoodland George Reeves
2007 United States Brad Pitt The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford Jesse James
2008 Italy Silvio Orlando Giovanna's Father Michele Casali
2009 United Kingdom Colin Firth A Single Man George Falconer ‡
2010 United States Vincent Gallo Essential Killing Mohammed
2011 Republic of Ireland Michael Fassbender Shame Brandon
United States Joaquin Phoenix
United States Philip Seymour Hoffman
The Master Freddie Quell ‡
Lancaster Dodd ‡
2013 Greece Themis Panou Miss Violence Father
2014 United States Adam Driver Hungry Hearts Jude
2015 France Fabrice Luchini Courted Michel Racine
2016 Argentina Oscar Martínez The Distinguished Citizen Daniel Mantovani
2017 State of Palestine Kamel El Basha The Insult Yasser


  1. ^ Beery received an award titled the Great Gold Medal of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment for the Best Actor"I divertimenti". La Stampa. 5 December 1934. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  2. ^ "La Magnani premiata come miglior attrice". La Stampa. 16 September 1947. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  3. ^ "Il Gran Premio ad "Amleto" di Olivier". La Stampa. 5 September 1948. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  4. ^ "L'assegnazione dei diciassette premi" (PDF). L'Unità. 2 September 1949. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  5. ^ "L'assegnazione dei premi". La Stampa. 11 September 1950. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  6. ^ "Tutti i premiati". La Stampa. 10 September 1988. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 

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