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. 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). 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).[1][2][3][4] 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. 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).[5]

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

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



Year Actor Role Film
1932 United States Fredric March Special Award Dr. Henry Jekyll / Edward Hyde ‡ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Festival Not Held
1934 United States Wallace Beery[6] Special Award Pancho Villa Viva Villa!
1935 France Pierre Blanchar Raskolnikov Crime et châtiment
1936 United States Paul Muni Louis Pasteur The Story of Louis Pasteur
1937 Switzerland Emil Jannings Matthias Clausen Der Herrscher
1938 United Kingdom Leslie Howard Professor Henry Higgins ‡ Pygmalion
No Award


Year Actor Role Film
No Award
1941 Italy Ermete Zacconi Don Geronimo Buonaparte Don Buonaparte
1942 Italy Fosco Giachetti Captain Enrico Berti Bengasi
Festival Not Held
Festival Not Held
Festival Not Held
1947 France Pierre Fresnay Vincent de Paul Monsieur Vincent
1948 Austria Ernst Deutsch Scharf The Trial
1949 United States Joseph Cotten Eben Adams Portrait of Jennie


Year Actor Role Film
1950 United States Sam Jaffe Erwin “Doc” Riedenschneider ‡ The Asphalt Jungle
1951 France Jean Gabin
Raymond Pinsard La nuit est mon royaume
1952 United States Fredric March Willy Loman Death of a Salesman
1953 France Henri Vilbert François Dupont Le bon Dieu sans confession
1954 France Jean Gabin Victor Le Garrec
Max dit Max le Menteur
Air of Paris
Touchez pas au grisbi
1955 Germany Curd Jurgens
United Kingdom Kenneth More
Wolf Gerke
Freddie Page
Heroes and Sinners
Des Teufels General
The Deep Blue Sea
1956 France Bourvil Marcel Martin The Trip Across Paris
1957 United States Anthony Franciosa Polo Pope ‡ A Hatful of Rain
1958 United Kingdom Alec Guinness Gulley Jimson The Horse’s Mouth
1959 United States James Stewart Paul Biegler ‡ Anatomy of a Murder


Year Actor Role Film
1960 United Kingdom John Mills Lt. Col. Basil Barrow Tunes of Glory
1961 Japan Toshirō Mifune Sanjuro Yojimbo
1962 United States Burt Lancaster Robert Stroud Birdman of Alcatraz
1963 United Kingdom Albert Finney Tom Jones ‡ Tom Jones
1964 United Kingdom Tom Courtenay Private Arthur Hamp King & Country
1965 Japan Toshirō Mifune Dr. Kyojō Niide Red Beard
1966 France Jacques Perrin Michele
Almost a Man
The Search
1967 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Ljubiša Samardžić Mali The Morning
1968 United States John Marley Richard Forst Faces


Year Actor Role Film
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
1984 India Naseeruddin Shah Naurangia Paar
1985 France Gérard Depardieu Louis Vincent Mangin Police
Italy Carlo Delle Piane Antonio Sant’Elia Regalo di Natale
United Kingdom Hugh Grant
United Kingdom James Wilby
Clive Durham
Maurice Hall
United States Don Ameche
United States Joe Mantegna
Things Change
Italy Marcello Mastroianni
Italy Massimo Troisi
What Time Is It?


Year Actor Role Film
1990 Soviet Union Oleg Borisov Svidetel / Christo Panov The Only Witness
1991 United States River Phoenix Mikey Waters My Own Private Idaho
1992 United States Jack Lemmon Shelley “The Machine” Levene Glengarry Glen Ross
1993 Italy Fabrizio Bentivoglio
Italy Marcello Mastroianni (Supporting)
Pietro De Leo
Constantin Laspada
A Soul Split in Two
1, 2, 3, Sun
1994 China Xia Yu
Italy Roberto Citran (Supporting)
Ma Xiaojun
In the Heat of the Sun
Il Toro
1995 Germany Götz George
United Kingdom Ian Hart (Supporting)
Fritz Haarmann
Nothing Personal
1996 Republic of Ireland Liam Neeson
United States Chris Penn (Supporting)
Michael Collins
Cesarian “Chez” Tempio
Michael Collins
The Funeral
1997 United States Wesley Snipes Max Carlyle One Night Stand
1998 United States Sean Penn Eddie Hurlyburly
1999 United Kingdom Jim Broadbent W.S. Gilbert Topsy-Turvy


Year Actor Role Film
2000 Spain Javier Bardem Reinaldo Arenas Before Night Falls
2001 Italy Luigi Lo Cascio Antonio Light of My Eyes
2002 Italy Stefano Accorsi Dino Campana A Journey Called Love
2003 United States Sean Penn Paul Rivers 21 Grams
2004 Spain Javier Bardem Ramón Sampedro The Sea Inside
2005 United States David Strathairn Edward R. Murrow Good Night, and Good Luck
2006 United States Ben Affleck George Reeves Hollywoodland
2007 United States Brad Pitt Jesse James The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2008 Italy Silvio Orlando Michele Casali Giovanna's Father
2009 United Kingdom Colin Firth George Falconer ‡ A Single Man


Year Actor Role Film
2010 United States Vincent Gallo Mohammed Essential Killing
2011 Republic of Ireland Michael Fassbender Brandon Sullivan Shame
United States Joaquin Phoenix
United States Philip Seymour Hoffman
Freddie Quell ‡
Lancaster Dodd ‡
The Master
2013 Greece Themis Panou Father Miss Violence
2014 United States Adam Driver Jude Hungry Hearts
2015 France Fabrice Luchini Michel Racine Courted
2016 Argentina Oscar Martínez Daniel Mantovani The Distinguished Citizen
2017 State of Palestine Kamel El Basha Yasser The Insult


  1. ^ "La Magnani premiata come miglior attrice". La Stampa. 16 September 1947. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  2. ^ "Il Gran Premio ad "Amleto" di Olivier". La Stampa. 5 September 1948. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  3. ^ "L'assegnazione dei diciassette premi". L'Unità. 2 September 1949. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  4. ^ "L'assegnazione dei premi". La Stampa. 11 September 1950. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Tutti i premiati". La Stampa. 10 September 1988. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  6. ^ 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. 

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