Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
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The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers.
"All the King's Men" was a hit, as was "Born Yesterday" (Crawford replaced actor Paul Douglas, who had originated the role on Broadway, in this cast). However, he was unable to keep up his career due to typecasting as a crude, boorish brute. The fact that he was a hard drinker and was occasionally belligerent on-set didn't help his career prospects.
Started out as a circus performer. Suffered a severe stroke while visiting actor Dana Andrews, who was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Lancaster remained hospitalized until February 1991, and incapacitated and unable to speak until his death. [November 1990]
In the 1928 play "Alibi" he became the first actor to play detective Hercule Poirot. In a memoir written after his death, Laughton's widow stated they never had children because he was homosexual.
Heston's movie career took off with The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) and reached light speed with Ben-Hur (1959). Along with Tony Curtis, Heston admitted to voting for Russell Crowe to win the Best Actor Oscar in 2001, saying before the ceremony, "I hope he gets it. He's very good."
Almost had to have all his teeth extracted due to pyorrhea.
A serious and talented actor, at his best playing somewhat troubled characters, Cliff Robertson has been a fairly successful leading man through most of his career without ever becoming a major star.
His characters are often named after his real-life friends, or refer to his real-life friends as sources of information. After Great Britain declared war in 1939, he was one of the first actors to go back and join the army. Although Niven had a reputation for telling good old stories over and over again, he was totally silent about his war experience.
Because of his thick German accent, the advent of sound ended his American career. Returning to his native Germany, he became an enthusiastic supporter of the Nazis; thus, he spent the next decade-plus making films that supported Nazi ideology.
Has periodically performed as the "Grand Clown" for The Great Circus Parade in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, since the 1970s. Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1996.
Fredric March began a career in banking but in 1920 found himself cast as an extra in films being produced in New York. He could play roles varying from heavy drama to light comedy, and was often best portraying men in anguish
Tied with Wallace Beery "The Champ"
His Oscar-winning roles as Will Kane from High Noon (1952) and Sgt. Alvin York from Sergeant York (1941) were ranked #5 and #35 in the American Film Institute's Heroes list in their 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains.
Cooper set in motion the first escalator to be installed in a cinema, at the Rex Theatre in Paris on June 7 1957. Despite his wholesome screen image, he was an infamous (and privately boastful) lady-killer in reality, allegedly having had affairs with numerous and sometimes very famous leading ladies throughout his career. This was in spite of the fact that he had a faithful wife, Sandra, and that many of his lovers were also married
One of the oldest actors on the screen in the 1920s and 1930s, George Arliss starred on the London stage from an early age. Was the first British actor to win an Academy Award.
In 1967, Peck received the Academy's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. He was also been awarded the Medal of Freedom. Always politically liberal, Peck was active in causes dealing with charities, politics or the film industry. He died in June 2003, aged 87.
Typically played smart, playful, courageous, tough, occasionally reckless characters who lived in a corrupt world, anchored by a hidden moral code.
One of Hollywood's pre-eminent male stars of all time and the cinema's quintessential "tough guy." Cagney's first job as an entertainer was as a female dancer in a chorus line.
He was the first movie star to enter the service for World War II, joining a year before Pearl Harbor was bombed. He eventually became a Colonel, and earned the Air Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Croix de Guerre and 7 battle stars. In 1959, he served in the Air Force Reserve, before retiring as a brigadier general.
Holds the record for the actor with the most leading parts - 142. In all but 11 films he played the leading part. Posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, by President Jimmy Carter in 1980.
His most famous performance was as "Cyrano de Bergerac". He played it on the stage in 1946, on film in 1950 (winning the Oscar for his performance), and on TV in 1949 and 1955.
He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at the beginning of World War II. In the battle of Saipan in June 1944, he was wounded in the buttocks by Japanese fire which severed his sciatic nerve. He received a medical discharge and got menial work as a plumber's apprentice in Woodstock, NY. While repairing a toilet at the local community theater, he was asked to replace an ailing actor in a rehearsal. He was immediately stricken with a love for the theater and went to New York City.
Famed actor, composer, artist, author and director. His talents extended to the authoring of the novel "Mr. Cartonwine: A Moral Tale" as well as his autobiography
Refused to accept academy award
Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Used cue cards in many of his movies because he refused to memorize his lines. His lines were written on the diaper of baby Kal-El in _Superman (1978)_.
Schell is undoubtedly the most successful non-anglophone foreign actor in the history of American cinema. A part-time director, his compelling documentary Marlene (1984) was nominated for an Oscar in 1985 and his last film Meine Schwester Maria (2002) [My Sister Maria] chronicled the life, career and eventual diminished capacity of his noted actress sister Maria Schell.
In 1916 he went to Kosice (Kassa) to be an actor, in 1918 he became an actor specializing in comedy. In the fifties he was engaged with the theatre more and more again, and from this time on he only stood in front of the camera only occasionally.
One of only six actors to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his first screen appearance. A medium-sized man, he wore small lifts (adding about 3 or 4 inches) and padding to appear more hulking and ape-like as Tony in the original "Scarface."
In 1969, he became the sixth performer to win the Triple Crown of Acting. Oscar: Best Actor, A Man for All Seasons (1966), Tony: Best Actor-Play, 'A Man for All Seasons' (1962), and Emmy: Best Actor, Male of the Species (1969) (TV).
Charming, and debonair, he played suave, self-assured romantic leading men in many drawing room comedies and an occasional mystery or adventure.
Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of England at the age of 81. This was unusual since historically knighthood was not bestowed on anyone who had lived abroad or married more than once, both of which Harrison had done. 
Favorite actor of British comedy legend Peter Sellers, who once said about Bob Donat: "I thought he was a god."
He was offered the title role in Patton (1970) but refused it, saying, "I'm not going to glorify war". The role was then given to George C. Scott, who won the Oscar for it. Steiger calls this refusal his "dumbest career move".
British leading man of primarily American films, one of the great stars of the Golden Age.Much of his later career was devoted to 'The Halls of Ivy', a radio show that later was transferred to television. He continued to work until nearly the end of his life, which came in 1958 after a brief lung illness
The story of California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.
Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of a dirt farmer. When he came to New York from the Caribbean to become an actor, he was so impoverished at first that he slept in the bus station. To get his first major role in No Way Out (1950), he lied to director Joseph L. Mankiewicz and told him he was 27, when actually only 22 years old.
Known for playing multiple complex characters and changing his appearance to suit. Reportedly hated working on Star Wars (1977) so much, Guinness claims that Obi-Wan's death was his idea as a means to limit his involvement in the film. Guinness also claims to throw away all Star Wars related fan mail without even opening it.
Even with his noble titles, he refused to carry on a conversation with anyone who wouldn't address him as "Larry."Knighted in 1947, made life peer in 1970, awarded the Order of Merit in 1981. He and Roberto Benigni are the only two actors to have directed themselves in Oscar-winning performances.
He was voted the 15th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly. He was voted the 19th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Premiere Magazine.
Tracy was offered the role of The Penguin in the TV series _"Batman" (1966) He said he would only accept the role if he was allowed to kill Batman.
Before becoming an actor, he worked as a carnival boxer. If anyone could stay in the ring with him for one round and not be knocked down, they won a box of cigars. In 1932, while still a British citizen, McLaglen captained a band called the Hollywood Light Horse, described as "a military organization formed to promote Americanism and combat Communism and radicalism subversive to Constitutional government."
Tied with Fredric March in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
A matinee idol in the silents, he came to prominence as the Cisco Kid with In Old Arizona. He went on to star with 'Myrna Loy' in - Penthouse (1933) and to what many consider his best role
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#57).  He was very instrumental in animal preservation in Africa. In the 1970s he purchased a large acreage of land with his own money and began an animal sanctuary.
Brynner masked much of his life in mystery and outright lies designed to tease the gullible, and it was not until the publication Empire and Odysseu by his son Yul 'Rock' Brynner in 2006 that many of the details of Brynner's early life became clear.
Facts contributed by:
Allan R. Matthes