POPSUGAR Celebrity

21 Actors Who Won Oscars For Playing Real People

Jan 27 2016 - 2:00pm

The Oscars [1] are fast approaching, so you better start making your winner predictions! While there are a great list of nominees this year [2], some of the best are roles based on real life. It seems that whenever an actor takes on a famous face in history — or even a lesser-known person with a great true story — it only ups the chances of taking home Oscar gold. There's a long list of Hollywood elite who have won a statue for spot-on portrayals of real people (so many that we can't even list them all here!), but take a peek at this short list of memorable performances.

— Additional reporting by Shannon Vestal and Kelsie Gibson

Ben Kingsley, Gandhi

The Real-Life Mahatma Gandhi

Geoffrey Rush, Shine

The Real-Life David Helfgott

Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich

The Real-Life Erin Brockovich

Adrien Brody, The Pianist

The Real-Life Wladyslaw Szpilman

Nicole Kidman, The Hours

Charlize Theron, Monster

The Real-Life Aileen Wuornos

Jamie Foxx, Ray

The Real-Life Ray Charles

Cate Blanchett, The Aviator

The Real-Life Katharine Hepburn

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

The Real-Life Truman Capote

Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

The Real-Life June Carter Cash

Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

The Real-Life Idi Amin

Helen Mirren, The Queen

The Real Life Queen Elizabeth II

Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

The Real-Life Edith Piaf

Sean Penn, Milk

The Real-Life Harvey Milk

Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

The Real-Life Leigh Anne Tuohy

Colin Firth, The King's Speech

Christian Bale, The Fighter

The Real-Life Dicky Eklund

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

The Real-Life Margaret Thatcher

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

The Real-Life Abraham Lincoln

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

The Real-Life Stephen Hawking

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