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Sean Penn is the ninth actor to win two lead Oscars

February 23, 2009 |  6:24 pm

With his win for "Milk," Sean Penn became the ninth man to have matching lead actor Oscar bookends, having earned his first in 2003 for "Mystic River." While Penn only had to wait five years to win that second Oscar, last year's champ Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") didn't gain entry to this exclusive club until 18 years after winning his first Oscar in 1989 for "My Left Foot."


The first seven actors to pull off this impressive feat were:

Spencer Tracy ("Captains Courageous" 1937; "Boys Town" 1938);

Fredric March ("Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" 1932; "The Best Years of Our Lives" 1946);

Gary Cooper ("Sergeant York" 1941; "High Noon" 1952);

Marlon Brando ("On the Waterfront" 1954; "The Godfather" 1972);

Dustin Hoffman ("Kramer v. Kramer" 1979; "Rain Man" 1988);

Tom Hanks ("Philadelphia" 1993; "Forrest Gump" 1994); and

Jack Nicholson ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" 1975; "As Good As It Gets" 1997).

Eleven women — Luise Rainer, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Glenda Jackson, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Jodie Foster, and Hilary Swank — each have two lead actress Oscars. And then there is Katharine Hepburn who reigns supreme with a staggering four lead actress Oscars.


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Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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