Updated: Mon, 11 Mar 2013 14:45:00 GMT | By Francis Whittaker
Cannes: Best Actor Winners

Mads Mikkelsen (2012)



Mads Mikkelsen (© Reuters)
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There aren't many high-profile acting awards which can see an unknown Japanese teenager win one year and an internationally reknowned US movie veteran triumph the next.

However, the roll call of winners for the Cannes Best Actor category truly captures the magic of the festival - a level playing field where actors in low-budget productions from all over the world can compete with some of the most famous faces in Hollywood.

We look at some of the names - big and small - who have been handed the prize in recent years.

  • Mads Mikkelsen (2012)

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen won in 2012 for his performance in The Hunt, in which he played a man wrongly accused of child abuse.

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Cannes: Best Actor WinnersThe Cannes Best Actor award has been won by an impressive range of stars from across the globe. MSN takes a look at just some of them.The Cannes Best Actor award has been won by an impressive range of stars from across the globe. MSN takes a look at just some of them.Francis Whittaker2010-04-30T09:45:002013-03-11T14:45:00channelcannesMads Mikkelsen (2012)There aren't many high-profile acting awards which can see an unknown Japanese teenager win one year and an internationally reknowned US movie veteran triumph the next.However, the roll call of winners for the Cannes Best Actor category truly captures the magic of the festival - a level playing field where actors in low-budget productions from all over the world can compete with some of the most famous faces in Hollywood.We look at some of the names - big and small - who have been handed the prize in recent years.Mads Mikkelsen (2012)Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen won in 2012 for his performance in The Hunt, in which he played a man wrongly accused of child abuse.topMads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Mads Mikkelsen(©Reuters)Jean Dujardin (2011)Jean Dujardin (2011)French actor Jean Dujardin added another award to his cabinet when he scooped up the prize for his performance in The Artist.topJean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Jean Dujardin  2011 (©Reuters)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano (2010)The Cannes jury couldn't agree on one Best Actor at the 2010 festival, so two stars ended up sharing the title. Spanish hunk Javier Bardem took home one award for his performance in Biutiful, which also earned him an Oscar nomination, while Italian star Elio Germano also won for his role in Our Life.topJavier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Javier Bardem and Elio Germano  2010 (©Wireimage.com)Christoph Waltz (2009)Austrian actor Christoph Waltz's 2009 Cannes award was just one of many he received internationally for his portrayal of SS Colonel Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.topChristoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Christoph Waltz  2009 (©Reuters)Benicio del Toro (2008)Puerto Rico's Benicio del Toro won the award in 2008 for his interpretation of revolutionary Cuban leader Che Guevara in the biopic Che. He returned to Cannes in 2010 as a member of the jury.topBenicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Benicio del Toro  2008 (©Wireimage.com)Konstantin Lavronenko (2007)Russian star Konstantin Lavronenko (right), pictured here with actress Maria Bonnevie, won the Best Actor award during the 60th edition of the festival for his performance in Izgnanie.topKonstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Konstantin Lavronenko  2007 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes (Days of Glory) (2006)French quartet Jamel Debbouze, Bernard Blancan, Roschdy Zem and Sami Bouajila shared the 2006 award for their performances in French-Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb's film Indigènes (Days of Glory).topCast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Cast of Indigènes  Days of Glory   2006 (©Reuters)Tommy Lee Jones (2005)Veteran Men In Black star Tommy Lee Jones took the title in 2005 for his portrayal of rancher Pete Perkins in Guillermo Arriaga's drama The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.topTommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Tommy Lee Jones  2005 (©Wireimage.com)Yūya Yagira (2004)Teenager Yūya Yagira was unable to attend the closing ceremony in 2004. He was presented with his Best Actor Award in his native Japan after winning for his performance in Nobody Knows.topYūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Yūya Yagira  2004 (©Reuters)Muzaffer Özdemir and Mehmet Emin Toprak (2003)Turkish actor Mehmet Emin Toprak died tragically in a road accident two days after completing the filming of Uzak. The movie went on to win several awards at Cannes in 2003, including Best Actor - which Toprak shared with co-star Muzaffer Özdemir - and Best Director, won by Toprak's cousin Nuri Bilge Ceylan (pictured left). These awards are particularly remarkable considering neither Toprak or Özdemir were professional actors.topNuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Nuri Bilge Ceylan  2003 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet (2002)Olivier Gourmet of Belgium was handed the prize in 2002 for his portrayal of tormented carpenter Olivier in Le fils (The Son).topOlivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Olivier Gourmet  2002 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel (2001)French heart throb Benoît Magimel took the award in 2001 for his performance in La Pianiste (The Piano Teacher), a film which also starred that year's Best Actress winner Isabelle Huppert.topBenoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Benoît Magimel  2001 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai (2000)Tony Leung Chiu Wai remains the only Hong Kong actor to receive the award having won in 2000 for his performance in In the Mood for Love.topTony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Tony Leung Chiu Wai  2000 (©Wireimage.com)Emmanuel Schotte (1999)Frenchman Emmanuel Schotte is one of the more obscure names to win the men's acting category. He and co-star Séverine Caneele took Best Actor and Best Actress respectively for their roles in Humanité in 1999.topEmmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Emmanuel Schotte  1999 (©Reuters)Peter Mullan (1998)Scot Peter Mullan's powerful portrayal of a recovering alcoholic in Ken Loach's My Name Is Joe earned him the Best Actor award in 1998.topPeter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Peter Mullan  1998 (©Wireimage.com)Sean Penn (1997)Hollywood superstar Sean Penn added a Cannes Best Actor award to his trophy cabinet following a strong performance in 1997's She's So Lovely.topSean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)Sean Penn  1997 (©Reuters)

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