Among the most notable awards to be given by the Academy Awards are the Best Actress and the best actor awards. These awards have been presented since the beginning of the Academy. They are given to actors and actresses in recognition of their stellar performances in their respective movies. These are not the only awards specifically for actors. There is also the awards for best supporting actress and best supporting actor.
An actor or actress can be nominated several times over for these awards. The only restriction is that actors and actresses cannot receive multiple nominations for the same performance, which happened to Barry Fitzgerald, who won both the best actor and the best supporting actor awards for the movie Going My Way. Current rules dictate that if you are nominated in the best actor or actress category, you cannot be nominated for the best supporting actor or actress category.
This does not mean actors and actresses cannot win multiple awards. Most performers compete in the best actor or actress category and then compete in the best supporting actor or actress category in the succeeding year. Several actors and actresses have been nominated in this manner. They alternate their nominations every year.
Others partake in several different movie productions that will be released in the same year, making them eligible for multiple nominations, granted that their nominations come from various bodies of work.
Further, there are very few others who take up different roles in the film. For example, some actors or actresses are also directors or producers of their respective films. For the same performance, they can be nominated for both best actor award and best director or best producer award.
There are many different ways to get multiple nominations, and performers have done them all.
Who won the most?
As of the 2020 count, there are 43 actors and actresses who have won multiple academy awards for acting. The undisputed leader who won four Best Actress awards is none other than Katharine Hepburn. Following her are five veteran actors Daniel Day-Lewis, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman, and Walter Brennan. Daniel Day Lewis won three Best Actor awards, while Streep, Nicholson, and Bergman won two best actor/actress awards and one best supporting actor/actress award each. Brennan wi three best supporting actor awards.
It was Brennan who received multiple awards first. He was then followed by Hepburn, Bergman, Nicholson, Streep, and Day-Lewis, respectively.