The 10 Most Popular Oscar Acceptance Speeches of All Time
By Jake Rossen
When it comes to the Oscars, seeing how filmmakers react to receiving acknowledgement from their peers during their acceptance speeches is usually the highlight of the show. James Cameron’s “I’m king of the world!” proclamation for Titanic (1997) stands out; so does Patty Duke’s two-word response (“Thank you”) for The Miracle Worker (1962).
Recently, online betting parlor RantCasino tried to gauge the most popular and most-viewed Oscar acceptance speeches of all time. Their methodology was simple: The site examined the most-watched speeches that have been uploaded to the official Academy Awards YouTube channel. (The live broadcast viewership, which fluctuates over the years, was not included in the tally.)
1. Leonardo DiCaprio // 2016
DiCaprio nabbed 48 million views for his first Best Actor Oscar win—after multiple nominations over the years—for 2015’s The Revenant.
2. Matthew McConaughey // 2014
The Dazed and Confused (1993) star won Best Actor for 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club, nabbing 26.5 million views for his reaction.
3. Heath Ledger // 2009
The late actor, who passed away shortly after filming 2008’s The Dark Knight, earned a posthumous Best Supporting Actor statue for his portrayal of the Joker. Ledger’s parents and sister accepted on his behalf; 22 million people have viewed the moment on YouTube.
4. Kate Winslet // 2009
Winslet won Best Actress for her work in 2008’s The Reader, with 18 million people queuing it up online.
5. Jennifer Lawrence // 2013
Lawrence won Best Actress for her role in 2012’s Silver Linings Playbook—and also garnered sympathy for her ill-timed trip up the stage stairs, a gaffe viewed by 15 million people online.
6. Eddie Redmayne // 2015
Redmayne won Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in 2014’s The Theory of Everything, with 14 million viewers watching online.
7. Natalie Portman // 2011
Portman won Best Actress for 2010’s ballerina drama Black Swan, a moment seen by 12 million people online.
8. Charlie Chaplin // 1972
The oldest entry on the list belongs to legendary screen pioneer Chaplin, who was awarded an Honorary Oscar for his body of work. The emotional speech has been viewed over 12 million times.
9. Roberto Benigni // 1999
The Life Is Beautiful (1998) star accepted that movie's Best Foreign Language Film trophy with an enthusiastic speech that's been viewed nearly 12 million times.
10. Joaquin Phoenix // 2020
The second Best Actor trophy to go to a depiction of the Joker belongs to Phoenix, who won for his role in the 2019 film of the same name. Phoenix took the opportunity to share his thoughts on inequality and concerns over animal rights. It’s been seen almost 12 million times.