|AACTA Award for|
Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama
|Presented by||Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA)|
|Currently held by||Lachy Hulme, Power Games: The Packer-Murdoch War (2013)|
The AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama is an accolade given by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), a non-profit organisation whose aim is to "identify, award, promote and celebrate Australia's greatest achievements in film and television." The award is handed out at the annual AACTA Awards, which rewards achievements in Australian feature film, television, documentaries and short films. From 1986 to 2010, the category was presented by the Australian Film Institute (AFI), the Academy's parent organisation, at the annual Australian Film Institute Awards (known as the AFI Awards). When the AFI launched the Academy in 2011, it changed the annual ceremony to the AACTA Awards, with the current prize being a continuum of the AFI Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama.
The award was first presented in 1986, as two separate categories for performances in a miniseries and tele feature. These were then merged in 1990 to become Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Telefeature or Mini Series, and by 1991, the award was renamed Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama. In 2000, the Best Performance in a Telefeature or Mini Series accolade was re-introduced as a separate prize from the drama award. All of these were then combined in 2002, under the title Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama, and two years later, in 2004, was renamed Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama or Comedy. A separate comedy award was established in 2006, and the name reverted to Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama.
The AACTA Award for Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama is given for performances in television drama series, miniseries, telefeature, children's animation or children's drama series. Candidates for this award must be human and male, and cannot be nominated for best guest or supporting actor in a television drama in the same year, for the same production.
Winners and nominees
In the following table, the years listed correspond to the year that the television programme aired on Australian television; the ceremonies are usually held the following year.[A] The actor whose name is emphasised in boldface and highlighted in yellow have won the award. Those that are neither highlighted nor in bold are the nominees. When sorted chronologically, the table always lists the winning actor first and then the other nominees. There was no nomination announcement for television categories leading up to the 1986 awards, and therefore only the winners are known.
All sources used in this article make no mention of the episode or series that the actor was nominated for prior to 1991, and therefore have "N/A" template in the "Episode/Series" column. After 1991, the winners and nominees with the "N/A" template in the "Episode/Series" column are television films or miniseries. Those winners and nominees which have the "N/A" template and crosses (†) in the "Episode/Series" column, are TV series, but all reliable sources do not indicate which episode or series the actor was nominated for.
|AFI Awards (1986–2010)|
AACTA Awards (2011–present)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Mini Series (1986–1989)
|Simon Chilvers||The Dunera Boys||Col. Berry||N/A||ABC|
|Nicholas Eadie||Vietnam||Phil Goddard||N/A||Network Ten|
|Martyn Sanderson||The Harp in the South||Hughie Darcy||N/A||Network Ten|
|Vichea Ten||In Between||Saret||N/A||SBS|
|John Wood||The Challenge||Alan Bond||N/A||Nine Network|
|Ed Devereaux||True Believers||Ben Chifley||N/A||ABC|
|Simon Chilvers||True Believers||H. V. Evatt||N/A||ABC|
|Shane Connor||Poor Man's Orange||Charlie Rothe||N/A||Network Ten|
|Keith Michell||Captain James Cook||Captain James Cook||N/A||ABC|
|Peter Kowitz||Bodysurfer||David Lang||N/A||ABC|
|Patrick Bergin||Act of Betrayal||Michael McGurk||N/A||ABC|
|John Jarratt||Fields of Fire III||Jacko||N/A||Nine Network|
|John Polson||Barlow & Chambers: A Long Way From Home||Kevin Barlow||N/A||Nine Network|
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Telefeature (1986–1989)
|Peter Kowitz||The Long Way Home||Graham||N/A||ABC|
|Steve Jacobs||A Single Life||Richard Bennett||N/A||ABC|
|Shane Connor||Army Wives||Grant||N/A||Network Ten|
|Ernie Dingo||Tudawali||Robert Tudawali||N/A||SBS|
|Brendan Higgins||Hunger||Michael Radulesco||N/A||ABC|
|Ernie Dingo||A Waltz Through the Hills||Frank Smith||N/A||Nine Network|
|Nicholas Eadie||Fragments of War: The Story of Damien Parer||Damien Parer||N/A||Network Ten|
|John Hargreaves||The Lizard King||N/A||ABC|
|Nick Tate||Olive||Anthony Wheeler||N/A||ABC|
|Bill Hunter||Police State||Graeme Parker||N/A||ABC|
|Bob Baines||Malpractice||Doug Davis||N/A||ABC|
|Gary Sweet||Police Rescue||Sgt. Steve 'Mickey' McClintock||N/A||ABC|
|Max Phipps||Police State||Terry Lewis||N/A||ABC|
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, in a Mini-Series or Telefeature (1990)
|Frankie J. Holden||Police Crop: The Winchester Conspiracy||Det. Con. Max Chapman||N/A||ABC|
|Terry Gill||Police Crop: The Winchester Conspiracy||Det. Sgt. Bill Cullen||N/A||ABC|
|Rhys McConnochie||Come in Spinner||Angus McFarland||N/A||ABC|
|Franco Nero||The Magistrate||Paolo Pizzi||N/A||ABC|
Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama (1991–2002)
|Gary Sweet||Police Rescue||Sgt. Steve "Mickey" McClintock||Series 1, Episode 1: "Mates"||ABC|
|Steve Bastoni||Police Rescue||Yiannis Angelopoulos||Series 1, Episode 2: "Angel After Hours"||ABC|
|Nico Lathouris||Police Rescue||Nicos Angelopoulos||Series 1, Episode 2: "Angel After Hours"||ABC|
|Cameron Nugent||More Winners||CW||N/A||ABC|
|Gary Sweet||Police Rescue||Sgt. Steve "Mickey" McClintock||Series 2, Episode 2: "Off the Track"||ABC|
|Alan Fletcher||Embassy||Michael Clayton||Series 3, Episode 12: "Hostage"||ABC|
|Marshall Napier||Police Rescue||Sgt. Fred "Frog" Catteau||Series 2, Episode 5: "Judgement Day"||ABC|
|Sean Scully||Phoenix||Ian "Goose" Cochrane||Series 1, Episode 10: "Blessed Are the Peacemakers"||ABC|
|Peter Phelps||G.P.||Sam Hill||Series 5, Episode 20: "Exposed"||ABC|
|Jeremy Callaghan||Police Rescue||Const. Brian Morley||Series 3, Episode 10: "Whirlwind"||ABC|
|John Howard||Joh's Jury||Hedley||N/A||ABC|
|Malcolm Kennard||Joh's Jury||Luke||N/A||ABC|
|Aaron Blabey||The Damnation of Harvey McHugh||Harvey McHugh||Episode 1: "Spray Misty for Me"||ABC|
|Hugh Baldwin||Heartbreak High||Graham Brown||Series 1, Episode 14||Network Ten|
|Bradley Byquar||Heartland||Ricky Dyer||Episode 4||ABC|
|Ernie Dingo||Heartland||Vincent Burunga||Episode 7||ABC|
|Peter Kowitz||G.P.||Neil Hatton||Series 6, Episode 8: "Innocent Bystander"||ABC|
|Colin Friels||Halifax f.p.||Kevin Tait||Series 1, Episode 5: "Hard Corps"||Nine Network|
|Steven Vidler||Halifax f.p.||Steve Kingsley||Series 1, Episode 5: "Hard Corps"||Nine Network|
|Steve Bisley||Halifax f.p.||Jonah Cole||Series 1, Episode 3: "The Feeding"||Nine Network|
|Grant Piro||Janus||Cassidy||Series 1, Episode 4: "A Rare Crushing Reversal"||ABC|
|Richard Roxburgh||Halifax f.p.||Sergeant Paul Santos||Series 1, Episode 6: "Lies of the Mind"||Nine Network|
|Tony Martin||Blue Murder||Arthur "Neddy" Smith||N/A||ABC|
|Steve Bastoni||Police Rescue||Yiannis Angelopoulos||Series 5, Episode 8: "Tomorrow Never Knows"||ABC|
|Marton Csokas||G.P.||Mr Paul Deacon||Series 8, Episode 8: "Ceremony of Innocence"||ABC|
|Richard Roxburgh||Blue Murder||Roger Rogerson||N/A||ABC|
|David Wenham||Simone de Beauvoir's Babies||Ian||N/A||ABC|
|Marcus Graham||Good Guys, Bad Guys||Elvis Maginnis||N/A||Nine Network|
|Geoff Morrell||Fallen Angels||Jack Landers||Series 1, Episode 15: "Pig in Shit"||ABC|
|Jeremy Sims||Kangaroo Palace||Jack Gill||N/A||Seven Network|
|Stephen Dillane||Kings in Grass Castles||Patsy||N/A||Seven Network|
|Shane Connor||Halifax f.p.||Ray||Series 3, Episode 3: "Afraid of the Dark"||Nine Network|
|Tony Martin||Wildside||Detective Bill McCoy||N/A †||ABC|
|David Wenham||SeaChange||Daniel Della Bosca||Series 1, Episode 9: "Balls and Friggin' Good Luck"||ABC|
|Jeremy Sims||Aftershocks||John Constable||N/A||SBS|
|John Howard||SeaChange||Bob Jelly||Series 2, Episode 13: "Law and Order"||ABC|
|Samuel Johnson||Wildside||Troy Cunningham||Series 2, Episode 19||ABC|
|David Tredinnick||Halifax f.p.||David Neilson||Series 4, Episode 2: "Swimming with Sharks"||Nine Network|
|Geoff Morrell||Grass Roots||Col Dunkley||Series 1, Episode 8: "The Whole Year"||ABC|
|Tom Long||SeaChange||Angus Kabiri||Series 3, Episode 2: "How Much Greener Was My Neighbour's Valley"||ABC|
|Geoff Morrell||Grass Roots||Col Dunkley||Series 1, Episode 7: "Late July, Friday 4pm to 10.30pm"||ABC|
|Rhys Muldoon||Grass Roots||Greg Dominelli||Series 1, Episode 7: "Late July, Friday 4pm to 10.30pm"||ABC|
|Samuel Johnson||The Secret Life of Us||Evan Wylde||N/A †||Network Ten|
|Nicholas Bell||The Games||Nicholas||N/A †||ABC|
|John Howard||SeaChange||Bob Jelly||N/A †||ABC|
|William McInnes||SeaChange||Max Connors||N/A †||ABC|
|Joel Edgerton||The Secret Life of Us||Will McGill||N/A †||Network Ten|
|Shane Bourne||MDA||Bill "Happy" Henderson||N/A †||ABC|
|Tom Long||Young Lions||Det Snr Constable Guy "Guido" Martin||N/A †||Nine Network|
|Peter O'Brien||White Collar Blue||Detective Joe Hill||N/A †||Network Ten|
Best Performance by an Actor in a Telefeature or Mini Series (2000–2001)
|Andy Anderson||Halifax f.p.||Laurie Downes||Series 5, Episode 1: "A Person of Interest"||Nine Network|
|Simon Baker||Secret Men's Business||Andy Greville||N/A||ABC|
|Nicholas Eadie||Halifax f.p.||Simon Laser||Series 5, Episode 3: "A Hate Worse Than Death"||Nine Network|
|Joel Edgerton||The Secret Life of Us||Will McGill||Series 1||Network Ten|
|David Field||My Husband My Killer||Bill Vandenberg||N/A||Network Ten|
|Simon Lyndon||My Brother Jack||Jack Meredith||N/A||Network Ten|
|William McInnes||My Brother Jack||Mr Meredith||N/A||Network Ten|
|Geoff Morrell||Changi||Dr Rowdy Lawson||N/A||ABC|
Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Television Drama or Comedy (2003–2004)
|Shane Bourne||MDA||Bill "Happy" Henderson||Series 2||ABC|
|Ray Barrett||After the Deluge||Old Cliff Kirby||N/A||Network Ten|
|Geoff Morrell||Grass Roots||Col Dunkley||Series 2||ABC|
|Glenn Robbins||Kath & Kim||Kel Knight||Series 2||ABC|
|Abe Forsythe||Marking Time||Hal Fleming||N/A||ABC|
|Geoff Morrell||Marking Time||Geoff Fleming||N/A||ABC|
|Sam Neil||Jessica||Richard Runche||N/A||Network Ten|
|David Wenham||The Brush-Off||Murray Whelan||N/A||Seven Network|
Best Lead Actor in Television (2005)
|Shane Bourne||MDA||Bill "Happy" Henderson||Series 3||ABC|
|Chris Lilley||We Can Be Heroes: Finding The Australian of the Year||Daniel Sims, Ja'mie King, Pat Mullins, Phil Olivetti and Ricky Wong||N/A||ABC|
|Alex O'Loughlin||The Incredible Journey of Mary Bryant||Will Bryant||N/A||Network Ten|
|Daniel Wyllie||Love My Way||Charlie Jackson||Series 1||Fox8|
Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama (2006–current)
- A^ : From 1958–2010, the awards were held during the year of the films release. However, the 1974–75 awards was held in 1975 for films released in 1974 and 1975, and the first AACTA Awards was held in 2012 for films released in 2011.
- B^ : All sources used in this article do not mention the name of John Hargreaves' character in The Lizard King.
- C^ : The official AACTA website lists Corey McKernan's nomination in 2010 for The Legend of Enyo. However, there are no sources which indicates McKernan's involvement with the aforementioned series, and the original nominations list from the AFI website has him short listed for his performance in Lockie Leonard.
- "AACTA – The Academy". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Archived from the original on 2012-06-24. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "AACTA – The Academy – The Awards". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- "AACTA – The Academy – Background". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 8 September 2013.[dead link]
- "Television categories 1986 - 2009". AFI Award Winners. Australian Film Institute. 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- "Part2: Rule 8.10 (b) – Special Conditions for Television Programs; Award Specific Rules" (PDF). 2013 AACTA Awards Rule Book. Australian Film Institute. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-29. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- "AFI/AACTA Award, Winners and Nominees". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 8 January 2014. (User must click on the appropriate decades to access the winners and nominees of each year.)
- "AFI/AACTA Award, Winners and Nominees - 1986". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- "AACTA – Past Winners – 1970–1979 – 1974–1975". Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA). Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- Bodey, Michael (8 November 2011). "Industry academy announces new awards". The Australian. News Limited (News Corporation). Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- "2010 Samsung Mobile AFI Awards Nominees & Winners". Australian Film Institute (AFI). Archived from the original on 2013-12-16. Retrieved 14 February 2014.