2013 Oscars: Get to know the best actor nominees

Published 1712 GMT (0112 HKT) February 20, 2013
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Soon after guest starring on a 1999 episode of HBO's "Sex and the City," Bradley Cooper appeared in films such as 2001's "Wet Hot American Summer," 2005's "Wedding Crashers" and 2006's "Failure to Launch." "Alias" fans might recognize him as Will Tippin, one of Sydney Bristow's (Jennifer Garner) best friends on the ABC series. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Cooper hit A-list status after starring in 2009's "The Hangover." The actor, 38, pictured here at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards, earned the title of People's Sexiest Man Alive in 2011. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Cooper's role as Pat in "Silver Linings Playbook" earned him his first Oscar nomination. He'll soon appear in "The Hangover Part III" and "Serena," along with his "Playbook" co-star Jennifer Lawrence. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Joaquin Phoenix, who used to go by the name Leaf, has been acting for more than 30 years. Phoenix, pictured here at an event in New York City in 2000, gained critical acclaim for his role as Commodus in "Gladiator" that same year. He received an Oscar nod for best supporting actor, but lost the statue to Benicio del Toro ("Traffic"). Keith Bedford/ImageDirect
The actor, 38, shown here in his "I'm Still Here" phase attending a screening of "Two Lovers" in 2009, earned his second Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Johnny Cash in 2005's "Walk the Line." Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Phoenix is nominated for best actor once again for his role in Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master." Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Denzel Washington's latest role as Whip Whitaker in "Flight" earned the two-time Academy Award winner his sixth Oscar nod to date. Washington, pictured with his wife Paulette in 1999, has been acting since the mid-1970s. JIM RUYMEN/AFP/Getty Images
Washington is shown here at the 2004 premiere of "The Manchurian Candidate." He's best known for films such as "Malcolm X," "American Gangster," "Training Day" and "Man on Fire." Kevin Winter/Getty Images
The 58-year-old Washington will next appear in Baltasar Kormakur's drama "2 Guns." Kevin Winter/Getty Images
"Lincoln" marks Daniel Day-Lewis' fifth Academy Award nomination. The actor, who has won the Oscar for best actor twice before ("My Left Foot" in 1989 and "There Will Be Blood" in 2007) is pictured here at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards. Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
Day-Lewis, 55, is known for his method acting. Shown here at the 2008 Academy Awards, the actor has starred in film such as "The Last of the Mohicans," "The Crucible" and "Gangs of New York." Vince Bucci/Getty Images
Prior to his role in "Lincoln," Day-Lewis appeared as Guido Contini in Rob Marshall's "Nine," which hit theaters in 2009. EDUARDO DIEGUEZ/AFP/Getty Images
Hugh Jackman is known for playing Wolverine in the "X-Men" franchise. The actor, pictured here at the 1999 Noosa Flim Festival, has played the comic book character in movies spanning 13 years, beginning with 2000's "X-Men." Patrick Riviere/Getty Images
Jackman, 44, shown here at the "Australia" premiere in 2008, has also appeared in films such as "Kate & Leopold," "The Prestige" and "Real Steel." Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The actor earned his first Oscar nod thanks to his role as Jean Valjean in "Les Misérables." ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images