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55 Academy Award Achievements

With the Oscars right around the corner I thought it would be fun to put together an Academy Award list. Because there are so many Oscar lists out there I wanted to do a unique list in a hopefully fun and entertaining format. This bottom to top list (10 to 1 with a bonus of 0) will have the number representing the number of achievements and lists those achievements accordingly. So I guess you could say it’s a list within a list. All accomplishments on this list are prior to the results of the 82nd Academy Awards scheduled for March 7, 2010.


Triple Winners

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Achievement: Ten Oscar Winners that Have Appeared in 3 Oscar Winning Best Picture Films

1. Donald Crisp Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) , The Life of Emile Zola (1937) and How Green Was My Valley (1941)

2. Clark Gable, It Happened One Night (1934) , Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) and Gone With the Wind (1939)

3. John Gielgud Around the World in 80 Days (1956) , Chariots of Fire (1981) and Gandhi (1982)

4. Hugh Griffith, Ben-Hur (1959) , Tom Jones (1963) and Oliver! (1968)

5. Dustin Hoffman, Midnight Cowboy (1969) , Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Rain Man (1988)

6. Diane Keaton The Godfather (1972) , The Godfather Part II (1974) and Annie Hall (1977)

7. Shirley MacLaine, Around the World in 80 Days (1956) , The Apartment (1960) and Terms of Endearment (1983)

8. Meryl Streep, The Deer Hunter (1978) , Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Out of Africa (1985)

9. Morgan Freeman, Driving Miss Daisy (1989) , Unforgiven (1992) , Million Dollar Baby (2004)

10. Jack Nicholson, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) , Terms of Endearment (1983) , The Departed

Interesting Fact: In the film Million Dollar Baby Morgan Freeman was originally approached to play the lead role of Frankie Dunn. But even before Clint Eastwood took on the directing and starring role he decided to take the part of Eddie “Scrap-Iron” Dupris.


Tony and Oscar


Achievement: Nine Actors to Win a Tony Award and an Oscar for the Same Role

1. José Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac (1947/1950)

2. Shirley Booth in Come Back, Little Sheba (1950/1953)

3. Yul Brynner in The King and I (1952/1956)

4. Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (1957/1964)

5. Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker (1960/1962)

6. Paul Scofield in A Man for All Seasons (1962/1966)

7. Jack Albertson in The Subject Was Roses (1965/1968)

8. Joel Grey in Cabaret (1967/1973)

9. Lila Kedrova, and did it the other way around. She won an Oscar for Zorba the Greek, in 1964 and 20 years later won a Tony for the same role in Zorba in 1984.

Interesting Fact: In the film The King and I, three musical numbers were filmed and then deleted from the movie. They were: “My Lord and Master” (a ballad sung by Tuptim shortly after her arrival in the palace) – “Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?” (a soliloquy for Anna, in which she comically expresses her anger towards the King) – “I Have Dreamed” (another duet for Tuptim and Lun Tha) – It was felt that “My Lord and Master” and “I Have Dreamed” didn’t do much to advance the plot, and the number “Shall I Tell You What I Think of You?” would make Anna sound too whiny and nagging.


Posthumous Nomination

Heath Ledger As The Joker The Dark Knight Movie Image1

Achievement: Eight Times Actors Have Been Nominated Posthumously

1. Jeanne Eagels, The Letter (Nominated Best for Actress) 1928/9

2. James Dean, East of Eden (Nominated for Best Actor) 1955

3. James Dean, Giant (Nominated for Best Actor) 1956

4. Spencer Tracy, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Nominated Best Actor) 1967

5. Peter Finch, Network (Won for Best Actor) 1976

6. Ralph Richardson, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan (Nominated for Supporting Actor) 1984

7. Massimo Troisi, Il Postino (Nominated for Best Actor) 1995

8. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight (Won for Supporting Actor) 2008

Interesting Fact: In preparation for his role as The Joker, Heath Ledger hid away in a hotel room for about six weeks. Ledger delved deep into the psychology of the character. Ledger’s interpretation of The Joker’s appearance was primarily based off of the look of punk rocker Sid Vicious combined with the psychotic mannerisms of Malcolm McDowell’s character, Alex De Large, from A Clockwork Orange.


Non-Speaking Roles


Achievement: Seven Oscar Nominations for a Non-Speaking Role

1. Jane Wyman, Johnny Belinda (Won for Best Actress) (1948)

2. Patty Duke, The Miracle Worker (Won for Best Supporting Actress) (1962)

3. John Mills, Ryan’s Daughter (Won for Best Supporting Actor) (1970)

4. Marlee Matlin, Children of A Lesser God (Won for Best Actress) (1986)

5. Holly Hunter The Piano (Won for Best Actress) (1993)

6. Samantha Morton, Sweet and Lowdown (Nominated for Best Supporting Actress) (1999)

7. Rinko Kikuchi, Babel (Nominated for Best Supporting Actress) (2006)

Interesting Fact: In the film The Miracle Worker, for the dining room scene, Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke wore padding beneath their clothes to prevent serious bruising during the intense physical skirmish. The nine-minute sequence required three cameras and took five days to film. You can watch the scene here.


Non-English Roles


Achievement: Six Winning Oscars for Performing in a Spoken Language Other Than English

1. Sophia Loren, Two Women (Italian) 1960

2. Robert DeNiro, The Godfather Part II (Italian) 1974

3. Roberto Benigni, Life Is Beautiful (Italian) 1997

4. Benicio del Toro, Traffic, (Spanish) 2000

5. Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose (French) 2007

6. Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Spanish) 2008

Interesting Fact: With Penelope Cruz winning an Oscar for her role as Maria Elena in the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona it continues a trend of young actresses winning Best Supporting Actress Oscars in Woody Allen films. Previous winners were Mira Sorvino in Mighty Aphrodite (1995) and Dianne Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994) .


Back-To-Back Oscars


Achievement: Five Actors Winning Back to Back Oscars

1. Luise Rainer: Best Actress for The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and Best Actress for The Good Earth (1937)

2. Spencer Tracy: Best Actor for Captains Courageous (1937) and Best Actor for Boys Town (1938)

3. Katharine Hepburn: Best Actress for Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner (1967) and Best Actress for A Lion in Winter (1968)

4. Jason Robards: Best Supporting Actor for All the President’s Men (1976) and Best Supporting Actor for Julia (1977)

5. Tom Hanks: Best Actor, Philadelphia (1993) and Best Actor for Forrest Gump (1994)

Interesting Fact: Not only is Luise Rainer (Pictured above) the first woman to win two Academy Awards and the first person to win them back to back she is also the oldest living Oscar winner. Rainer was born of Jewish parents in Dusseldorf, Germany and made three German movies. Because of the rise of the Nazis in her home country, she accepted a contract from M-G-M in 1935and departed with her parents to Hollywood. She now lives in London and on January 12, 2010 she celebrated her 100th birthday. You can watch a 100 year birthday tribute here.


Female Best Director

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Achievement: Four Woman Nominated for Best Director

I found this hard to believe because there have been so many talented woman directors over the years. No woman has won an Oscar for Best Director and only four have been nominated.

1. Lina Wertmuller for Seven Beauties (1976)

2. Jane Campion for The Piano (1993)

3. Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003)

4. Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2008)

Note: The Hurt Locker was first released theatrically in Italy in 2008. It was then released in the United States in 2009 and will be eligible for the upcoming Academy Awards. So Kathryn Bigelow could be the first woman to win an Oscar for Directing.

Interesting Fact: Lina Wertmüller’s films are highly reflective of her own political commitments, with the main characters either dedicated anarchists, communists, feminists (or all) .


The Big Five

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Achievement: Three films winning for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Writing

In the Biz this is known as “The Big Five” or the “Oscar Grand Slam”.

1. It Happened One Night (1934) Director: Frank Capra Actor: Clark Gable Actress: Claudette Colbert Writing Adaptation: Robert Riskin

2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) Director: Miloš Forman Actor: Jack Nicholson Actress: Louise Fletcher Writing Adapted Screenplay: Laurence Hauben and Bo Goldman

3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Director: Jonathan Demme, Actor: Anthony Hopkins Actress: Jodie Foster, Writing Adapted Screenplay: Ted Tally

Interesting Fact: Clark Gable gave his Oscar for It Happened One Night to a child who admired it, telling him it was the winning of the statue that had mattered, not owning it. The child returned the Oscar to the Gable family after Clark’s death in 1960.




Achievement: Two Directors that Directed Themselves to an Acting Oscar

1. Laurence Olivier, Director of and Best Actor for Hamlet (1948)

2. Roberto Benigni, Director of and Best Actor for Life Is Beautiful (1998)

Neither Olivier or Benigni were awarded the Oscar for Best Director

Interesting Fact: In the film Hamlet, Olivier played the voice of Hamlet’s father’s ghost himself by recording the dialog and playing it back at a reduced speed, giving it a macabre quality. You can hear the voice at 2 minutes and 49 second into this clip.


Four Oscars


Achievement: One Actor Winning 4 Oscars

Katharine Hepburn holds the current record for the most acting Academy Awards won by an individual. The movies are: Morning Glory (1933) Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) The Lion in Winter (1968) On Golden Pond (1981) All 4 Oscars are for best actress. You can see all four of her Oscars here.

Interesting Fact: Another one and only achievement is the only actor to win an Oscar for playing a real-life actor who has received an Oscar. Ironically it is Cate Blanchett for winning Best Supporting actress in the 2004 film The Aviator, in which she played Katharine Hepburn.


Science Fiction


Achievement: Zero Science Fiction Films Winning Best Picture

Sci-fi movies have never been a big favorite for the Academy. District 9 and Avatar are both up for best Picture for this year’s academy awards and a win from one of the two would mark the first best picture Oscar for a science fiction film. There have only been a few nominated science-fiction films for best picture in the past, including A Clockwork Orange (1971) , Star Wars (1977) and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) .

Interesting Fact: There are several legends attributed to the “Oscar” nickname. Betty Davis claimed to have dubbed the statue with the name because its backside reminded her of Harmon Oscar Nelson, her husband. Another story claims the Academy’s first librarian, Margaret Herrick, named the award because it reminded her of her uncle Oscar. Columnist Sidney Skolsky lays claims to making a vaudeville reference when he coined the name in the press. The Academy began officially calling the award Oscar in 1939.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • hunter

    Very interesting. Goo list. The non-English roles impresses me most.

  • hunter

    *good list.

    I hope Avatar doesn’t win. James Cameron is annoying

  • T

    A lot of research must have gone into this list, very well written. Very interesting!

  • suzzi

    Love the bit about clarke gables oscar what a gent

  • CanadianEh

    brilliant list!

  • capt funtime

    wow, awesome. few films to add to the collection

  • Andee

    Cool list! Cant wait for Oscar night to see whether Kathryn Bigelow can snatch the Oscar!

  • Yay! A Blogball list!(my fav list contributor) :)

  • Karl

    Good list!

  • Andee

    And just wanna say that I love Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady – such a good actor.
    And who doesnt love Clark Gable’s movies, the man is a legend!!

  • Davern

    I always have a hard time believing what little appreciation female directors have received until recent times. The same could be said about African American actors and actresses with perhaps the exception of Hattie McDaniel.

  • chingpower

    hugh ledger dwelt too much in joker’s personality that’s why something bad happened to him.


    Very good list–Current and historical and of interest to most list readers–A list OSCCARETTE to Blogball.

  • muzli

    I don’t like Avatar.

  • pdxstargazer82

    i love this list!!

  • Romanov Konstantine


  • El Quijote

    Haha. Hugh Ledger. Apparently delving too deeply into the Joker´s character made him change his name, too.

    Not a big fan of Penelope Cruz´s Oscar for Vicky Cristina. She was much, much better in Volver. One man´s opinion.

  • Josh

    Chingpower don’t be so “all knowing”, there were countless causes attributed to ledger’s death. furthermore i certainly don’t remember the joker ever taking drugs (seems more a scarecrow thing to do..) in the comic books or the dark night.

    Fantastic list though, gave a lot of insight into the oscars.

    Despite the bad publicity the awards receives on blogs following the big night i for one think the academy has a tricky job in keeping everyone happy. Fantastic that a list has been shown of the proud moments of the awards rather than another list showing who has been robbed of awards in thr past. In the end it is just their opinions and if for whatever reason they don’t like a film so be it. I will suggest that Avatar will miss out on the oscar if the Academy follows its traditional approach. Though before the current hosts were decided there was speculation that Sasha Baron Cohen would host it in the appearance of his mainstream characters.

    Perhaps the Academy will change its ways?

  • Good Wolf

    Oh good I hope Avatar doesn’t win. I will be sooooo fucked of if that heap of crap beats district 9!!!

    Looked good, boring as shit, predictable as shit. Bad movie.

  • Good Wolf

    @hunter (2):
    @muzli (14):

    Good to see I’m not the only one. So many people like it, I just don’t get how that can be.

  • flgh

    @hunter (2): You take that back. Cameron’s Terminator, Aliens & T2 are good movies.

  • I may be hated for saying this, but I found District 9 to be even more politically heavy-handed than Avatar, more obvious in what was happening with the plot, and without the ‘pretty to look at’ redeeming feature.

  • @flgh (21): I agree with you mostly, but Terminator was not a good film. T2 was excellent, and Alien definitely is better than Aliens.

  • 7raul7

    … boring-est list …

  • Ny

    epic list! just goes to show that avatar may have no hope at all

  • Emmett Brown

    District 9 was awesome, Avatar was a piece of shit. It did feature cutting edge special effects but unfortunately, you can’t polish shit.

  • indie

    i loved avatar!

  • DoubleT

    all i want from the academy this year is the oscar for christoph waltz (inglourious basterds) in the category best supporting actor. sorry to all heath ledger fans – i include myself among them as well – but waltz’s was the single best acting achievement in this century, chilling, creepy and charismatic as hell. interesting list, btw, congrats!

  • dwanzi

    District 9 was bellow par for me. Avatar was absolutely horrid,I cannot believe it took 15 years to write it. they did not even try to have any sort of interesting storyline to capture the audience. they hoped people would just be distracted by all the special effects and forget that first and foremost films are supposed to tell a story and everything else (SFX) is for support. but by looking at the box office it seemed to have worked out for them, so expect more of the same in the sequels. my vote is for best picture is the hurt locker.

  • lala

    awesome list. well done. loved it.

  • deezer

    brilliant, just brilliant. Blogball, you, dear sir, are one of a kind, as are your lists. Thanks heaps. Will go back and read again. D

  • nicoleredz3

    Blogball, congratulations on a job well done! Most excellent list.

  • oouchan

    Great list, Blogball. Well written and thought out. :)

    With all the hype around Avatar, it will surely win…which is a pity since it’s like Ferngully on steroids. Oh well.
    I also hated Dark Knight. Ledger’s performance is the ONLY thing that was … interesting, shall we say … about that movie. Bale just killed it totally.

  • Cal

    i like this list! well done. =)
    maybe my name will be up there some day.

  • Handrejka

    It’s great to see another list from Blogball, who never disappoints.

  • ames801

    Great list, Blogball. I’m especially interested in the early years of the Oscars. Such class came out of Hollywood. Either that or they were more clever at covering up their indecencies.

  • Tonio

    GO AVATAR!!! That movie rocked and desereves to win. District 9 was boring and shouldnt win

  • CandJ


  • Kris

    I wish you could have added a category of people that have won everytime they were nominated. I think that there are a few of those.

  • damien_karras

    Good list Blogball. I think Oouchan’s assessment of Avatar was spot on. As I mentioned in the forums, I saw the same exact movie back in 1990. It was called ‘Dances With Wolves’.

  • Pure Frustration

    The Academy Awards come around every year and we get 10 lists about movies, the winter olympics come around every 4 years and we don’t get a single list about sports or anything to do with the olympics…

  • Lifeschool

    Hi, – OK, Alright – I’m off to see Avator in half an hour. I’ve heard so much (conflicting opinions) about this thing I have to go see it in 3D. Yeah, I’m under no illusion this will be anything other than a pure FX fest; but then we’ll see.

    Interesting list Blogball. The fact remains that I must see some of these movies. Lets see now, Terms of Endearment – that sounds good, My Fair Lady (still! not seen), Ryans Daughter, and On Golden Pond. That’s enough to keep me going.

  • Lifeschool

    @damien_karras (40): Yeah, there are many movies based on the classic Pocahontas story. I’m still waiting for the Jewish musical version: Polkahuntas.

  • Steph

    what an awesome list!!! I love the oscars, and love reading oscar facts… loved the count down too…. I bet Avatar will win this year!

  • mom424

    Excellent list Blogball. Great job as usual. :)

    For all you naysayers – John Carpenter is awesome. He directed The Thing and Escape from New York and Terminator. This means we cut him slack when he throws out the odd mushy romantic crap (Titanic) or if he recycles the odd plot device (Avatar). Besides I agree with Ziraphin – District 9 was at least as transparent as Avatar.

    @DoubleT (28): I agree. I’ve been raving over Waltz’s performance since I saw the movie. The french dude at the beginning was pretty awesome too. And he didn’t have much dialogue with which to convince us.

  • Scratch

    Hurt Locker is a great movie, it deserves the nomination. I don’t think Roberto Benigni deserved an Oscar for his directing or his acting.

    I just saw Flame and Citron, but I think it’s not recent enough to receive a nomination. Great movie, though.

    @damien_karras (40):

    Your comment reminded of an interview recently where a First Nations critic of the portrayal of First Nations people in film called Avatar “Dances with Wolves in Space.”

  • Jay Poe

    @mom424 (45): You are getting confused with John Carpenter and James Cameron. James Cameron directed Titanic, Terminator, and Avatar. John Carpenter directed The Thing and Escape from New York.

    I also think that nominating 10 movies for best picture now is a stupid idea.

  • paradoxo

    I love this list! Although I would also consider some of the non-speaking winners to be non-english speaking winners since American sign language is still a language…

  • mom424

    @Jay Poe (47): Bwahaha – geez; get old, quit smoking, and all of the sudden senility kicks in. Seriously though, you provoked a light bulb moment – I have confused them for 20 years and only just now found out. :)

    btw – John Carpenter over James Cameron.

    and yes – 10 dilutes the prestige and honour of the award.

  • gabi319

    Oh wow, Blogball! I am extremely impressed by the amount of research that must have gone into writing this! Well done!

  • Scratch

    @mom424 (49):

    Escape from New York is awwwwesooooome.

  • Ouchmaker

    How many comedies have won Oscars?

  • bassbait

    Clockwork Orange
    Star Wars 4,5,6,
    Terminator 2

    tons of easily deserved best pictures that have sci fi, so they never won!

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    When will people realize how bad Avatar is?

  • Chris

    @Ouchmaker (52):

    Depends. Do you mean Best Picture Oscars? I know The Apartment, It Happened One Night, and Annie Hall won Best Picture in their respective years, but that’s only off the top of my head. I’m sure I’m forgetting some…

  • FlameHorse

    You’re the man, blogball.

  • Freshies

    I liked Avatar, but mainly for entertainment purposes. People get all hung up on the art and acting BS, why can’t you just sit back and have a good time watching a crazy visual movie like Avatar? And for science fiction movies, I wanted Jurasic Park to win best picture back in the day, but Schindler’s List…I guess you have to let that movie win.

  • isaac

    Amazing list… Well researched! Mustve taken a long time!

  • DoubleT

    @Freshies (57): i was quite pissed (meaning angry, not drunk) when schindler’s list received all the oscars because that year there had been some particularly awesome films in contention, like in the name of the father, the piano, remains of the day; cmon, even the fugitive had been a far superior movie that year and short cuts didn’t even get nominated. i agree, jurassic park would be a far more deserving film to win than this overlengthy, overpathetic and way overcalculated sobfest. the whole red coat subplot made me furious with spielberg, it was the most obvious and obnoxious fishing for oscar if there ever was one: hey guys look it’s me steven spielberg, i made a picture about holocaust, if you don’t vote for me you’re a frickin’ nazi… ralph fiennes was brilliant, though! :)

  • whoop

    Is Clockwork Orange science fiction?

  • Freshies

    @DoubleT (59):

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks.

  • John Sherman

    Depending how you look at it, one science fiction movie DID win for Best Picture. In 1932 (or was it ’31?) the Best Picture award was shared by The Champ and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (with Fredric March). Most people consider J&K a horror movie, but it WAS science that changed the good doctor.

    And yes, A Clockwork Orange is science fiction. It takes place in the future and that’s enough to qualify it.

  • iknownothing

    Avatar is sure to win an oscar, it was soooo boring I fell asleep half way through it.



  • randomprecision24

    Great list blogball! very interesting and informative.

  • damien_karras

    @John Sherman (62): Not so much that it took place in the future… (as you can have science stagnate along the way for unknown reasons), but because it presented the horrifying fictional ‘Ludovico Technique’.

  • xhibit

    yo dawg, we herd you liek lists. so, we put a list in yo list so you can gain knowledge while you gain knowledge.

  • undaunted warrior

    You can ruffle your feathers on this one well done.

  • Cubone

    Nice job Blogball, Excellent!

  • Glass

    Horror and film noir are two other genres which have never won an Oscar for Best Picture.

  • jrstar96

    There could be a list of people that could be added to number 2- self directing. People that directed themselves, and got the director award but missed the acting. Mel Gibson in the amazing Braveheart, Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby and Unforgiven. I’m sure there are more but those are the only two that jump to mind.

    And avatar sucks.

  • Justin Credible

    They’ll probably give Bigelow the Oscar this year just so everyone can say “finally a woman has won an academy award!”.
    The Oscars is all political… I mean last year Mickey Rourke was clearly robbed by that Sean Penn prick because he played a queer.

  • Blogball

    Thanks for the comments everyone. I really appreciate it. I actually had the idea to do a list in this format a while ago but couldn’t find a vehicle for it. I thought of something like survivors of famous catastrophes 10 down to 1 but it proved to be very difficult. With all of the different categories and combinations in the academy awards I was able to pull it off. I also had to make sure all of these facts were solid because I know there would be many fact checkers out there waiting to comment on any misinformation. (So far so good) And I haven’t given up on the survivor thing yet :-)

  • Chester

    @Blogball (73):

    Usually I don’t like these Oscar lists at all. This one is the only exception. I really learnt something new today. Thank you and kudos.

  • plasmatwa2

    I like the list, but the last entry seems kind of tagged on.

  • ants1

    I’m kinda hoping people have realised that Avatar isnt so great at this point and with the larger spread of oscar voters something else will beat out Avatar in the big catergories.

    Hurt Locker and District 9 were far better films and i think even UP should not be shut out.

  • Irish Guy

    Another fact that could have been included would have been;

    Only one person has won a nobel peace prize and an oscar and that is George Bernard Shaw

  • timefillmyeyes

    That’s really kinda sad that no science fiction movie has ever won an Oscar. There are definitely some older sci-fi movies I would consider deserving of an award. 2001, for example. Unfortunately, I don’t think that District 9 really deserves one. It started out with an interesting concept, but I don’t think it was well executed. I haven’t seen Avatar yet, so I don’t know what to think about that one.

  • Finnish man

    @Glass (70):

    I guess that Silence of the Lambs is the closest we could consider as a horror oscar winner. And it’s strange how even on the golden age of film noir (1940-1958) not any noir movie won an oscar.

    And sorry for my possible bad English, Finnish is so much easier. :D

  • Finnish man

    *wrong smiley, I wasn’t that happy :)

  • Damon

    Marleen Gorris won an Oscar for Antonia … that makes her a woman, a director and an Oscarwinner.

  • Blogball

    @Damon (81):

    Antonia won for Best Foreign Language Film.

    Marleen Gorris accepeted the award but it is considered an award for the submitting country as a whole. Not just for Best Director.

  • Damon

    I know she won it for best foreign film, but that was the only category she could have won in. She still is a female director winning an Oscar. And she accepted it as well.

  • CandJ

    I hope Avatar doesn’t win,James Cameron’s ego is already as big as the Grand Canyon.

  • Blogball

    @Damon (83):

    she didn’t win it the film won it.
    The Oscar does not say Best Director on it.
    Best Foreign Language Film Award is not presented to a specific individual.

  • @Finnish man (79): Silence of the Lambs is more of a Thriller than a Horror, but that is cutting the line very thin. Horror is more visceral and visual, while terror only suggests. Horror is the blood soaked, axe weilding murderer. Terror is the creak of a door you were sure you locked.

  • Damon

    Who made the film though????

  • Blogball

    @Damon (87):

    The Producer/s

  • Damon

    YEAH right! The producers made the the script and directed the film. Let me guess, you’re from the US?

  • nuriko

    great list :)

  • Maggot

    @Damon (89): Give it up, man. The film won the award, not the director. Argue semantics all you want, but you can’t change the fact.

    Refer to Rule 14, Section IV, Item D:

    “The Academy Statuette (Oscar) will be awarded to the motion picture and accepted by the director on behalf of the picture’s creative talents.”

    I suggest you just put your tail between your legs, accept that you’ve been schooled, and move on before you start looking even more pathetic.

  • Damon

    Yeah, the film won the award. But who is generally seen as a representative of that film? Not an actor or producer.
    The rulebook will be on your side no doubt, but it’s kinda sad that you have to refer to it ….
    It’s just an argument ….

  • Davern

    Give it up Damon. If Inglorious Basterds should take home best picture this year it won’t be writer/director Quentin Tarantino who collects the award at the podium but instead producer Lawrence Bender. This is how it’s been for nearly 60 years. And Blogball made it extremely clear that the list was specifically referring to the Oscar for Best Director. Let me guess, you’re from the Netherlands?

  • Chunkfied

    That was interesting.

  • Blogball

    @Maggot (91): @Davern (93):

    Thanks guys, I was running out of patience.

  • Maggot

    @Damon (92): @Damon (92): The rulebook will be on your side no doubt, but it’s kinda sad that you have to refer to it

    It’s better than talking out of my ass like you’re doing. Sadly, I might add.

    It’s just an argument

    One in which you lost.

  • DoubleT

    @Damon (89): “YEAH right! The producers made the the script and directed the film.”
    damon, you don’t realize you’re contradicting yourself within one same sentence? if you consider best foreign a director’s award, then really what about “the the script” cuz it’s rare, albeit not unusal, that the director and the screenwriter are the same person. and then there’s the cinematographer who is also credited among authors of the film. director, screenwriter and cinematographers are the authors of the film so if we follow your logic she might be a winner of one third of the oscar, the head and the neck part, i presume. :) but then there’s also cast and crew and finally there are the producers who the film actually belongs to and therefore it’s their film and their oscar, from head to toe, sword included. then you also go to say “I know she won it for best foreign film, but that was the only category she could have won in.” not true. she could have won in the category best directing if the academy members had chosen to nominate her. but they didn’t. and thus she’s not the first academy award winning female director. end of story.

  • demirah

    good list u should put peter o`toole as bonus
    good list

  • demirah

    for most nominated and not winnig an oscar

  • clara

    i dont know if anyone else has mentioned this but, jack nicholson didn’t win an oscar for his role in the departed, he wasn’t even nominated. he did win for “as good as it gets” in 1998, tho.

  • clara

    okay, also morgan freeman has only won 1 oscar. the one for million dollar baby. he was nominated for driving miss daisy but, didnt win. he wasn’t nominated for unforgiven altho, you could argue that he could have been. Also, clark gable only won one oscar for “it happened one night”. he was nominated for mutiny on the bounty (lost to mclagen), and for gone with the wind but, he didnt win either of those. and lastly, Meryl streep didn’t win an oscar for “out of africa” altho, she was nominated for it, same with the deer hunter, nominated but, didn’t win. she didn win for sophie’s choice, and kramer vs. kramer making her a two-time oscar winner. these are the only ones that i knew were wrong and looked it up but, i have a feeling that a lot of this list, though well put together aren’t factually accurate and should probably be taken down for some editing. at least the parts about jack nicholson, meryl streep, clark gable, and morgan freeman.

  • Blogball

    @clara (100):
    The criteria was Oscar winners just a appearing in 3 best picture films.

  • clara

    sorry, i wrote a part of that slightly wrong. meryl streep did win for sophie’s choice. i accidently put an “n” there.

  • fajita

    @chingpower (12): man i miss that hugh ledger

  • Rowena

    Cool list, but could have done with a bit more punctuation.

  • ChevalierDupin

    Wonderful list! I never knew most of these things!!!

  • MayoGalway

    @62 It was cocaine that brought out the demon in Robt. L Stevenson’s Dr J and Mr H. Cocaine, the magic therapeutic drug of the late 19th C. RLS must have seen the dark side.

  • periwinkleskies

    I love this list as well as the format.

    I researched some of the movies here though because I wasn’t born yet when these were filmed.


  • unca

    Once again Blogball invents a whole new and entertaining twist on the world of lists. I love stuff like this.

  • silvernano


  • Lifeschool

    Avatar reflections:
    So, I went to see this yesterday. This flick has been running for a few months now and there was still many people sitting to watch it, even at 4:30 in the afternoon. The first thing that struck me was the 3D, which seemed far better than the 3D in Beowulf and the latest Harry Potter movie – i.e awesome but not in-yer-face – beowulf has things flying out at the audience, but Avatar isn’t that kind of movie. After you get over the fact that you can see around curved objects and through holograms, the 3D actually blends in a bit and I found I didn’t notice it after a while; which I think stands to the movies credit.

    I went to see this for the graphics; which I have to say are the best I have ever seen! (to date, of course). I especially thought the night scenes with the glowing foliage and floaty alien creatures was spellbinding!

    About half way through the movie I ‘woke up from the waking dream’. The moment I looked at the movie subjectively was the moment several jarring elements came into view; the cringingly twee natives, the gut-wrenching eco sub plot, the alpha-male cast, the overly long and dawn out love story, the limbo sequences where nothing seems to be going on, and the usual ‘guy made good saves the whole world with his bare hands against impossable odds’ kinda thing. Even the talk of a universal lifeforce energy field – something I usually applaud – was sickeningly niminy-piminy vomit fodder.

    Pulling back from all that – back into the world of detachment, I watched and enjoyed the rest of the movie. Once again, the graphics and live action blended far better than expected, and are quite breathtaking in places. At certain points I remember thinking that this technique was probably the only way to visualise some of the technology and high art of the landscape. You can certainly SEE where all the money went!

    At the end of the day, would I make a bee-line for this on 3D HD DVD, vis-a-vi buying it?? Yes I would, but only for the visuals, not the plot!! Overall: 7 out of 10.

    @Scratch (46): Flame and Citron – I’ve had that for a while now and I believe it’s brilliant, I must give this a spin sometime.

    @Maggot (91): Well sourced! I credit your research and information, …although not necessarily your advice. :D

  • DoubleT

    @Lifeschool (111):
    Yours is the best review of avatar i’ve read anywhere and god knows everybody had something to write on the subject (that’s getting quite old and sickening at times, no?). all i have to say on the matter is the world would be a bit sadder place to live in without jim cameron, i hope he’ll continue bedazzling us for many more decades. anywayses, congrats to lifeschool again for the “impossably” well written and endearingly honest review!

  • Blogball

    Lifeschool, I noticed you changed your avatar when I was reading your review for Avatar. How Ironic.

    I agree with Double T that was extremely well written.

  • Liz

    Re: Actors winning Oscars while not performing in English…didn’t Meryl Streep win for Sophie’s Choice? She was speaking Polish for part of that movie, right?

  • Avatar doesn’t deserve to be the first Sci-Fi to win best picture, it’s a piece of shit.

  • myself_

    good list, but you forgot all about braveheart, which won the grand slam and was directed by mel gibson (best actor winner for braveheart)

  • Blogball

    @myself_ (116):

    Braveheart won only 2 of the 5 needed for a grand slam

  • sportster

    Lord of the Rings won…I’d say that is Science Fiction. Sure its Fantasy, but Fantasy is just a subsect of SciFi

  • Maggot

    @Blogball (117): Lol, it’s child’s play, eh Blogball? I guess these people did not read your comment (73). No one but no one is going to catch you in an error, my friend…

  • Blogball

    @Maggot (119):
    Thanks Maggot and thanks again for that great link to the Rules for the Best Foreign Language Film Award in post 91. That was like a Perry Mason moment. Damon was then removed from the courtroom screaming “It’s sad you have to refer to it, It’s Sad You have to refer to it ”

  • Springs

    Oh look at that, i thought it would be 55 academy award achievements with quite a diverse range. But once again, it’s all abot ACTORS!!!

    Far out it ain’t hard to act, what a joke of a list.

  • Scratch

    @Lifeschool (111):

    Yeah, it’s a great movie, I thought the actor playing Citron did a particularly memorable job.

  • Echoes

    Cate Blanchett isn’t the first or only person to win an Oscar for playing a real life actor/actress. Martin Landau as Béla Lugosi in Ed Wood won him Best Supporting Actor.

  • archangel

    It’s actually really hard to act Springs… anyways very fantastic list!

  • loop

    Walter Brennan

  • divxmerkezi

    film indirme

    very thanks

  • DoubleT

    @Echoes (123):
    Yes, but bela lugosi never won an oscar so blogball is spot on yet again: cate blanchett absolutely IS the only actor who won an oscar by portraying another oscar winner.

  • Jordybear

    The format of this list is just fantastic! Congratulations on putting a *very* interesting twist on what had the potential to be an otherwise stale list! Kudos Blogball, if I were part of the academy I would award you a pointless gold statue for your contribution to Listverse!!!

  • Stefan

    @oouchan (33): i agree, the dark night was pretty bad…

    but heath ledgers role was breathtaking, i could watch it just for his character :)

  • Springs

    archangel, if it’s really hard to act, then tell me why 8 year old kids can win an oscar. It may be hard to act in 100 stage shows night after night on the road, but in a film where if you mess up there is always another take after… anyone can do it.

  • mena

    I’m glad you mentioned those who won in a non english movie. 2 of my most favorite movies are in it. Le Vie en Rose and Life is Beautiful. Marion Cottilard and Roberto Benigni are magnificent artists. :)

  • Maggot

    @Springs (130): if it’s really hard to act, then tell me why 8 year old kids can win an oscar…anyone can do it.

    Get back to us after YOU win one.

  • Springs

    Who says I haven’t Maggot? Exactly you cannot know…

    And I said anyone can act, not anyone can win an oscar, you have to be willing to et naked on film for that, actresses anyway…

  • Maggot

    @Springs (133): Who says I haven’t Maggot? Exactly you cannot know

    I know. You going to prove me wrong? Exactly…

    And I said anyone can act, not anyone can win an oscar

    You inferred it. Quite trying to back down now, chump.

  • Springs

    ‘I know. You going to prove me wrong? Exactly…’

    How am I supposed to prove you wrong? Any Oscar winner can come on here and all they can do is give their name, and then nobody will believe them. I’m Arthur Schmidt for all you know.

    ‘You inferred it. Quite trying to back down now, chump.’

    I didn’t infer anything, you just misunderstood.

  • Maggot

    @Springs (135): How am I supposed to prove you wrong?…I’m Arthur Schmidt for all you know.

    I know that if you were a true actor (much less an Oscar winner), you wouldn’t be disrespecting the craft as you are doing.

    I didn’t infer anything, you just misunderstood.

    Whatever man. You trolled out some bs trying to disparage the acting profession and I called you on it. Quit mincing words now. Ok, how’s this: I agree with you – anyone can “act”. But not everyone can act well. Feel better now?

  • Springs

    Maggot, this is a recent article from digital spy about Anthony Hopkins:

    Anthony Hopkins has said that acting is easy, according to reports.

    The veteran actor, who stars in new horror film The Wolfman, also claimed that American performers “didn’t try to do too much” in the past.

    Hopkins told Parade: “It’s very easy. If you’d asked John Wayne he’d have probably said, ‘Well, you just go to Monument Valley and get on a horse’. Acting is very, very simple.

    “That’s the trick great American actors have had. John Wayne didn’t have to act, he just rode in. Gary Cooper, all those guys were smart. They didn’t try to do too much.”

    The 72-year-old added that he thinks that young actors are “very insecure” and offered some advice for up-and-coming stars.

    “I say just get up and do it. Don’t do all this preparation. Don’t waste time worrying about it, looking over your shoulder.

    “But when you’re a young actor it’s not easy to do that because you always want to analyse because you’re very insecure. If I could revisit my past, I would say to myself, ‘Don’t think too much, just get out there and do it’.”

    And also Arthur Schidt isn’t an actor, but he is an oscar winner. And yes, I agree that not everyone can act well, but I have a different view on acting than others. See Heath Ledger’s performance in the Dark Knight, yes it was good, but it was noticed because of the psychopathic role. Try and act like the Joker in that film, easy to do the voice (just a strange american accent), easy to do the mannerisms, easy to think like a psychopath. Now try Gary Oldman’s character Gordon, the voice is much harder to get right, and it is much harder to think like a normal person, only a completely different normal person.

    Oldman is a brilliant actor, probably the best around, and is not recognised. I cannot act like him as i cannot do as many voices. Now take Sean Penn, 2 time oscar winner. In Mystic River his character had lost a daughter, very easy to imagine how one would act, especially for fathers. In Milk he played a homosexual, but would he have won if playing a heterosexual Harvey Milk? Probably not. The Oscars seem to recognise the actors who are willing to put out, as in, an actress is more likely to win as being nude on camera is seen as doing anything for the character or the film.

    Now take the well-known Hollywood actors and compare them with other talented actors. Robin Williams has brilliant improvisational skills probably unmatched on this planet, so much he can change in and out of characters in a matter of seconds. Jim Carrey’s rapid fire comedic talents are also almost unmatched. But both seem only to be recognised for dramatic roles (Robin Williams’ oscar was helped greatly by a brilliantly-written script).

    The actors on Whose Line is it Anyway? are some of the funniest and most talented actors I have seen, yet they are hardly well known. Voice actors on cartoons are also brilliant as until you read the credits you would think all the characters are different people. Only a handful of people can do these voices, but anyone can act.

    I also understand that some performances are far superior to others, for example, Johnny Depp’s performance is superior to Orlando Blooms in Pirates of the Caribbean. But if you are willing to suspend your disbelief a little, and look past the acting, you will find that maybe that’s exactly how Bloom’s character acts like, and is intended to act like, in the Pirates world.

    If you have a different opinion that’s fine mate, but I stick by that if they are willing, anyone can act, and if they put their mind to it, anyone can act well, savvy?

  • Maggot

    @Springs (137): Your position is much better articulated now and I accept your opinion on it. At first, you just seemed to be trolling. I would just add to or quantify the statements like: “performers didn’t try to do too much” or “John Wayne didn’t have to act, he just rode in. Gary Cooper, all those guys were smart. They didn’t try to do too much.” etc. Perhaps these guys do not have to “try hard” because it simply comes naturally to them. From their perspective, maybe they aren’t “trying”. Some of it of course is charisma and screen/stage presence (Wayne is a good example), things that can’t be taught or practiced. I mean when Wayne was onscreen with other support actors, his presence commands the scene. Is that because of his lead role, or because he’s “better” than the others? It’s kind of a rhetorical question because it’s subjective, but it’s also a cart-before-the-horse type of situation in that he got the lead roles because of his abilities, not the other way around. OTOH, if I were to say Wayne commands the scenes he shared with Jimmie Stewart in Liberty Valance, well that’s more likely a by-product of the nature of their respective roles in that film. But with all those guys – Cooper, Wayne, etc., sure there’s probably an element of them being on auto-pilot later in their careers, more riding on their past reputations rather than really getting into a role, as compared to earlier performances when they were “trying harder” to perfect their craft.

    And as you mentioned, this Hopkins interview was recent, coming from a veteran with tons of experience now, and he’s maybe coming across as a bit jaded. Rightfully so perhaps (I’m a big Hopkins fan), and that’s not to say his opinion is not valid. But if you think just any ol’ person can step into a Hopkins role and out-perform him (or even equally perform him), you’re crazy. We are still only talking about a select few here. Not “anyone”. Anyone can paint a picture or take a photograph too, but those with award winning and/or more importantly critically acclaimed talent probably aren’t “trying as hard” as the average Joe in their fields either. So we can agree to disagree that (IMO) acting is an art form that relatively few do well. Well I think you agree on the “few do it well” part.

  • springsno9

    Alright then, this is still Springs, now I see we have to be logged in to make a comment I created a new account.

    Anyway Maggot thank you for understanding my opinion. And I have to admit I must change my stance as well. I should not have said anyone can act, because they can’t. I was just annoyed that in a list titled ’55 Academy Award Achievements’ it was entirely filled with actors. I do think that acting is hard to do right, I do not think it is an art form (just as I do not think abstract art, like an upside-down toilet, is an artform), I think cinematography, editing, special effects, make-up, costuming and especially direction are all just as hard and require just as talented individuals.
    I also get quite annoyed with actors seemingly being the ultimate celebrity and taking themselves as seriously as to think they are more qualified to comment on moral and social issues than other people. To think they are respected more than doctors and scientists is disgusting. But also to think how much crap they have to put up with in the media is also disgusting.
    Yes acting is a hard job, not so much with the reading lines and creating characters, for me that is about as hard as make-believe in the backyard when you are 5 (although I see how some people bawk at it), but the 10-12 hour days would be the hardest part, sometimes longer.
    But that still is not as much as other film professions, editors and special effects artists sometimes have to work upwards of 20 hour days to meet a deadline. Actors usually do not spend much time on set (most supporting roles would probably take less than a month), while directors would spend over a year or more. Actors also rarely contribute to the storyline, actors who do (De Niro often worked like this with Scorcese) should be given more credit. For example, William Hurt was nominated for an Oscar in A History of Violence for a ten minute role. This would have taken less than a day to shoot.

    With Anthony Hopkins, yes I think it must be because it comes naturally to him, I don’t think anyone could play Lector as well. But with John Wayne, how often did he not have his distinctive accent, or distinctive walk.
    A good example of a good, hard-working actor is Daniel Day-Lewis. Now I respect him not for his roles, but because he also works as a carpenter in italy. In his films he takes ‘the method’ to the brink, staying in character for the whole shoot and often harming himself because of this. But on the surface, it doesn’t mean much. I would say if he didn’t stay in character the entire shoot there would not be a difference onscreen, for me he does that for nothing except to add to his own experience of being someone else.
    Tropic Thunder was a great movie commenting on these types of actors and how they can take themselves too seriously sometimes.

    And one more thingI might add, i wish critics would stop criticising novices acting abilities. Usually they are just know-all moviegoers, but when I hear ‘I could not watch that movie because of the terrible acting by the teenagers’ or whatever, it sickens me. Just suspend your disbelief for a moment and get in to the story you won’t even notice the acting. As far as I’m concerned, actors only need to make their character seem real, as in they could exist in real life, they don’t have to create such a complex, five-dimensional character out of nothing. As for me, there are certain actors I can’t suspend my disbelief with, making them seem fake, these are Cate Blanchett and Leo DiCaprio, two very acclaimed actors but whenever I see them they ruin the movie for me.

    And just to prove you can act without killing yourself with ten years or whatever of acting classes:
    Elijah Wood, Anna Paquin, Abigail Breslin, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Shirley Temple, Beyonce, Dwayne Johnson, Matthew Johns, Sharlto Copley,etc etec
    What you need most as an actor is a lucky break, if you get that, then it doesn’t really matter if you’re talented enough or not.

  • Maggot

    @springsno9 (139): Alright then, this is still Springs, now I see we have to be logged in to make a comment I created a new account.

    If you want to go back to being “Springs”, check out my comment 65 over in the Peace Corps list.

    I was just annoyed that in a list titled ‘55 Academy Award Achievements’ it was entirely filled with actors…I think cinematography, editing, special effects, make-up, costuming and especially direction are all just as hard and require just as talented individuals.

    I don’t disagree, but “acting achievements” apparently was blogball’s vision for this list (a pretty cool list, I thought). Now you’re entering into the territory of – you should submit your own list then, to share those achievements that interest you. Most of us are always open to new information or a different take on things. You ought to try it (submitting a list), it can be fun, but you have to be kind of thick-skinned too, because no matter what, someone out there is not going to like it, and will let you know in no uncertain terms. Hehe

    I also get quite annoyed with actors seemingly being the ultimate celebrity and taking themselves as seriously as to think they are more qualified to comment on moral and social issues than other people.

    Agreed, that bugs me too. The same can be said of athletes (some of them).

    I do think that acting is hard to do right, I do not think it is an art form (just as I do not think abstract art, like an upside-down toilet, is an artform)

    The works of Van Gogh, Monet, etc. – artform
    Upside-down toilet – not an artform

    De Niro, Brando, Olivier – artists
    Paulie Shore – uh, not so much…

  • Maggot

    Ugh, my html link to “comment 65” didn’t work…that was an experiment.

  • springsno9

    Eh, I don’t know about submitting a list. If I did it probably would not be about academy award acievements that do not involve actors.

    Maybe you have it a bit different where you come from, but in Australia our athletes don’t tend to speak out in protest about political or moral issues, although the media scutiny on them is overwhelming.

  • Dupoint Max

    Jamie Foxx is another actor to win an Oscar for playing a real-life actor.

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  • hack

    Kathryn Bigelow won for best Director. Just so you know.

  • Entertaining list.

  • Donne

    Meryl Streep only won her 3rd oscar this year for Iron Lady. Just Saying.