Ten years ago tomorrow, the bad cop / good cop drama Training Day debuted in theaters. It was a relatively inauspicious debut (for our purposes) in that, though the film was an instant hit, Oscar fanatics weren't really breathlessly awaiting its debut like it was a 'prestige picture' per se. The film surprised and wound up with two nominations for its leading actors, one in lead (Denzel Washington) and one in supporting (Ethan Hawke) because that's how Oscar do.
All it took was a couple of awesome soundbites and a sense that Denzel Washington was peaking as a movie star with that loss for Malcolm X still a regularly discussed Academy embarrassment and *BOOM* Julia Roberts was all
I love my life!"
.... and it was Oscar Number Two for Denzel!
Were you watching?
King Kong ain't got shit on him.
Oscar #2 let Denzel into the slim ranks of actors with two competitive gold men. Here's the complete list in the order it occurred (because I like to make things difficult for myself).
- Luise Rainer (The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth 1936-1937)
- Bette Davis (Dangerous and Jezebel 1935-1938)
- Walter Brennan (Come and Get It and Kentucky 1936-1938) *
- Spencer Tracy (Captains Courageous and Boys Town 1937-1938)
- Fredric March (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Best Years of Our Lives 1931/32-1946)
- Olivia deHavilland (To Each His Own and The Heiress 1946-1949)
- Vivien Leigh (Gone With the Wind and Streetcar Named Desire 1939-1951)
- Gary Cooper (Sergeant York and High Noon 1941-1952)
- Anthony Quinn (Viva Zapata! and Lust for Life 1952-1956)
- Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight and Anastasia 1944-1956) *
- Peter Ustinov (Spartacus and Topkapi 1960-1964)
- Shelley Winters (Diary of Anne Frank and A Patch of Blue 1959-1965)
- Elizabeth Taylor (BUtterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf 1960-1966)
- Katharine Hepburn (Morning Glory and Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? 1932/33-1967) *
- Helen Hayes (The Sin of Madelon Claudet and Airport 1931/32 -1970)
- Marlon Brando (On the Waterfront and The Godfather 1954-1972)
- Glenda Jackson (Women in Love and A Touch of Class 1970-1973)
- Jack Lemmon (Mister Roberts and Save the Tiger 1955-1973)
- Jason Robards (All the President's Men and Julia 1976-1977)
- Jane Fonda (Klute and Coming Home 1971-1978)
- Maggie Smith (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and California Suite 1969-1978)
- Melvyn Douglas (Hud and Being There 1963-1979)
- Robert DeNiro (The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull 1974-1980)
- Meryl Streep (Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice 1979-1982)
- Jack Nicholson (One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Terms of Endearment 1975-1983) *
- Sally Field (Norma Rae and Places in the Heart 1979-1984)
- Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs. Kramer and Rainman 1979-1988)
- Jodie Foster (The Accused and Silence of the Lambs 1988-1991)
- Gene Hackman (The French Connection and Unforgiven 1971-1992)
- Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters and Bullets Over Broadway 1986-1994)
- Jessica Lange (Tootsie and Blue Sky 1982-1994)
- Tom Hanks (Philadelphia and Forrest Gump 1993-1994)
- Michael Caine (Hannah and Her Sisters and Cider House Rules 1986-1999)
- Kevin Spacey (Usual Suspects and American Beauty 1995-1999)
- Denzel Washington (Glory and Training Day 1989-2001)
- Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby 1999-2004)
- Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood 1989-2007)
- Sean Penn (Mystic River and Milk 2003-2008)
* They won again after this for a total of 3 Oscars (except Hepburn the all time leader with 4 competitive acting wins)
The thing I find most interesting about seeing them all together like this is that it instantly reveals that if someone is going to win a second Oscar it usually happens quickly after the first... 3 to 6 years being common. (which immediately makes you wonder about people by the name of Helen Mirren, Marion Cotillard, Javier Bardem and Kate Winslet). The list also shows us that the late 1930s were just brutal for actresses whose names weren't Bette or Luise, that the 1970s were the most friendly towards previous winners and that 1938 and 1994 are strange anomalies, years in which three of the four Oscar winners had already won gold. It's only so long before we have a year with all four since there's a first time for everything.
Only four people have ever won more than two acting Oscars and the last to join the club was Jack Nicholson in 1997 for As Good As It Gets. The universe assumes that Meryl Streep will be the fifth, but will she? Quite a few two-timers are still working.
Answer Me These Questions Three
- Which three double winners did you find most deserving of both?
- Which three would you immediately remove if you had a time machine?
- Who do you think is joining the two-timer ranks next?