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92 Days til Oscar. Some Living Trivia For Ya! 

Did you know the earliest Oscar year which boasts 20 acting nominees who are still with us is 1992? It's the 25th anniversary of that year and that's the furthest back in time you can go from which all the acting nominees are still walking this earth. With the very noticeable exception of long retired Gene Hackman (no one has been able to convince him to come back to the movies -- and directors have tried!) most of them are still working, too. The lesson is simple: cherish your favorite actors while they're with us because no one lasts forever... except through their art!

The nominees that year were:

Downey Jr
Husbands & Wives
Crying Game
Passion Fish
Enchanted April
Love Field
Crying Game
Howards End
A Few Good Men
Lorenzo's Oil
Scent of a...
Howards End
Malcolm X
My Cousin Vinny
Mr Saturday Night


If you'd like a breakdown of the earliest years for the individual categories, it won't surprise you to hear two things. First, that we're offering that list since we're trivia overachievers here at TFE . Second, those categories line up exactly like average age statistics for those races i.e. lead Actress skews youngest, then Supporting Actress, then Actor, and in last place is Supporting Actor because that's the category that's most frequently enamored of veterans. Those details are after the jump...

Just for fun we'll also list which member of each of these lineups are "closest to" the possible lineups this year... even if that distance is miles away.

Earliest Best Actress Race Where All Women Are Still With Us

Julie Christie, McCabe & Mrs Miller
Jane Fonda, Klute ★
Glenda Jackson, Sunday Bloody Sunday
Vanessa Redgrave, Mary Queen of Scots
Janet Suzman, Nicholas and Alexandra

Closest to this year's race: We'll never know how close Jane Fonda was to an eighth nomination two years back for Youth (2015) -- I think close -- but this year the only one of these five who is anywhere near golden statues is Vanessa Redgrave since she has a cameo as Annette Bening's mom in Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool about the last year in the life of Supporting Actress Oscar winner Gloria Grahame.

Earliest Best Supporting Actress Race Where all the Women Are Still Us

Ronee Blakley, Nashville
Lee Grant, Shampoo ★
Sylvia Miles, Farewell My Lovely
Lily Tomlin, Nashville
Brenda Vaccaro, Once is Not Enough

Closest to this year's race: Most of these actresses are retired so it'd have to be Lily Tomlin who is still a regular awards show presence.

Earliest Best Actor Race Where All the Men Are Still With Us

Michael Caine, Educating Rita
Tom Conti, Reuben Reuben
Tom Courtenay, The Dresser
Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies ★
Albert Finney, The Dresser

Closest to this year's race: by association only that'd be Michael Caine who is a regular in Christopher Nolan's work. You can hear him on the radio (uncredited) in Best Picture hopeful Dunkirk though he is nowhere to be seen. 

Earliest Best Supporting Actor Race Where All the Men Are Still With Us

Bruce Davison, Longtime Companion
Andy Garcia, The Godfather Part III
Graham Greene, Dances With Wolves
Al Pacino, Dick Tracy
Joe Pesci, Goodfellas ★

Closest to this year's race: Graham Greene is in Wind River, this summer's sleeper hit which has disassociated itself from the Weinstein Company, and is fighting for some awards traction. But if there's a surprise 'get' from an indigenous actor this year it would probably be for Gil Birmingham who has a richer part in that same film. 


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Reader Comments (51)

Have you ever done a list of your favorite actress winners from a particular decade ranked?

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

In my opinion, the strongest traction will come next year, when Joe Pesci will be in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman, with fellow mafia legends Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel, in addition to Bobby Cannavale and Ray Romano.

A side note: Back in 2016, after a 25-year break, Glenda Jackson returned to acting, playing King Lear himself on the London stage. Now she will be in Albee's Three Tall Women, alongside Laurie Metcalf, on Broadway. From an interview I read, it would take a truly magnificent role to lure her back to film, but here's to hoping!

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Marcos, I agree on Pesci and Pacino in "The Irishman" but I understand it'll be released in 2019.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Looking back it's absolutely insane to me that Pacino didn't win until Scent of a Woman.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTr

Jaye Davidson is basically retired, too, yes? So not just Hackman from 1992.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

Dan H -- hence the word choice "most of them" the ones i knew about were mostly working still.

TR -- and it's still insane to me that he DID win for that ;) Denzel was *RIGHT THERE*

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Should have been Thompson / Washington / Davis / Hackman. Richardson if she had been nominated for The Crying Game.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBillyBob

@Joe: The imdb lists The Irishman as 2018. Whatever... :)

@TR: Pacino's first 5 nominations, during his stellar period, were all in very strong years in his category. And he often crossed paths with the other giants of the time: Jack Nicholson, Jack Lemmon and Dustin Hoffman, with the ensuing split in the votes.

1972: Supporting Actor for The Godfather. There were 2 other actors from The Godfather, and there was nothing they could do against Joel Grey mesmerizing performance!
1973: Actor for Serpico. He must have split votes with Nicholson and Brando. Jack Lemmon won that battle.
1974: Actor for The Godfather Part II. The split here must have been with Hoffman and Nicholson, and the Oscar ended up on Art Carney's lap. Shades of 1950, when Bette Davis, Gloria Swanson and Anne Baxter also split the vote and Judy Hollyday was the winner.
1975: Actor for Dog Day Afternoon. Forget about a split. Who could beat Jack Nicholson?
1979: Actor for ... and Justice for All (not a very strong contender). Add Jack Lemmon and Roy Scheider to the mix, and you end up with Dustin Hoffman holding the statuette!

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

@BillyBob: much as I love Richardson, her Irish accent in The Crying Game was excruciating (not as bad as Forest Whitaker's Cockney, admittedly). She was far too much in TCG, while she was absolutely devastating in Damage. Having said that I'd still put Davis above her (and then Tomei can win for In The Bedroom instead).

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterScott

La Fonda is technically Oscar eligible for OUR SOULS AT NIGHT! :)

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Carden

I know I know I know I know Judy Davis I know...

But nothing makes me happier than seeing Marisa Tomei holding an Oscar.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Mike in Canada: And for her to prove again and again that she does, in fact, deserve to be an "Oscar winner" with IN THE BEDROOM, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD, THE WRESTLER, etc. (But I do hope Davis gets one somehow for a late career juicy role.)

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDan O

Isn't Brenda Vaccaro dead?

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Davis won an Emmy for The Starter Wife, but that was a while ago.

My friend and I watched She-Devil last night (it's awful!!) and Sylvia Miles is Meryl Streep's mom! I was pleasantly surprised to read that she is still among us.

Does anyone else find that 1990 Supporting Actor lineup to be .... Odd?

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

Pete - lol, no. I met her for the first time just two years ago. she's still working.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It would be really interesting to study the most unusual or unknown Oscar nominees - a Tuesday top 10 maybe? I had no idea who Brenda Vaccaro was until today!

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMorgan

That 1971 Best Actress lineup is legendary.

The season's big nailbiter for me is whether Pfeiffer can score a Globe nomination (like Fonda in Youth). Two cases of category fraud (Mara, Vikander) and two much bigger films (The Hateful Eight, Spotlight) boxed Fonda out of the Oscar lineup.

I don't see 2017 prospects from huge Best Picture contenders OR entering the race with leading roles. So if Pfeiffer can get on the board early, she may actually have a shot at a nomination.

Imagine a BSA lineup that's Janney-Metcalf-Hunter-Pfeiffer-??? It'd be one of my favorite groups of actresses ever.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

Is that Susan Sarandon in the "nomination" box at the end by accident? Instead of Ronee Blakely?

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan Lynch

Hayden- your BSA line up is sublime!

I hated that Oscar for Pacino. Ugh. One of his most hammy performances.

Also, Tomei deserved that win. Her performance still holds up.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I can watch marisa tomei play Mona Lisa Vito all day long!

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Pacino is one of my favorite actors. The fact that he won for that dud always give me all the bad feels. And he's just not good in that--it's his only bad performance.

Jane was so immense in Youth. They shoot Oscar voters, don't they?

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

"Is that Susan Sarandon in the "nomination" box at the end by accident? Instead of Ronee Blakely?"

Brendan: yes. She was there accompanying her nominated then-husband, Chris Sarandon.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTom Q

They shoot Oscar voters, don't they? LOL (I still giggle that SATC titled one of its earlier—and best—episodes, They Shoot Single People, Don't They?)

Al Pacino should've won for Dog Day Afternoon, there's absolutely no question in my mind. His winning in '92 portended hammier things in movies to follow, but at least his TV movies (generally) have been saving graces for his earlier gifts. (Incidentally, Brenda Vaccaro, who's an Emmy *and* Golden Globe winner, co-starred with him in You Don't Jack a few back. She was marvelous in Midnight Cowboy, by the way.)

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I remember vividly 1992 was the year they really lamented the lack of good roles for women to consider for best actress nominees (which reached it's peak in 1994) but that's not the case anymore!

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJack

Yeah but no Stone,they nominated Deneuve to keep her out just like Cotillard over Aniston in 2014 Lange over Cher in 1995 and Keaton over Love in 1996

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

When was there a Lange over Cher in 1995?

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan Lynch

This was the first Oscars I reordered and watched obsessively!

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Lewis

<p>Pacino is one of my favorite actors. The fact that he won for that dud always give me all the bad feels. And he's just not good in that--it's his only bad performance.</p>

Scroll up a bit and you'll see a much worse Oscar nominated performance of his. At least he didn't win for that.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

Pacino should have won Leading for both The Godfather I and II. He's sublime, specially in Part II, when Kay tells him her secret. He's better than Brando in Part I, too. And I'd give him a third Oscar for Dog Day Afternoon. And maybe a fourth for Carlito's Way. A fifth for Heat is not out of question.

That said, his win fof Scent of a Woman is the worst travesty ever in Best Actor.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Scott, as a proud Mayo boy I must respectfully disagree.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBillyBob

Although I concede I don't have much of an ear for Northern dialects.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBillyBob

Mareko, I wrote a play that borrowed from that title, so it will always be dear to me! One of the best episodes of "Designing Women" was called "They Shoot Fat Women, Don't They?"

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

Judy Davis should have had an Oscar by now. It's SAD.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDg

somebody greenlight a film for the '72 actress line-up where they're waiting out WW2 in a rundown seaside mansion somewhere; maybe judi dench and maggie smith turn up and create havoc?

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Brenda Vaccaro is still alive. She just turned 78 yo.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

somebody greenlight a film for the '72 actress line-up where four british actresses are waiting out the war in a rundown seaside mansion somewhere and a sassy american turns up and unleashes long simmering resentments...

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

oops, confused the submit button submit with edit... just combine those scenarios

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

@Morgan: Whenever Brenda Vaccaro is mentioned I think of Susan Tyrrell. Talk about unusual Oscar nominees! She was nominated in 1972 for a heart-wenching performance in John Huston's depressing film Fat City, alongside Stacey Keach and Jeff Bridges, who was hot on the heals of The Last Picture Show.
Another unusual nominees worth looking into is Jeannie Berlin, nominated for The Hearbreak Kid (1972), competing against Susan Tyrrell!

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

I wonder if The Crying Game would have even more appreciation now than when it was released in 1992. Is Jaye Davidson's Dil ahead of her time? I hope Davidson comes back to film. In the same way that I wish Victoire Thivisol makes more films. She's unforgettable (and thoroughly believable) in Ponette.

I also think that Judy Davis should have won in Husbands and Wives and in the rarely-discussed Hightide -- man, she's untouchable in that film. And also wish Miranda Richardson is used more in substantial movies. Same with Jodhi May.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

Owl, THE CRYING GAME would likely be torn apart for placing Dil in the centre of a queer panic storyline and so on. Rightly or wrongly (I say wrongly), I've seen people dismiss the film as just a gimmick of its time that would play as offensive today. Sigh. Glad to hear you speak up for HIGH TIDE, though. I saw it on the big screen recently and my gosh it's hard for actors to feel like revelations at that stage, but she truly did just keep getting better and better, didn't she?

Kinda funny that the actress categories are older than the actor's categories. Because they typically reward younger women. I reckon if Lily Tomlin had a meaty SUPPORTING role (so not GRANDMA) she'd be fighting for a win. People love her and is usually pretty high on lists of shoulda wons because of NASHVILLE.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

To this day I’m still surprised there wasn’t a sequel to My Cousin Vinny??? It was a critical and box office smash right?

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I miss Joe Pesci's leading man period. Best part of the early 90s sincerely.

December 2, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Pacino would have been my No 2 for GF2... Finney is my winner. That's one of the greatest lineups ever. Carney, who is my No 5, is still wonderful.

Mareko, I adore SCTV! Lola Heatherton!

Jessica Lange should have bee nominated for Losing Isaiah in 95. So fucking moving.

December 3, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Scott - are you British? Miranda Richardson's Northern Irish (there's a big difference) was perfect in The Crying Game, while to these ears Whitaker's accent was almost perfect...

December 3, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

The young Jane Fonda would have been as critical with Hillary (and the Democrats) as Susan Sarandon is now.

December 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLady Liberty

@Lady Liberty - Jane Fonda would have been smart enough to realize that the alternative was too dangerous to even risk.

December 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Lily Tomlin absolutely should have won for Nashville. One of my favorite performances of all time, and it was her first film role.

December 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Kermit_the_frog: I'm British, with Northern Irish family, and yep, I find both accents terrible. Miranda's is too much - as an actress she can go too far unless reined in, and this is one of those cases - while Forest Whitaker's is just dreadful. During his "Scorpion and the frog" monologue it reaches Van Dyke proportions: "WOI did ya STING me MISTAH SCOR-PI-ON luvvaduck cockernee knees up Muvva Braaaaaaaan."

December 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Scott - I'll defer to you on Miranda's accent - having worked in Northern Ireland for many years, I didn't find it offensive. Broad maybe, though regional accents almost always are in films and on TV.

I understand that people would be annoyed by Whitaker's accent - again, really broad (though sometimes people in life do have broad accents!) yet his did have a few iffy vowel sounds.

I guess that I reserve my wrath for the TRULY TERRIBLE accents - Chloe Sevigny in Mr Nice and Elisabeth Moss in Top Of The Lake both spring to mind... if the accent is going to drift wildly, please remove all script references to the character never leaving the UK/New Zealand!

December 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterkermit_the_frog

Emma Thompson's Best Actress win I think is my favourite ever Best Actress win. Right now it is anyway. It moves around my top 3.

Hayden, imagine Janney-Metcalf-Hunter-Pfeiffer-Cicley Tyson.... I. Would. Die.

December 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJB

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