Oscar Favorites: 10 Best Supporting Actress Winners

Throughout the month of February (leading up to the 86th Academy Awards!), I’ll be looking back at my favorite Oscar winners from 5 big categories: Best Supporting Actress and Actor, Best Actor and Actress, and Best Picture.

This weekend I’ll be posting my favorite wins for Best Supporting Actress and Actor. What I love about these two categories is that (at least in past decades) the Academy reaches out to less “Oscar-worthy” films and picks out great supporting performances.

In chronological order, my 10 favorite Best Supporting Actress winners!

Hattie McDaniel

Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind (1939)

Hattie McDaniel as Mammy in Gone with the Wind
Competition: Olivia de Havilland for Gone with the Wind; Geraldine Fitzgerald for Wuthering Heights; Edna May Oliver for Drums Along the Mohawk; Maria Ouspenskaya for Love Affair
Other Nominations: N/A

Teresa Wright

Teresa Wright in Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Teresa Wright as Carol Beldon in Mrs. Miniver
Competition: Gladys Cooper for Now, Voyager; Agnes Moorehead for The Magnificent Ambersons; Susan Peters for Random Harvest; Dame May Whitty for Mrs. Miniver
Other Nominations: The Little Foxes; The Pride of the Yankees (Best Actress in a Leading Role)

Eva Marie Saint

Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront (1954)

Eva Marie Saint as Edie Doyle in On the Waterfront
Competition: Nina Foch for Executive Suite; Katy Jurado for Broken Lance; Jan Sterling for The High and the Mighty; Claire Trevor for The High and the Mighty
Other Nominations: N/A

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno in West Side Story (1961)

Rita Moreno as Anita in West Side Story
Competition: Fay Bainter for The Children’s Hour; Judy Garland for Judgment at Nuremberg; Lotte Lenya for The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone; Una Merkel for Summer and Smoke
Other Nominations: N/A; but she’s an EGOT winner!

Ruth Gordon

Ruth Gordon in Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Ruth Gordon as Minnie Castevet in Rosemary’s Baby
Competition: Lynn Carlin for Faces; Sondra Locke for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter; Kay Medford for Funny Girl; Estelle Parsons for Rachel, Rachel
Other Nominations: A Double Life (Best Writing, Original Screenplay); Adam’s Rib (Best Writing, Story and Screenplay); Pat and Mike (Best Writing, Story and Screenplay); Inside Daisy Clover

Cloris Leachman

Cloris Leachman in The Last Picture Show (1971)

Cloris Leachman as Ruth Popper in The Last Picture Show
Competition: Ellen Burstyn for The Last Picture Show; Barbara Harris for Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?; Margaret Leighton for The Go-Between; Ann-Margret for Carnal Knowledge
Other Nominations: N/A

Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon (1973)

Tatum O’Neal as Addie Loggins in Paper Moon
Competition: Linda Blair for The Exorcist; Candy Clark for American Graffiti; Madeline Kahn for Paper Moon; Sylvia Sidney for Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams
Other Nominations: N/A

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Meryl Streep as Joanna Kramer for Kramer vs. Kramer
Competition: Jane Alexander for Kramer vs. Kramer; Barbara Barrie for Breaking Away; Candice Bergen for Starting Over; Mariel Hemingway for Manhattan
Other Nominations: Since she’s much more known for her leading roles, I’ll just mark the ones in which she was nominated for supporting, the rest are for lead!
The Deer Hunter (Best Actress in a Supporting Role); The French Lieutenant’s WomanSophie’s Choice (WON); SilkwoodOut of AfricaIronweedEvil AngelsPostcards from the EdgeThe Bridges of Madison CountyOne True ThingMusic of the HeartAdaptation. (Best Actress in a Supporting Role); The Devil Wears PradaDoubtJulie & JuliaThe Iron Lady (WON); August: Osage County (to be determined)

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago (2002)

Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago
Competition: Kathy Bates for About Schmidt; Meryl Streep for Adaptation.; Queen Latifah for Chicago; Julianne Moore for The Hours
Other Nominations: N/A

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett in The Aviator (2004)

Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator
Competition: Natalie Portman for Closer; Sophie Okonedo for Hotel Rwanda; Laura Linney for Kinsey; Virginia Madsen for Sideways
Other Nominations: Again, I’m only marking the ones in which she was nominated for supporting, the rest are for lead!
Elizabeth; Notes on a Scandal (Best Actress in a Supporting Role); I’m Not There. (Best Actress in a Supporting Role); Elizabeth: The Golden Age; Blue Jasmine (to be determined)

Am I missing any good winners? Who are your favorite Best Supporting Actress winners in Oscar history?

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