Since 1928, the Oscars have taken place, with global acclaim waiting for recipients in every category. For many, the most important awards are for Best Film, Best Actor or Supporting Actor and Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress as these often influence the future viewing of what can be a fickle audience. Recipients of the actor or actress awards at the Oscar can have far-reaching consequences for future salaries and quality of roles and these awards are coveted like none other as even a successful nomination by the Academy can change their careers.
Most Successful Actors
At the time of writing, the most successful actor in the history of the Oscars is a tie with Jack Nicholson and Walter Brennan, both winning three individual Academy Awards. Jack Nicholson will be familiar to most, winning two Best Actor Academy Awards and a Best supporting Actor Oscar to date. He has been nominated a staggering 12 times to date. Several actors who have won two awards, with Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando, Tom Hanks, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Sean Penn among the recipients but perhaps conspicuous by their absence are actors such as Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, who have arguably contributed more to the film industry and certainly to the box office.
Most Successful Actresses
The actress with the most Oscars to date is Katherine Hepburn with four. Meryl Streep has the most nominations with a grand total of 14 for Best Actress and three for best Supporting Actress. Meryl Streep and Ingrid Bergman have also won three Academy Awards.
However, there are frequently individuals nominated several times but ultimately unsuccessful when it comes to the final vote. Glenn Close had six nominations without a win, as did Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter. Peter O’Toole had eight nominations and ultimately failed to win anything. It should also be noted that actors in horror or comedy genres rarely achieve a win (or even a nomination). As a result, comedy greats such as Chevy Chase, John Candy or Dan Ackroyd never achieved an Oscar
because selected films are chosen according to certain criteria such as historical or artistic merit.
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