The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role while working within the film industry. The award is traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Supporting Actress winner. At the 9th Academy Awards ceremony held in 1937, Walter Brennan was the first winner of this award for his role in ''Come and Get It''. Initially, winners in both supporting acting categories were awarded plaques instead of statuettes. Beginning with the 16th ceremony held in 1944, however, winners received full-sized statuettes. Currently, nominees are determined by single transferable vote within the actors branch of AMPAS; winners are selected by a plurality vote from the entire eligible voting members of the Academy. Since its inception, the award has been given to 75 actors. Brennan has received the most awards in this category with three awards. Brennan, Jeff Bridges, Robert Duvall, Arthur Kennedy, Jack Nicholson, Claude Rains, and Al Pacino were nominated on four occasions, more than any other actor. As of the 2020 ceremony, Brad Pitt is the most recent winner in this category for his performance as Cliff Booth in ''Once Upon a Time in Hollywood''.

Winners and nominees

In the following table, the years are listed as per Academy convention, and generally correspond to the year of film release in Los Angeles County; the ceremonies are always held the following year.


won for his performance in ''The Life of Emile Zola'' (1937).]]


won for his performance in ''Johnny Eager'' (1942).|alt=Black-and-white studio publicity photo of Van Heflin before 1964.]] won for his performance in ''Miracle on 34th Street'' (1947).]]


won twice for his roles in ''Viva Zapata!'' (1952) and ''Lust for Life'' (1956).]]


won twice for his roles in ''Spartacus (film)|Spartacus'' (1960) and ''Topkapi'' (1964).|alt=Photo of Peter Ustinov in 1973.]] won for ''The Fortune Cookie'' (1966).]]


won for his performance in ''The Sunshine Boys (1975 film)|The Sunshine Boys'' (1975).|alt=Photo of George Burns in 1987.]] won two consecutive awards for his roles in ''All the President's Men (film)|All the President's Men'' (1976) and ''Julia'' (1977).|alt=Black-and-white publicity photo of Jason Robards in 1975.]]


won for ''Terms of Endearment'' (1983).|alt=Black-and-white press photo of Jack Nicholson in 1976.]] won for his performance in ''Glory (1989 film)|Glory'' (1989).|alt=Photo of Denzel Washington at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2000.]]


won for ''The Usual Suspects'' (1995)]]


won for ''Traffic (2000 film)|Traffic'' (2000).|alt=Photo of Benicio del Toro at the ''Guardians of the Galaxy'' premiere in 2014.]] won for ''Million Dollar Baby'' (2004).|alt=Photo of Morgan Freeman at the Deauville Film Festival in 2018]] won for ''The Dark Knight (film)|The Dark Knight'' (2008), becoming both the first actor to win in this category posthumously and the first win for portraying a comic book character.|alt=Photo of Heath Ledger at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2006.]]


thumb|120px|File:Sam_Rockwell_(8279227257).jpg.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Sam Rockwell">File:Sam Rockwell (8279227257).jpg">thumb|120px|[[Sam Rockwell won for ''[[Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'' (2017)


Multiple wins and nominations

The following individuals received two or more Best Supporting Actor awards: The following individuals received three or more Best Supporting Actor nominations:

Multiple character nominations

;2 nominations * Max Corkle ** [[James Gleason]] in ''[[Here Comes Mr. Jordan]]'' ** [[Jack Warden]] in ''[[Heaven Can Wait (1978 film)|Heaven Can Wait]]''

Multiple nominations from the same film

* Harry Carey and Claude Rains in ''Mr. Smith Goes to Washington'' (1939) * Leo Genn and Peter Ustinov in ''Quo Vadis'' (1951) * Brandon deWilde and Jack Palance in ''Shane'' (1953) * Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, and Rod Steiger in ''On the Waterfront'' (1954) * Arthur Kennedy and Russ Tamblyn in ''Peyton Place'' (1957) * Arthur O'Connell and George C. Scott in ''Anatomy of a Murder'' (1959) * Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott in ''The Hustler'' (1961) * Gene Hackman and Michael J. Pollard in ''Bonnie and Clyde'' (1967) * Jeff Bridges and Ben Johnson (winner) in ''The Last Picture Show'' (1971) * James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Al Pacino in ''The Godfather'' (1972) * Robert De Niro (winner), Michael V. Gazzo, and Lee Strasberg in ''The Godfather Part II'' (1974) * Burgess Meredith and Burt Young in ''Rocky'' (1976) * Jason Robards (winner) and Maximilian Schell in ''Julia'' (1977) * Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton (winner) in ''Ordinary People'' (1980) * John Lithgow and Jack Nicholson (winner) in ''Terms of Endearment'' (1983) * Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe in ''Platoon'' (1986) * Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley in ''Bugsy'' (1991) * Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell (winner) in ''Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'' (2017) * Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in ''The Irishman'' (2019) * Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield in ''Judas and the Black Messiah'' (2021)

Age superlatives

See also

* All Academy Award acting nominees * List of awards for supporting actor


:A: George C. Scott refused his nomination.



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External links

(official Academy website)
The Academy Awards Database
(official website)
(official ceremony promotional website) {{DEFAULTSORT:Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Category:Academy Awards Category:Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winners Category:Film awards for supporting actor