The Golden Globes have given separate awards for dramas and musicals/comedies since the 1950s, and as illustrated by Best Drama Picture and Best Musical/Comedy Picture, it’s harder for a comedy to win Oscar than it is for a drama. But it’s even harder for musical and comedy actors.
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In the last 64 years, 49 Golden Globe winners for Best Actor went on to win Oscar, but only eight of those were musical or comedy actors. And that’s only if you count George Burns (“The Sunshine Boys”), who won the Globe for Best Musical/Comedy Actor but then won Oscar in the supporting race. The eight men are as follows:
1964: Rex Harrison, “My Fair Lady”
1965: Lee Marvin, “Cat Ballou”
1974: Art Carney, “Harry and Tonto”
1975: George Burns, “The Sunshine Boys”
1977: Richard Dreyfuss, “The Goodbye Girl”
1997: Jack Nicholson, “As Good as it Gets”
2004: Jamie Foxx, “Ray”
2011: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
As you can see from the above list, musical and comedy actors were more popular with the academy in the 1960s and 1970s, when five Musical/Comedy Actor winners at the Globes repeated at the Oscars over a 14-year period. But in the past 36 years, the categories have matched only three times.
These days, it can be difficult for Musical/Comedy Actor contenders to even be nominated by the academy. In the past 10 years, only nine Globe nominees in the category earned Oscar nominations – a mere 18% overlap.
It seems like this year’s contenders for Best Musical/Comedy Actor have their work cut out for them when it comes to the Oscars, but if anyone can buck the trend this year, it might be Michael Keaton in “Birdman.” It would be the second Globe nomination for Keaton, who previously earned a bid for the TV movie “Live from Baghdad” in 2002.
He’ll have to get past Bill Murray (“St. Vincent“), who won Best Musical/Comedy Actor for “Lost in Translation” in 2003 and then earned a corresponding Oscar bid. Joaquin Phoenix (“Inherent Vice“) also received an Oscar nomination after winning this category for “Walk the Line” in 2005.
Colin Firth (“Magic in the Moonlight“) won Globe and Oscar for his dramatic performance in “The King’s Speech” in 2010, but he has yet to be nominated for a comic role. Ralph Fiennes (“The Grand Budapest Hotel“) is another possible contender. He’s a four-time Globe-nominee who is also looking for his first recognition for comedy.
Tony-winner James Corden (“Into the Woods“) is seeking his first nomination, as are Chadwick Boseman (“Get On Up“), Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy“), Jon Favreau (“Chef“), Chris Rock (“Top Five“), and Mark Ruffalo (“Begin Again“).
Who do you think will win? Will it line up with Oscar? Use our drag-and-drop menu below to predict Best Musical/Comedy Actor: