Oscars cliffhanger: Does Best Picture champ have to win an acting award first?

La La Land” ingenue Emma Stone has been in the lead for Best Actress at the Oscars since she prevailed at the SAG Awards. But what if “Jackie” leading lady Natalie Portman or Golden Globe champ Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”) pulls off an upset? Does that torpedo the Best Picture hopes of “La La Land”?

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Not so fast.

While 52 of the 88 Best Picture champs to date include an Oscar-winning performance, 36 of them (41%) did not win any acting awards. And among those three dozen winners are four of the seven films — “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “Argo” (2012), “Birdman” (2015) and “Spotlight” (2016) — decided by preferential ballot under the newly expanded slate of Best Picture nominees.

Surprisingly, an even dozen of the Best Picture winners did not even reap any acting nominations. That is welcome news for “Arrival,” which does not number an acting bid among its eight nominations. However, four of those films that were snubbed by the actors branch date back to the first years of the Oscars, prior to the introduction of the supporting acting categories at the 9th awards in 1936.

Below, a breakdown of the Best Picture winners that went without a performance prize by number of acting nominations.

Experts predict ‘La La Land’ will sweep BAFTA Awards on way to Oscars

Five acting nominations (1 film)
1963: “Tom Jones” (Actor: Albert Finney; Supporting Actor: Hugh Griffiths; Supporting Actress: Diane Cilento, Edith Evans, Joyce Redman)

Four acting nominations (1 film)
1976: “Rocky” (Actor: Sylvester Stallone; Actress: Talia Shire; Supporting Actor: Burgess Meredith, Burt Young)

Three acting nominations (6 films)
2014: “Birdman” (Actor: Michael Keaton; Supporting Actor: Edward Norton; Supporting Actress: Emma Stone)
1990: “Dances with Wolves” (Actor: Kevin Costner; Supporting Actor: Graham Greene; Supporting Actress: Mary McDonnell)
1969: “Midnight Cowboy” (Actor: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight; Supporting Actress: Sylvia Miles)
1960: “The Apartment” (Actor: Jack Lemmon; Actress: Shirley MacLaine; Supporting Actor: Jack Kruschen)
1940: “Rebecca” (Actor: Laurence Olivier; Actress: Joan Fontaine; Supporting Actress: Judith Anderson)
1935: “Mutiny on the Bounty” (Actor: Clark Gable, Charles Laughton, Franchot Tone)

UPDATED: Oscar Experts predict winners in all 24 categories

Two acting nominations (10 films) 
2015: “Spotlight” (Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo; Supporting Actress: Rachel McAdams)
1998: “Titanic” (Actress: Kate Winslet; Supporting Actress: Gloria Stuart)
1993: “Schindler’s List” (Actor: Liam Neeson; Supporting Actor: Ralph Fiennes)
1986: “Platoon” (Supporting Actor: Tom Berenger, Willem Defoe)
1985: “Out of Africa” (Actress: Meryl Streep; Supporting Actor, Klaus Maria Brandauer)
1968: “Oliver!” (Actor: Ron Moody; Supporting Actor: Jack Wild)
1965: “The Sound of Music” (Actress: Julie Andrews; Supporting Actress: Peggy Wood)
1962: “Lawrence of Arabia” (Actor: Peter O’Toole; Supporting Actor: Omar Sharif)
1943: “Casablanca” (Actor: Humphrey Bogart; Supporting Actor: Claude Rains)
1930/31: “Cimarron” (Actor: Richard Dix; Actress: Irene Dunne)

Oscars: Every Best Picture Winner in Academy History (Photo Gallery)

One acting nomination (8 films)
2012: “Argo” (Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin)
2009: “The Hurt Locker” (Actor: Jeremy Renner)
2006: “The Departed” (Supporting Actor: Mark Wahlberg)
2005: “Crash” (Supporting Actor: Matt Dillon)
1981: “Chariots of Fire” (Supporting Actor: Ian Holm)
1973: “The Sting” (Actor: Robert Redford)
1938: “You Can’t Take It With You” (Supporting Actress: Spring Byington)
1928/29: “The Broadway Melody” (Actress: Bessie Love)

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Zero acting nominations (12 films)
2008: “Slumdog Millionaire”
2003: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
1995: “Braveheart”
1987: “The Last Emperor”
1958: “Gigi”
1956: “Around the World in 80 Days”
1952: “The Greatest Show on Earth”
1951: “An American in Paris”
1932/33: “Calvacade”
1931/32: “Grand Hotel”
1929/30: All Quiet on the Western Front”
1927/28: “Wings”

Predict the Oscar winners now; change them till February 26

Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

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