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Christoph Waltz and Quentin Tarantino make Oscars history with 'Django Unchained' wins

By Daniel Boneschansker
Feb 27 2013 19:09 pm

Both of the Oscars wins for "Django Unchained" --  Christoph Waltz (Best Supporting Actor) and Quentin Tarantino (Best Original Screenplay) -- are history making. 

Waltz, who claimed this same award three years ago for "Inglorious Basterds," his first collaboration with Tarantino, is the seventh actor to win more than once in this category, following:

  • Walter Brennan: "Come and Get It" (1936), "Kentucky" (1938), "The Westerner" (1940);
  • Anthony Quinn: "Viva Zapata!" (1952), "Lust for Life" (1956);
  • Peter Ustinov: "Spartacus" (1960), "Topkapi" (1964);
  • Jason Robards: "All the President's Men" (1976), "Julia" (1977);
  • Melvyn Douglas: "Hud" (1963), "Being There" (1979); and
  • Michael Caine: "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986), "The Cider House Rules" (1999).

Waltz is only the second performer to win the Oscar without a corresponding SAG nomination. Marcia Gay Harden pulled off this feat with her Best Supporting Actress win for "Pollock" in 2000. Waltz's SAG snub is attributabe to a botched campaign early on in the season -- Waltz was submitted in lead and SAG voters did not get DVD screeners. 

Waltz also joins an exclusive list of winners who batted a thousand, winning both their bids:

  • Luise Rainer: Best Actress, "The Great Ziegfeld" (1936); Best Actress, "The Good Earth" (1937);
  • Vivien Leigh: Best Actress, "Gone with the Wind" (1939); Best Actress, "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951);
  • Helen Hayes: Best Actress, "The Sin of Madelon Claudet" (1931); Best Supporting Actress, "Airport" (1970); 
  • Kevin Spacey: Best Supporting Actor, "The Usual Suspects" (1995); Best Actor, "American Beauty" (1999); and 
  • Hilary Swank: Best Actress, "Boys Don't Cry" (1999); Best Actress, "Million Dollar Baby" (2004).

Sally Field had been on this list for her two Best Actress wins -- "Norma Rae" (1979) and "Places in the Heart" (1984) -- but lost her third nomination this year -- Best Supporting Actress for "Lincoln" -- to Anne Hathaway ("Les Misérables"). 

Rainer was the only German-speaking performer with multiple acting Oscars. Waltz is now the first male actor to pull off this accomplishment, and is also the only double-winner from Austria.

Tarantino, who prevailed in this same race in 1994 for "Pulp Fiction," becomes only the fifth person to win multiple Oscars in the Best Original Screenplay category, following:

  • Charles Brackett: "Sunset Boulevard" (1950), "Titanic" (1953);
  • Billy Wilder: "Sunset Boulevard" (1950), "The Apartment" (1960);
  • Paddy Chayefsky: "The Hospital" (1971), "Network" (1976);
  • Woody Allen: "Annie Hall" (1977), "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986), "Midnight in Paris" (2011).

With Tarantino having directed both of Waltz's Oscar-winning performances, many have wondered how often director-actor pairings have reaped multiple wins.  So far, only three other collaborations have done so:

  • Walter Brennan and William Wyler: Best Supporting Actor, "Come and Get It" (1936) [co-directed with Howard Hawks]; Best Supporting Actor, "The Westerner" (1942);
  • Dianne Wiest and Woody Allen: Best Supporting Actress, "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986); Best Supporting Actress, "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994); and 
  • Jack Nicholson and James L. Brooks: Best Supporting Actor, "Terms of Endearment" (1983); Best Actor, "As Good as It Gets" (1997).

As to why their collaboration with each other has been so successful, Waltz says, "Quentin writes poetry, and I like poetry."

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