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Will Robert Redford be first to win Oscars for BOTH acting and directing?

By Chris Beachum
By Chris Beachum
Nov 11 2013 14:25 pm
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Robert Redford is poised to make Oscars history by becoming the first person to win for both directing and acting. He won Best Director back in 1980 for helming the Best Picture champ "Ordinary People." And now he is tipped to take home Best Actor for his solo turn in J.C. Chandor's "All is Lost."

Among our Experts, Redford just edged ahead of Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave") by a score of 12 to 9. Another two Experts expect Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club") to win. And they predict that two-time champ Tom Hanks ("Captain Phillips") and one-time supporting nominee Bruce Dern ("Nebraska") will round out the race. (Vote for who you think will win Best Actor at the bottom of this post using our easy drag-and-drop menu.)

In his new film, Redford portrays an unnamed man who faces his own mortality at sea. He commands the screen from start to finish with a role that provides him with virtually no spoken words. A silent performance can certainly win an Academy Award, as seen with Jean Dujardin in "The Artist" just two years ago.

While Redford began his long film career in 1962 with "War Hunt," he has contended at the Oscars as an actor only once. He lost that 1973 Best Actor bid for "The Sting" to Jack Lemmon ("Save the Tiger") though his film won the big prize. His formidable acting resume includes appearances in 1985 Best Picture winner "Out of Africa" as well as two other contenders --  "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) and "All the President's Men" (1976) -- plus "The Way We Were," "The Electric Horseman" and "The Natural."

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After winning that Oscar for his first film as a director, he contended again in 1994 for helming Best Picture nominee "Quiz Show." He lost to Robert Zemeckis, whose film, "Forrest Gump," also won Best Picture. 

As detailed below, fourteen men have earned acting and directing Oscar nominations; five have won on the acting side and six, including Redford, have won for directing. Three unlucky fellows -- including the maker of one of the most celebrated films in history -- have lost on both sides of the camera.  

Lionel Barrymore - Best Actor winner ("A Free Soul," 1931); Best Director nominee ("Madame X," 1929)

Orson Welles - Best Actor nominee and Best Director nominee ("Citizen Kane," 1941)

Laurence Olivier - Best Actor winner and Best Director nominee ("Hamlet," 1948)

John Huston - Best Director winner ("The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948); Best Director nominee ("The Asphalt Jungle," 1950; "The African Queen," 1951; "Moulin Rouge," 1952; "Prizzi's Honor," 1985); Best Supporting Actor nominee ("The Cardinal," 1963)

John Cassavetes - Best Supporting Actor nominee ("The Dirty Dozen," 1968); Best Director nominee ("A Woman Under the Influence," 1974)

Woody Allen - Best Director winner ("Annie Hall," 1977); Best Director nominee ("Interiors," 1978; "Broadway Danny Rose," 1984; "Hannah and Her Sisters," 1986; "Crimes and Misdemeanors," 1989; "Bullets Over Broadway," 1994; "Midnight in Paris," 2011); Best Actor nominee ("Annie Hall," 1977)

Robert Redford - Best Director winner ("Ordinary People," 1980); Best Director nominee ("Quiz Show," 1994); Best Actor nominee ("The Sting," 1973)

Warren Beatty - Best Director winner ("Reds," 1981); Best Director nominee ("Heaven Can Wait," 1978); Best Actor nominee ("Bonnie and Clyde," 1967; "Heaven Can Wait," 1978; "Reds," 1981; "Bugsy," 1991)

Kenneth Branagh - Best Director nominee ("Henry V," 1989); Best Actor nominee ("Henry V," 1989; "My Week with Marilyn," 2011)

Kevin Costner - Best Director winner and Best Actor nominee ("Dances with Wolves," 1990)

Clint Eastwood - Best Director winner ("Unforgiven," 1992; "Million Dollar Baby," 2004); Best Director nominee ("Mystic River," 2003; "Letters from Iwo Jima," 2006); Best Actor nominee ("Unforgiven," 1992; "Million Dollar Baby," 2004)

Tim Robbins - Best Supporting Actor winner ("Mystic River," 2003); Best Director nominee ("Dead Man Walking," 1995)

Roberto Benigni - Best Actor winner and Best Director nominee ("Life is Beautiful," 1998)

George Clooney - Best Supporting Actor winner ("Syriana," 2005); Best Actor nominee ("Michael Clayton," 2007; "Up in the Air," 2009; "The Descendants," 2011); Best Director nominee ("Good Night, and Good Luck," 2005)

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