Which supporting actor Oscar winner was the most undeserving?

For every Oscar winner who receives a standing ovation, there is another who leaves people puzzled as to how they prevailed. Our forum posters have already dished the worst Best Supporting Actress winner and now turn their attention to Supporting Actor. 

Below, just a sample of their thoughts. Join in with your opinion as to which winner was the biggest loser. 


This one was hard, but I came upon my decision in the following way. Alan Arkin may not have been the best Supporting Actor in the movie, but he was still an important fixture to the story. Cuba Gooding, Jr. should definitely give his Oscar back but I didn’t vote for him because he was, at least, a little humorous and entertaining. Michael Caine wasn’t bad, but his competition was stronger. Christian Bale being on the list surprises me but I am indifferent on him winning. Tim Robbins is probably the only one on the list that I actually felt was a deserving win, though I am not passionate about his performance. I think Tommy Lee Jones was good in “The Fugitive” and it was a solid and even entertaining performance but the fact that it gained traction with some critics and won the Globe and Oscar is baffling. He deserved it more for “JFK” two years earlier.

I voted for George Clooney. The only reason he won was because he wasn’t going to win Director or Screenplay for “Goodnight, and Good Luck” (I honestly would have given him Screenplay) so this was a consolation prize and he even mentioned that in his speech to some degree! His work was not even memorable, same with the film .. .I remember him being tortured at some point but that is it. I don’t see any merit in it other than it was a “we don’t want you to go home empty-handed” win.

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Baby Clyde 

I can’t remember the exact quote but Humphrey Bogart once said of Betty Hutton that she wasn’t a very good actress because you could see the cogs working, which is exactly how I felt about Tim Robbins’ terrible performance in “Mystic River.” It was the most unnatural bit of acting I’ve seen in ages, which is weird because he’s a perfectly capable actor who was absolutely wretched in an otherwise great film. Stumbling about, mumbling to himself begging for an Oscar it was just embarrassing. Having said that none of the other noms were particular stand outs. Michael Caine was also terrible in “Cider House Rules.” He only has one act which he’s been pedalling for nearly 50 years. God know how he has one Oscar nevermind two??? He’s an easy fifth for me in ’99 behind even Tom Cruise who I loathe with a passion in everything he’s ever done. Jude Law or Hayley Joel Osment should have won. Tommy Lee Jones was obviously a ridiculous win but there’s nothing wrong with the actual performance. His beating Leonardo DiCaprio and Ralph Fiennes though was preposterous.

Snidely Whiplash

A choice between Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Christian Bale? Who can decide between those two shameless hams which was the less subtle performance? As for George Chakiris, that Oscar should have gone to Montgomery Clift. But George had great hair and very sexy dance moves, so let’s give credit where credit is due.


Robbins should give his to Benicio del Toro or Alec Baldwin;

Gooding, Jr should give his to William H. Macy even though Macy belonged in Lead;
Jones should give his to Ralph Fiennes (Leo or Pete Postlethwaite would also be more deserving);
Caine should give his to Tom Cruise, Haley Joel Osment or Jude Law; and
Clooney should give his to Jake Gyllenhaal.


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