Can Oprah still win Oscar without Golden Globe nomination?

Despite reaping a SAG bid, Oprah Winfrey was snubbed by the Golden Globes for her supporting performance in “The Butler.” But how important is a Globe nomination when it comes to taking home Oscar gold?

Turns out 20 performers have been embraced by the motion picture academy after getting the cold should from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. And half of those were winners of the Supporting Actress Oscar: 

Shelley Winters, “A Patch of Blue” (1965)
Sandy Dennis, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966)
Estelle Parsons, “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967)
Helen Hayes, “Airport” (1970)
Eileen Heckart, “Butterflies Are Free” (1972)
Ingrid Bergman, “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974)
Beatrice Straight, “Network” (1976)
Geena Davis, “The Accidental Tourist” (1988)
Marisa Tomei, “My Cousin Vinny” (1992)
Marcia Gay Harden, “Pollock” (2000)

It is worse news for Winfrey’s co-star Forest Whitaker who wasn’t nominated by the Globes either. Only one Best Actor Oscar champ — Roberto Begnini (“Life is Beautiful,” 1998) — did not contend first at the Golden Globes. 

Likewise, only one woman prevailed at the Oscars as Best Actress after being snubbed by the Globes and that was for another Italian language performance – Sophia Loren in “Two Women” back in 1961. 

James Gandolfini was passed over for a supporting bid for his performance in “Enough Said.” But eight fellows won Supporting Actor Oscars despite not being nominated at the Globes: 

Hugh Griffith, “Ben-Hur” (1959)
Martin Balsam, “A Thousand Clowns” (1965)
Jack Albertson, “The Subject Was Roses” (1968)
Robert De Niro, “The Godfather: Part II” (1974)
Don Ameche, “Cocoon” (1985)
Kevin Kline, “A Fish Called Wanda” (1988)
James Coburn, “Affliction” (1998)
Alan Arkin, “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)

Why are 18 of the 20 Oscar winners who were snubbed by the Globes in the supporting categories? 

The answer is simple arithmetic. While there are only five slots in each supporting category at the Globes as with the Oscars, the HFPA doubles its chances of predicting the lineup of the lead Oscar races by having five nominees in both drama and musical/comedy categories.

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