As the recipient of two Best Actor trophies, a feat achieved by only eight other actors as leads, Tom Hanks is a true Oscar favorite. With his upcoming turn as Ben Bradlee, editor of The Washington Post, in Steven Spielberg‘s “The Post,” Hanks may make even more Oscar history. And doing so would allow him to follow the one and only character to deliver Oscars twice: Vito Corleone, first played by Marlon Brando as the powerful crime family Don in “The Godfather” (1972) and then by Robert De Niro as a young man in “The Godfather Part II” (1974).
Jason Robards already picked up the Best Supporting Actor trophy for his portrayal of Bradlee in “All the President’s Men” (1976). Although many characters have been nominated multiple times (some by different actors, some by the same actor), Corleone is the only one to bring its performers two Academy Awards.
Hanks could also tie another record if he wins the Best Actor trophy in 2018. He would become only the second actor to date, alongside Daniel Day-Lewis, to score three Oscars in the category.
For a look back at performers to be nominated twice for playing the same character (including Cate Blanchett, Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Peter O’Toole, Al Pacino, and Sylvester Stallone), tour our photo gallery above. Similar to the possibility for Hanks and Robards, here are several roles that have earned nominations for multiple actors:
Portrayals of Professional Henry Higgins, for instance, delivered Best Actor nominations for Leslie Howard in “Pygmalion” (1938) and Rex Harrison in “My Fair Lady” (1964). Howard lost, while Harrison prevailed. Playing the title character in “Cyrano de Bergerac” earned Jose Ferrer the Oscar win in 1950 and Gerard Depardieu a nomination four decades later, in 1990. Neither Robert Montgomery nor Warren Beatty won on their nominations for portraying Joe Pendleton in “Here Comes Mr. Jordan” (1941) and “Heaven Can Wait” (1978), respectively.
Raymond Massey garnered an Oscar nomination for playing President Abraham Lincoln in “Abe Lincoln in Illinois” (1940) and lost, while Day-Lewis triumphed many years later for “Lincoln” (2012). There were also turns as President Richard Nixon but neither Anthony Hopkins in “Nixon” (1995) nor Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (2008) were triumphant.
Other male roles in this group include King Henry VIII, which earned a Best Actor win for Charles Laughton in “The Private Life of Henry VIII” (1933) but only nominations for Robert Shaw in “A Man for All Seasons” (1966) and Richard Burton in “Anne of the Thousand Days” (1969); the title character in “Goodbye, Mr. Chips,” which won Robert Donat the win in 1939 and O’Toole a nomination in 1969; alcoholic actor Norman Maine, which scored nominations for Fredric March in “A Star Is Born” (1937) and James Mason in the 1954 production; King Henry V, which delivered Best Actor nominations for Laurence Olivier in “Henry V” (1946) and Kenneth Branagh in the 1989 film; Rooster Cogburn, which won John Wayne an Oscar for “True Grit” (1969) and Jeff Bridges a nomination for the 2010 remake; and Howard Hughes, a role that resulted in nominations for Robards in “Melvin and Howard” (1980) and Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Aviator” (2004).
Women include Leslie Crosbie, a married woman on trial for the murder of her lover, played by Jeanne Eagels in “The Letter” (1929) and Bette Davis in “The Letter” (1940); Rose, portrayed as a young woman by Kate Winslet and at 100 years old by Gloria Stuart in “Titanic” (1997); Queen Elizabeth I, played by Blanchett in “Elizabeth” (1998) and “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (2007) and Judi Dench in “Shakespeare in Love” (1998); and novelist Iris Murdoch, portrayed as young by Kate Winslet and old by Dench in “Iris” (2001). Of all of these performances, only Dench triumphed for her turn as Queen Elizabeth.
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