Much like the Best Actress category, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in the 1970s went to some true living legends. This decade included the youngest acting winner in history, the shortest performance to win an Oscar in history, and the start for a woman who would go on to become the all-time nomination leader. So which Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner of the 1970s is your favorite? Look back on each and vote in our poll below.
Helen Hayes, “Airport” (1970)— Hayes won her second Oscar thanks to her role in “Airport” as Ada Quonsett, an older woman who makes a habit of being a stowaway on airplanes. She previously won an Oscar in Best Actress for “The Sin of Madelon Claudet” (1931). Hayes became the first woman to “EGOT,” winning the grand slam of major awards: the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
Cloris Leachman, “The Last Picture Show” (1971) — Leachman took home her Oscar for playing Ruth Popper in “The Last Picture Show,” a middle-aged housewife who has an affair with a high school senior. While this was her only Oscar nomination and win, Leachman has won an astonishing eight Emmys, tying her with Julia Louis-Dreyfus for the most Emmys for performance in the awards’ history.
Eileen Heckart, “Butterflies Are Free” (1972) — Heckart was awarded an Oscar for “Butterflies Are Free,” playing the overprotective mother of a blind man who wants to leave her clutches. Heckart was previously nominated in this category for “The Bad Seed” (1956).
Tatum O’Neal, “Paper Moon” (1973) — O’Neal’s acting debut at the age of 10 was better than she could have ever dreamed, winning Best Supporting Actress for “Paper Moon” in which she plays Addie Loggins, a girl who is taken in by a con man after her mother’s funeral. While clearly a case of category fraud as O’Neal is in just about every scene in the movie, she does remain the youngest person to win a competitive Oscar in any category. This was her one and only nomination.
Ingrid Bergman, “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974) — On the other end of the spectrum, 1974 saw Bergman win her third Oscar for “Murder on the Orient Express” in which she plays Swedish missionary Greta Ohlsson. She had previously won in Best Actress for “Gaslight” (1944) and “Anastasia” (1956), with additional nominations for “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1943), “The Bells of Saint Mary’s” (1945), “Joan of Arc” (1948), and “Höstsonaten” (1978).
Lee Grant, “Shampoo” (1975) — Grant won for “Shampoo,” where she plays Felicia Karpf, the wealthy lover of a hairdresser asking her for money to start up his own business. She previously earned nominations for “Detective Story” (1951) and “The Landlord” (1970), with a subsequent nomination for “Voyage of the Damned” (1976).
Beatrice Straight, “Network” (1976) — Straight has the distinction of being the shortest acting winner in Oscar history, with her screen time coming in at just five minutes and 40 seconds. In “Network” she plays Louise Schumacher, the frustrated wife of a TV executive who she finds out is cheating on her. This was Straight’s only Oscar nomination and win.
Vanessa Redgrave, “Julia” (1977) — Redgrave nabbed her Oscar for playing the titular character in “Julia,” who haunts her close friend and fights back against Nazi Germany. She was also nominated for “Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment” (1956), “Isadora” (1968), “Mary, Queen of Scots” (1971), “The Bostonians” (1984), and “Howards End” (1992).
Maggie Smith, “California Suite” (1978) — In one of the most meta moments in Oscar history, Smith won her second Academy Award for playing an actress nominated for an Academy Award. She previously won in Best Actress for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (1969), with other nominations for “Othello” (1965), “Travels with My Aunt” (1972), “A Room with a View” (1985), and “Gosford Park” (2001).
Meryl Streep, “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) — The decade closed out with Streep taking home her first Oscar, for playing one half of a divorcing couple in “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Just one year earlier she earned her first Oscar nomination for “The Deer Hunter,” and she has now earned a total of 21 nominations, the most for any actor in history. Her other two wins were for “Sophie’s Choice” (1982) and “The Iron Lady” (2011).