While Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) has, through Critics’ Choice Award, Golden Globe and SAG Award victories, cemented his status as the Best Supporting Actor Oscar front-runner, challengers Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) and Christopher Plummer (“All the Money in the World”) should not to be counted out.
Dafoe, after all, nearly swept this awards season’s critics’ awards, scoring honors from, among others, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., National Board of Review, National Society of Film Critics and New York Film Critics Circle.
Then there is Plummer, whose turn made headlines amidst the behind-the-scenes drama around “All the Money in the World,” a project that saw original star Kevin Spacey replaced by Plummer after Spacey came under fire for sexual misconduct.
Should either actor score an upset over Rockwell, he will be the 6th winner of this award who was the sole nominee from his film.
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The third-ever winner of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar was Walter Brennan, earning the prize as the sole nomination for “Kentucky” (1938), in which he portrays the cantankerous, grudge-holding Uncle Peter, a character twice Brennan’s age at the time.
Four years later, Van Heflin scored the trophy as the lone recognition for “Johnny Eager” (1942), in which he plays the alcoholic best friend of a gangster (Robert Taylor) who cannot help but continue a life of a crime while on parole.
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Despite significant screen time that arguably warranted recognition in Best Lead Actor, Peter Ustinov took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his turn as a bumbling small-time hustler in “Topkapi” (1964).
At age 73, Jack Palance emerged one of the all-time oldest Best Supporting Actor Oscar winners with his portrayal of cowboy Curly Washburn in “City Slickers” (1992).
The most recent Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner who was the sole nominee for his film was none other than Plummer who, at age 82, became the oldest winner in the category for his turn as a man who, following his diagnosis of terminal cancer, comes out of the closet in “Beginners” (2010).
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