In 1982, 76-year-old Henry Fonda finally won a long-overdue Best Actor Oscar trophy, becoming the oldest Best Actor winner up to that time (he held the record for oldest nominee in that category for 18 years, and oldest winner for 39). His last acting nomination had been in 1941, and he has held the record for the longest gap between acting nominations — until now. Judd Hirsch has broken Fonda’s 41 year record 41 years after it was set, earning his second supporting nomination for “The Fabelmans” 42 years after his bid for “Ordinary People.”
Hirsch isn’t the only one returning to the Oscar ballot decades after a nomination. Angela Bassett is back 29 years after her Best Actress nomination for “What’s Love Got to Do with It,” and is now nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” This isn’t the first time the Academy has recognized a performer years — even decades — later.
There have been 38 actors and actresses who have a span of at least 20 years between competitive acting nominations. A few, like Fonda, were nominated in other categories – for instance, Fonda received a Best Picture bid for co-producing “12 Angry Men” and was bestowed an Honorary Oscar the year before his competitive win. There are some other interesting statistics as well.
Two performers, Fay Bainter and Al Pacino, were double nominated in a year; Sylvester Stallone and Peter O’Toole, were nominated for playing the same character in two different films; Pacino and Joe Pesci, made their Oscar comebacks in the same film, “The Irishman;” O’Toole and Glenn Close, are tied for the largest number of nominations without a win; and Lynn Redgrave is the only performer to have been nominated for each of the EGOT awards at least once without winning any.
Some of the oldest nominees and winners make the list, and some won on a first nomination, some won years after their first nomination and some failed to win any. But it’s interesting to see those who made memorable returns to the Oscar ballots years after their last nominations. Tour our alphabetical photo gallery featuring all of the performers with at least 20 years between acting nominations at the Oscars.
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