The 2020 Best Supporting Actor lineup, which included performances that ranged from 43 to 56 minutes long, proved that high screen times are fairly common in the category. Six actors have won the award with over one hour of screen time, while an additional 18 nominees have passed that mark. Here is a look at the 10 performances that rank as the longest of them all (and here are the 10 longest winners):
10. Jeff Bridges (“Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”)
1 hour, 6 minutes, 23 seconds (57.74% of the film)
After Mickey Rooney and Sal Mineo, Bridges became the third man to receive two acting Oscar nominations by age 25, and there has not been another in the 45 years since. His second bid for playing the titular Lightfoot also earned him a spot on this list and was the 11th nominated supporting male performance to have over one hour of screen time. Bridges finally scored his first win at age 60, as a lead in “Crazy Heart,” with this supporting award going to Robert De Niro for his 34-minute and 41-second performance in “The Godfather Part II.”
9. Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
1 hour, 6 minutes, 38 seconds (51.28% of the film)
Ali won his first Oscar for his 20-minute and 36-second performance in 2016’s “Moonlight,” which ranks as the 14th shortest to win in the Best Supporting Actor category. When he won again two years later, he set a new record for highest screen time among supporting male winners. As pianist Don Shirley, he appears in over half of his film, which is a distinction that applies to less than 4% of all nominated supporting performances. He towered over his competitors, who have a screen time average of 22 minutes, and became the third man to win twice from just two acting nominations, after Kevin Spacey and Christoph Waltz.
8. Charles Coburn (“The Devil and Miss Jones”)
1 hour, 7 minutes, 35 seconds (73.14% of the film)
After starting his film career at age 56, Coburn received three Best Supporting Actor nominations over six years. The first came in 1942 for his role as John Merrick, who is known in the film as the richest man in the world and serves as the titular devil. With 39 minutes and 47 seconds of screen time, Donald Crisp was chosen as the winner for “How Green Was My Valley,” but Coburn won just two years later for “The More the Merrier.” All three of his nominated performances clock in at over 43 minutes, giving him an average of 44 minutes and 17 seconds.
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7. Gene Hackman (“I Never Sang for My Father”)
1 hour, 8 minutes, 9 seconds (74.04% of the film)
In 1971, John Marley set a new record for shortest Best Supporting Actor-nominated performance with six minutes and three seconds of screen time in “Love Story.” The performance of his competitor, Gene Hackman, conversely ranked as the fourth longest ever nominated in the category at the time. John Mills ultimately won for “Ryan’s Daughter” with a moderate screen time of 26 minutes and seven seconds, and Hackman became a Best Actor winner the next year for appearing in just 48 minutes of “The French Connection.”
6. Randy Quaid (“The Last Detail”)
1 hour, 10 minutes, 41 seconds (68.03% of the film)
In 1974, Quaid earned his only Oscar nomination at age 23 for playing the role of simple-minded sailor Larry Meadows. After making his first appearance just after the six-minute mark, he is present in nearly all of the film’s scenes, and finishes only eight minutes and 43 seconds below Best Actor nominee Jack Nicholson in terms of screen time. In the end, voters went for the actor in the lineup with the lowest screen time by awarding the 16-minute and 26-second performance of 71-year-old John Houseman in “The Paper Chase.”
5. Peter Firth (“Equus”)
1 hour, 13 minutes, 1 second (53.06% of the film)
Like Randy Quaid, Firth received his only Oscar nomination in his early 20s, and his screen time also ranks closely below that of the film’s lead nominee. Only one minute and 30 seconds separate Firth and Richard Burton, who star as patient and doctor in the psychological drama. Neither actor was victorious, with Jason Robards winning the supporting award for his 10-minute and 49-second performance in “Julia.” Robards’s castmate, Maximilian Schell, clocks in at six minutes and 49 seconds, ranking fifth on the list of supporting actors with the overall lowest amounts of screen time.
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4. John Ireland (“All the King’s Men”)
1 hour, 13 minutes, 18 seconds (66.83% of the film)
Four years into his acting career, Ireland broke new ground in 1950 as the first supporting Oscar nominee to have more screen time than his lead-nominated co-star. As campaign staff member Jack Burden, he outpaces Best Actor winner Broderick Crawford by 10 minutes and 57 seconds, and sits over 27 minutes above all of his competition. The middle nominee, Dean Jagger, won the award for “Twelve O’Clock High” with a screen time of 38 minutes and 10 seconds, but Ireland is the one who is remembered for setting a precedent. Indeed, his screen time measures higher than six of the year’s 10 lead nominees, including Richard Todd (“The Hasty Heart”) and John Wayne (“Sands of Iwo Jima”).
3. Ethan Hawke (“Training Day”)
1 hour, 14 minutes, 27 seconds (61.05% of the film)
Hawke earned his first of two acting nominations for playing the role of rookie narcotics officer Jake Hoyt. Over 50 years after John Ireland’s screen time surpassed Broderick Crawford’s in “All the King’s Men,” Hawke became the 10th and most recent man to do the same. He stands one minute and 11 seconds over Best Actor winner Denzel Washington, and his performance is longer than all but three of 2002’s lead acting nominees, including the entire Best Actress lineup. Like Ireland, Hawke also lost to the nominee with the middle amount of screen time: Jim Broadbent, who appears in 38 minutes and 38 seconds of “Iris.”
2. Richard Burton (“My Cousin Rachel”)
1 hour, 23 minutes, 57 seconds (85.33% of the film)
Burton’s first and only supporting nomination came in 1953 for his exceptionally long performance as the vengeful yet gullible Philip Ashley. He and his fellow nominees have a screen time average of 51 minutes and 10 seconds, which remains the highest in the category. While Anthony Quinn won the award for his 27 minutes and 15 seconds of screen time in “Viva Zapata,” Burton stands out in plenty of other ways. His screen time is 40 minutes and 11 seconds higher than that of his co-star, Olivia de Havilland, who came close to a Best Actress nomination but ultimately missed out. His performance is the longest of all 20 nominated that year, and, by percentage, ranks as the 21st longest ever nominated in any category.
1. Frank Finlay (“Othello”)
1 hour, 30 minutes, 43 seconds (54.78% of the film)
From 1937 to 1971, Basil Rathbone held the record for lowest screen time in the Best Supporting Actor category for his portrayal of Tybalt in “Romeo and Juliet.” Within that time, Finlay’s own Shakespearean performance reached the top spot on this list, with his Iago remaining the only nominated supporting character to pass the 90 minute screen time mark. Indeed, only 15% of all lead-nominated performances have ever reached it, including the Best Actor-nominated one of Finlay’s co-star, Laurence Olivier. Finlay faced competitors with an average screen time of 19 minutes and ended up losing to Martin Balsam, whose role in “A Thousand Clowns” takes up just 10 minutes and 18 seconds.
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