Best Supporting Actress Oscar winners: Who holds the record for the longest performance?

While it is rare for a long performance to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar, a fair amount of them have. The average screen time for winners in the category is 28 minutes and five seconds, with over one third of them surpassing 30 minutes. Here is a look at the 10 longest winners of all time. (And here’s the list of the 10 shortest winning performances for Best Supporting Actress.)

10. Katina Paxinou (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”)
43 minutes, 41 seconds (26.46% of the film)
The Greek theatre actress  made history in 1944 with her debut film role as anti-fascist guerrilla fighter Pilar. She triumphed at the first ever Golden Globes ceremony and set a new record for longest performance to win in the Best Supporting Actress Oscar category, which she went on to hold for eight years.

9. Kim Hunter (“A Streetcar Named Desire”)
44 minutes, 52 seconds (35.97% of the film)
While Hunter’s role as abused wife Stella Kowalski in the original Broadway production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” did not garner a Tony nomination, it did earn her an Oscar when she recreated it for the 1951 film. Her performance became the longest to win in her category and is notable for being 59 seconds longer than Marlon Brando’s in the same film, which was nominated for Best Actor.

8. Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”)
45 minutes, 44 seconds (37.06% of the film)
The 2001 Best Supporting Actress race is mainly remembered for being totally unpredictable. All five nominees came into the Oscar ceremony with one major precursor win each, Harden’s being an honor from the New York Film Critics Circle. It was evidently anyone’s game, and Harden may have had an advantage in that her performance as painter Lee Krasner was the longest of the nominees by over 20 minutes.

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7. Goldie Hawn (“Cactus Flower”)
47 minutes, 49 seconds (46.10% of the film)
In 1970, the “Laugh In” funny girl won an Oscar for her first major film role as restless kept woman Toni Simmons. The year’s roster was full of first-time nominees, which is not uncommon in the supporting female category, occurring 19% of the time and as recently as 2012. Among Hawn’s competitors was Sylvia Miles, who was nominated for appearing in just one brief scene in the first quarter of Best Picture winner “Midnight Cowboy.”

6. Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”)
51 minutes, 30 seconds (39.60% of the film)
Three years after competing on “American Idol,” Hudson won an Academy Award for her film debut as tempestuous singer Effie White. Her screen time made hers the longest Oscar-winning performance of 2007 by four minutes and 15 seconds. There remain only two other instances of a supporting Oscar winner having more screen time than both of the same year’s leading winners: George Kennedy (“Cool Hand Luke”) and Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient”).

5. Viola Davis (“Fences”)
53 minutes, 32 seconds (38.60% of the film)
After her first Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her notoriously short performance in “Doubt,” Viola Davis brought home the award in 2017 for her nearly hour-long role in “Fences.” Davis had previously won a Tony for her performance as long-suffering wife Rose Maxson in the 2010 Broadway revival of the play. However, her stage role triumphed in the Leading Actress category, and that, along with the length of her performance, sparked a major debate about her Oscar category placement. In the three years since, only performances under 26 minutes have won the award.

4. Shelley Winters (“The Diary of Anne Frank”)
56 minutes, 16 seconds (31.38% of the film)
Prior to 2009, Shelley Winters appeared simultaneously on the lists of ten shortest and ten longest Best Supporting Actress-winning performances. Her first win came in 1960 for her role as Holocaust victim Petronella Van Daan. The performance proved to be the lengthiest of the four Winters was nominated for, including her Best Actress nod for “A Place in the Sun.” She set a new record for highest screen time among winners in the category and famously prevailed over Hermione Baddeley, whose two minute, 19 second performance in “Room at the Top” is the shortest ever nominated.

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3. Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”)
59 minutes, 37 seconds (49.88% of the film)
The 2016 Best Supporting Actress lineup inspired perhaps more widespread discussions of category fraud than any in Oscar history. With every nominee clocking in at over 31 minutes and most of them coming close to or surpassing one hour, Alicia Vikander’s performance as artist Gerda Wegener did not stand out as comparatively long. While Vikander did not quite set a record herself, the group’s average screen time of 51 minutes and 46 seconds became the highest in the history of both supporting categories.

2. Patty Duke (“The Miracle Worker”)
1 hour, 5 minutes, 43 seconds (61.67% of the film)
The 16-year-old broke new ground in 1963 when she became the first child to win a competitive acting Oscar for her portrayal of Helen Keller. Many believe, however, that her supporting placement demonstrated a bias against juvenile actors that exists to a certain degree even today. Also nominated in the same lineup was 10-year-old Mary Badham, whose own screen time in “To Kill a Mockingbird” adds up to 50 minutes and 20 seconds.

1. Tatum O’Neal (“Paper Moon”)
1 hour, 6 minutes, 58 seconds (65.49% of the film)
History was made in several ways when the 10-year-old won an Oscar for her role as precocious swindler Addie Loggins in 1974. For nearly five decades, she has concurrently held the records for longest performance among supporting winners in both categories and youngest competitive Oscar winner overall. Like Duke, she was also nominated alongside another child actress (14-year-old Linda Blair, “The Exorcist”), and her own category placement has been seriously called into question. Her performance is, after all, the longest in the film, with her screen time surpassing her father Ryan O’Neal’s by over five minutes.




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