Peter Finch‘s legacy is primarily rooted in his 1977 Best Actor Oscar win for “Network,” which made him the first actor to be posthumously honored by the academy. However, he also made history in a different way five years earlier. His Best Actor nomination for “Sunday Bloody Sunday” in 1972 earned him the distinction of being the first man recognized in the category for playing an LGBTQ character. In the five decades since, 18 more male stars have reaped bids for gay, bisexual, and transgender roles.
A wide range of characters are included in this group, from those struggling to come to terms with their identities to others who take pride in theirs but still must overcome societal barriers. Some are shown to be career-driven and successful, while others have fallen victim to their unfortunate circumstances. The list also features several real-life figures, including world-renowned artists, political revolutionaries, and even one desperate criminal. Collectively, these portrayals illustrate nearly a century’s worth of LGBTQ history.
We’ve gathered together all 19 instances of LGBTQ character portrayals resulting in Best Actor nominations in order from oldest to most recent, including the character description and competition. Click through the gallery to find out which five fellows won for these roles.
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