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Actors or Actresses that were unknown before getting Oscar nominated?

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    gabspss
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    Marina de Tavira wasn’t unknown.

    A good example: Emily Watson.

    It's about the chaotic editing in Moulin Rouge!

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    M: The Original
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    #1203980874

    Marisa Tomei
    Jaye Davidson
    Anna Paquin
    Keisha Castle-Hughes
    Haing S Ngor
    Marlee Matlin

    That’s incorrect for Tomei. She was a TV actress on soaps and the sitcom A Different World season one.

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    M: The Original
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    Kathy Bates had no name recognition for the general public prior to Misery.

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    Chitanda170
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    Jennifer Lawrence, i didn´t know who she was until she won that Oscar

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    Vicki Leekx
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    Emily Watson, Terence Stamp, Quvenzhané Wallis, Jack Wild, Hailee Steinfeld, Yalitza Aparicio (Marina de Tavira actually had a career before this movie), and pending Maria Bakalova.

    This is hard actually as most actors are at least known through stage, TV or movies before a nomination. It’s rare for a film debut to happen.

    FYC:

    Andrea Riseborough, Karim Saleh, Possessor/Luxor (Actress, Actor)
    Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, I Care a Lot (Actress, Supporting Actor)
    Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, The Duke (Actor, Supporting Actress)
    Sophia Loren, Abril Zamora, The Life Ahead (Actress, Supporting Actress)
    Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (Actress)

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    String Cheese Theory
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    Chalamet

     

    Btw this topic should be called “unknown in the United States”

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    RobertPius
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    Linda Hunt (I don’t think she even got much attention after the film came out. It was only when critics remembered her in their year end awards that she suddenly became famous and people were curious about seeing a woman play a man. Then the Oscar.)

    That same year in the same category you had Alfre Woodard. She barely had any credits and the film was kind of a flop but the Academy loved it (see Rip Torn’s surprise nomination too.)

    I can’t seem to find it but on youtube there used to be a clip of Liz Smith the NY Gossip columnist discussing the nominees that year. She goes through all the acting categories and then gets to Woodard who was last alphabetically and Supporting Actress was the last category she read. Anyway Smith says flat out the last nominee is someone I’m not at all familiar with, Alfre Woodard. Woodard must have really charmed Academy members (it is a great performance) since Dana Hill was the supporting actress people were predicting for that film since she had missed out the year before for Shoot the Moon.

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    RobertPius
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    Kathy Bates had no name recognition for the general public prior to Misery.

    She was pretty well known to New York Theater audiences though, a lot of whom are probably in the Academy.

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    Eddy Q
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    #1203982748

    Yes Cotillard was an unknown Before 2008, and didn’t know about that Eva Marie saint……

    Cotillard was mostly unknown in the states prior to La Vie en Rose but she was already an acclaimed actress in France having won a supporting César for A Very Long Engagement. Eva Marie Saint made her film debut with On the Waterfront but had already appeared in some TV and Broadway, although I don’t think she was particularly well-known.

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    wolfali
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    Ruth Negga.

    FYC OSCARS : PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN IN ALL CATEGORIES (ESP. ACTRESS – Carey Mulligan AND ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY — EMERALD FENNELL), VANESSA KIRBY FOR "PIECES OF A WOMAN", ESSIE DAVIS FOR "BABYTEETH"

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    Germanswordfish
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    This is hard actually as most actors are at least known through stage, TV or movies before a nomination. It’s rare for a film debut to happen.

     

    It’s not that rare actually if you do some research, it’s quite common actually and quite a clever marketing move from producers to push the whole ‘star is born’ thing which gets more buzz. Ron Moody was also a relative unknown before Oliver which he was nominated for a Best Actor

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