The Best Supporting Actress awards were first handed out at the 9th Academy Awards ceremony held in 1937, and in the nearly 85 years since, 83 women have received this honor. Only two have won multiple Oscars in this category: Dianne Wiest (“Hannah and Her Sisters,” 1987 and “Bullets Over Broadway,” 1995) and Shelley Winters (“The Diary of Anne Frank,” 1959 and “A Patch of Blue,” 1966). The great character actress Thelma Ritter holds the record number of nominations in this category with six, sadly without a win, while Amy Adams has had five bids in supporting (one in lead), also without a win.
This is a category that often sees first nominations, many times recognizing ingenues who go on to earn multiples nominations throughout their careers. The youngest acting winner of all time was a Best Supporting Actress recipient: 10-year-old Tatum O’Neal won for “Paper Moon” in 1974. However, veteran actresses are also considered, with some receiving their sole nomination in their golden years. In fact, seven of the 10 oldest nominees in this category each received her sole nomination, with 87-year-old Gloria Stuart (“Titanic,” 1998) holding the record as the oldest.
Enjoy our tribute below to the 22 winners for Best Supporting Actress during the 21st century, starting with Yuh-Jung Youn in 2021 and going back to Angelina Jolie at the beginning of the century. You can also enjoy each person’s acceptance speech video.
Since 2000 (the years of the ceremonies, not the films), 11 Best Supporting Actress recipients won on their sole nominations, four won on their first nominations and two won on their film debuts. In addition, three of these women earned the distinction of achieving double nominations in a single year, with one earning hers in her debut year at the Oscars.
Yuh-Jung Youn (2021), “Minari”
At the age of 73, veteran Korean actress Yuh-Jung Youn won the Academy Award for her Hollywood film debut, becoming the first Korean performer and second Asian woman to win an acting Oscar. Also up for the first time were Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”) and Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”), while 2019 Best Actress recipient Olivia Colman (“The Father”) received her second acting bid. Lastly, Glenn Close’s (“Hillbilly Elegy”) eighth nomination tied Peter O’Toole’s record of most acting nominations without a win.
Laura Dern (2020), “Marriage Story”
Dern won on her third acting nomination, taking home the trophy for her role as a family attorney in this drama. Her co-star, Scarlett Johansson, received her first nominations, a Best Actress bid for “Marriage Story,” as well as a supporting nom for her role in “Jojo Rabbitt,” making her the 12th performer to receive double nominations in one year. Also up were prior Best Actress winner Kathy Bates (“Richard Jewell”), Margot Robbie (“Bombshell”) and Florence Pugh (“Little Women”).
Regina King (2019), “If Beale Street Could Talk”
King won on her first nomination for her role in this drama based on the James Baldwin novel. Also up for the first time was Marina de Tavira (“Roma”), while Amy Adams (“Vice”) earned her sixth nomination and the unfortunate distinction of being one of six people to earn six or more acting nominations without a win. Rounding out the category was Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, prior Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress recipients respectively, both of whom were up for “The Favourite.”
Allison Janney (2018), “I, Tonya”
Janney won on her sole nomination for her portrayal of Tonya Harding’s abusive mother LaVona Golden. With the exception of previous supporting winner Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”), each actress was up for her first acting nomination: Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”), Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) and Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”), who also has the distinctions of being the first person to be nominated for both acting and songwriting (“Mighty River”) in the same year, and the first Black woman to receive more than one nomination in a single year.
Viola Davis (2017), “Fences”
Third time was the charm for Davis, winning a statue for the August Wilson drama and becoming the first Black person to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting, having also won a Primetime Emmy and two Tonys (one of which was also for “Fences”). Also up were previous Best Actress winner Nicole Kidman (“Lion”), previous Best Supporting Actress winner Octavia Spencer (“Hidden Figures), four-time nominee Michelle Williams (“Manchester by the Sea”) and first-time nominee Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”).
Alicia Vikander (2016), “The Danish Girl”
Vikander won on her sole nomination for her role as Danish artist Gerda Wegener. Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”) and Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”) were also up for their sole nominations, while previous Best Actress contender Rooney Mara (“Carol”) received her first bid in supporting. Previous Best Actress recipient Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”) received her seventh and last nomination.
Patricia Arquette (2015), “Boyhood”
Arquette won on her sole nomination for her role as the mom in the coming-of-age film that was 12 years in the making. She was in impressive company, as her competition included three-time acting winner Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods”), future Best Actress winner Emma Stone (“Birdman”) and future Supporting Actress winner Laura Dern (“Wild”). The fifth nominee up was Keira Knightley for “The Imitation Game.”
Lupita Nyong’o (2014), “12 Years a Slave”
Nyong’o won for her moving portrayal of tortured slave Patsey, becoming the 16th performer to win an acting Oscar for a debut film. She, Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”) and June Squibb (“Nebraska”) all received their first nominations. Also in contention were the previous year’s Best Actress recipient Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle”) and 2001 Best Actress winner Julia Roberts (“August: Osage County”).
Anne Hathaway (2013), “Les Miserables”
Previous Best Actress contender Hathaway won her supporting bid for her performance as the ill-fated Fantine in the big-screen adaptation of the epic musical. She was competing against Oscar royalty: former Best Actress winner Helen Hunt (“The Sessions”) and two-time winner Sally Field (“Lincoln”). Amy Adams (“The Master”) received her fourth supporting nomination in seven years, and Jacki Weaver (“Silver Linings Playbook”) received her second.
Octavia Spencer (2012), “The Help”
On her first of three Supporting Actress nominations, Spencer won for her role as a maid with a secret pie ingredient in this 1960s drama. With the exception of previous Best Actress nominee Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”), all the actresses were first-time nominees: Spencer’s “The Help” costar Jessica Chastain, Berenice Bejo (“The Artist”) and Melissa McCarthy (“Bridesmaids”).
Melissa Leo (2011), “The Fighter”
A stunned and overwhelmed Leo gave a most memorable acceptance speech for her win as tough-as-nails real-life mama Alice Eklund-Ward. Her co-star Amy Adams also received a bid (her third), as did Helena Bonham Carter (“The King’s Speech”). Up for their first nominations were 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) and 64-year-old Jacki Weaver (“Animal Kingdom”).
Mo’Nique (2010), “Precious”
Mo’Nique received critical praise and a gold statue for her portrayal of an abusive mother in this highly acclaimed drama. She and three of her fellow nominees received their sole bid: Maggie Gyllenhaal for “Crazy Heart” and Anna Kendrick and Vera Farminga, both for “Up in the Air.” The previous year’s Best Supporting Actress, Penelope Cruz, received her third and last overall nomination, for “Nine.”
Penelope Cruz (2009), “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Cruz received three acting nominations between 2007 and 2010, and won on her second bid for her role in this Woody Allen romantic comedy/drama. Also up for consideration was 1993 supporting winner Marisa Tomei (“The Wrestler”), who received her third and last acting bid, as well as Taraji P. Henson, who claimed her only nomination for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” “Doubt” co-stars and frequent nominees Amy Adams and Viola Davis each received a nom.
Tilda Swinton (2008), “Michael Clayton”
Swinton won on her sole nomination for her role in this legal thriller. Thirteen-year-old Saoirse Ronan (“Atonement”) received her first of four career nominations, while 85-year-old Ruby Dee (“American Gangster”) received her one and only, and became the second-oldest nominee in this category. Amy Ryan (“Gone Baby Gone”) also received her sole nomination, while Cate Blanchett (“I’m Not There”) became the 11th performer to receive two acting bids in one year, as she was also up for Best Actress (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”).
Jennifer Hudson (2007), “Dreamgirls”
Hudson became the 15th performer to win an Oscar for her debut film, winning on her sole nomination for her performance as the temperamental lead singer of a Black girl group. Three of her fellow actresses also received their sole nominations: Adriana Barraza (“Babel”), Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) and Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”). Cate Blanchett received her third acting nomination for “Notes on a Scandal.”
Rachel Weisz (2006), “The Constant Gardener”
Weisz won on her first nomination for her role in this riveting drama. She was in good company: Catherine Keener (“Capote”) received her second nomination in this category, Michelle Williams (“Brokeback Mountain”) received her first of four career nominations and two six-time acting nominees received bids: prior Best Actress winner Frances McDormand (“North Country”) received her fourth and Amy Adams (“Junebug”) earned her first.
Cate Blanchett (2005), “The Aviator”
Blanchett is the first performer to win an Oscar for portraying an Oscar winner actress, earning a statue for her turn as the legendary four-time Best Actress winner Katharine Hepburn. Her competitors were one-time nominees Virginia Madsen (“Sideways”) and Sophie Okonedo (“Hotel Rwanda”), prior Best Actress nominee Laura Linney (“Kinsey”) and first-time nominee Natalie Portman (“Closer”). Both Blanchett and Portman would eventually become Best Actress recipients, in 2014 and 2011 respectively.
Renee Zellweger (2004), “Cold Mountain”
For the two years prior, Zellweger lost her bids in lead, but picked up a supporting statue for her role in this epic period drama. Her competition included 2001 supporting winner, Marcia Gay Harden (“Mystic River”) and 1994 Best Actress winner Holly Hunter (“Thirteen”), as well as first time nominees Shohreh Aghdashloo (“House of Sand and Fog”) and Patricia Clarkson (“Pieces of April”). These are the last nominations for all of these women, except Zellweger, who would go on to receive a Best Actress statue 16 years later.
Catherine Zeta-Jones (2003), “Chicago”
Ten days before giving birth to her second child, Zeta-Jones was not only present to accept her Oscar on her one and only nomination, but, in a moment that would do her sassy character Velma Kelly proud, PERFORMED! She, along with c-ostar and fellow nominee Queen Latifah, sang “I Move On” for the Best Original Song category. Also up were prior Best Actress winners Kathy Bates (“About Schmidt”) and Meryl Streep (“Adaptation”), who received her record-breaking 13th acting nomination, and future Best Actress winner Julianne Moore (“The Hours”), who became the ninth performer to be nominated in both lead and supporting categories in the same year.
Jennifer Connelly (2002), “A Beautiful Mind”
Connelly won on her first and only nomination for her portrayal of Alicia Nash, wife of famed mathematician John Nash. Connelly was in the company of Oscar royalty: 1993 supporting winner Marisa Tomei (“In the Bedroom”), future Best Actress winners Helen Mirren (“Gosford Park”) and Kate Winslet (“Iris”) and Maggie Smith (“Gosford Park”), a prior winner in both supporting and lead, who received her sixth and last nomination at this ceremony.
Marcia Gay Harden (2001), “Pollock”
Harden was a surprise win for her portrayal of artist Lee Krasner, wife of Jackson Pollock. She was up against Best Supporting winner from two years prior, Judi Dench (“Chocolat”), as well as 1997 Best Actress winner Frances McDormand (“Almost Famous”), whose costar, Kate Hudson, also received a bid in this category. The fifth actress was Julie Walters (“Billy Elliott”), who received this bid almost 20 years after her 1984 lead nomination.
Angelina Jolie (2000), “Girl, Interrupted”
Jolie’s breakthrough role as a mentally disturbed young woman garnered her her first Oscar nomination and only competitive win, although she would later receive a Best Actress nomination (“Changeling,” 2009) and receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (2014). Her win coupled with her father Jon Voight’s 1978 Best Actor win made them the second pair of father-daughter Oscar acting winners after Henry and Jane Fonda. Each actress in the supporting category this year received her first nomination: Toni Collette (“The Sixth Sense”), Chloe Sevigny (“Boys Don’t Cry”), Catherine Keener (“Being John Malkovich”) and Samantha Morton (“Sweet and Lowdown”).