The Oscars remain by far the most coveted awards in cinematic history. Ever since its birth in 1929, breakthrough performances, stellar movies & power-packed casts have been the primeval reason of Oscar wins. Many a times, there have been people barely in their twenties to be nominated to win this award. Here is a list of ten people who actually made it.
1. Anna Paquin
The second-youngest person on this list, Anna Paquin was just eleven when she was placed in the category of best actress in a supporting role, for an Oscar in 1994s haunting movie ‘The Piano’. While the movie itself went on to win best actor and bagged several nominations, it was Paquin’s achievement that was a victory for Hollywood since they’d found such a perfect actress.
2. Abigail Breslin
Twelve years old at the time, the Oscars weren’t the first time Abigail Breslin showcased her true talent. Acting in TV commercials since she was three & starring in major movies like Signs when she was five, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ propelled the speedily-moving train that was her career. Since then, she’s worked with a-list actors in movies like My Sister’s Keeper, Zombieland and has joined the TV series Scream Queens.
3. Mary Badham
In the limited career of greats like Mary Badham, she went on to make an impact on Hollywood early on. Nominated for an academy award in Harper Lee’s classic movie adaptation ‘ To Kill A Mockingbird’, Badham was barely ten at the time. Though she bowed out of Hollywood a while later and began working as an art restorer, Mary will remain one of the greatest.
Steinfield 2010s’ True Grit propelled several careers forward. One of them happened to be of Hailee Steinfield, who was nominated for Best supporting actress. Having acted with actors like Keira Knightley, Steinfield is mainly known for her ‘ Pitch Perfect’ roles, and her pop career.
5. Tatum O’Neal ‘
The Paper Moon’ will always be remembered for its strong willed cast, particularly a ten year old Neal who played the role of tomboy Addie pushing her way through life. Having been nominated for other Oscar awards, Neal’s win was enough to overshadow all the other achievements that took place that day.
6. Timothy Hutton
When George Chakris received the accolade of best actor in a supporting role at the age of 27 for ‘West Side Story’, no one ever thought that someone younger would surpass him. Timothy Hutton in ‘Ordinary People’ did just that. The survivor of a boat accident that killed one of his brothers, the attempted suicide of another, Hutton portrayed the quintessential cauldron of emotions, boiling over frame after frame. He was just 20 when he received the prestigious award.
7. Justin Henry
When placed among a power-packed cast, it’s difficult not to be overshadowed. Yet in ‘Kramer v/s Kramer’, Henry, barely 8 at the time, made the performances of Hoffman and Streep seem ordinary in his comparison.
8. Marlee Matlin
The only actress to have ever won the Golden Globe, Matlin was just 21 when she won the Oscar for the Best Actress. Playing a deaf custodian in a hearing aids school in ‘Children of a Lesser God’, Marlee falls in love with a hearing aids teacher. The movie was known for its heartbreaking tale, and a role so poignantly played by this gem of an actress.
9. Adrien Brody
The youngest actor to win an Oscar for best actor was Adrien Brody, for ‘The Pianist’, who played the role of a Jewish composer who survived the holocaust. He narrated his traumatic experiences through his pieces in a role that particularly saw him shed a tremendous amount of weight. He was just 29 at the time.
10. Quvenzhanne Wallis
In the movie ‘ Beasts of the Southern Wild’, Wallis portrays a small child in a secluded & remote town. In a village devoid of hope, Wallis and her father manage to strike a chord in us due to their optimism about the future. Wallis was barely 9 at the time when she achieved this rare feat.
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