10 TV actors who have won Academy Awards
The golden age of television has hit, and frankly swapping the silver screen for the small screen has never been more fashionable. While we can’t predict where Sunday’s latest batch of Oscar-winners might go next, we’ve compiled a list of some of television’s biggest stars who also keep one (or more) of those shiny statuettes at home.
1. Jessica Lange (American Horror Story)
Before Jessica Lange was phenomenal in role after role in horror anthology American Horror Story, she was being phenomenal in role after role on the silver screen. In 1982, she became the first performer in 40 years to receive two Oscar nominations within the same year (Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress), before winning Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of a soap opera star in Tootsie. She later received three more Oscar nods before winning Best Actress for her portrayal of a bipolar housewife in Blue Sky in 1994.
2. Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)
Both Frank Underwood and actor Kevin Spacey are no stranger to winning, as Spacey has two Oscars to his name as well as the many laurels for portraying the slimy politician. Spacey won his first Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor) in 1995 for The Usual Suspects, in which he played criminal Verbal Kint. Later, in 1999, he won the Best Actor gong for his role as a depressed suburban father in American Beauty.
3. Anna Paquin (True Blood)
It’s easy to be distracted by the fact that nowadays she’s swanning around with some of television’s sexiest vampires on True Blood, but Sookie actress Anna Paquin is also the second youngest Oscar winner in history. When she was only nine years old, Paquin successfully won the lead role in The Piano despite her only acting experience being as a skunk in a school play. The film was an unexpected success, heralded by critics, and earned Paquin an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1993.
4. Matthew McConaughey (True Detective)
Back when the critical response to True Detective was still overwhelmingly positive, Matthew McConaughey played troubled homicide detective Rust Cohle. He was fresh off the back of Oscar success for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, in which he played a cowboy suffering from AIDS and received the Best Actor gong in 2013. In doing so, McConaughey set a new precedent for turning to television during a high point in his Hollywood career.
5. Halle Berry (Extant)
Halle Berry turned to television in a high profile move that saw her topping the billing list in sci-fi drama Extant, in which she played an astronaut who returns home to Earth inexplicably pregnant after spending time in outer space on a solo mission. It was a far cry from the role that won Berry Best Actress in 2002 for her portrayal of a woman who falls in love with a prison-guard after the execution of her husband in Monster’s Ball.
6. Dame Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
It is of course no surprise to anyone that British acting royalty Dame Maggie Smith is the owner of two Academy Awards and has received six nominations in total, plus virtually every other acting accolade one can receive. She won Best Actress for her portrayal of unorthodox teacher Jean Brodie in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in 1969, as well as Best Supporting Actress for California Suite in 1978, in which she, ironically, played a nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
7. Jeremy Irons (The Borgias)
Irons starred in the sexy Showtime retelling of the rise of the Borgia family to the pinnacle of the Roman Catholic Church a couple of years back before it was cancelled too soon. However, Irons is far more famous for his film work, including his role of accused murderer Claus von Bülow in Reversal of Fortune, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.
8. Kathy Bates (American Horror Story)
Lange is not the only Oscar winner who has played multiple roles in American Horror Story, Kathy Bates had also won the honour before she began work on the show. Bates was awarded the Oscar for Best Actress back in 1990 for her performance in Misery as a psychotic fan who holds her favourite author captive in a remote location and forces him to write her stories.
9. Walton Goggins (Justified)
Goggins is best known for playing the role of breakout character Boyd Crowder in Justified and his six year spell on The Shield. However, it was his skills behind the camera that have won him one of those coveted golden statuettes in 2002. Back before he was a television household name, he won an Oscar for The Accountant, a short film about an accountant who uses his numeracy skills to save a family farm.
10. Jim Rash (Community)
Jim Rash, better known as the dean of the community college where Jeff and friends spend all their time, has also seen Oscar success from behind the camera. In 2008, Rash and comedy partner Nat Paxton listed their script for an adaptation of the novel The Descendants. The script was picked up and the resulting feature won the pair an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2012, as well as picking up a Best Picture and Best Actor (for George Clooney) at the Golden Globes.