Special Report

Comedic Performances That Were So Good They Even Won an Oscar

Source: Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

23. Alan Arkin as Grandpa
> Film: Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
> Award: Best Actor In a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin earned his first Academy Award nomination in 1967 as a Russian navy officer trying to free his submarine, which had run aground in New England, in the Cold War farce “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.” He would earn four Oscar nominations in all, and won for his supporting role as the eccentric grandfather in the beauty pageant send-up “Little Miss Sunshine.”

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

22. Mira Sorvino as Linda
> Film: Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
> Award: Best Actress In A Supporting Role

Mira Sorvino won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as an adult film actress and a working girl who is the birth mother of a baby adopted by a New York sportswriter (Woody Allen) and his wife. When the couple discover the boy is a genius, they set out to find the birth mother. Sorvino, daughter of actor Paul Sorvino, had earned her acting chops in previous roles in the indie film “Barcelona” and the Robert Redford-directed “Quiz Show.”

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

21. Dianne Wiest as Helen Sinclair
> Film: Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
> Award: Best Actress In A Supporting Role

Dianne Wiest’s second Oscar triumph came as the character Helen Sinclair in the Woody Allen-helmed “Bullets Over Broadway” (the first was for another Allen film, “Hannah and Her Sisters”). The plot involves a playwright (John Cusack) who makes a deal to cast a gangster’s talent-challenged girlfriend in a show so it can be produced. Wiest has been nominated for three Academy Awards.

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

20. Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi
> Film: Ed Wood (1994)
> Award: Best Actor In a Supporting Role

Baby boomers might remember Martin Landau for his clever masquerades on the television series “Mission: Impossible.” Landau won his lone Academy Award playing the aging and ailing horror actor Bela Lugosi in “Ed Wood,” the biopic about one of Hollywood’s worst directors, portrayed by Johnny Depp. Landau had been nominated for an Oscar twice before.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

19. Marisa Tomei as Mona Lisa Vito
> Film: My Cousin Vinny (1992)
> Award: Best Actress In A Supporting Role

Marisa Tomei has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won her only Oscar to date with her first nomination, for her role as Mona Lisa Vito in “My Cousin Vinny.” She played the fiancée of a New York attorney (Joe Pesci) who defends his cousin and a friend wrongfully accused of murder in rural Alabama.

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