Christopher Plummer’s supporting actor Academy Award for Mike Mills’ “Beginners” gave him a distinct niche in Oscar history Sunday — at 82, he became the oldest recipient of a competitive acting Oscar.
Plummer received a standing ovation Sundauy night and began his acceptance by looking at the statuette and proclaiming, “I was only two years older than you, darling. Where have you been the rest of my life?”Plummer was competing against another 82-year-old, Max Von Sydow for “Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close,” along with Kenneth Branagh for “My Week with Marilyn,” Jonah Hill for “Moneyball” and Nick Nolte for “Warrior.” Plummer was previously nominated in the supporting category in 2009 for “The Last Station.”
“When I emerged from the womb, I was rehearsing my Oscar speech,” he quipped Sunday.
Jessica Tandy remains the oldest lead acting winner, setting that mark when she won the lead actress Oscar at 80 for 1989’s “Driving Miss Daisy.” George Burns is the only other acting winner to receive an Oscar at the age of 80, winning the supporting actor Oscar in 1975’s “The Sunshine Boys.”
In “Beginners,” Plummer portrayed a retired museum director who waits until the death of his wife of 45 years to announce that he’s gay. Focus opened “Beginners” in June, and Plummer has dominated the supporting category during awards season, winning the Spirit, SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA trophies.
He offered extensive thanks, concluding with his spouse Elaine “who saves my life every single day.”