Sylvester Stallone Could Join Exclusive Oscar Company With ‘Creed’ Nomination

Sylvester Stallone's Golden Globes Nomination: Will
Courtesy of Universal/Warner Bros./Buena Vista

He could become just the sixth person to land two noms for playing the same character.

With a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor (and despite a miss with SAG-AFTRA), Sylvester Stallone could still be on track to pick up an Oscar nomination for “Creed.” It’s a very competitive category, so nothing is a sure bet, but if it does come to pass, he’ll join a very, very select group of actors who have been nominated twice for playing the same character.

The first instance was Bing Crosby’s portrait of Father Chuck O’Malley in the best picture-winning “Going My Way” in 1944 and a year later in “The Bells of St. Mary’s.” Both were lead actor nominations, and he won for the former.

Sixteen years later, Paul Newman landed a best actor nom for his portrayal of “Fast” Eddie Felson in “The Hustler.” But it would be 25 years before he’d play the part once again in Martin Scorsese’s 1986 sequel “The Color of Money,” for which he won. (That 25 years is currently the longest span of time between instances, a record that would be obliterated by the 39 years between “Rocky” and “Creed” should Stallone get the nom.)

Three years after “The Hustler,” in 1964, Peter O’Toole took on the role of King Henry II in “Becket.” He landed a best actor nomination for his efforts, and then again four years later when he revisited the character in “The Lion in Winter.”

Al Pacino was nominated for best supporting actor in 1972 for his work as Michael Corleone in “The Godfather,” but shifted gears to a lead actor nomination two years later in “The Godfather Part II.” Stallone, if nominated, would join him as the only other individual on the list to be nominated in a different category the second time around.

The only woman on the list is Cate Blanchett, who picked up best actress nominations for both the critically acclaimed “Elizabeth” in 1998 and the critically reviled “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” nine years later in 2007. The character, if it isn’t obvious: Queen Elizabeth I.

And now — perhaps — Stallone. Does Rocky Balboa belong in the same company as this cinematic royalty? In a word, absolutely. Those raised boxing gloves are iconography of the highest order, already immortalized in bronze at the franchise’s famed Philadelphia Museum of Art location. Rocky is (clearly) one of the most enduring characters in movie history, the accomplishment for which Stallone will be remembered as an artist, and this is his most complex and nuanced depiction of the character to date.

Will the actor join this exclusive group in just over a month’s time? We’ll find out.

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  1. Rocky was a great movie back then and still is now, but Creed and his performance cannot be compared. To get an award for this, in my opinion, is not justified. The same character with less of a performance. The other actors up for an award are more deserving because it’s a new role they have to work to portray. That is acting, taking on a new challenge. If he wins, it would be only for the sentimental reasons which isn’t fair to the other outstanding performances. Like Leo, or Tom Hanks and
    Matt Damon. Damon does Bourne, which he does incredibly well each time. He is brilliant. But he has done many role with success. Hanks too. Stallone keeps it too safe, and when he doesn’t, the movie tanks.

    • Marc Lester says:

      Agree with Janice, plays it too safe and that doesn’t deserve a globe much less an Oscar. Didn’t have the same impact like Rocky. I think he just wants to soak up what he can from the same old but he is giving up Rambo thank God.

  2. brian says:

    Love rocky movie.

  3. SusanLobe says:

    I don’t think his performance is worthy of an award. He needs to find a new character to compete with all the other actors that have so many different roles and are superb in each and every one. Something totally different as other actors portray.

  4. Brad Dayton says:

    I was completely moved by Stallone in Creed. If he doesn’t win, it will be a shame.

  5. Anne says:

    I truly hope this happens, he has put out some great movies and received such little respect.

  6. This was actually a final jeopardy question once.

  7. Brock says:

    As GREAT as Sly is in the film, Petty Hollywood may nom him, but he won’t win because he’s a Republican. Ah, yes! “Petty” Hollywood (Or what I like to call, “High School with money”.)

  8. Bobby DeAngelo says:

    Stallone’s subtle performance in Creed was just brilliant. The fact is, not only does he deserve the Globe, he also deserves the Oscar! Creed is an exceptionally good film, Michael B Jordan and the young woman who plays his girlfriend are both phenomenal. However, it is Stallone who breaks your heart – in almost every scene he is in – that makes this film a top notch contender for best picture!

  9. Phillipa says:

    Thank you for writing this Kris – I hope many Oscar voters read it. Stallone’s performance in Creed was a stunningly beautiful and tender rendition of a character that has come to mean so much to so many people around the world. Rocky Balboa is iconic. We have grown up with this character. His kind and humble characteristics were portrayed so wonderfully by Stallone that it would be a great disappointment if the Academy failed to honour him with a nomination.

  10. Deydou says:

    I hope the Academy will give Sly the honor he deserves. I hope the Academy will give Rocky the honor he deserves.
    The actor and the character are legends.
    They don’t make stars like Sly anymore.
    We used to say no one in the world doesn’t know Michael Jackson… The same could almost be said about Rocky/Sly, I said almost.
    He’s part of our lives.
    Rocky is an inspiration.
    The Academy has the opportunity to reward a legend in a deserving performance of one of the most beloved characters in movie history.
    This is a once in a lifetime opportunity!
    Take it Academy. Please take it!!!
    Give a well deserved Oscar to Sly playing Rocky!

  11. Sean C. says:

    One of the great mysteries: I had a “phantom nominations” moment, as I assumed that Diane Keaton had been nominated for the Godfather films, but apparently she never was for any of them. How did that happen?

    • Edwin says:

      Yeah, I always think she was nominated for Part II. Talia Shire was, and I think most people would probably have given that slot to Diane Keaton instead (if they only had room for one of them, that is). Then again, they also found room for THREE Supporting Actor nominations for that movie, yet John Cazale was still left out, which is crazy to me.

  12. Chris says:

    I know what you’re thinking. “Did he name seven actors or just six?” Well to tell you the truth, in all of this excitement I kinda lost track myself.

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