Alan Arkin’s win for supporting actor finally gave him an Oscar, 40 years after he was first nominated.
Thesp, who broke on to the scene in 1966 with “The Russians are Coming,” drew two Oscars noms in a space of two years in the 1960s. He was nominated for lead actor for the comic role of Lt. Rozanov in “Russians” and then two years later in the same category for playing John Singer in “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.”
Despite a number of acclaimed roles in the subsequent four decades –including turns in “Catch-22,” “The In-Laws” and “Glengarry Glen Ross” — he didn’t catch the Academy’s attention. It took his role as a raunchy, heroin-sniffing grandfather in the ensemble dramedy “Little Miss Sunshine” to earn him an Oscar; indeed, thesp noted that acting “was a team sport” in accepting the kudo.
Kudo came one day after Arkin took home the Film Independent Spirit award in the same category, after which he joked that had his mother been alive she sill would be urging him to get a teacher’s license as “something to fall back on.”