J.K. Simmons has won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as an abusive orchestra conductor in “Whiplash,” fulfilling the widespread expectation that the veteran actor was a lock to take the trophy.
Simmons topped a formidable field, winning over Robert Duvall for “The Judge,” Ethan Hawke for “Boyhood,” Edward Norton for “Birdman” and Mark Ruffalo for “Foxcatcher.”
The 60-year-old Simmons has already prevailed at the Golden Globes, SAG, Critics’ Choice, BAFTA and Spirit awards.
“Whiplash,” shot in 19 days, centers on Simmons’ pushing Miles Teller’s drummer character to the breaking point at a fictional New York City music academy. Simmons, a 60-year-old character actor, has been the frontrunner all the way back to the world premiere of “Whiplash” at Sundance more than a year ago.
Until that point, Simmons had been best known for his TV work in “Law and Order” and “Oz” along with portraying J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.
“I have been especially blessed,” Simmons said Saturday in a low-key acceptance at the Spirits.
Simmons was the first Oscar winner announced Sunday. He thanked his wife and children in his acceptance speech then pleaded with everyone to call their parents.
“If you’re lucky enough to have a parent alive on this planet — call them, don’t text them!” Simmons said.