The 93rd Academy Award nominations were historic in many ways, including Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield both being nominated for supporting actor for their performances as Fred Hampton and William O’Neal, respectively, in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” The noms marked not only the first time that two Black men have been nominated from the same film in the supporting actor category, but also the first time that any two Black men have been nominated from the same film in the entire history of the Oscars. Including this year’s category double-dip (we explain how it happened here), there have been a total of 55 occurrences of two or more actors or actresses from the same movie garnering Oscar supporting nominations. Kaluuya and Stanfield mark the 20th time for supporting actor, while there have been an astounding 35 instances for supporting actress, which is nearly one-third of total noms in Academy history.
How often do these co-star duels result in a win?
For the supporting actor category, in those 20 outings, six of them resulted in one of the men winning for his performance — Ben Johnson in “The Last Picture Show” (1971), Robert De Niro in “The Godfather Part II” (1974), Jason Robards in “Julia” (1977), Timothy Hutton in “Ordinary People” (1980), Jack Nicholson in “Terms of Endearment” (1983) and Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017).
For the supporting actress race, in the 35 times that two or more female co-stars were nominated, only 12 went on to take home gold — Hattie McDaniels in “Gone With the Wind” (1939), Teresa Wright for “Mrs. Miniver” (1942), Celeste Holm in “Gentleman’s Agreement” (1947), Helen Hayes in “Airport” (1970), Cloris Leachman in “The Last Picture Show” (1971), Tatum O’Neal in “Paper Moon” (1973), Meryl Streep in “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979), Jessica Lange in “Tootsie” (1982), Dianne Wiest in “Bullets over Broadway” (1994), Catherine Zeta-Jones in “Chicago” (2002), Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” (2010) and Octavia Spencer in “The Help” (2011).
In the leading categories, it’s unsurprisingly less frequent as the best actor race has only delivered 12 instances of co-star competition, with four wins — the last time was between F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce for “Amadeus” (1984). Female co-stars have been up against one another for lead actress just five times, with only Shirley MacLaine triumphing against her co-star for “Terms of Endearment” (1983). The last co-star duel Geena Davis vs. Susan Sarandon for “Thelma & Louise” in 1991.
To celebrate the success of the two outstanding performers from “Judas and the Black Messiah,” the first film to ever have an all-Black producing team, we’re counting down the top 10 co-star battles in Oscar supporting categories. As an advocate for proper acting submissions in the acting races, I did not include lineups that many consider to be in the wrong category (a.k.a. “category fraud”). So you won’t see the inclusions of “The Bad Seed” (because of Patty McCormack), “The Godfather” (because of Al Pacino), “Ordinary People” (because of Timothy Hutton), “Paper Moon” (because of O’Neal) and “The Favourite” (because of Emma Stone); all should have been considered or nominated for leading Oscars.
Honorable mentions: “Working Girl” (1988) with Joan Cusack and Sigourney Weaver; “The Help” (2011) with Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer; “The Last Picture Show” (1971) with Ellen Burstyn and Cloris Leachman; “Nashville” (1975) with Ronee Blakley and Lily Tomlin; “Shane” (1953) with Brandon deWilde and Jack Palance; “Rocky” (1976) with Burgess Meredith and Burt Young.