The people who bring you the Oscars — The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences — has changed its nominating procedures so many times that through the years it’s produced some interesting complications.
Hello, everybody. Mr. Joe Morella and Mr. Frank Segers, your Classic Movie Guys, here again.
In today’s installment of INTERESTING OSCAR TID-BITS we’re concentrating on that special group of actors who had two chances to win the Oscar in the SAME year!
Back in the old days– the real old days of 1930–actors could be nominated for more than one picture.
So that year Greta Garbo (photo upper left) was nominated for Best Actress in “Anna Christie.” Then nominated again for “Romance.” She had two chances to win.
But then again, so did Norma Shearer. She’d been tapped for “Their Own Desire,” and “The Divorcee.” (She won for the latter.) Ruth Chatterton, Nancy Carroll and Gloria Swanson were left in the dust.
Over in the Best Actor category there were 8 nominations but only 5 men competing. George Arliss (shown upper right) had 2 nominations. But so did Maurice Chevalier and Ronald Coleman. Poor Wallace Beery and Lawrence Tibbett had only one each. (Arliss copped it for 1929’s “Disraeli.”)
The Academy soon ended that nominating process, and actors had to be content with ONE nomination per category.
But then in 1938 Fay Bainter made history by being nominated in both the Best Actress Category (for “White Banners”) and the Best Supporting Actress Category (for “Jezebel.”) She lost to Bette Davis –Jezebel herself — but won the supporting Oscar for playing Bette’s aunt.
The most curious double nomination was that of Barry Fitzgerald (lower left).
In 1944, for his performance opposite Bing Crosby in “Going My Way,” he was nominated in both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor Categories for the SAME part.Just like fellow character actor Bainter, Fitzgerald had to be content with the Supporting Oscar. Star Crosby won the big one.