Article Courtesy Matt Busekroos via Backstage.com
Oscar records are broken every year, especially among actors with many benchmarks relating to an actor’s age.
In 2013, Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) broke a new record becoming the oldest nominee in the lead actress category at 85. Meanwhile, Quvenzhané Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) appeared alongside Riva as the youngest ever nominated at 9 years old.
Here are some more record breakers featuring actors who received acting nominations after the age of 60!
Gloria Stuart, “Titanic” (1997) (87 years, 221 days)
Stuart holds the title as the oldest actor ever nominated for an Oscar. She received her single nomination in the supporting category at 87 for the James Cameron disaster epic, “Titanic.” Playing Rose DeWitt Bukater, Stuart narrates the film in the modern day detailing of her character’s experience and romance on the ship, as portrayed by Kate Winslet in flashbacks. Stuart ultimately lost the Oscar to Kim Basinger for “L.A. Confidential.” However, “Titanic” remains the most-winning film in history with 11 Oscars, alongside “Ben-Hur” and “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”
Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour” (2012) (85 years, 321 days)The Academy finally embraced acclaimed Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke with his film “Amour” in 2012, which amassed five nominations, including one for 85-year-old Riva, who became the oldest female actor nominated for a leading role. She stars as a woman who becomes paralyzed after suffering a stroke. Riva won a BAFTA Award for her performance, but lost the Oscar to Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) on the night of her 86th birthday.
Robert Duvall, “The Judge” (2014) (84 years, 10 days)
Duvall earned his seventh Oscar nomination in supporting for his role as a judge suspected of murder in the aptly titled film, “The Judge.” Duvall is the oldest male actor to receive a nomination in either lead or supporting at 84. While Duvall lost the Oscar to J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash”), the actor previously won for his leading role in 1983’s “Tender Mercies.”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners” (2011) (82 years, 42 days)
This actor didn’t receive his first Oscar nomination until the age of 80 for his performance as Leo Tolstoy in 2009’s “The Last Station.” Plummer lost to Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”), however, he returned for his second nomination just two years later for “Beginners.” The actor became the oldest recipient of a competitive acting Oscar at 82, surpassing Jessica Tandy’s two-decade old record.
Jessica Tandy, “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989) (80 years, 252 days)
Tandy is the oldest female actor to win an Oscar for a leading role in “Driving Miss Daisy.” Tandy stars as an elderly woman who develops a friendship with her African-American chauffeur in the South during the 1950s. Tandy received one more Oscar nomination in supporting for 1991’s “Fried Green Tomatoes.”
Richard Farnsworth, “The Straight Story” (1999) (79 years, 167 days)
Farnsworth remains the oldest male actor nominated for an Oscar in a leading role at 79. Farnsworth stars in David Lynch’s “The Straight Story” as a man who journeys across the country on a lawn mower to make amends with his dying brother. The actor lost his second Oscar nomination to Kevin Spacey (“American Beauty”). He previously earned a nod in supporting for 1978’s “Comes a Horseman.”
Judi Dench, “Philomena” (2013) (79 years, 38 days)
Dench received her seventh Oscar nomination at 79 for “Philomena.” “Philomena” is based on a true story of a woman searching for her son who she gave up for adoption years earlier. Dench earned all seven of her Oscar nominations over the age of 60. No other actor in history has accumulated that many nominations after that age. Dench won her first Oscar for her scene stealing cameo as Queen Elizabeth in 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love.”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska” (2013) (77 years, 226 days)
Dern is only second to Richard Farnsworth as the oldest male actor nominated for a leading role at 77. Dern won a Cannes Award and his second Oscar nomination for the Alexander Payne black-and-white dramedy, “Nebraska.” Dern lost the Oscar to Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”). The actor received his first nomination in supporting for 1978’s “Coming Home.”
Henry Fonda, “On Golden Pond” (1982) (76 years, 317 days)
Fonda won his first competitive Oscar for his final theatrical performance in 1982’s “On Golden Pond.” Fonda remains the oldest male actor to win in a leading role at 76. The actor received an Honorary Award one year prior to winning competitively. Fonda earned his first acting nomination for 1940’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” and an additional nomination for producing 1957’s “12 Angry Men.”
Clint Eastwood, “Million Dollar Baby” (2004) (74 years, 239 days)
Eastwood hit a triple receiving three nominations for acting, directing, and producing 2004’s “Million Dollar Baby.” Eastwood’s performance lost to Jamie Foxx (“Ray”), but he won his other two nominations. Eastwood is one of the oldest nominees in the lead acting category, and currently holds the record as the oldest director to win.
Katharine Hepburn, “On Golden Pond” (1982) (74 years, 275 days)
Hepburn is the most winning actor of all time with four leading Oscars, and won her fourth and final golden statue opposite Henry Fonda in “On Golden Pond” at 74. She previously won for 1933’s “Morning Glory,” 1967’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” and 1968’s “The Lion in Winter” (in a tie with “Funny Girl” star Barbra Streisand). Hepburn is the second oldest female actor to win for a leading role after Jessica Tandy. The actor impressively collected throughout her career 12 nominations over a span of 48 years.
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years” (2015) (69 years, 343 days)
Charlotte Rampling is the oldest actor nominated for an Oscar this year at 69 for her devastating turn in “45 Years.” She is also one of the oldest actors ever to receive a nomination in a leading role. Rampling is a first-time nominee this year.