Supporting Actress Smackdown: The Final Wind-Up

The final season of the Supporting Actress Smackdown approaches this summer. With the schedule announcement arriving this month, I wanted to do a larger buildup for the last-ever season, getting a wider sample of potential supporting actress contenders from the selected years before the ceremony starts in earnest. And here we are, with me slightly ahead of my normal pace with tracking down write-up candidates, and with more room to feel around for outside-the-box contenders and stellar films that don’t recommend themselves on actressing.

The upper list of names under each year (ordered as: actress name, film title) denotes the performances I’ve already seen, while the lower list (ordered as film title, actress name) is all the performances I’m interested in tracking down. I’m not promising to watch all of those films, but they’re up for consideration, and I’m curious to hear who y’all think I should prioritize, who I should write about, whose absence is most egregious, and so on. Lemme know what you think, and I look forward to joining y’all for this final celebration of actressing on the edges! Remember you heard it here first, dear readers. Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.

Edit: I have updated this list to include the actual Supporting Actress lineups for each year, and will be crossing off each name as I see them.

^ denotes performances I believe straddle the lead/supporting line
* denotes performances in films originally released in their respective year but did not receive a corresponding US/Oscar qualifying release


  • Joan Blondell, The Blue Veil
  • Mildred Dunnock, Death of a Salesman
  • Lee Grant, Detective Story
  • Kim Hunter, A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Thelma Ritter, The Mating Season
  • Ann Ayars, The Tales of Hoffmann
  • Barbara Bates, Let’s Make it Legal
  • Marisa Casares, Orpheus
  • Gladys Cooper, Thunder on the Hill
  • Adrienne Corrie, The River
  • Gladys George, He Ran All the Way
  • Donna Corcoran, Angels in the Outfield
  • Marlene Dietrich, No Highway in the Sky
  • Nina Foch, An American in Paris
  • Ava Gardner, Show Boat
  • Peggy Ann Garner, Teresa
  • Miriam Hopkins, The Mating Season
  • Janet Leigh, Angels in the Outfield^
  • Agnes Moorehead, Fourteen Hours
  • Patricia Neal, The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Anne Revere, A Place in the Sun
  • Kasey Rogers, Strangers on a Train
  • Selena Royle, He Ran All the Way
  • Jan Sterling, Ace in the Hole
  • Shelley Winters, He Ran All the Way^
  • Natalie Wood, The Blue Veil
  • The Ensemble, La Ronde
  • Bright Victory, Nana Bryant
  • The Browning Version, Jean Kent
  • Daughter of Deceit, Alicia Caro
  • David and Bathsheba, Jayne Meadows
  • The Model and the Marriage Broker, Nancy Kulp
  • On Dangerous Ground, Ida Lupino
  • Quo Vadis, Patricia Laffan
  • Seven Days Til Noon, Olive Sloane
  • St. Benny the Dip, Jean Casto
  • Westward the Women, The Ensemble


  • Kim Basinger, L.A. Confidential
  • Joan Cusack, In & Out
  • Minnie Driver, Good Will Hunting
  • Julianne Moore, Boogie Nights
  • Gloria Stuart, Titanic
  • Joan Allen, Face/Off
  • Cameron Diaz, My Best Friend’s Wedding
  • Susan Egan, Hercules
  • Alison Elliott, The Wings of the Dove
  • Frances Fisher, Titanic
  • Bridget Fonda, Jacking Brown
  • Joanna Gleason, Boogie Nights
  • Heather Graham, Boogie Nights
  • Anne Heche, Wag the Dog
  • Laurie Metcalf, Scream 2
  • Debbi Morgan, Eve’s Bayou
  • Gwyneth Paltrow, Hard Eight
  • Jada Pinkett, Scream 2
  • Sarah Polley, The Sweet Hereafter
  • Charlotte Rampling, The Wings of the Dove
  • Cristina Ricci, The Ice Storm
  • Nathalie Richards, Irma Vep
  • Gabrielle Rose, The Sweet Hereafter
  • Annabella Sciorra, Cop Land
  • Uma Thurman, Batman & Robin
  • Deborah Kara Unger, Crash
  • Sigourney Weaver, The Ice Storm
  • Michelle Yeoh, Tomorrow Never Dies
  • The Ensemble, Female Perversions
  • The Apostle, Farah Fawcett and Miranda Richardson
  • As Good As It Gets, Shirley Knight
  • Deconstructing Harry, Judy Davis
  • Donnie Brasco, Anne Heche
  • The Full Monty, Lesley Sharpe
  • Hoodlum, Cicely Tyson
  • The House of Yes, Genevieve Bujold
  • In the Company of Men, Stacy Edwards
  • Junk Mail, Eli Ann Linnestad
  • The Lost Highway, Patricia Arquette
  • Margaret’s Museum, Kate Nelligan
  • Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Lady Chablis
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Whitney Huston
  • Rosewood, Esther Rolle
  • Waiting for Guffmann, The Ensemble


  • Cate Blanchett, The Aviator
  • Laura Linney, Kinsey
  • Virginia Madsen, Sideways
  • Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda
  • Natalie Portman, Closer
  • Joan Allen, The Bourne Supremacy
  • Heather Craney, Vera Drake
  • Anaïs Demoustier, Time of the Wolf^
  • Kirsten Dunst, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Daryl Hannah, Kill Bill Vol. 2
  • Sally Hawkins, Vera Drake
  • Anne Heche, Birth
  • Holly Hunter, The Incredibles^
  • Helen Kim, Kill Bill Vol. 2
  • Sandra Oh, Sideways
  • The Ensemble, I Heart Huckabees
  • The Ensemble, Maria Full of Grace
  • The Ensemble, Mean Girls
  • Blissfully Yours, Jenjira Jansuda
  • Dogville, The Ensemble
  • Finding Neverland, Julie Christie
  • Goodbye, Lenin!, Kathrin Sass
  • Hero, Maggie Cheung
  • The Manchurian Candidate, Meryl Streep
  • The Notebook, Gena Rowlands
  • Ray, The Ensemble
  • Saved!, Mandy Moore
  • Since Otar Left, Dinara Drukarova
  • Spanglish, Cloris Leachman
  • Straight-Jacket, Veronica Cartwright
  • We Don’t Live Here Anymore, Laura Dern

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