So far, 11 actors and actresses have been nominated for two Academy Awards in the same year. Some of them won in one of the categories and some of them did not win in either. To be exact, seven have won in one category or another and four of them did not even in any in the year they were nominated. If an actor or an actress receives enough votes from the Academy then they can be nominated in both the acting categories they are eligible for. The only rule which is to be followed is that an actor or an actress cannot get two nominations for the same performance. This rule was introduced in 1944 when Barry Fitzgerald received two nominations for a single performance in the same role in Going My Way, one for Best Actor and the other for Best Supporting Actor. An actor’s role, or for that matter, an actress’s role can either be considered a lead character or a supporting character in a story, depending on which, they are nominated for these acting categories. Here are ten actors and actresses who were nominated for Oscars twice in a single year:
1. Fay Bainter
Fay Okell Bainter (December 7, 1893 – April 16, 1968) was an American film and stage actress who got nominated for the Academy Awards thrice and two times in a single year. She was the first one to do so when she was nominated for Best Actress in White Banners and for Best Supporting Actress in Jezebel in 1938. She won for Best Supporting Actress category playing Aunt Belle. She acted since the age of 15 as a traveling stage actress in 1908 and made her way to the Broadway in 1912. She did her first film This Side of Heaven in 1934. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2. Teresa Wright
Muriel Teresa Wright (October 27, 1918 – March 6, 2005) was an American actress who got nominated for the Oscars thrice and twice in the same year in 1942. One for Best Actress in The Pride of the Yankees and the other for Best Supporting Actress in Mrs. Miniver, which she won. She started acting inspired by Helen Hayes in Victoria Regina and played in school plays. Her first Oscar nomination came in for her first role as Alexandra Giddens in The Little Foxes (1941) for Best Supporting Actress.
3. Jessica Lange
Jessica Phyllis Lange (born April 20, 1949) is an American actress who works in films, theatre and television and has received six Academy Award nominations and won twice. She got nominated in two categories in the same year for Best Actress in Frances and Best Supporting Actress in Tootsie in 1982, the latter of which she won. She worked as a waitress briefly to support herself before being discovered by fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. She became a fashion model for Wilhelmina Models agency during which she was offered to join Hollywood by the producer Dino De Laurentiis. She has done television work extensively as well as did theatre. She is also currently serving as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and is known for her charitable causes. She is also expressive about her political views, especially being a harsh critic of the former U.S. President George W. Bush and as a supporter of the Buddhist monks in Nepal.
4. Sigourney Weaver
Susan Alexandra Weaver (born October 8, 1949) is an American actress who has three Oscar nominations so far to her name. In 1988, she was nominated by the Academy for two Oscars, one as Best Actress in Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey and the other for Best Supporting Actress in Working Girl. She did not win for any of these. But after making Gorillas in the Mist: The Story of Dian Fossey, she got involved in working for The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and now is its honorary chairperson. She is an environmental enthusiast. She changed her name to Sigourney Weaver since 1963 inspired by a minor fictional character Sigourney Howard from the novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Both of her parents are from the show business, father being a television producer and mother an actress, so she has grown up having genes to do what she does.
5. Al Pacino
Alfredo James “Al” Pacino (born April 25, 1940) is an American film and stage actor and director who has been nominated eight times for an Academy Award and won only once for his role as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman (1992) in the Best Actor category. The same year he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Glengarry Glen Ross. As a teenager, he wanted to become a baseball player and was known to his friends by the nickname of Sonny. But he was also called ‘The Actor’. He developed interest in acting and left home working at various low-paying jobs as a messenger boy, busboy, janitor, and postal clerk, just so that he could support his financial burden of studying acting. He faced a troubled childhood and teenage and was also rejected by the Actors Studio initially, but was later accepted. Today, he is the co-president of the Actors Studio. He has not left his stage career from where he started and continues to act to this day.
6. Holly Hunter
Holly Hunter (born March 20, 1958) is an American television and film actress who has been nominated four times for an Oscar and twice in the year 1993. She won the Best Actress Oscar for The Piano and was nominated in the same year for The Firm for Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She is deaf from one ear and this sometimes causes problems while filming which at times lead to altering of scripts and scenes to fit her need. She holds a degree in drama from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and there she was a class fellow of Frances McDormand. She had no deliberate idea about joining films, but a chance encounter with the playwright Beth Henley led to her performing on stage.
7. Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson (born 15 April 1959) is a British actress, comedian and screenwriter who has been nominated five times for an Oscar, once for Best Adapted Screenplay, once for Best Supporting Actress and thrice for Best Actress. She was nominated twice in the same year for The Remains of the Day and In the Name of the Father in 1993, but lost in both of these categories that year. Both of her parents were actors as well as her sister. She has come under criticism for making unfair humour against claims of racism and sexism in people who were not guilty of these. She is an environmental enthusiast and supports Greenpeace. She is an atheist and criticizes a lot of things written in the different holy books of world religions. She is a supporter of Palestinian human rights. Her comedy revolves around the issues she considers important.
8. Julianne Moore
Julie Anne Smith (born December 3, 1960) is an American-British actress and a children’s book author, who has been nominated four times for an Oscar, twice for Best Actress and twice for Best Supporting Actress. She is also one of the few actors who have been nominated twice in the same year. In 2002, she was nominated for Best Actress in Far from Heaven and Best Supporting Actress in The Hours, but she did not win in either category. She is an army brat and grew up in different places as a child traveling to Germany and around the United States. She is politically opinionated being essentially the Democrats supporter and is also involved in many charitable causes with international organizations.
9. Jamie Foxx
Eric Marlon Bishop (born December 13, 1967), professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, rapper, singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host. He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award and both times in the same year. In 2004 for Ray as Best Actor in a Leading Role which he won, and for Collateral as Best Supporting Actor. He got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September 2007. He is considered amongst the best multitalented performers in Hollywood. He continues to give time to filmmaking, creating music and touring for concerts.
10. Cate Blanchett
Catherine Élise “Cate” Blanchett (born 14 May 1969) is an Australian actress, who has been nominated five times so far for an Oscar, twice in the same year. Once for Best Actress in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and another for Best Supporting Actress in I’m Not There in 2007, but she lost in both the categories. Early on she had no plans to join films, but once during a trip to Egypt a fellow guest at a hotel in Cairo asked her to be an extra in a movie scene. She got interested and studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. She then joined theatre after her graduation. She has been called as ‘the new Meryl Streep’ by critics due to her ability to perform as various characters. She is supportive of environmental causes and works with different organisations to conserve and protect nature. She is also a Patron of Sydney Film Festival.