IIn 1934, Shirley Temple, then six years old, was awarded the first-ever Academy Juvenile Award, a separate award created to recognize the ability of young actors independent of the main Oscar categories. But it was 16-year-old Patty Duke’s 1963 win for Best Supporting Actress that convinced the Academy that young actors could successfully compete against adults, and the special awards were discontinued. But the number of child actors who have successfully snagged a nomination — let alone an Oscar win — is small. Since Duke’s victory there have only been two young winners – Tatum O’Neal in 1974 and Anna Paquin in 1994.
Here is the full list of young actors who have achieved a win or nomination for an Oscar, starting with the most recent.
Justin Henry, 8 years old
Kramer against Kramer1980
Justin Henry remains the youngest actor in Academy Awards history to secure a nomination. His role in the 1979 drama Kramer against Kramer when Billy, a boy caught up in the wickedness of his parents’ divorce, earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Henry lost to actors more than half his age to Melvyn Douglas wow. Henry, now 50, was a 2014 horror film Reaper.
Jackie Cooper, 9 years old
Cooper was the first child to be nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role as the title character in the 1931s Skippy. The comedy follows Skippy, a wealthy doctor’s mischievous child, who becomes friends with Sooky, a boy from the poor part of town. Together, the two must rescue Sooky’s dog, who is captured by a brutal dog catcher. While Cooper didn’t secure the Oscar win, the actor, who died in 2011, starred in other projects like the original superman movies.
Quvenzhané Wallis, 9 years old
Beasts of the Southern Wilds2013
The most recent child nomination goes to Wallis, whose performance was noted in 2012 Beasts of the Southern Wilds snagged her a nomination for Best Actress. The fantasy film stars Wallis as a hushpuppy whose father prepares her for the end of the world. When he falls ill, the world seems to collapse too, with rising water levels and savage prehistoric beasts forcing Hushpuppy to search for her long-lost mother. Although Wallis didn’t win the Oscar, it only marked the beginning of her acting career. She recently finished the first season of Swagger, which aired in late 2021.
Mary Badham, 10 years old
Killing a mockingbird1963
Badham’s role as Scout in a 1962 classic Killing a Mockingbird – the film adaptation of the classic novel – earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. However, child actor Patty Duke overtook Badham for the Oscar win. The 69-year-old actor has since retired from show business but continues to campaign for Harper Lee’s book to be taught in American schools.
Tatum O’Neal, 10 years old
At the 46th Academy Awards, O’Neal won Best Supporting Actress, becoming the youngest person to win an Oscar. O’Neal starred alongside her real-life father, Ryan O’Neal, in Paper Moon in 1974. The pair portrayed impostors making their way through the countryside. O’Neal, now 58, is still acting and will be seen in 2021 Not to forget.
Quinn Cummings, 10 years old
The farewell girl1978
1978 Romcom The farewell girl, Cummings plays the daughter of a woman whose relationship with her disgruntled lodger evolves into something bigger. The role earned Cummings an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but she ended up losing to Vanessa Redgrave. Richard Dreyfuss won Best Actor for his role as Lodger. Cummings, 54, has since retired with her last role on an episode of the show in 1991 blossom. Today she is an entrepreneur and author.
Abigail Breslin, 10 years old
Little Miss Sunshine2007
Breslin appeared in a handful of films in the late 2000s alongside the likes of Cameron Diaz and Ryan Reynolds, but it was her role in Little Miss Sunshine which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The 25-year-old was last seen on the big screen in Matt Damon’s 2021 vehicle still water.
Brandon deWilde, 11 years old
Brandon deWilde received his only Oscar nomination for his supporting role in the western romance Shane. DeWilde played the son of a woman who becomes the object of the affections of Alan Ladd’s Shane – a gunslinger who is forced to join a long-distance war. The young actor starred in other westerns before dying in a traffic accident at the age of 30.
Patty McCormack, 11 years old
The bad seed1957
Patty McCormack was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her terrifying portrayal of young murderess Rhoda The bad seed. At 15, she became the youngest person to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. At 76, McCormack still has an acting career, hopping between screen and stage. Her last role was on the 2021 Off-Broadway show At seven in the morning.
Anna Paquin, 11 years old
Paquin’s role as the daughter of a mute pianist in the 1993 drama earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making her the second youngest winner in the category behind Tatum O’Neal. Paquin has continued a successful career and can be seen in more recent work such as Martin Scorsese The Irishman.
Haley Joel Osment, 11 years old
The sixth Sense2000
The young actor earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in a 1999 thriller The sixth Sense, as the boy who infamously can see dead people. Osment was also known for a previous appearance in the classic film Forrest Gump and is now appearing in a recurring role on television series The young.
Linda Blair, 13 years old
Linda Blair received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Movie the exorcist, He plays a young girl who seems to be possessed by the devil. However, she was beaten to victory by Tatum O’Neal. Blair has mostly retired from acting aside from occasional television appearances and has since dedicated himself to the fight for animal justice, which is where he penned the 2001 book Go vegan!
Keisha Castle Hughes, 13 years old
In New Zealand-born Keisha Castle-Hughes’ film debut, she played a young girl who must earn her birthright as the next chief of her tribe, a role traditionally passed only to sons. She lost to Charlize Theron at the Oscars, but Castle-Hughes is still acting and has appeared in both game of Thrones and the Walking Dead.
Saoirse Ronan, 13 years old
Before Saoirse Ronan rose to fame, she received her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in atonement, a romantic drama about young lovers who are torn apart by a lie told by a jealous younger sister. Tilda Swinton beat Ronan for the award, but the young actor later received three more Best Actress nominations for her roles in Lady Bird, Brooklyn, and little womanall before the 24th
Bonita Granville, 14 years old
Bonita Granville rose to fame after receiving an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the 1937 film These three. Her portrayal of a student telling a scathing lie about two teachers and the man they both love didn’t win her the award, but the actor continued his triumphant career in the classic 1930s Nancy Drew films as well as 1942 Now Voyager. Her last appearance was a cameo in a 1981 film The Legend of the Lone Ranger before her death in 1988.
Patty Duke, 16 years old
The Miracle Worker1963
At the age of 15, Patty Duke portrayed Helen Keller in the 1962 film The Miracle Workerfor which she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. It was a role she had created on Broadway two years earlier. Before the actor’s death in 2016, she had a long acting career, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, two Golden Globes and three Primetime Emmys.
Jack Wild, 16 years old
Jack Wild was best known for his award-winning role in the 1968 musical Oliver! as the Artful Dodger, who leads a group of pickpocketing boys in Victorian London. His performance earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars, where he lost to Jack Albertson The theme was roses. Wild continued his singing and acting career with performances in The Pied Piper and Aliceuntil his death in 2006.
Sal Mineo, 17 years old
Rebelling for no reason1956
Sal Mineo received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama in 1955 Rebelling for no reason, starring James Dean. A few years later, Mineo received his second Oscar nomination for his role in the 1960 war drama Exodus. The late actor kept up with film and television, with his final role in the year-long television series in 1975 Joe Forresterbefore he was stabbed in 1976.
The Oscars will take place on March 27, 2022