Most Known For: “X-Men: First Class,” “Footloose,” “Tremors”
Snubbed For: “The Woodsman,” “Apollo 13,” “Mystic River”
More than likely, most of you have played six-degrees of separation of Kevin Bacon at some point. Bacon, with a career that spans back into the 70s, has worked with so many of Hollywood’s biggest actors, many of which were in Oscar nominated films. Despite the frequency, Bacon is somehow missing that final link that will get him an Oscar nomination.
Young Mr. Bacon began to make a name for himself in the latter part of the 70s and early 80s with roles in “Animal House,” “Friday the 13th” and “Diner,” but he became a household name when he starred in the original “Footloose.” He’d continue to build his resume with roles in “Tremors” and “Flatliners,” but once the 90s rolled around Bacon would start his dance with the Academy.
From 1991 to 1995, Bacon starred in three Best Picture nominated films, “JFK,” “A Few Good Men,” and “Apollo 13” as well as the Golden Globe nominated “The River Wild,” with one of those nominations being for Bacon in the Best Supporting Actor category. Bacon was a key player in all of the ensembles of those films, but perhaps his biggest gripe is for “Apollo 13,” though everyone is on point in Ron Howard’s best. Bacon was unable to make much of a move over co-star Ed Harris, who earned a Best Supporting Actor nominee. Bacon would be nominated as part of the ensemble by SAG.
Bacon’s star began to fade at the turn of the century after the bomb “Hollow Man,” but perhaps that was for the best, because some of his best roles have come since as a valuable supporting player to many films, as well as work in indie films.
Similar to “Apollo 13,” “Mystic River” saw Bacon give a good performance but overshadowed by his co-stars Sean Penn and Tim Robbins, both of which would win Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. Once again, Bacon would settle for a SAG nomination as part of “Mystic River’s” ensemble. He’d get one more ensemble nod for “Frost/Nixon” in 2009.
Bacon finally was in the spotlight for many critics in “The Woodsman.” Bacon starred as a child molester who returns to his hometown after 12 years in prison in the hopes of being able to start over. Bacon would be nominated by the Indie Spirit Awards for Best Actor and mentions by a couple of critics groups, though he wouldn’t take the prize home for any.
Unfortunately, for Bacon’s Oscar hopes at least, the actor’s best performance came in a movie that was not eligible. HBO’s “Taking Chance” sees Bacon star as a volunteer military escort officer who takes the body of a young Marine killed in action home. It’s subtle, touching work by Bacon, who carries the weight of the film all on his shoulders. Bacon would win both a Golden Globe and SAG award for Best Actor in a TV-movie.
Bacon’s made a home for himself on TV as of late, starring in FOX’s crime-drama “The Following,” which recently returned for its third season. He will have a chance to break his Oscar slump again this year, however, with a role in Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” alongside Johnny Depp, who plays infamous gangster Whitey Bulger.
There may not be one performance from Kevin Bacon that screams snub, but he’s been a consistent performer throughout his career and has garnered a lot of supporters within the industry. So, if that Oscar role ever does come, expect a big push to be made on his behalf.