Circuit 3: Greatest Performances to Win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar



Last week we had some fun listing the performances we felt were the greatest ever to win the Supporting Actor Oscar (chime in here), and so, out of fear that Kristen might forever label me a sexist bastard otherwise, we are doing the same for the ladies this week.

All kidding aside, there have been a lot of great performances to go on to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. So let’s hear what your three (or if you’d like to defeat the whole point of this weekly post, your 10 or 20) favorite and/or best Supporting Actress winning performances are. Feel free to do a separate list if you like, perhaps include the three Supporting Actress performances that should have won but did not. Have at it.

My Circuit 3 for the Greatest Performances to Win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar:

  1. Sandy Dennis – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  2. Dianne Wiest – Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
  3. Kim Hunter – A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

What do you think?

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Written by Mark Johnson

Lover of all things film and Oscar. Fantasy sports’ equivalent of George Steinbrenner. Your very own Han Solo, making friends all over the movie-loving galaxy in spite of himself. When he’s not ranking just about everything or dominating boardgames, Mark is breaking down the Oscar race 24/7 with Rain Man-like stats and knowledge. In his downtime, you can find him commiserating with other Northeast Ohio sports fans because a hero isn’t complete without a little heartbreak. If Game of Thrones, Lost, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Survivor are your style, then congratulations, you have something in common with this inglourious basterd.


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Calvin Philips

Dianne Wiest – Hannah and Her Sisters
Judi Dench – Shakespeare in Love

Hattie McDaniel for Gone with the Wind was my #4.

Mikael Faleiros de Albuquerque

1 – Mo’Nique – Precious;
2 – Meryl Streep – Kramer vs. Kramer;
3 – Beatrice Straight – Network

Terence Johnson

RIta Moreno – West Side Story
Mo’Nique – Precious
Kim Hunter – A Streetcar Named Desire


This is really fun: Again sorry, I can’t keep to 3. Best: 1. Hattie McDaniel (Gone with the Wind 1939) 2. Josephine Hull (Harvey 1950) 3. Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously 1983) 4. Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker (1962) 5. Dianne Wiest (Bullets Over Broadway 1994) 6. Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon 1973) 7. Jessica Lange (Tootsie 1982) 8. Melissa Leo (The Fighter 2010) Worst: 1. Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite 1995) 2. Marisa Tomei 3. Shirley Jones (Elmer Gantry 1960) 4. Helen Hayes (Airport 1970) 5. Kim Basinger (LA Confidential 1997) 6. Magaret Rutherford (The VIPS 1963) 7. Dorothy… Read more »

Robert MacFarlane

Alright, I’ll do top 10 like last time: 1. Jane Darwell in The Grapes of Wrath 2. Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously 3. Cloris Leachman in The Last Picture Show 4. Mo’Nique in Precious 5. Rita Moreno in West Side Story 6. Sandy Denis in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 7. Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener 8. Melissa Leo in The Fighter 9. Diane Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters 10. Anna Paquin in The Piano Top 10 Worst: 1. Miyoshi Umeki in Sayonara 2. Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls 3. Estelle Parsons in Bonnie and Clyde… Read more »

Jay DeFelice

Gonna stay with the request for 3 – but it’s gonna be hard!
1. Maggie Smith – California Suite
2. Dianne Wiest – Bullets Over Broadway
3. Ruth Gordon – Rosemary’s Baby

Would have added Redgrave, Dukakis, Dench, Goldberg, Duke, Leachman & Cruz if were a top 10. All of these ladies were my top choices of their winning years except 98 would have been Bates, 62 Lansbury & 71 Burstyn in close calls.


Top 3

Mo’Nique (Precious)

Angelina Jolie ( Girl Interrupted)

Cathrine Zeta Jones (Chicago)

Top 3 Snubs

Jualianne Moore (Boogie Nights)

Viola Davis (Doubt)

Rinko Kikuchi (Babel)


Performances I admire a lot (chronologically)

Hatte McDaniel (Gone with the Wind)
Jo Van Fleet (East of Eden)
Sandy Dennis (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
Ruth Gordon (Rosemary’s Baby) -> #2

Meryl Streep (Kramer vs Kramer)
Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot)
Cate Blanchett (The Aviator) -> #3

Mo’Nique (Precious) -> #1

Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Gary Swafford

Shelley Winters for The Diary of Anne Frank. Jane Darwell for Grapes of Wrath. Gloria Grahame for The Bad and the Beautiful.

Glenn Coco

1. Sandy Dennis – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
2. Ruth Gordon – Rosemary’s Baby
3. Catherine Zeta-Jones – Chicago

1. Viola Davis – Doubt
2. Susannah York – They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
3. Sigourney Weaver – Working Girl

1. Michelle Pfeiffer – Batman Returns
2. Kate Winslet – Quills
3. Madeline Kahn – What’s Up, Doc?


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