Everyone knows that an Academy Award is pretty much the goal for anyone who works in the film industry, and it’s no surprise an Oscar has been bestowed on actors like Marlon Brando, Meryl Streep, Viola Davis and Denzel Washington over the years. But if you look through the list of former Oscar winners from the last 90 years, you might be surprised to see a few past recipients.Here are nine of the most unexpected winners from years gone by…
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And what’s more, unlike her fellow music icons like Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Bob Dylan, Cher’s Oscar isn’t even for her contribution to a film soundtrack.Yes, she actually won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1988, for her leading role in Moonstruck, beating stiff competition from the likes of Glenn Close and Meryl Streep.This marked Cher’s second Oscar nomination, having previously been recognised for her supporting role in Silkwood, though she ultimately lost out to Linda Hunt for The Year Of Living Dangerously.
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“Oscar winner” might not be the first thing you think of when you look at Eminem, but he is one all the same.He won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2003 for Lose Yourself, marking the first time a hip-hop track had received the honour. Since then, fellow rappers Juicy J and Common have also received Oscars.Eminem didn’t actually attend the Oscars, instead choosing to stay at home with his daughter, so here’s a photo of him at the MTV Awards that same year instead.
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Before 2018, we best knew Rachel Shenton for her three-year stint in Hollyoaks, in which she starred as the fame-chasing wannabe WAG Mitzeee Minniver.After stepping down from the soap, Rachel made a move across the pond, culminating in her writing and starring in the short film The Silent Child, based on her own experiences of having a parent lose their sense of hearing.The Silent Child was lauded by critics, and ended up bagging the Live Action Short Film prize at the Oscars, with Rachel delivering her acceptance speech both out loud and using British sign language.
Years before taking charge of the Tardis, Peter Capaldi was awarded the Oscar for a short film he wrote and directed, Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, starring recent Academy Award nominee Richard E Grant in the titular lead role.The future Time Lord’s win was one of those rare Oscars ties, sharing his victory with Peggy Rajski’s Trevor.
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Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying Jordan Peele’s Oscars win for Best Screenwriter was a surprising one because it was for Get Out, which was critically lauded and even nominated for Best Picture that same year.Instead, Jordan’s inclusion on this list is mostly because in the early days of his career, which largely centred around sketch comedy, it wasn’t exactly a given that one day Jordan would be picking up an Academy Award for Best Screenwriter.His win was a historic win, making him the first African-American winner in his category.
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X-Men and True Blood star Anna Paquin was just 11 years old when she attended the Oscars in 1994, picking up the award for Best Supporting Actress following her impressive performance in The Piano.Anna had some stiff competition that year too, beating Emma Thompson, Winona Ryder and Holly Hunter who, despite missing out on Best Supporting Actress that year, did win Best Actress, also for her leading part in The Piano.
Yes, the Wensleydale-munching inventor and his surly canine sidekick can call themselves Oscar winners. Or rather, their creators, Nick Park and Steve Box can.In 2006, Wallace And Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit was named Best Animated Feature Film, in a year where only three films were nominated, including Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and the Japanese fantasy offering Howl’s Moving Castle.Even more impressively, the claymation duo were also recognised by the Baftas, winning Best British Film that same year.
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Lionel has actually been nominated for an Oscar on three separate occasions, each time in the Best Original Song category.He won on his second attempt in 1986, for Say You, Say Me, taken from the soundtrack to the drama White Nights.That year’s awards season was a big one for Lionel, also picking up a Golden Globe for the same track, as well as a Song Of The Year Grammy for his contribution to the charity single We Are The World.
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A full 32 years after The Rainbow Connection missed out on the Oscar for Best Original Song (a crime against music if ever there was one), The Muppets finally landed their first Oscar.The song Man Or Muppet, taken from the fuzzy company’s big screen comeback The Muppets, won Best Original Song in 2012, and what’s more, the award actually went to its writer, Bret McKenzie of Flight Of The Conchords, making it a double unlikely win.