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The Top 25 Best Supporting Actress Winners So Far (Updated)

LOS ANGELES, USA - MARCH 27, 2022: Ariana DeBose poses in the press room inside the Dolby Theater during the 94th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, USA. (Photo credit should read P. Lehman/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Folks, we’re back at it! Continuing a tradition I’ve been keen on for years, I’m ranking the newest crop of Academy Award winners. For nearly all of the Oscar categories, you’ll see me list the top 25 recipients of that prize. Sometimes, our newest winner will appear. Other times, they’ll be relegated to the Honorable Mention category. Who knows, maybe one or two won’t even make the cut? It’s a list series that I’ll do each and every single year, in the weeks after the ceremony concludes. So, while this is a fun way to think about the Oscars in the aftermath of the latest telecast, it’s also a beginning for another column here on the site. Of course, definitely show us your own lists as well, in the comments section below. We’re more than keen to know what you think!

This week, it’s a big one, as it’s Best Supporting Actress time. As I like to say, this category can often be a hard one to peg down. Some years, it’s an embarrassment of riches in the category. Other years, it can lag a bit behind. Regardless, the winners are a wide assortment of some of the best the business has to offer. Spoiler alert: I have a controversial number one pick, in that I rank Marisa Tomei‘s turn in My Cousin Vinny as the best of the Supporting Actress Oscar winners. It remains one of the best things that the Academy Awards have ever done. Where does our newest winner Ariana DeBose rank for her role in the remake of West Side Story? Find out below…

Here are what I consider to be the 25 best winners of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, to date:

25. Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)

24. Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck)

23. Laura Dern (Marriage Story)

22. Dianne Wiest (Bullets over Broadway)

21. Hattie McDaniel (Gone with the Wind)

20. Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker)

19. Beatrice Straight (Network)

18. Meryl Streep (Kramer vs. Kramer)

17. Viola Davis (Fences)

16. Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago)

15. Ruth Gordon (Rosemary’s Baby)

14. Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

13. Cate Blanchett (The Aviator)

12. Angelina Jolie (Girl, Interrupted)

11. Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon)

10. Cloris Leachman (The Last Picture Show)

9. Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

8. Mo’Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire)

7. Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite)

6. Rita Moreno (West Side Story)

5. Anna Paquin (The Piano)

4. Eva Marie Saint (On the Waterfront)

3. Dianne Wiest (Hannah and her Sisters)

2. Kim Hunter (A Streetcar Named Desire)

1. Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny)

Honorable Mention: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and Youn Yuh-jung (Minari)

Stay tuned for another category later on this week or early next week!

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Brian H.
Brian H.
26 days ago

I have a feeling this list for me is a lot different than the one I made a year ago. I rewatched a lot a bunch of these by chance. I obviously don’t love the kids as much as you. Vikander’s performance for me was ineligible because I consider it a lead. You can argue some I mentioned were leads but I can’t come up with an argument against that one being a lead and I can for the others.

1.      Cloris Leachman – Last Picture Show, The
2.      Olympia Dukakis – Moonstruck
3.      Meryl Streep – Kramer vs. Kramer
4.      Marisa Tomei – My Cousin Vinney
5.      Monique – Plecious
6.      Ruth Gordon – Rosemary’s Baby
7.      Whoopi Goldberg – Ghost
8.      Diane Wiest – Bullets Over Broadway
9.      Penelope Cruz – Vicky Cristina Barcelona
10.  Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
11.  Anjelica Huston – Prizzi’s Honor
12.  Diane Wiest – Hannah and Her Sisters
13.  Sandy Dennis – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
14.  Eva Marie Saint – On the Waterfront
15.  Kim Hunter – Streetcar Named Desire, A
16.  Kim Basinger – LA Confidential
17.  Rita Moreno – West Side Story
18.  Tilda Swinton – Michael Clayton
19.  Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
20.  Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
21.  Jo Van Fleet – East of Eden
22.  Viola Davis – Fences
23.  Laura Dern – Marriage Story
24.  Cate Blanchett – Aviator, The
25.  Angelina Jolie – Girl, Interrupted
H/M – Davis, DeBose, Janney, Lange, Leo, Parsons, Spencer, Steenburgen, Weisz, Zeta Jones,

Kellie
Kellie
23 days ago
Reply to  Joey Magidson

I probably need to rewatch a number of the performances in this category but currently this is my list.

1. Catherine Zeta – Jones ( Chicago)
2. Olympia Dukakis ( Moonstruck)
3. Octavia Spencer ( The Help)
4. Linda Hunt ( The Year of Living Dangerously)
5. Mary Steenburgen ( Melvin and Howard)
6. Mira Sorvino ( Mighty Aphrodite)
7. Tilda Swinton ( Michael Clayton)
8. Youn Yuh- jung ( Minari)
9. Cloris Leachman ( The Last Picture Show )
10. Kim Basinger ( L. A . Confidential)
11. Juliette Binoche (The English Patient)
12 . Viola Davis ( Fences)
13. Anne Hathaway ( Les Miserable)
14 . Whoopi Goldberg ( Ghosts)
15 . Marisa Tomei ( My Cousin Vinny)
16 . Rita Moreno ( West Side Story )
17 . Brenda Fricker ( My Left Foot )
18. Patty Duke ( The Miracle Worker)
19. Meryl Streep ( Kramer vs Kramer)
20. Allison Janney ( I Tonya )
21 . Mo’nique ( Precious)
22. Jane Darwell ( The Grapes of Wrath)
23. Hattie Mc Daniel ( Gone With The Wind)
24 . Regina King ( If Beale Street Could Talk)
25. Anna Paquin ( The Piano)

HM Ariana DeBose ( West Side Story ) Jennifer Connlley ( A Beautiful Mind) , Eva Marie Saint ( On The Waterfront), Lupitia Nyong’o ( 12 Years A Slave) , Laura Dern ( Marriage Story) , Patricia Arquette ( Boyhood) , Shelley Winters ( The Diary of Anne Frank)
I guess I tend to be drawn to the unexpected performances, the offbeat and humorous.

I don’t know how to compare Lupitia to the rest . The circumstances of Patsy gives her literally zero choices even how she reacts seems to be beyond her control. She’s spirited and broken at the same time. Lupita is incredible but at the same time I don’t know if there is any other way to play that character. But it’s an astounding performance.

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Written by Joey Magidson

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