An Academy Award for Best Character actor

There are a lot of actors that never reach the A List although they may have a few big roles. Increasingly, the nominees for Best Supporting are A List actors in a lesser role.

There are too many great performances in minor roles to fit within the number of nominees for Best Supporting Actor/Actress, so I propose another award for best character actor. There are no criteria for qualification other than a movie appearance. It is a unisex award. I envision it as the award that you give to an actor who has peaked and may never be eligible for a big award. We’ve come to accept their work as very good, but we’re so comfortable with them that we ignore their effort. They aren’t big enough to score an honorary Oscar in their 90s, but we oughta give them something because they’re in a ton of movies.

For same, I nominate the following for the first award: Kevin Bacon, Joan Cusack, John Turturro, John Goodman.

Gary Oldman.

Brion James and Vincent Schiavelli. Posthumous, dammit.

Steve Buscemi.

Whenever I see Buscemi’s name I know I’ll enjoy what he brings to the movie. He’s been in recognizable movies for about twenty years and is due for one of those honorary “that last movie sucked but here’s one for all those other times we passed you over” Oscars.

Harvey Keitel is another that’s put in good work as a secondary character and to my knowledge has never gotten an Oscar.

There are a wealth of people that are in a ton of movies but never play the roles that bring a statue. Almost every comedian has that problem.

Brian Dennehy

Christopher Guest

M. Emmett Walsh (postumously)

John Malkovich

William H. Macy

Forrest Whittaker

Oliver Platt.

Stanley Tucci

He’ll probably start getting other awards now (what, Golden Globes and Emmys?) that he’s in Boardwalk Empire. Which I still don’t think is a good show, but he’s good in it.

…a little more under the radar, but I think he always brings it…

Barry Pepper

Harry Dean Stanton and L.Q. Jones

George ‘Buck’ FlowerOK, maybe not

Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle
Richard Riehle (for president!)

Oh and Jackie Earle Haley. He played the most sympathetic pedophile ever to hit the screen in Little Children.

I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

Wow, I could have sworn I read his obituary. But he is indeed still alive. I’m clearly thinking of some other character actor of his type.

Ah, I just remembered: J.T. Walsh. Same last name, great character actor. Died in 1998.
Anyway, a few more candidates:

Diane Wiest
Jeffrey Jones
David Morse
Malcolm McDowell
Eli Wallach
Alan Rickman

Two great ones who may now have graduated to leading man would be Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti.

Abe Vigoda.

I’m not advocating that every actor get an award, but that’s a lot of good people that have been passed over. And we haven’t even gone back far enough to include Gabby Hayes.

It seems that the actor categories need a revamp. Split the Best categories up by genre, create an occasional award for best performance lasting less than fifteen minutes, and find a way to honor people who rarely get leading or co-star roles.

He actually already won a Best Actor Oscar, for The Last King of Scotland. Totally deserved it, too.

It ought to be called The Kevin Bacon Award (though maybe not while he’s still alive). I immediately thought, Kevin Bacon ought to be the first to receive it.

I also thought of Kevin Bacon. For another, William H. Macy.