Canada and the Oscars
CBC News Online | Updated January 26, 2004
Canada has an impressive track record at the Academy Awards, going back to the inauguration of the awards in the late 1920s and continuing into the new millennium. Canada's darling Mary Pickford was the first winner for her starring role in the movie Coquette. The pageant celebrated the best films of 1928-29.
Some 250 people attended the first Academy Awards ceremony at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929. The next year, at a celebration to honour the best films of 1929-30, Canadian Norma Shearer won an Academy Award for her role in The Divorcée.
Since then Canadians have succeeded in drama, comedy, documentaries and animation. Listed are Canadians who have won or have been nominated for Oscars since the awards began back in the 1920s.
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Mary Pickford won the Actress in a Leading Role award for Coquette.
Norma Shearer won the Actress in a Leading Role award for The Divorcée.
Norma Shearer's brother, Douglas Shearer, also won the Best Sound Recording award for The Big House. Over the years Douglas Shearer won 11 more Oscars under the categories Best Sound Recording, Best Special Effects and Scientific or Technical for films such as Naughty Marietta (1935), San Francisco (1936), Strike Up The Band (1940), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), Green Dolphin Street (1947), and The Great Caruso (1951).
Marie Dressler won the Actress in a Leading Role award for Min and Bill.
Richard Day won the Best Interior Decoration award for The Dark Angel. Day went on to win another four Oscars. He won the Best Interior Decoration award for Dodsworth (1936), the Best Art Direction - Black and White (shared with Nathan Juran) for How Green Was My Valley (1941), the Best Art Direction/Set Decoration - Black and White (shared with George James Hopkins) for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and again for On The Waterfront (1954).
Actor Mack Sennett won a special award.
Actress Deanna Durbin won a special award.
The National Film Board (NFB) of Canada production Churchill's Island, a documentary by Stuart Legg, won the Documentary - Short Subject award. Over the years, NFB productions would win another 8 Oscars, not including awards for scientific and technical achievements. For more, go to the National Film Board web site.
Alexander Knox won the Actor in a Leading Role award for Wilson.
Harold Russell won the Actor in a Supporting Role award for The Best Years Of Our Lives.
Walter Huston won the Actor in a Supporting Role award for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. (That same year, his son John Huston won the best director award for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Walter Huston's granddaughter, Angelica Huston, won the best supporting actress award in 1985 for Prizzi's Honor.)
Norman McLaren won the Documentary - Short Subject award for Neighbours.
Director Norman Jewison's In The Heat Of The Night won the Best Picture award. The movie beat out Bonnie and Clyde, Doctor Dolittle, The Graduate and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
Actress Mary Pickford received an honorary award.
Canadian F.R. Crawley, along with James Hager and Dale Hartleben, received the Documentary - Feature award for The Man Who Skied Down Everest.
Co Hoedeman won the Short Film - Animated award for The Sand Castle/ Le Chateau De Sable.
Beverly Shaffer and Yuki Yoshida won the Short Film - Live Action award for I'll Find A Way.
Eunice Macaulay and John Weldon won the Short Film - Animated award for Special Delivery.
Every Child/Chaque Enfant won the Short Film - Animated award. Derek Lamb was the producer and Eugene Fedorenko was the director.
Frédéric Back won the Short Film - Annimated for Crac.
Edward Le Lorrain and Terri Nash won the Best Documentary - Short Subject award for If You Love This Planet.
The CBC won the Makeup award for Quest for Fire, produced by Michele Burke and Sarah Monzani.
Cynthia Scott and Adam Symansky won the Documentary - Short Subject award for Flamenco at 5:15.
The CBC won the Documentary - Feature award for Just Another Missing Kid from its fifth estate program, produced by John Zaritsky.
Atlantis Films won the Short Film - Live Action award for Boys and Girls, produced by Janice L. Platt.
Jon Minnis won the Short Film - Animated award for Charade.
Brigitte Berman won the Documentary - Feature award for Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got.
Frédéric Back won the Short Film - Animated award for The Man Who Planted Trees.
The National Film Board of Canada was awarded an honorary Oscar "in recognition of its 50th anniversary and its dedicated commitment to originate artistic, creative and technological activity and excellence in every area of filmmaking."
Anna Paquin, born July 24, 1982, in Winnipeg, Man., won the Best Supporting Actress award for The Piano.
Alison Snowden and David Fine won the Short Film - Animated award for Bob's Birthday.
The movie Pulp Fiction won the Writing - Screenplay - Original award for Quentin Tarantino and Canadian Roger Avary, who was born in Flin Flon, Man., in 1965.
Although not a Canadian film, The English Patient, which won the Best Picture award in 1996, was based on the book by the same title written by Canadian author Michael Ondaatje.
James Cameron won the Best Director award for Titanic. He also won the Best Film Editing award (with Conrad Buff and Richard A. Harris) for Titanic.
Kim Davidson and Greg Hermanovic of Side Effects Software Inc. won a Technical Achievement award.
Willian Reeves of Pixar won a Scientific and Engineering award.
Dominique Boisvert, Réjean Gagné, Daniel Langlois, and Richard Laperrière won a Scientific and Engineering Award for the development of the 'Actor' component of the Softimage computer animation system.
Director Norman Jewison received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.
Dominique Boisvert, André LeBlanc and Philippe Panzini won a Scientific and Engineering Award for the development and implementation of the Flame and Inferno special effects software. Benoit Sévigny was also nonimated for the award.
The Canadian film The Red Violin won for Best Original Music Score (John Corigliano) and The Old Man And The Sea (Alexander Petrov) won the award for Best Short Film (Animated).
Director Arthur Hiller received the Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his work with charitable and educational organizations, such as the Motion Picture and Television Fund, Amnesty International and the Los Angeles Central Library's reading program.
A few Canadians were co-winners because of their involvement in the Oscar-winning Chicago, which was filmed in Toronto. Montreal producer Don Carmody was one of eight co-producers of the best picture. St. Thomas, Ont.-born Gordon Sim shared an award for art direction. And Toronto-based David Lee was one of the engineers who won in the sound category.
Michael Donovan, of Halifax's Salter Street Films, was a co-producer for the best documentary film Bowling for Columbine.
Eric Armstrong, a Brantford, Ont. native, won in the best animated short category for The ChubbChubbs.
Denys Arcand won the Foreign Language Film award for The Barbarian Invasions, and received a nomination for Original Screenplay.
Toronto-born composer Howard Shore won two Oscars for his music in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, for both his score and the song "Into the West."
Norma Shearer was nominated for the Actress in a Leading Role award for Their Own Desire but didn't win because she won for her role in The Divorcée. Shearer was nominated for the Actress in a Leading Role award four more times for her roles in A Free Soul (1930-31), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934), Romeo and Juliet (1936), and Marie Antoinette (1938).
Marie Dressler was nominated for the Actress in a Leading Role award for Emma.
Walter Huston was nominated for the Actor in a Leading Role award for Dodsworth.
Raymond Massey was nominated for the Actor in a Leading Role award for Abe Lincoln in Illinois.
Walter Huston was nominated for the Actor in a Leading Role award for All That Money Can Buy.
The same year as Stuart Legg's Churchill's Island won the Documentary - Short Subject award, another National Film Board (NFB) of Canada production, War Clouds in the Pacific, was nominated under the same category. In the years to come, NFB productions would receive more than 60 Oscar nominations, too many to list here.
Walter Pidgeon was nominated for the Actor in a Leading Role award for Mrs. Miniver.
Walter Huston was nominated for the Actor in a Supporting Role award for Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Walter Pidgeon was nominated for the Actor in a Leading Role award for Madame Curie.
Lucille Watson was nominated for the Actress in a Supporting Role award for Watch on the Rhine.
Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn on their wedding day
Hume Cronyn was nominated for the Actor in a Supporting Role award for The Seventh Cross. (His wife Jessica Tandy won the Actress in a Leading Role Oscar in 1989 for Driving Miss Daisy.)
John Ireland was nominated for the Actor in a Supporting Role award for All the King's Men.
Arthur Lipsett was nominated for the Short Film - Live Action award for Very Nice, Very Nice.
Director Norman Jewison's The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming was nominated for Best Picture.
Norman Jewison was nominated for the Directing award for In The Heat Of The Night but lost to Mike Nichols who directed The Graduate. However, In The Heat Of The Night won the award for Best Picture.
Geneviève Bujold was nominated for the Actress in a Leading Role award for Anne Of A Thousand Days. Though she didn't win the Oscar, she won the Golden Globe award for best actress that year. In 1988, Bujold won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for best supporting actress for her role in David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers.
Arthur Hiller was nominated for the Directing award for Love Story. He didn't win the Oscar, but he did win the Golden Globe award that year. Hiller served as the president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences from 1993 to 1997.
Chief Dan George was nominated for the Actor in a Supporting Role award for Little Big Man.
Norman Jewison's A Soldier's Story was nominated for the Best Picture award but lost to Amadeus.
Denys Arcand's Le Déclin de L'Empire Américain was nominated for the Foreign Language Film award. This was the first time Canada was nominated for best foreign language film. Arcand was nominated for the award again in 1989 for Jésus de Montréal.
Cordell Barker was nominated for the Short Film - Animated award for The Cat Came Back.
Dan Aykroyd was nominated for the Actor in a Supporting Role award for Driving Miss Daisy.
Graham Greene was nominated for the Actor in a Supporting Role award for Dances With Wolves.
Kate Nelligan was nominated for the Actress in a Supporting Role award for The Prince of Tides.
Wendy Tilby's Strings was nominated for the Short Film - Animated award.
Jennifer Tilly was nominated for the Actress in a Supporting Role award for Bullets over Broadway.
Atom Egoyan was nominated for the Directing award for The Sweet Hereafter but lost to fellow Canadian James Cameron who won for Titanic. Egoyan was also nominated for the Writing - Screenplay - Adaptation award.
Wendy Tilby, along with Amanda Forbis, was nominated for the Short Film - Animated award for When The Day Breaks.
Cordell Barker was nominated for the Short Film - Animated award for the National Film Board of Canada production Strange Invaders.
Nia Vardalos was nominated for the Writing - Screenplay - Original award for My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Montreal animator Chris Hinton received a nomination for the Short Film - Animated award for Nibbles.
The Triplets of Belleville, a Canadian co-production with France and Belgium received two nominations, for the Animated Feature Film award and the Original Song award.