Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
|Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|Awarded for||Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role|
|Presented by||Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences|
|First awarded||1937 (for performances in films released in 1936)|
|Currently held by||Anne Hathaway,
Les Misérables (2012)
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the award has commonly been referred to as the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. While actresses are nominated for this award by Academy members who are actors and actresses themselves, winners are selected by the Academy membership as a whole.
Throughout the past 77 years, accounting for ties and repeat winners, AMPAS has presented a total of 77 Best Supporting Actress awards to 75 different actresses. Winners of this Academy Award of Merit currently receive the familiar Oscar statuette, depicting a gold-plated knight holding a crusader's sword and standing on a reel of film. Prior to the 16th Academy Awards ceremony (1943), however, they received a plaque. The first recipient was Gale Sondergaard, who was honored at the 9th Academy Awards ceremony (1936) for her performance in Anthony Adverse. The most recent recipient was Anne Hathaway, who was honored at the 85th Academy Awards ceremony (2013) for her performance in Les Misérables.
Until the 8th Academy Awards ceremony (1935), nominations for the Best Actress award were intended to include all actresses, whether the performance was in either a leading or supporting role. At the 9th Academy Awards ceremony (1936), however, the Best Supporting Actress category was specifically introduced as a distinct award following complaints that the single Best Actress category necessarily favored leading performers with the most screen time. Nonetheless, May Robson had received a Best Actress nomination (Lady for a Day, 1933) for her performance in a clear supporting role. Under the system currently in place, an actress is nominated for a specific performance in a single film, and such nominations are limited to five per year. Currently, Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role constitute the four Academy Awards of Merit for acting annually presented by AMPAS.
Winners and nominees 
Following the Academy's practice, the films below are listed by year of their Los Angeles qualifying run, which is usually (but not always) the film's year of release. For example, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress of 1999 was announced during the award ceremony held in 2000. Winners are listed first in the colored rows, followed by the other nominees. For a list sorted by actress names, please see List of Best Supporting Actress nominees. For a list sorted by film titles, please see List of Best Supporting Actress nominees (films).
83rd Academy Awards
|Melissa Leo||The Fighter||Alice Ward|
|Amy Adams||The Fighter||Charlene Fleming|
|Helena Bonham Carter||The King's Speech||Queen Elizabeth|
|Hailee Steinfeld||True Grit||Mattie Ross|
|Jacki Weaver||Animal Kingdom||Janine "Smurf" Cody|
84th Academy Awards
|Octavia Spencer||The Help||Minny Jackson|
|Bérénice Bejo||The Artist||Peppy Miller|
|Jessica Chastain||The Help||Celia Foote|
|Janet McTeer||Albert Nobbs||Hubert Page|
85th Academy Awards
|Anne Hathaway||Les Misérables||Fantine|
|Amy Adams||The Master||Peggy Dodd|
|Sally Field||Lincoln||Mary Todd Lincoln|
|Helen Hunt||The Sessions||Cheryl Cohen-Greene|
|Jacki Weaver||Silver Linings Playbook||Dolores Solitano|
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
|Superlative||Best Actress||Best Supporting Actress||Overall|
|Actress with most awards||Katharine Hepburn||4||Shelley Winters
|Actress with most nominations||Meryl Streep||14||Thelma Ritter||6||Meryl Streep||17|
|Actress with most nominations
(without ever winning)
|Deborah Kerr||6||Thelma Ritter||6||Deborah Kerr
|Film with most nominations||All About Eve
Suddenly, Last Summer
The Turning Point
Terms of Endearment
Thelma & Louise
|2||Tom Jones||3||All About Eve||4|
The only actresses to have won the Best Supporting Actress award twice are Shelley Winters and Dianne Wiest. Winters won in 1959 and 1965 (she was also nominated in 1972); Wiest won in 1986 and 1994 (she was also nominated in 1989).
Thelma Ritter had six nominations in this category, more than any other actress in this category. As she never won the award, she also holds the record for the number of unsuccessful nominations.
Multiple nominations 
International presence 
As the Academy Awards are based in the United States and are centered on the Hollywood film industry, the majority of Academy Award winners have been Americans. Nonetheless, there is significant international presence at the awards, as evidenced by the following list of winners for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
- Australia: Cate Blanchett
- Canada / New Zealand: Anna Paquin
- France: Juliette Binoche
- Greece: Katina Paxinou
- Republic of Ireland: Brenda Fricker
- Japan: Miyoshi Umeki
- Puerto Rico: Rita Moreno
- Russia: Lila Kedrova
- Spain: Penélope Cruz
- Sweden: Ingrid Bergman
- United Kingdom: Peggy Ashcroft, Judi Dench, Wendy Hiller, Vanessa Redgrave, Margaret Rutherford, Maggie Smith, Tilda Swinton, Rachel Weisz, Catherine Zeta-Jones
There have been two years in which all four of the top acting Academy Awards were presented to non-Americans (Europeans).
- At the 37th Academy Awards (1964), the winners were Rex Harrison (British), Julie Andrews (British), Peter Ustinov (British), and Lila Kedrova (Russian).
- At the 80th Academy Awards (2007), the winners were Daniel Day-Lewis (British and Irish), Marion Cotillard (French), Javier Bardem (Spanish), and Tilda Swinton (British).
See also 
- List of Academy Awards ceremonies
- List of Best Supporting Actress winners by age
- List of nominees for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (by actress)
- List of nominees for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (by film title)
- List of actors who have won an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, a SAG, and a Critic's Choice Award for a single performance
- List of superlative Academy Award winners and nominees
- List of actors nominated for Academy Awards for foreign language performances
- List of actors nominated for two Academy Awards in the same year
- List of actors with two or more Academy Awards in acting categories
- Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
- BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
See also 
- Beginning with the 1943 awards, winners in the supporting acting categories were awarded Oscar statuettes similar to those awarded to winners in all other categories, including the leading acting categories. Prior to this, however, winners in the supporting acting categories were awarded plaques.
- Oscars.org (official Academy site)
- Oscar.com (official ceremony promotional site)
- The Academy Awards Database (official site)