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February 23, 2010


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Lance McMillian

George Burns and Jessica Tandy would be my guesses for oldest. Nothing springs to mind on the oldest. The Whale Rider actress was pretty young when nominated, but she didn't win.

Lance McMillian

I meant nothing springs to mind on the youngest.

Jacqueline Lipton

Yes, Jessica Tandy is the oldest Best Actress winner for Driving Miss Daisy.
George Burns is not the oldest Best Actor winner, but it's a good guess.

Jacqueline Lipton

And, yes, Tatum O'Neal was younger than the youngest Best Actress winner.


Best Actor- Oldest is Henry Fonda from On Golden Pond, youngest is Adrien Brody from the Pianist

Best Actress- Youngest was Marlee Matlin from I don't know.

Courtesy of your Cyber and International IP class.

Jacqueline Lipton

OK - so my students were on the ball today! I guess the question was just too easy.

All three answers are correct, but we still haven't named the film for which Marlee Matlin won best actress at the age of 21. Any takers?

Jacqueline Lipton

Detailed answers:

Youngest Best Actress Winner: 21 years (and 218 days) old; Marlee Matlin for __________________________(1986)
Oldest Best Actress Winner: 80 years (and 292 days) old; Jessica Tandy for Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Youngest Best Actor Winner: 29 years (and 343 days) old; Adrien Brody for The Pianist (2002)
Oldest Best Actor Winner: 76 years (and 317 days) old; Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond (1981)

Mike Kent

Marlee Matlin won Best Actress for her debut performance in Children of a Lesser God, right?

Jacqueline Lipton

And we have a final winner! Well done.

Kelly Anders

Wasn't Anna Paquin ("The Piano") also among the youngest to receive an Oscar nod?

Tim Zinnecker

A bit of trivia about Marlee Matlin -- she won her Oscar while co-starring opposite the previous year's Best Actor -- William Hurt.

Kelly, I had the same thought on Anna Paquin, who won the Best Supporting Actress award for THE PIANO. My research suggests that Paquin was slightly older than Tatum O'Neal when she won the award. See here:

Jacqueline Lipton

And more trivia on Marlee Matlin and William Hurt - I recollect that they actually had an unfortunate love affair in real life while playing out an unfortunate love affair in the film Children of a Lesser God, for which she won and Oscar and he didn't.

Kelly Anders

Thanks, Tim. I did recall that O'Neal and Paquin were close in age. One bit of trivia about "Paper Moon" (an extraordinary film) is that it was set in Kansas. Other than "The Wizard of Oz," few well-known films have Kansas as a setting. Can anyone else think of others?

Colin Miller

Kelly, I think that "Superman" (at least its opening act) would be the second most famous movie set in Kansas. And I agree that "Paper Moon" is extraordinary. Tatum's brother Griffin actually gave a great performance of his own in "The Escape Artist," which, unfortunately, is a bit more of an uneven movie. Here was my review of it when it came out on DVD:

Kelly Anders

I have not seen "The Escape Artist," but I may see it after reading your review. I had forgotten about the nice Kent family in "Superman." Now, we're up to three -- enough for a mini film festival.

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