In Hollywood, there’s a contingent of talented actors for whom awards and endless praise from the film community are expected. Meryl Streep competes for her fourth Academy Award on Sunday night, and it’s been scientifically proven that she gets thanked more than God at these things. Each year some permutation of the same crew is expected to receive nominations and each year we rack our brains trying to figure out which one is more deserving of the coveted golden statue. Except when there are wildcards.
Just like Mo’Nique traded in her standup and hosting duties to star as the chilling Mary Lee Johnston in Precious: Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire, Whoopi Goldberg‘s first steps towards EGOT came with an award-winning turn in Ghost. Call it beginner’s luck if you want, but we’d like to think that this impressive group is so talented, they win awards simply because they feel like doing something different. The musical categories allow for more parity, as directors and producers often recruit big-name pop and rock stars to help bring their creations to life. Hustle & Flow saw Terrence Howard as a down-and-out pimp slash aspiring rapper, and Three 6 Mafia members Juicy J and DJ Paul wrote the track DJay uses as his potential ticket out of North Memphis, sharing a Best Original Song trophy with collaborator Cedric Coleman. And as if the Vice Presidency wasn’t enough, Al Gore even made it to one of these things, sharing custody of a Best Documentary award for his work on 2006’s An Inconvenient Truth.
Whether you forgot a memorable early performance from a certain vampire-lover‘s canon or are unaware that the Partridge Family mother once played a prostitute, check out our list of famous folks you’d be surprised to learn have an Academy Award.
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