The 88th Annual Oscars are this Sunday, February 28th! For many actors, their life goal is to one day grace the Academy Awards stage to accept an award. For a select few though, that moment of success came at a very young age.
In 1931, Jackie Cooper received a nomination for his role in “Skippy”, a movie about trying to save a dog. He was just nine-years-old when he got the nod as a finalist for “Best Actor”. He has held that record as the youngest male for the last 84 years in that category. The next nominee in the field of Best Actor was a full ten years older than he was- Mickey Rooney at age 19 for “Babes in Arms”.
It was Marlee Matlin that took home the award for “Best Actress” in 1986 for “Children of a Lesser God”. She was 21-years-old and the only deaf person to win an Academy Award. When it comes to women in the “Best Actress” category, Quvenzhane Wallis was nominated for her role in “Beasts of Southern Wild”. She was only nine-years-old and she also became the only African American child to ever be nominated.
The youngest actor to ever get a nomination in any category is Justin Henry for “Kramer vs. Kramer”. He was just eight-years-old in 1979 when he got the nod for Best Supporting Actor. Unsurprisingly, it was his first movie role.
So, who was the youngest winner though? Tatum O’Neal. Her character in “Paper Moon” earned her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the age of 10 in 1973. She’s held that record for the last 41 years. She also starred in that movie with her father, Ryan O’Neal.