4 Terrible Best-Actor Awards

From 'My Fair Lady' to 'Mystic River'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2016 12:25 PM CST
4 Terrible Best-Actor Awards
That's Rex Harrison with Audrey Hepburn in 'My Fair Lady.' He won in 1964.   (Warner Bros. Pictures)

(Newser) – With a new set of Oscars set to be doled out Sunday night, Barbara VanDenburgh of the USA Today Network looks back at what she sees as the biggest mistakes in the best-actor category over the years. A sampling:

  • Rex Harrison: He won in 1964 for My Fair Lady, in which he "awkwardly sing-talks his way" through a romance with Audrey Hepburn. Meanwhile, Peter Sellers starred in Dr. Strangelove.

  • John Wayne: He surely deserved an Oscar for some of his earlier work, but not for True Grit in 1970, and especially not over Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy.
  • Art Carney: In 1974, Al Pacino was up for The Godfather Part II and Jack Nicholson for Chinatown, and yet Carney won "for his unconvincing portrayal (in equally unconvincing old-age makeup) of an elderly New Yorker who embarks on a cross-country adventure with his pet cat."
  • Sean Penn: In the most recent entry on the list, VanDenburgh writes that Penn overacted as usual in Mystic River to win in 2003, depriving Bill Murray of an Oscar for his "superb and understated turn in Lost in Translation."
Click for the full list. (Read more Oscars stories.)

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