10 Youngest Oscar Winners & Nominees of All Time
Everyone - in or outside the Hollywood world - knows that winning or even getting nominated for an Academy Award is one of the most prestigious recognition in the film industry. Here is a list of some of the youngest achievers in the field of acting that have either been nominated or won the Oscars.
For her work on Children of a Lesser God, Matlin won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1987. It was a remarkable accomplishment for a 21-year-old actress coming off her first film role—a feat that may also have been difficult for her to savor at the time.
At the age of 16, Wood began filming one of her most famous films. She co-starred with James Dean and Sal Mineo in the 1955, groundbreaking depiction of teenage rebellion and angst, Rebel Without a Cause. In the film, Wood played the girlfriend of a troubled outsider, played by James Dean. She earned an Academy Award nomination for her work.
Beating out hundreds of other young girls, Paquin won the part of Flora McGrath in The Piano. She earned strong reviews for her work on the historical drama. In the film, she played the daughter of a mute woman (Holly Hunter). The pair travel to New Zealand so that Hunter's character can marry a wealthy man (Sam Neill), but she falls for one of his workers (Harvey Keitel). Paquin won an Academy Award for the film at the tender age of 11.
Born in 1963 in Los Angeles, California, Tatum O'Neal began acting as a child. She won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 1974—becoming, at age 10, the youngest winner of a competitive Oscar—for her performance in Paper Moon (1973), which also starred her father, Ryan O'Neal.
In 1999, Osment blew audiences away -- to the tune of more than $600 million worldwide -- as the haunted little boy at the center of the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense, co-starring Bruce Willis and Toni Collette. For his efforts, Osment earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor; the film also scored nods for Best Picture and Best Director, M. Night Shyamalan.
American actress, director and producer Jodie Foster was born on November 19, 1962, in Los Angeles, California. Foster received an Oscar nomination at age 12 for her role as a child prostitute in Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver (1976), and went on to win a Golden Globe (best actress) and Academy Award for The Accused (1988). She then starred in the popular film The Silence of the Lambs (1991). In recent years, Foster has worked as a successful film director and producer, in addition to acting.
In 1963, at age 16, American actress Patty Duke won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker—becoming the youngest Oscar recipient at the time. She had previously performed the role on Broadway from 1959-1961. She later starred in '60s cult classics like Valley of the Dolls and Me, Natalie.
Abigail Breslin is one of the youngest actresses to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the film Little Miss Sunshine. Abigail got her start in television commercials before M. Night Shyamalan cast her as Mel Gibson's daughter in 2002's Signs.
In 1930, Cooper took on his first leading role in a feature film in Skippy (1931). The film had a simple, but dramatic premise. He was a young boy named Skippy get trying the money together to buy a license for a dog before the dog catcher puts the dog to sleep. At only ten years old, Cooper earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his moving performance.
Quvenzhané Wallis was born on August 28, 2003, in Houma, Louisiana. At the age of 5, Wallis won the leading role of Hushpuppy in the feature film Beasts of the Southern Wild, filmed in Louisiana. Wallis's debut performance in the acclaimed 2012 film resulted in a number of awards, honors and nominations. In January 2013, at the age of 9, she became the youngest nominee for an Academy Award in the Best Actress category.