Stars who won Academy Award with the shortest amount of screen time

shortest performances that won academy awards

Only a few days remained until the Oscar Acadamy Awards ceremony when new academy award winners are going to be introduced to the world, including the best actor/actresses. A good actor/actress doesn’t need lots of screen time to show his/her skills. Some superstars have proved the point with their short amount of screen time in a movie and being successful to win the Academy Award for that. Let’s see which actors/actresses were able to win the award with minimum screen time.


Antony Quinn, Lust for life

Academy Award

Although Antony Quinn received his highest wage for his role in the movie, he proved that he completely deserved that money. It was his fascinating acting skills that draw all the attention to the movie. His role in the movie is often referred to as the shortest performance that has won the Academy award. It’s claimed he had just 8 minutes of screen time the 1953’s movie, however, the actual screen time is 23 minutes. The main plot of the movie is around Van Gogh with Quinn playing as a supportive role. however, his brief performance was just enough to affect the whole movie and receive the award for the best supporting role.


Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

jared leto academy awards

Jared Leto won the award for his role as the HIV-Positive Trans woman in Dallas Buyers Club with just 21 minutes of screen time. Although his character in the movie is introduced early on the movie and lasts until the near end, his presence is not that much. Jared Leto is included in only 18% of the movie’s runtime. His playing is so remarkable that brought the best supporting actor at the 86th academy awards for him.


Lee Grant, Shampoo

lee grand shampoo

Today, the Movie Shampoo is not among the most known movies of the past. It hit theaters in 1975 and experienced major success in the box office and received positive critic reviews starring Warren Beatty who was a well-known actor at the time. But the one who grabbed the audience and critics’ attention was Lee Grant with only 16% of the movie’s screen time. The movie was 3 hours long, with various characters come and go. But in the end, it was Lee Grant’s good performance that received the award.


Anthony Hopkins, The silence of the lambs

Anthony Hopkins, The silence of the lambs

There are controversies about the amounts of screen time Antony Hopkins had in one of the most brilliant movies of the time. Antony Hopkins was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his brief performance in the movie. His character affects the whole film which is better understood if you watch the whole movie and try to guess how much screen time he had. it feels definitely much more than just 16 minutes of play! He appeared in just 14 percent of the movie’s runtime, however, due to the editing, he’s seen several times during the movie which feels like he’s constantly present.


Anne Hathaway, Les Miserable

anne hatheway academy awards

She won the best supporting actress award in 2013 with just a very brief appearance in the movie. The musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel with Ann Hathaway portraying Fantine does its best to show how France’s social system was broken at the time. It was a challenging performance with little screen time. Ann Hathaway lost 11 kg weight, cut her hair and gave all she had. That’s how she won the award with just 15 minutes of role-playing.


David Niven, Separate Tables

david niven separate tables

David Niven received his first and last academy award for his role at Separate Tables. it was a very close competition for Best Actor award in 1958 including Paul Newman’s role in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones and Spencer Tracy for The Old Man and The Sea. However, it was David Niven with 15 minutes of performance who won the award.


Ben Johnson, the Last Picture Show

ben hohnson

Ben Johnson was a known actor in the Western Genre and it seems all his former experiences had helped him to portray a character with traditional values in a town that is quickly fading away. Ben Johnson performed only in %8 (10 minutes) of the movie’s runtime, yet successfully won the best supporting actor.


Gloria Grahame, The bad and the beauty

Gloria Grahame, The bad and the beauty

Gloria Graham’s performance didn’t even last 10 minutes in a movie with 119 minutes of screen time. Her performance had the record for the shortest performance winning the academy award for quite a long time. The movie was nominated for 6 academy awards and won 5 of them. Unlike Kirk Douglas who couldn’t reach his hand on the award, Gloria Graham received the Best Supporting Actress for a little more than 9 minutes of screen time.


Judi Dench, Shakespeare in love

Judi Dench, Shakespeare in love academy awards

Shakespeare in love was one of the most controversial academy winners of all time with 13 nominations which ended up winning the Best Picture Award over saving Private Ryan and the red think line, two of the most complimented movies about war. In the end, the movie won 7 Oscars including the Best Supporting Actress award for the outstanding performance of Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth. Judi Dench is one the most successful actresses of all time with 7 nominations and 1 award which is for her performance in %6 amount of the movie’s runtime, meaning just 8 minutes!


Beatrice Straight, Network

Beatrice Straight, Network

Surprisingly, Beatrice Straight’s performance as a character that didn’t even have a key role in the main plot handed her The Best Actress award with just 5 minutes and 40 seconds of performance. This is by far the shortest performance to ever win an Oscar. She only appeared in %4 of the movie’s runtime but added human feelings in the movie, affecting the movie’s atmosphere.


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