Actors/Actresses nominated for Oscars in the Wrong Category

This is a list of actors and actresses who I believe were nominated for Oscars for the wrong category, either in a leading role that wasn't, or a supporting role that wasn't.
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1.
Al Pacino
One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. Alfredo James Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family...
“ Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather.

This should have been a Best Actor Nomination. He's on screen for more time than Marlon Brando, and most of the story revolves around him. Even Mario Puzo said that Michael was the main character. ” - ewchristo
 
2.
Timothy Hutton
Actor, Leverage
Timothy Hutton was born in Malibu, California, to Maryline (Poole), a teacher, and actor Jim Hutton (Dana James Hutton). He set Hollywood ablaze when he burst onto the acting scene in the early 1980s. After only a small number of significant roles in TV movies, he bagged the part of Conrad in the Robert Redford-directed Ordinary People...
“ Best Supporting Actor for Ordinary People.

This should have been a Best Actor Nomination. He is clearly the main character of this film, as the almost the entire story revolves around him. He's on screen for more time than any other actor in the film, including Mary Tyler Moore, who was nominated for Best Actress.

This one is understandable, because Hutton deserved an Oscar for his work in this film, but no way was be going to beat Robert De Niro in Raging Bull. ” - ewchristo
 
3.
Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey Fowler better known by his stage name Kevin Spacey, is an American actor of screen and stage, film director, producer, screenwriter and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television. He gained critical acclaim in the...
“ Best Supporting Actor for The Usual Suspects.

This should have been a Best Actor Nomination. He is clearly the main character of this film. He is in almost every scene of the film, and everything revolves around his character. In fact, without his character, there would be no movie. ” - ewchristo
 
4.
“ Best Supporting Actor for Fargo.

This should have been a Best Actor Nomination. He is on screen for just as long as Frances McDormand, who won Best Actress for this film. His role is also just as important, if not more important than McDormand's. ” - ewchristo
 
5.
Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is an American actor, singer, and comedian. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, for his work in the 2004 biographical film Ray. The same year, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the action film Collateral...
“ Best Supporting Actor for Collateral.

He should have been in the Lead Actor category. He has as big of a role in this film, if not bigger than, Tom Cruise, and the story revolves around both of them.

I realize that he couldn't be nominated twice the same category that year, so this one is understandable. ” - ewchristo
 
6.
Casey Affleck
An accomplished and striking performer, Academy Award® winner Casey Affleck has established himself as a powerful leading man with performances in multiple upcoming projects. Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher...
“ Best Supporting Actor for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

He should have been in the Lead Actor category. He has as big of a role in this film, if not bigger than, Brad Pitt, and the story revolves around both of them. ” - ewchristo
 
7.
“ Best Supporting Actress for To Kill A Mockingbird.

This should have been a Best Actress Nomination. She is clearly the main character of this film. She is in almost every scene of the film, and is the narrator of the film. Can you get any more of lead role? ” - ewchristo
 
8.
“ Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon.

This should have been a Best Actress Nomination. She is in almost every single shot of the film and the entire story revolves around her character. ” - ewchristo
 
9.
Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche was born in Paris, France, to Monique Yvette Stalens, a director, teacher, and actress, and Jean-Marie Binoche, a sculptor, director, and actor. Her mother was born in Czestochowa, Poland, of French, Walloon Belgian, and Polish descent, while her father is French. Juliette was only 23 when she first attracted the attention of international film critics with The Unbearable Lightness of Being...
“ Best Supporting Actress for The English Patient.

This should have been a Best Actress Nomination. She on screen for as long, if not longer than, Kristen Scott Thomas, who was nominated for Best Actress for this film. I also think her role is more important to the story than Thomas's. ” - ewchristo
 
10.
Hailee Steinfeld
Actress, True Grit
Hailee Steinfeld was born on December 11, 1996 in Tarzana, California, to Cheri (Domasin), an interior designer, and Peter Steinfeld, a personal fitness trainer. She has a brother, Griffin. Her uncle is Jake Steinfeld, a fitness trainer, and her great-uncle is actor Larry Domasin. Her father is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent and her mother's ancestry is Filipino...
“ Best Supporting Actress for True Grit.

This is the exact same situation as Mary Badham. ” - ewchristo
 
11.
Maximilian Schell
Maximilian Schell was the most successful German-speaking actor in English-language films since Emil Jannings, the winner of the first Best Actor Academy Award. Like Jannings, Schell won the Oscar, but unlike him, he was a dedicated anti-Nazi. Indeed, with the exception of Maurice Chevalier and Marcello Mastroianni...
“ Best Actor for Judgment at Nuremberg.

This should have been a Best Supporting Actor nomination, which is tough because I think Schell is fantastic in this film, but I don't really feel like this film is about his character at all. It just feels too much about the other characters.

Also, the fact that he is listed fifth in the opening credits (and not for alphabetical reasons) makes it tough to consider him the lead. ” - ewchristo
 
12.
Ron Moody
Actor, Oliver!
Equipped with a crooked, leering smirk and devilish gleam in his eye, the homely, yet beautifully expressive mug of actor Ron Moody will be most assuredly remembered for one signature role, despite the fact that the talented comedian had much, much more to offer. Carol Channing may have had her Dolly Levi and Yul Brynner his King of Siam...
“ Best Actor for Oliver!

He should have been in the Supporting Actor category. The only person in this film who is on screen enough for a lead acting nomination is Mark Lester, who plays the title character. Every other performance just isn't substantial enough. ” - ewchristo
 
13.
Anthony Hopkins
Actor, Hannibal
Anthony Hopkins was born on December 31, 1937, in Margam, Wales, to Muriel Anne (Yeats) and Richard Arthur Hopkins, a baker. His parents were both of half Welsh and half English descent. Influenced by Richard Burton, he decided to study at College of Music and Drama and graduated in 1957. In 1965, he moved to London and joined the National Theatre...
“ Best Actor for The Silence of the Lambs.

This should have been a Best Supporting Actor Nomination. He is only on screen for 24 minutes of a two hour film, which is not enough to be a considered a lead role. ” - ewchristo
 
14.
Deborah Kerr
Born Deborah Jane Kerr-Trimmer in Scotland in 1921, she was the daughter of a soldier who had been gassed in World War I. A shy, insecure child, she found an outlet for expressing her feelings in acting. Her aunt, a radio star, got her some stage work when she was a teenager, and she came to the attention of British film producer Gabriel Pascal...
“ Best Actress for From Here to Eternity.

She should have been in the Supporting Actress category. She is on screen for about the same amount of time as Donna Reed, who won for Best Supporting Actress, and her character plays no bigger role in the film than Donna Reed's. ” - ewchristo
 
15.
Shirley MacLaine
Actress, The Apartment
Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean), was a drama teacher from Nova Scotia, Canada, and her father, Ira Owens Beaty, a professor of psychology and real estate agent, was from Virginia. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on March 30, 1937. Her ancestry includes English and Scottish...
“ Best Actress for The Apartment.

This should have been a Best Supporting Actress Nomination. This is Jack Lemmon's film, and no one but him should be considered a leading role. None of the other role's are big enough including Shirley's. ” - ewchristo
 
16.
Patricia Neal
Patricia Neal, the Oscar- and Tony Award-winning actress, was born Patricia Louise Neal in Packard, Kentucky. Her father managed a coal mine and her mother was the daughter of the town doctor. She grew up in Knoxville, where she attended high school. She was first bit by the acting bug at the age of 10...
“ Best Actress for Hud.

This should have been a Best Supporting Actress Nomination. She clearly a supporting character in this film, and I don't think anyone will deny that fact. Even Neal herself said that her role was a supporting one. ” - ewchristo
 
17.
Nicole Kidman
Actress, Moulin Rouge!
Elegant blonde Nicole Kidman, known as one of Hollywood's top Australian imports, was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas. Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny), a nursing instructor, and Antony David Kidman, a biochemist and clinical psychologist...
“ Best Actress for The Hours.

This should have been a Best Supporting Actress Nomination. The ensemble nature of this film makes it impossible for anyone to truly be the lead character. There just isn't enough time spent on any one character. ” - ewchristo
 
18.
Reese Witherspoon
Actress, Walk the Line
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon was born on March 22, 1976 at Southern Baptist Hospital (now Memorial Medical Center) in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is the second child of Mary Elizabeth "Betty" (Reese) and Dr. John Draper Witherspoon, Sr. Her father was a military surgeon specializing in ear, nose and throat...
“ Best Actress for Walk the Line.

This should have been a Best Supporting Actress Nomination. She plays the exact same role as Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer, Marcia Gay Harden in Pollock, Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind, and Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener, who all won Best Supporting Actress Oscars, yet she ends up the Lead Actress category. ” - ewchristo