Top 20 Performances of 1951

These are my top 20 performances listed in order for each category (lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor & supporting actress).
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1.
Montgomery Clift
Montgomery Clift was an American film and stage actor. He is best remembered for roles in Red River (1948), The Heiress (1949), George Stevens's A Place in the Sun (1951), a Catholic priest in Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess (1952), soldiers in Fred Zinnemann's From Here to Eternity (1953) and Edward Dmytryk's...
“ in From Here to Eternity (best performance by an actor in a lead role 1951) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
2.
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem. Unlike Olivier, who preferred the stage to the screen, Brando concentrated his talents on movies after bidding the Broadway stage adieu in 1949...
“ in A Streetcar Named Desire (2nd choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
3.
James Mason
James Mason was a great English actor of British and American films. He was born in Yorkshire, and attended Marlborough and Cambridge, where he discovered acting on a lark, and abandoned a planned career as an architect. Following work in stock companies, he joined the Old Vic under the guidance of Sir Tyrone Guthrie and of Alexander Korda...
“ in Pandora and the Flying Englishman (3rd choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
4.
Alastair Sim
The son of Alexander Sim JP and Isabella McIntyre, Alastair Sim was educated in Edinburgh. Always interested in language (especially the spoken word) he became the Fulton Lecturer in Elocution at New College, Edinburgh University from 1925 until 1930. He was invited back and became the Rector of Edinburgh University (1948 - 1951)...
“ in A Christmas Carol (4th choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
5.
Arthur Kennedy
Arthur Kennedy, one of the premier character actors in American film from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, achieved fame in the role of Biff in Elia Kazan's historic production of Arthur Miller's Pultizer-Prize winning play "Death of a Salesman." Although he was not selected to recreate the role on screen...
“ in Bright Victory (5th choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
6.
Vivien Leigh
If a film were made of the life of Vivien Leigh, it would open in India just before World War I, where a successful British businessman could live like a prince. In the mountains above Calcutta, a little princess is born. Because of the outbreak of World War I, she is six years old the first time her parents take her to England...
“ in A Streetcar Named Desire (best performance by an actress in a lead role 1951) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
7.
Anna Magnani
Anna Magnani was born in Rome, Italy (not in Egypt, as some biographies claim), on March 7, 1908. She was the illegitimate child of Marina Magnani and an unknown father, often said to be from Alexandria, Egypt, but whom Anna herself claimed was from the Calabria region of Italy although she never knew his name...
“ in Bellissima (2nd choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
8.
Shelley Winters
Actress, Lolita
Shelley Winters was born Shirley Schrift of very humble beginnings on August 18, 1920 (some sources list 1922) in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her mother, Rose (Winter), was born in Missouri, to Austrian Jewish parents, and her father, Jonas Schrift, was an Austrian Jewish immigrant. Her father moved the family to Brooklyn when she was still young so that he...
“ in A Place in the Sun (3rd choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
9.
Ava Gardner
Actress, The Killers
Ava Lavina Gardner was born on December 24, 1922 in Grabtown, North Carolina, to Mary Elizabeth (née Baker) and Jonas Bailey Gardner. Born on a tobacco farm, where she got her lifelong love of earthy language and going barefoot, Ava grew up in the rural South. At age 18, her picture in the window of her brother-in- law's New York photo studio brought her to the attention of MGM...
“ in Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (4th choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
10.
Thelma Ritter
Actress, Rear Window
Thelma Ritter appeared in high school plays and was trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In the 1940s she worked in radio. Her movie career was started with a bit part in the 1946 Miracle on 34th Street. In the movie she played a weary Xmas shopper. Her performance in the short scene was noticed by Darryl F. Zanuck who insisted her role be expanded...
“ in The Model and the Marriage Broker (5th choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
11.
Robert Walker
He possessed the same special brand of rebel/misfit sensitivity and charm that made superstars out of John Garfield and (later) James Dean and Montgomery Clift. In the war-torn 1940s, Robert Walker represented MGM's fresh, instinctive breed of up-and-coming talent. His boyish good looks combined with an attractive vulnerability came across the screen with such beauty...
“ in Strangers on a Train (best performance by an actor in a supporting role 1951) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
12.
“ in Tom Brown's School Days (2nd choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
13.
“ in Westward the Women (3rd choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
14.
Will Geer
Will Geer was born William Aughe Ghere in Frankfort, Indiana, to Katherine (Aughe), a teacher, and Roy Aaron Ghere, a postal worker. Will admired his grandfather, a man who said hello to trees by their Latin names and who had used what he brought back to Indiana from the California gold rush to build Frankfort's first opera house...
“ in Bright Victory (4th choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
15.
Keenan Wynn
The talented scion of a show-business family, Keenan Wynn's father was the great burlesque and TV buffoon Ed Wynn while his maternal grandfather, Frank Keenan, earned distinction on the other side of the entertainment ladder as a Shakespearean tragedian. Mother Hilda Keenan was also a minor actress...
“ in Kind Lady (5th choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
16.
Hope Emerson
Actress, Adam's Rib
Although there may have been "bigger" actresses in Hollywood's history, there were few "larger" than Hope Emerson. At 6' 2" and 230 pounds, she towered over many of her male co-stars, and her size, brusque voice and stern demeanor typed her for a career in villainous roles, such as her star turn as the sadistic prison matron in Caged...
“ in Westward the Women (best performance by an actress in a supporting role 1951) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
17.
Nancy Kulp
Nancy Kulp wore many hats: Publicity person, actress, linguist, would-be politician and teacher. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Kulp attended college in Florida, then headed for Hollywood to work in publicity for the movies, not star in them. Soon after arriving in Hollywood, Kulp was convinced...
“ in The Model and the Marriage Broker (2nd choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
18.
Kim Hunter
Her father, Donald Cole, was a consulting engineer, and died in 1926 when Kim was only 3 years old. Her mother, Grace Lind, once performed as a concert pianist. She had one brother who was eight years older than she, and she was educated at Miami Beach High. According to an in-depth article on Kim Hunter by Joseph Collura in the October 2009 issue of "Classic Images"...
“ in A Streetcar Named Desire (3rd choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
19.
Peggy Dow
Actress, Harvey
This promising 1950s Universal-International contract player had so much going for her -- beauty, brains and talent -- to go the distance, but she came up far short after deciding to retire for domestic life. Not remembered all that well today, pretty and wholesome blonde Peggy Dow was christened Peggy Josephine Varnadow on March 18...
“ in Bright Victory (4th choice) ” - Aunt-Peg
 
20.
Thelma Ritter
Actress, Rear Window
Thelma Ritter appeared in high school plays and was trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In the 1940s she worked in radio. Her movie career was started with a bit part in the 1946 Miracle on 34th Street. In the movie she played a weary Xmas shopper. Her performance in the short scene was noticed by Darryl F. Zanuck who insisted her role be expanded...
“ in The Mating Season (5th choice) ” - Aunt-Peg