Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

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Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the award has commonly been referred to as the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. While actresses are nominated for this award by Academy members who are actors and actresses themselves, winners are selected by the Academy membership as a whole.

Contents

History

Throughout the past 74 years, accounting for ties and repeat winners, AMPAS has presented a total of 74 Best Supporting Actress awards to 72 different actresses. Winners of this Academy Award of Merit currently receive the familiar Oscar statuette, depicting a gold-plated knight holding a crusader's sword and standing on a reel of film. Prior to the 16th Academy Awards ceremony (1943), however, they received a plaque. The first recipient was Gale Sondergaard, who was honored at the 9th Academy Awards ceremony (1936) for her performance in Anthony Adverse. The most recent recipient was Mo'Nique, who was honored at the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony (2009) for her performance in Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire.

Until the 8th Academy Awards ceremony (1935), nominations for the Best Actress award were intended to include all actresses, whether the performance was in either a leading or supporting role. At the 9th Academy Awards ceremony (1936), however, the Best Supporting Actress category was specifically introduced as a distinct award following complaints that the single Best Actress category necessarily favored leading performers with the most screen time. Nonetheless, May Robson had received a Best Actress nomination (Lady for a Day, 1933) for her performance in a clear supporting role.[citation needed] Under the system currently in place, an actress is nominated for a specific performance in a single film, and such nominations are limited to five per year. Currently, Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, and Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role constitute the four Academy Awards of Merit for acting annually presented by AMPAS.

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