10 Actors Who Appeared in Only A Few Minutes On Screen but Went On To Win Oscars

Hollywood is always full of surprises that make us say “wow”. It is said to be a cold, clinical, and cynical business but when an actor gets that glimmer of “making it”, it’s a good time.
While almost actors who are given an entire picture to headline are seen as the key to success, some are only afforded a brief scene or two to show their talents. Sometimes, these scenes just last about a few minutes but make actors mark that set them on the rise to being huge stars. Those guys and gals are lucky enough to shoot themselves to superstardom off the back of one or sometimes two certain scenes.
It is proved that no matter how much screen time an actor has, talented actors with perfect performances are worth taking an Oscar statuette or at least being nominated for one.
Scroll down to see 10 actors whose brief performances won an Oscar Award. Click here, here, and here to see more articles.

#1 Beatrice Straight — Network (1976)

Actors Who Appeared in Only A Few Minutes On ScreenSource: © Network / Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)© ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News

Her performance in "Network" became the shortest one to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She just appeared in only 3 scenes.

#2 Anne Hathaway — Les Misérables (2012)

Actors Who Appeared in Only A Few Minutes On ScreenSource: © Les Misérables / Universal Pictures and co-producers© DOUG PETERS / STARMAX / SIPA / EAST NEWS

Anne Hathaway has incredible acting skills. In the musical drama “Les Misérables”, it took jer 15 minutes to conquer the audience’s hearts. Her performance earned her an Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress. It wasn’t easy, though, as she had to lose weight and deal with anxiety about her performance.

#3 Anthony Hopkins — The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Actors Who Appeared in Only A Few Minutes On ScreenSource: © The Silence of the Lambs / Strong Heart/Demme Production and co-producers© BOB GALBRAITH / ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News

Anthony Hopkins took on the role o Hannibal Lecter, a dangerous and intellectual criminal in "The Silence of the Lambs", in which he won the Oscar for Best Actor. Through the movie, he just appeared for 17 minutes on screen.

#4 Alan Arkin — Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Source: © Little Miss Sunshine / Fox Searchlight Pictures and co-producers© ROBYN BECK / AFP / East News

The audience was impressed by Alan Arkin's portrayal of Edwin, an optimistic grandfather who encourages his granddaughter to enter a beauty pageant, in "Little Miss Sunshine". His role was crucial to the story. Although he didn't appear in long scenes, his performance earned him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

#5 Jared Leto — Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

Source: © Dallas Buyers Club / Truth Entertainment (II) and co-producer, © JOE KLAMAR / AFP / EAST NEWS

Despite just appearing for less than a quarter of the film "Dallas Buyers Club", Jared Leto earned himself an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. In the movie, he took on the role of Rayon, a transgender woman. To fulfill perfectly his character, he had to undergo drastic physical transformation.

#6 Mahershala Ali — Moonlight (2016)

Source: © Moonlight / A24 and co-producers© FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP / EAST NEWS

The movie depicts 3 stages of the life of a fatherless African-American boy. Mahershala Ali appeared as Juan, a character who becomes the father figure of the protagonist. For his great performance, he received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

#7 Yuh-Jung Youn — Minari (2020)

Source: © Minari / Plan B Entertainment© ABACA / Abaca / East News

Thanks to her work in the movie "Minari", Yuh-Jung Youn became the second Asian woman to win an Oscar Award since 1958.

#8 Nicole Kidman — The Hours (2002)

Source: © The Hours / Paramount Pictures and co-producers© Courtesy Everett Collection/ East News

Nicole Kidman impressively brought her character of Virginia Woolf, a woman suffering from mental health problems in "The Hours" to life. Despite her brief appearance, she earned an Oscar for Best Actress.

#9 Judi Dench — Shakespeare in Love (1998)

Actors Who Appeared in Only A Few Minutes On ScreenSource: © Shakespeare in Love / Universal Pictures and co-producers, © EVERETT COLLECTION / EAST NEWS

8 minutes is the time Judi Dench appearing in "Shakespeare in Love". In the movie, she took over Queen Elizabeth I and thanks to her role, she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

#10 Heath Ledger — Batman: The Dark Knight (2008)

Actors Who Appeared in Only A Few Minutes On ScreenSource: © The Dark Knight / Warner Bros and co-producers

Heath Ledger, for his work in Batman: The Dark Knight, won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, which was received by his family. His screen time as the Joker was only 33 minutes.
Share this article