Gold Derby

The inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

« Previous Post | Gold Derby Home | Next Post »

Oscar has always welcomed the world

February 28, 2008 | 10:58 am

This year marked only the second time in Oscar history in which all four acting winners have hailed from outside the United States. The first was back in 1964 when the winners were three Brits -- Rex Harrison ("My Fair Lady"), Julie Andrews ("Mary Poppins") and Peter Ustinov ("Topkapi"), as well as Russian born Lila Kedrova ("Zorba the Greek").


But Oscar has had the welcome mat out from its very first ceremony in 1929 when Swiss-born Emil Jannings won best actor for his performances in "The Last Command" and "The Way of All Flesh. And three of the first four best actresses hailed from Canada: Mary Pickford ("Coquette"); Norma Shearer ("The Divorcee"); and Marie Dressler ("Min and Bill").

While Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") and Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton") are just two of the 36 English actors to win Academy Awards, Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") made Oscar history by giving the first French language performance to be so honored while Javier Bardem is the first Spanish actor to win an Oscar.

One of our most prolific forum posters, the aptly named Academy Awards Guru, has compiled a list of the nationalities of all 265 Oscar winners for acting. During the course of 80 ceremonies, they have won 306 Oscars (there has been one tie in each of best actor and best actress). Of these, 76 winners came from outside the USA to take home 85 Oscars. While 21 other countries have produced Oscar winners, it is not surprising that England leads with 36 of her citizens winning 42 Oscars.

Over the past 80 years, best actor has gone to a non-American 24 times and best actress 25 times while in the 72-year history of the supporting awards, non-Americans won supporting actor 19 times and supporting actress 17 times.

In the following list, the Oscar-winning actors are listed under the country with which they are most associated with their birthplace given when it differs. In addition, those actors who were born elsewhere but raised primarily in the USA are not included, such as Elizabeth Taylor born in England, Claudette Colbert in France, sisters Joan Fontaine and Olivia DeHavilland in Japan, Anthony Quinn in Mexico, and Paul Muni in the Ukraine.

Cate Blanchett
Russell Crowe (born in New Zealand; family emigrated when he was 4)
Peter Finch (born in England; family returned to Australia when he was 7)
Nicole Kidman (born in the U.S.; family returned to Australia when she was 4)
Geoffrey Rush

Joseph Schildkraut

Audrey Hepburn

Haing S. Ngor

Marie Dressler
Walter Huston
Mary Pickford
Harold Russell
Norma Shearer

Julie Andrews
George Arliss
Peggy Ashcroft
Jim Broadbent
Michael Caine
Julie Christie (born in India; family returned to England when she was 7)
Ronald Colman
Donald Crisp
Daniel Day-Lewis
Judi Dench
Greer Garson
John Gielgud
Alec Guinness
Edmund Gwenn
Rex Harrison
Wendy Hiller
Jeremy Irons
Glenda Jackson
Ben Kingsley
Charles Laughton
Vivien Leigh (born in India; family returned to England when she was 6)
Victor McLaglen
Helen Mirren
John Mills
David Niven
Laurence Olivier
Vanessa Redgrave
Margaret Rutherford
George Sanders (born in Russia; family returned to England when he was 11)
Paul Scofield
Maggie Smith
Tilda Swinton
Jessica Tandy
Emma Thompson
Peter Ustinov
Rachel Weisz

Juliette Binoche
Marion Cotillard
Simone Signoret (born in Germany; family emigrated when she was 3)

Luise Rainer

Katina Paxinou

Paul Lukas

Barry Fitzgerald
Brenda Fricker

Roberto Benigni
Sophia Loren
Anna Magnani

Miyoshi Umeki

Anthony Quinn

New Zealand
Anna Paquin (born in Canada; family emigrated when she was 4)

Puerto Rico
Benicio Del Toro
Jose Ferrer

Yul Brynner
Lila Kedrova

Sean Connery

South Africa
Charlize Theron

Javier Bardem

Ingrid Bergman

Emil Jannings
Maximilian Schell (born in Austria; family emigrated when he was 8)

Hugh Griffith
Anthony Hopkins
Ray Milland
Catherine Zeta-Jones

(Photos: AMPAS)