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Oscars welcome nine first-time acting nominees

January 22, 2009 |  8:45 am

This year's 20 acting nominees include five previous Oscar winners plus another six previous Oscar nominees and nine newcomers. "Doubt" star Meryl Streep is the only two-time Oscar winner contending this year. She widened the gap for the most total acting nominations by earning her 15th nod today. And she tied Katharine Hepburn's record of an even dozen Oscar nominations in the lead race.

Streep's already staggering total of 14 previous bids exceeds the track record of the other four Oscar winners by five nominations. She has a supporting win for "Kramer vs. Kramer" (1979) and a lead win for "Sophie's Choice" (1982). She has 10 more lead noms for "The French Lieutenant's Woman" (1981), "Silkwood" (1983), "Out of Africa" (1985), "Ironweed" (1987), "A Cry in the Dark" (1988), "Postcards from the Edge" (1990), "The Bridges of Madison County" (1995), "One True Thing" (1998), "Music of the Heart" (1999), and "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006) as well as two supporting noms for "The Deer Hunter" (1978) and "Adaptation" (2002).

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The other four Oscar winners in the running once more are:

Lead actress nominee Angelina Jolie, "Changeling" — supporting win for "Girl, Interrupted" (1999);

Supporting actress nominee Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler" — supporting win for "My Cousin Vinny" (1992), supporting nom for "In the Bedroom" (2001);

Lead actor nominee Sean Penn, "Milk" — lead win for "Mystic River" (2003), lead noms for "Dead Man Walking" (1995), "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999), and "I Am Sam" (2001); and

Supporting actor nominee Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt" — lead win for "Capote" (2005), supporting nom for "Charlie Wilson's War" (2007).

Among the half-dozen previous Oscar nominees, Kate Winslet set another record today. At 33, she is the youngest person to have amassed six Oscar nominations, having previously set that mark for each of her second through fifth nominations. She lost all five of those previous bids: three lead noms for "Titanic" (1997), "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2004), and "Little Children" (2006) as well as two supporting noms for "Sense and Sensibility" (1995) and "Iris" (2001).

Winslet's five previous nominations equal those of the other five repeat nominees who all had one nod apiece before today:

Lead actor nominee Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" — supporting nom for "13 Monkeys" (1995);

Supporting actress nominee Amy Adams, "Doubt" — supporting nom for "Junebug" (2005);

Supporting actress nominee Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" — lead nom for "Volver" (2006);

Supporting actor nominee Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder" — lead nom for "Chaplin" (1992); and

Supporting actor nominee Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight" — lead nom for "Brokeback Mountain" (2005).

The first-time nominees are:

Lead actress contenders Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"; and Melissa Leo, "Frozen River";

Lead actor contenders Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor"; Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"; and Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler";

Supporting actress contenders Viola Davis, "Doubt"; and Taraji P. Henson, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"; and

Supporting actor contenders Josh Brolin, "Milk"; and Michael Shannon, "Revolutionary Road."

Of last year's 19 acting nominees, six were previous Oscar winners, including lead actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood"); four, including supporting actor champ Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men") were previous nominees; and nine were first-time Oscar contenders, including the two women who won –- lead actress Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose") and supporting actress Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton").

Photos: Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight, Universal

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