The 6 Most Undeserving Best Supporting Actor Oscar Winners
Welcome to Part Two of my series on undeserving Academy Award winners. In the first installment, we looked at the Best Supporting Actresses that didn't deserve the award. Today, let's talk about the Best Supporting Actor trophies that should have gone to someone else. Here we go...
6. Melvyn Douglas, Being There (1979)
In 1979, Melvyn Douglas, already an Oscar winner for the 1963 movie Hud, portrayed a billionaire with political ambitions in Being There, the film version of the popular novel about a dimwitted gardener who winds up becoming president of the United States. (Come to think of it, after this past election, it doesn't seem like such a fantastic conceit after all.) It was a role that Laurence Olivier turned down, so we might say that Douglas had been warned.
Douglas certainly stole his scenes, but the film is largely forgettable—and clearly the studio didn't think much of him because he barely appears in the trailer. Yet, somehow, when the Academy Award nominations rolled around, his name wound up on the list. Douglas pouted when he found out that one of his competitors was eight-year-old Justin Henry from Kramer vs. Kramer, and he refused to attend the Oscar ceremony. But he won.
Who should've won? Competition was fierce that year, with Frederic Forrest's solid work in The Rose and Mickey Rooney's triumphant comeback in The Black Stallion in the mix, but the most astonishing, searing performance—and the Oscar—belonged to Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now.