6 Actors Who Bucked the Trend and Won Oscar Gold for Their Comedy Roles

As Good As It Gets, Helen Hunt

With Leonardo DiCaprio taking home the Golden Globe for “Best Actor in a Comedy” for his performance in the film Wolf Of Wall Street, many are placing their bets that he’ll take home the Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards. But DiCaprio is not the only one who is receiving honors for a performance in a comedy — Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper have all received Oscar nods for their roles in the comedy-drama American Hustle. While “dramas” tend to take the win at the Academy Awards, every once in a while a performance in a comedy gets the gold. Here are six actors and actresses who have won an Oscar for comedy.

1. Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets

The 1997 romantic comedy As Good As It Gets, proved to be Oscar gold for Helen Hunt who toke home the win that year for “Best Actress.” In the film, Hunt plays a waitress and single mother who falls in love with an obsessive-compulsive author, played by Jack Nicholson. Her candid performance received rave reviews and Hunt became an award season favorite.

Kevin Spacey, American Beauty

2. Kevin Spacey, American Beauty

Kevin Spacey got everyone talking back in 1999 for his role in the comedy-drama American Beauty. In the film — which tackles the idea of the pursuit happiness in America — Spacey plays a middle-aged man who hates his job and is bored with his life. Spacey’s willingness to take on a role so controversial earned him critical recognition and the Oscar in 2000 for “Best Actor.”

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

3. Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Jennifer Lawrence won over the hearts of America with her role as Tiffany Maxwell in the dark comedy Silver Linings Playbook. Taking home the Academy Award for “Best Actress,” Lawrence plays a widow who just lost her job. Her performance was raw, real, and incredibly funny. Plus, who could forget the epic dance scene with her and co-star Bradley Cooper?

Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda

4. Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda

Kevin Kline took home the Oscar “Best Supporting Actor” for his role in the 1988 heist-comedy A Fish Called Wanda. Kline plays Otto West — a weapons “expert” and Anglophobe — who helps assist in a jewel heist. The film received both commercial and critical recognition and Kline was praised for his work.

Diane Keaton, Annie Hall

5. Diane Keaton, Annie Hall

Actress Diane Keaton charmed the world with her iconic role as Annie Hall in the 1977 romantic-comedy Annie Hall. Directed by and starring Woody Allen, Keaton stole the show and received critical acclaim as well as the Oscar for “Best Actress.” Keaton’s role even influenced the world of fashion as she is seen through out the film wearing her trademark pants and tie.

Jack Nicholson, As Good As It Gets

6. Jack Nicholson, As Good As It Gets

Jack Nicholson is no stranger to the Academy Awards with 9 nominations and 3 wins. But it was his role opposite Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets that nabbed him an Oscar for a comedy. His portrayal of Melvin Udall was so honest and painfully funny, that he owned award season that year with multiple wins.

More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

More from The Cheat Sheet