10 Actors Nominated for Oscars for Playing Other Hollywood Icons

Beyond blonde.

Against all odds, Ana de Armas was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in Andrew Dominique's controversial Blonde. The film, a fictionalized version of Monroe's life, was panned by critics and audiences who criticized the film's treatment of Monroe. Still, de Armas' work has been praised, and she's made it all the way to Dolby.

Like de Armas, many actors have received AMPAS recognition for playing other Hollywood icons. Whether they played as actors, directors or writers, these performers did justice to the legends they played and earned them well-deserved Oscars for their efforts.

1 Ana De Armas as Marilyn Monroe - 'Blonde' (2022)

Andrew Dominique's Blonde is a highly fictionalized life of Marilyn Monroe, chronicling her rise, turbulent relationships, and eventual demise. The film was heavily criticized for its lack of historical accuracy and Dominique's subsequent comments about Monroe.

However, de Armas earned rave reviews for his unflinching and raw performance. Even the film's harshest critics praised her work on the film, which earned her an Oscar nomination. Still, de Armas only played Monroe in name because the character had little to do with the real-life woman.

2 Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball - 'Being The Ricardos' (2021)

When it was announced that Nicole Kidman would play Lucille Ball, Fans were skeptical. Alas, it turned out better than expected, largely due to Kidman's versatility and dedication as an actor. However, "Being Ricardo" was not universally praised, with many criticizing the film for failing to accurately capture its legendary themes.

However, Kidman shines as Ball. The actor delivers a brilliant performance, mastering Aaron Sorkin's notoriously challenging dialogue while still capturing the essence of Ball. While Kidman couldn't match Ball's comedic genius, she rounded out the legendary actor for a well-deserved Oscar nomination.

3 Amanda Seyfried as Marion Davis - 'Mank' (2020)

David Fincher's Mank follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he writes Citizen Kane while navigating a rapidly changing Hollywood. Amanda Seyfried stars as the iconic Marion Davies, Mankiewicz's close friend and William Randolph Hearst's long term partner.

Mank is far from Fincher's best work, but it's still a solid entry into the Hollywood biopic genre. Seyfried is just as radiant as Davies, the performance is fresh and easy, and steals every scene she's in. Much of the film lags, but Seyfried rescues it from despair in every appearance. The actor won praise from critics and eventually earned her first-ever Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

4 Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland - 'Judy' (2019)

Renée Zellweger was one of the biggest stars of the 2000s, but disappeared in the 2010s. Her work in the first half of the 20th Century earned acclaim and three consecutive Oscar nominations, culminating in a victory for her supporting work on Cold Mountain.

After years of hiatus, Zellweger returned in 2019 to play Hollywood and LGBTQ+ icon Judy Garland in the biopic Judy. Reviews for the film were mostly positive, with most seeing Zellweger's performance as elevating an otherwise numbers-heavy plot. The actor, widely acclaimed for his portrayal of Garland, swept the 2020 awards season and won his second Oscar, 16 years after his first.

5 Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo - 'Trumbo' (2015)

Bryan Cranston starred in the 2015 biopic Trumbo after his groundbreaking series Breaking Bad. The plot centers on the namesake and the time he was blacklisted from Hollywood for his political beliefs.

Trumbo received positive reviews from critics, with Cranston's lead performance receiving the most praise. As the embattled Trumbo, the versatile actor delivers a solid and layered performance, blending charm with the necessary gravitas to tell the writer's unique story. Cranston has been nominated in every major guild, including his first Oscar for best picture actor.

6 Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe - 'My Week With Marilyn' (2011)

Ana de Armas was not the only actor nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe. In 2012, Michelle Williams won her third Academy Award for her portrayal of Marilyn in the 2011 biopic "My Week With Marilyn." Unlike Blonde, My Week With Marilyn was a loving and overly sanitized look at Marilyn during the filming of the underrated film, The Prince and the Showgirl.

Williams' rendition of Marilyn received universal acclaim. In fact, the actor looks and sounds like Marilyn, a vulnerable performance that becomes the film's highlight. Williams' work has won a Golden Globe and has been nominated for a number of major honors, including an Oscar.

7 Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn - 'The Aviator' (2004)

Martin Scorsese's 2004 biopic pilot Leonardo DiCaprio as eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. The film chronicles his adventures in film and explores his relationship with acting legend Katharine Hepburn, played by two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett.

Playing Hepburn is no easy task, and Blanchett wisely chooses to evoke rather than imitate. The actor perfectly embodies Hepburn's unique voice and way of speaking, and brings her exaggerated personality to life. Her efforts earned her a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2005; to this day, Blanchett The only actor to win an Oscar for playing another Oscar winner.

8 Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck - 'Shadow Of The Vampire' (2000)

John Malkovich and Willem Dafoe star in the comedy horror film Shadow of the Vampire. A fictionalization of the making of horror classic Nosferatu, the film centers on director F. W. Murnau, who hired a real-life vampire to play the lead role, adding even more realism to his vision color.

Shadow of the Vampire was praised for its unique premise and humorous but lukewarm tone. Dafoe received critical acclaim for his performance as the vampire Max Schrek, especially for his faithful reenactment of Nosferatu's most iconic scene. Shadow of the Vampire is Dafoe's first Oscar nomination in 14 years. Seventeen years later, he will get a third.

9 Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin - 'Chaplin' (1992)

Charlie Chaplin is one of the most famous and celebrated actors in film history; however, not many biopics have been written about him. Best known is Richard Attenborough's 1992 comedy "Chaplin," starring Robert Downey Jr.

Although Chaplin received mixed reviews, Downey Jr.'s performance received great acclaim. His portrayal of Chaplin was so surreal that the real Chaplin's daughter, Geraldine Chaplin, was said to have been "impressed and disturbed" by his work. downey Jr. won a BAFTA Award and received his first Oscar nomination for his performance.

10 Jessica Lange as Frances Fisher - 'Frances' (1982)

Jessica Lange was nominated for two Oscars in 1982: one for her supporting role in Tootsie and the other for her leading role in Frances. The latter sees her playing troubled actress Frances Farmer in her tale of a tumultuous 1930s career and mental health.

Frances was criticized for exploiting Farmer's pain, but Lange's performance was widely praised. In any other year, the actor would have won an Oscar for her stunning stunt presence. However, she had the misfortune to compete with Meryl Streep in Sophie's choice. Lange didn't come away empty-handed, though, as she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Tussi.

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