Quvenzhané Wallis is a nine-year old and an Oscar nominee. Who are some of Oscar’s other youngest actress nominees?
First off, Quvenzhané Wallis was only 6 years old when she filmed Beasts of the Southern Wild. By the time she was nominated for an Oscar for a leading role, she was a few months past her ninth birthday. She’s the youngest to have ever been nominated for best actress.
The next-youngest nominee for lead actress is Keisha Castle-Hughes, the star of 2003’s Whale Rider. Castle-Hughes was 13 years old when she was nominated in 2004. She lost that year to Charlize Theron of Monster.
Before Wallis, the youngest actress nominee was Tatum O’Neal, but that was for a supporting role — in Paper Moon. O’Neal was 10 when she was nominated in 1974. She won that Oscar and is the youngest winner in any category.
A slightly older 10 year-old was nominated in 1963: Mary Badham was nominated for her supporting role in the 1962 movie To Kill A Mockingbird. That year she didn’t win the Oscar, but it went to another very young actress, Patty Duke, who starred as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. Duke was 17 at the time of her win.
Another 10 year-old nominee was Quinn Cummings, for her supporting role in The Goodbye Girl, a 1977 Neil Simon movie that somehow, miraculously, managed to get five Oscar nominations, including best picture. Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason, the romantic leads, were both nominated, and Dreyfuss won. Cummings lost out that year to Vanessa Redgrave for the movie Julia.
More recently, Abigail Breslin was 10 years old when she was nominated for a supporting actress Oscar in 2007, for her role in Little Miss Sunshine. The Oscar that year went to Jennifer Hudson of Dreamgirls.
True Blood‘s Anna Paquin was just 11 years old when she was nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in The Piano in 1994. She won that year.
And, finally, in 1957 Patty McCormack was only 11 years old when she was nominated for her supporting role in The Bad Seed. She lost that year to Dorothy Malone from Written on the Wind.