Best Supporting Actor – 1971

Official Nominations: Ben Johnson. Jeff Bridges. Leonard Frey. Richard Jaeckel. Roy Scheider.

Ben Johnson was reluctant to star in the role that would win him the Oscar originally, the stunt man and rodeo cowboy turned actor a perfect fit for Sam The Lion. His years of experience mark his performance with a realism and poignancy which is hard to come by and difficult to top. Alongside him in The Last Picture Show is Jeff Bridges as Duane, the fiery and energetic kid of the tale and an early sign of Bridges’ talents. Leonard Frey had starred in the stage version of Fiddler On The Roof but takes on a different part for the movie – it’s one of about 80 roles in the film and I don’t see any need for this one to be nominated. Richard Jaekel is the odd one out here – even more so given that it was for Sometimes A Great Notion which came out a year earlier. It’s a good film that no-one remembers and a decent performance. Finally, Roy Scheider is strong alongside Gene Hackman in The French Connection – Buddy is the perfect partner for Doyle and Scheider fills the role so fully you can’t see anyone else doing it.

My Winner: Jeff Bridges


My Nominations: Ben Johnson. Jeff Bridges. Roy Scheider. Timothy Bottoms. Cleavon Little. David Gulpilil. Jack Albertson. Donald Pleasance.

If the other two actors are there, then surely we have to include Timothy Bottoms for The Last Picture Show too? Elsewhere I add David Gulpilil’s breakout performance in Walkabout, Cleavon Little’s commentary in Vanishing Point, Jack Albertson’s energy in Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory, and drunk Donald Pleasance for Wake In Fright.

My Winner: Jeff Bridges

Let us know in the comments who you would give the Best Supporting Acting Award of 1971 to!

One thought on “Best Supporting Actor – 1971

  1. John Charet August 25, 2017 / 1:07 am

    Great post ☺ All of these choices are great. Anyway, keep up the great work as always ☺

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