Popular Celebrities at the Oscars Now Vs. Then
The Academy Awards always ushers in a new decade of great acting and films. Several popular celebrities attend the awards show at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California, to see who earned the industry's most prestigious award.
Many of the attendees have grown up in the Hollywood spotlight, adapting pop culture for each generation and reminding us how much time has passed in our own lives. Here, we take a look at some of the most popular celebrities at the most recent Oscars compared to when they started out. Just see how much has changed.
Leonardo DiCaprio (2020)
No stranger to the Oscars, Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for Best Actor in 2020 for his role as an aging television actor in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
It was his sixth Oscar nomination, but he has actually only won the golden statue once for Best Actor in “The Revenant” in 2016.
Leonardo DiCaprio (1994)
What was DiCaprio's first Oscar nomination?
He showed off his talents young in the early ’90s, earning him a Best Supporting Actor nomination in 1994 for his role as a mentally challenged boy in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”
Scarlett Johansson (2020)
As the world’s highest-paid actress, it may not come as a surprise that Scarlett Johannson was nominated for not just one but two Oscars in 2020 — Best Actress for her role in “Marriage Story” and Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Jo Jo Rabbit.”
But the accomplishment is quite rare. She joined a rather short list of only 11 other actors nominated for two Academy Awards in the same year.
Scarlett Johansson (2004)
Even though this was Johansson’s first year to be nominated at the Oscars, she received several accolades for her role in “Lost in Translation” back in 2004.
She was a presenter that same year at the Oscars.
Antonio Banderas (2020)
A first-time Oscar nominee, the 59-year-old was nominated for Best Actor in “Pain and Glory” in 2020.
The Spanish film was extra-special to Banderas because it’s a “recognition to my community,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. Plus, it was his eighth movie with director Pedro Almodovar after 40 years of working together.
Antonio Banderas (1992)
In fact, Banderas got his start in the late ’80s, starring in several of Almodovar’s Spanish films before making his way to Hollywood in the early ’90s.
He presented at the Oscars alongside actress Sharon Stone in 1992, but his breakthrough performance was as the lover of lawyer Andrew Beckett (played by Tom Hanks) in “Philadelphia,” which was released in 1993.
Renée Zellweger (2020)
Renee Zellweger proved, yet again, that she’s a jack of all trades, starring as Judy Garland in the biopic, “Judy.”
Her singing is likely what earned her the Best Actress award in 2020, after receiving nominations in the same category in the early 2000s for her roles in “Chicago” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
Renée Zellweger (2004)
Zellweger has received four Oscar nominations in total, having won once before for Best Supporting Actress in the movie, “Cold Mountain,” in 2004.
Joaquin Phoenix (2020)
Joaquin Phoenix took on the dark portrayal of Batman’s infamous rival in “Joker,” which earned him an Oscar for Best Actor in 2020.
Joaquin Phoenix (2006)
Phoenix started out young as a child actor, acting at the age of eight alongside his brother, River. But it wasn’t until the early 2000s when he started getting cast in larger roles — one of which was as a fictionalized Roman Emperor Commodus in the movie, “Gladiator," for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.
This was Phoenix's third Best Actor Oscar nomination, after receiving ones for roles in “The Master” and “Walk the Line.” Phoenix is pictured here at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, on Feb. 13, 2006. He was being honored as an Oscar nominee for his work in "Walk the Line."
Charlize Theron (2020)
Charlize Theron earned her latest Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role as Fox News newscaster Megyn Kelly in “Bombshell.”
Addressing issues of sexual harassment in the “Me Too” era, the movie earned much praise from critics and audiences alike.
Charlize Theron (2004)
Theron's been nominated for Best Actress three times now — the first of which earned her the award for her role in “Monster" at the 76th annual Academy Awards in 2004.
Tom Hanks (2020)
Tom Hanks has received a seemingly endless number of accolades throughout his career.
He’s been nominated five times by the Academy Awards for Best Actor, but his latest nomination earned him his first Best Supporting Actor nomination as Mister Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.”
Tom Hanks (1994)
While the movie, “Big,” offered Hanks his big break and earned him his first Oscar nomination, it was his role as lawyer Andrew Beckett in “Philadelphia,” who was diagnosed with AIDS, which earned him his first golden statue.
He gave quite an emotional speech at the 66th Annual Academy Awards in 1994. The following year, he earned his second Oscar for Best Actor, playing the lead in "Forrest Gump."
Laura Dern (2020)
Laura Dern earned the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2020 for her role in “Marriage Story,” one of several Netflix movies nominated as of late.
Dern has acted in a steady stream of popular supporting roles these past few years, including one in the recent “Little Women” adaptation as well as in the “Big Little Lies” HBO series.
Laura Dern (1992)
Dern has received three Oscar nominations, after being nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Wild” in 2015 and for Best Actress in “Rambling Rose” in 1992.
Brad Pitt (2020)
Brad Pitt has been quite the jokester in recent years, even after winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2020 for his role in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
But it was when he won the SAG Award for Best Supporting Actor that he joked the role was “tough” to play. “Let’s be honest, it was a difficult part — a guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn’t get on with his wife. It was a big stretch,” he said.
Brad Pitt (1992)
Pitt has received six Oscar nominations, but his only win prior to this was for Best Picture in 2014 as a producer of “12 Years a Slave” under his production company, Plan B Entertainment.
Kathy Bates (2020)
Kathy Bates has played a wide range of roles, from Molly Brown in “Titantic,” to the quirky mother in “The Waterboy,” to the creepier mother in “Dolores Claiborne.”
But it’s her role in “Richard Jewell” that earned her a third Best Supporting Actress nomination.
Kathy Bates (1991)
Of course, who could also forget Bates in the horror film, “Misery”? That role earned her her only Best Actress nomination, for which she won the golden statue.
She's pictured getting a kiss from actors Tom Cruise, left, and Dustin Hoffman at an Oscar party after winning in 1991.
Joe Pesci (2020)
Joe Pesci does what he does best and played a mobster in Martin Scorcese’s “The Irishman.”
It’s another Netflix movie that earned several Oscar nominations in 2020, including Pesci’s Best Supporting Actor nomination. Here, Pesci is pictured attending the Oscars nominee luncheon in 2020 that happens every year the week leading up to the show.
Joe Pesci (1991)
Of course, Pesci is no stranger to the mobster movie role after earning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the movie “Goodfellas" in 1991.
He was also nominated in the same category for his role in “Raging Bull” in 1981 but didn’t win the Oscar.
Margot Robbie (2020)
Ever since her big break in Martin Scorcese's “The Wolf of Wall Street” in 2013, Margot Robbie has made quite a splash in Hollywood, especially considering she’s only in her early 30s.
She already ranks as one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses, and her role as a newscaster in “Bombshell” earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination in 2020.
Margot Robbie (2014)
She also starred in “I, Tonya,” which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination in 2018.
Here, she's pictured walking the red carpet at the 2014 Academy Awards.
Al Pacino (2020)
Another actor who’s quite comfortable playing a mobster, Al Pacino earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination in 2020 for his role as one in “The Irishman.”
It was his ninth Oscar nomination and his first one since 1993.
Al Pacino (1993)
Pacino earned his first Oscar nomination in the same category for a similar role as Michael Corleone in “The Godfather,” released in 1972.
But it’s his more sensitive role in “Scent of a Woman” that earned him the Oscar for Best Actor — his only one — in 1993.
Saoirse Ronan (2020)
You’d be surprised that Saoirse Ronan is only in her mid-20s, considering how accomplished she is.
In 2020, she was nominated for Best Actress for her role in “Little Women,” but it was already her fourth Oscar nomination (and her third nomination for Best Actress).
Saoirse Ronan (2008)
Ronan made her screen debut in 2003 on Irish television, and in 2008, she starred alongside Keira Knightley in “Atonement” at the age of 12.
This role earned her a Best Supporting Actress nomination.
Rami Malek (2020)
Rami Malek presented at the 2020 awards show after winning Best Actor in 2019 for his role as Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Rami Malek (2016)
Malek has been acting since the mid-2000s, but he’s perhaps best known for his leading role in the television series, “Mr. Robot.”
Here, Malek is pictured arriving at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in February 2016.
Jane Fonda (2020)
Jane Fonda presented the 2020 Best Picture award, which went to the Korean film, “Parasite.”
Fonda made a statement by re-wearing a dress she wore in Cannes in 2014, vowing to give up on shopping as a small act to fight climate change.
Jane Fonda (1972)
The 82-year-old actress has had quite the history in Hollywood, having started in the early 1960s.
She has been nominated for seven Oscars, winning Best Actress twice in her lifetime, including one for "Flute" in 1972.
Will Ferrell (2020)
Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus entertained at the 2020 Oscars, even poking fun at being "edited out" of some of the best films.
Will Ferrell (2004)
While he’s never been nominated for an Oscar, Ferrell has always entertained as a presenter throughout the years.
Natalie Portman (2020)
Natalie Portman walked the red carpet wearing a cape that honored the snubbed female directors at the 2020 awards show: Greta Gerwig (“Little Women”), Lorene Scafaria (“Hustlers”) and Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”).
She presented the award for Best Adapted Screenplay alongside Timothee Chalamet, who starred in the “Little Women” adaptation.
Natalie Portman (2005)
Natalie Portman grew up in Hollywood, having earned three Oscar nominations so far throughout her career.
She won for Best Actress in 2010 for her role in “Black Swan.”
Robert De Niro (2020)
Robert De Niro cozied up with pal and fellow “The Irishman” co-star Al Pacino on the red carpet in 2020.
De Niro didn’t receive an Oscar nomination for his acting in the film, but he did receive one as a producer for the movie that was nominated for Best Picture.
Robert De Niro (1981)
It was the eighth Oscar nomination throughout his career.
He won Best Supporting Actor in 1975 for his role in “The Godfather Part II” and Best Actor for his role in “Raging Bull" in 1981 (the same year Sissy Spacek won for Best Actress).
Salma Hayek (2020)
Salma Hayek presented at the 2020 awards show.
Salma Hayek (1997)
Hayek received much praise in 2003 when she was nominated as Best Actress for her role in “Frida.”
Here, she’s pictured with singer Luis Miguel at the 69th Annual Academy Awards in 1997.
Keanu Reeves (2020)
Keanu Reeves walked the red carpet in 2020 with his mom, designer Patricia Taylor.
He also presented alongside his "Something's Gotta Give" co-star Diane Keaton.
Keanu Reeves (2003)
While Reeves has never received an Oscar nomination, he’s presented at the awards show several times.
Diane Keaton (2020)
Keaton and Reeves had rom-com fans everywhere wishing that they would film another movie together after presenting at the 2020 award show.
Diane Keaton (1978)
Keaton has been nominated four times for Best Actress at the Oscars.
She won in 1978 for her role in "Annie Hall."
Steve Martin (2020)
Steve Martin and Chris Rock opened up the 2020 award show, with jabs at the Iowa caucus and Jeff Bezos among a few of their one-liners.
Steve Martin (1979)
Even though there was no official host at the 2020 Oscars, Martin had hosted the awards show twice throughout his career in 2001 and 2003. He also received the Honorary Academy Award in 2013 that paid tribute to his 50-year career.
Here, he’s pictured holding an “air award” during the 51st Annual Academy Awards in 1979.
Penelope Cruz (2020)
A 45-year-old Penelope Cruz attended the 2020 awards show as a presenter.
Penelope Cruz (2000)
Cruz has been nominated for three Academy Awards throughout her career — one of which won her the golden statue for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” in 2008.
Chris Rock (2020)
Chris Rock has also hosted the awards show in the past — once in 2005 and another in 2016.
Chris Rock (2005)
Considering that controversial jokes have become the norm at awards shows, it's almost comical to think that Rock once received flack for a joke he told as the host in 2005 about Jude Law.