Hollywood’s Long History With Real-Life Characters Leads to Oscars

  • Variety
Hollywood’s Long History With Real-Life Characters Leads to Oscars
Since 2000, slightly more than half the lead actor and actress Oscars (21 out of 38) have gone to portrayals of real-life individuals. It’s a bias that dates back to George Arliss and “Disraeli” (1929), although award-winning impersonations have become increasingly stark, even critical, in the latter years.

Notwithstanding Oliver Cromwell’s plea to “Paint me as I am, warts and all!,” early Hollywood awarded acting honors to a near-dozen respectful, even adoring bio-pics. Arliss turned the moody, depressive Disraeli into a matchmaking Dutch uncle. Charles Laughton went cute, not cruel, as Henry VIII. Paul Muni sidestepped Louis Pasteur’s alleged data tampering, just as James Cagney’s George M. Cohan in 1942 ignored the opposition to Actors’ Equity that earned Cohan actors’ enmity.

Honoring real-life subjects virtually dried up for the next 40 years, with the rare exceptions going easy on the likes of George Patton, Thomas More, Fanny Brice and Annie Sullivan. (Who
See full article at Variety »

Similar News


Recently Viewed