Oscar Actors: Jones, Shirley–Supporting Actress Oscar, Elmer Gantry (1960)

Shirley Jones, Best Supporting Actress, “Elmer Gantry,” 1960

“The Academy Award was the best thing that ever happened to me career-wise, because my career was over.  I was a musical lady and they weren’t making musicals at that time.  The studio producers told me, ‘You’re not right for what we’re doing.’”

Jones feels that she would not have earned the part in “Elmer Gantry,” but Burt Lancaster, having seen her in a “Playhouse ‘90” installment, really pressed Robert Brooks about hiring here.  She told him that she’d do it for nothing, and did work for comparatively less money than she had been making.

Oscar Prediction during Shoot

“After he saw the first day’s rushes, Richard apologized to me and said, ‘Shirley, you’re going to win an Academy Award.’”