Oscar 2006: Acting Nominations Reflect Cultural Diversity

Analysis of the four acting categories (Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress) shows greater sensitivity to cultural diversity and the new demographics than ever before; white American thespians are in minority.


Half of the nominees this year are first-timers, actors who have never been nominated before.

Foreign Actors

Of the 20 actors nominated, only 10 (half) are Caucasian. The other half is composed of members of ethnic minorities and foreign nationalities.

Brits Dominate

Four of the 20 nominees (20 percent) are British: Peter O'Toole (“Venus”), Helen Mirren (“The Queen”), Judi Dench (“Notes on a Scandal”), and Kate Winslet (“Little Children”).

Afro American Actors

Of the 20 nominees, four are African American thespians: Will Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness”) and Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”) in the Best Actor category, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson (both for “Dreamgirls”) in their respective supporting leagues.

Other Nationalities

Best Actress nominee Penelope Cruz (“Volver”) is from Spain, Supporting nominee Adriana Barraza (“Babel”) is from Mexico, Djimon Hounsou, (“Blood Diamond”) is African, and Rinko Kikuchi (“Babel”) is Japanese.

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio, “Blood Diamond”
Ryan Gosling, “Half Nelson”
Peter O'Toole, “Venus”
Will Smith, “The Pursuit of Happyness”
Forest Whitaker, “The Last King of Scotland”

Best Actress

Penlope Cruz, “Volver”
Judi Dench, “Notes on a Scandal”
Helen Mirren, “The Queen”
Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada”
Kate Winslet, “Little Children”

Supporting Actor

Alan Arkin, “Little Miss Sunshine”
Jackie Earle Haley, “Little Children”
Djimon Hounsou, “Blood Diamond”
Eddie Murphy, “Dreamgirls”
Mark Wahlberg, “The Departed”

Supporting Actress

Adriana Barraza, “Babel”
Cate Blanchett, “Notes on a Scandal”
Abigail Breslin, “Little Miss Sunshine”
Jennifer Hudson, “Dreamgirls”
Rinko Kikuchi, “Babel”