Oscar Actors: Sellers, Peter–Nominee, Being There

Peter Sellers saw his role in Hal Ashby’s “Being There,” as Chance Gardiner, the simple-witted fool who becomes politically powerful in Washington DC, as an “all-out bid” for the Oscar, which had eluded him several times before.
 
Driven by an “obsessive quest,” to use his own words, to make the film for seven years, Sellers hoped that this part would “purge him of the coarse and exploitative roles he had taken in other films, particularly the “Pink Panther” film series.
 
Sellers was hoping to finally achieve the perfection that had eluded him. It was a simple, understated performance, devoid of tricks, accents, and multiple impersonations that had made Sellers rich and famous in the “Pink Panther” movies, as Inspector Clouseau.
 
In public, Sellers treated his Oscar loss to Dustin Hoffman (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” which swept the awards), with “little show of emotion, but deep down inside, he was tremendously disappointed.”
 
It would become his last Oscar nomination.