Oscar Roles: Beery, Wallace in The Champ

Even for men, there have been more nominations than actual Oscars for portraying criminals. In fact, some actors had to deviate from their screen image, if it were based on the crime genre before getting the award.

To get the Oscar, actors who began their careers as heavies and villains had to switch to playing heroes. Wallace Beery played a wide array of villains in his silent Paramount pictures, but with the advent of sound, he shook off his image and began to be cast as the “lovable slob,” or the good-bad” guy. In his Oscar-winning role, The Champ, Beery played an errant father, a drunk and gambling ex-champion who makes a comeback for the sake of his idolizing son (Jackie Cooper).