Oscar: Supporting Actors Winners

Tribute to the men and women who have won the Best Supporting Acting Award over the past 89 years, 1936 to the present.

Walter Brennan was the winner of the Best Supporting Actor in 1936, the first year of this category,

come_and_get_it_posterBased on the popular novel by Edna Ferber, Come and Get It is a colorful, well-acted melodrama about a Wisconsin lumber dynasty, spanning over 60 years.

The story focuses on ruthlessly ambitious Barney Glasgow (Edward Arnold), who rises in rank from a lumberjack to the head of the logging industry in 19th century Wisconsin.

His determination to succeed leads him to end his relationship with saloon singer Lotta Morgan (Frances Farmer) and marry Emma Louise Hewitt (Mary Nash), the daughter of his boss Jed Hewett (Charles Halton), so that he can become a partners in his business.


come_and_get_it_5_walter_brennanCut to two decades later, when Barney and Emma Louise’s son Richard (Joel McCrea) objects to his father’s destroying forests without planting new trees.

Barney visits his old friend Swan Bostrom (Walter Brennan), who married Lotta after Barney rejected her. Swan is now a widower raising a daughter, also named Lotta (also played by Frances Farmer), who resembles her mother.

come_and_get_it_4_walter_brennanAttracted to the girl, Barney hopes to recapture the love he had abandoned and offers to pay for the girl’s education. Melodramatic complications arise when Richard falls for Lotta to his father’s displeasure and jealousy. The story concludes when the father smacks his son on his face, precipitating the latter’s declaration of love: “I’m in love with her and there is nothing you can do about it!”

The film is better known now for its behind-the-scenes facts and scandals. Producer Samuel Goldwyn replaced the initial director, Howard Hawks, after shooting began with William Wyler, and tried (to no avail) to remove his name from the credits.

This is one of the few good roles played by Frances Farmer, who is cast in the dual role of mother and daughter.

come_and_get_it_4_walter_brennanAs is well known, Farmer had a tumultuous life, recorded in the movie Frances, starring Jessica Lange in an Oscar-nominated turn.

In this picture, Farmer sings the song “Love Ne Tender,” which Elvis Presley made very popular in the 1950s.

Oscar Winner: Walter Brennan

Walter Brennan received the very first Supporting Actor Oscar for playing faultlessly an honest, devoted Swede, Sawn Bostrom.

come_and_get_it_3_walter_brennanIt is Brennan’s first of three Oscars in that category, the others being Kentucky in 1938 and The Westerner in 1940.  Brennan received a fourth and last supporting actor nomination for Sergeant York, starring Gary Cooper, in 1941.

Oscar Nominations: 2

Supporting Actor: Walter Brennan
Film Editing: Edward Curtiss

Oscar Awards: 1

Supporting Actor

Oscar Context

The editing Oscar went to Ralph Dawson for Anthony Adverse.