The highest honor a film actor writer or director can receive is recognition by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, aka The Oscar. Sometimes winning or even just being nominated for the coveted little gold man can be the greatest thing for a career. But sometimes, it weighs over your head like a dark gold-plated little cloud, waiting to burst. Here are some of the Oscars biggest career curses and blessings.

5. BLESSING: James Cromwell

James Cromwell was a 6ft 7inch character actor who was more apt to be cast as lanky geeks in his early career (He played Lewis’ equally geeky Dad in ‘Revenge Of the Nerds’). But in 1996, his terrific nearly silent performance as Farmer Hoggett in the runaway smash ‘Babe’ landed him a much deserved Best Supporting Actor nomination and put him on Hollywood’s map. Although he lost the award to Kevin Spacey for ‘The Usual Suspects’, since then, James Cromwell has been a consistent player in some of Television’s best hours (“Six Feet Under”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “American Horror Story”) and Hollywood’s greatest films (‘LA Confidential, ‘The Green Mile’,The Artist’), playing complex deep and memorable characters. Cromwell has failed to receive any Oscar love since 1996 but has made that nod last longer than his shoe size.


5. CURSE: Mira Sorvino

Mira Sorvino fell into familiar territory by becoming the 4th actor directed by Woody Allen to an Oscar when she nabbed the Best Supporting Actress prize in 1996 for her role as a ditzy, yet troubled prostitute in ‘Mighty Aphrodite’. After the win she had a handful of leading roles in middle of the road Hollywood features (‘Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion’, ‘The Replacement Killers’, ‘Mimic’) but failed to capitalize on her new found crowning. She never really made a splash as a leading lady or a sought after character actress, and her career quickly fizzled out into obscure TV appearances and direct to video clunkers.

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This article was first posted on November 7, 2012