Oscar-Winning Performances Based on Real People

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Chris Cooper as John Laroche, ‘Adaptation: None of the performances in Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman's movie version of Susan Orlean's.

Geoffrey Rush as David Helfgott, ‘Shine: Mentally ill pianist David Helfgott became a star concert attraction after the release of this movie.

Jim Broadbent as John Bayley, ‘Iris: It's easy to grab the Academy's attention by playing someone who's manic or sick. It's rarer, however.

Jason Robards as Dashiell Hammett: The title may refer to a fictional anti-fascist crusader, played by Vanessa Redgrave.

Maureen Stapleton as Emma Goldman: Writer-director-star Warren Beatty's epic was another of Hollywood's mini-wave of movies meant to humanize.

Haing S. Ngor as Dith Pran, ‘The Killing Fields: In the awards campaign for this war story, Haing S. Ngor's performance as Cambodian journalist.

Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich, ‘Erin Brockovich: Though Julia Roberts brings all of her movie star skills to bear on this true-story underdog legal drama.

Susan Hayward as Barbara Graham, ‘I Want to Live: In one of the hardest-hitting true-crime pictures of the Fifties, Susan Hayward plays real-life femme.

Yul Brenner as King Mongkut, ‘The King and I: While Brenner had a long and respectable filmography, he's always going to be identified first and foremost.

Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice, ‘Funny Girl: Streisand was such a perfect match to singer/comedian Fanny Brice in this recounting of the vaudeville legend's.

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