Actors Who Received Posthumous Academy Award Nominations
These stars' moving performances left legacies that have lasted beyond their too-short lives
The actor, who died at age 43 in August of 2020 after a private battle with colon cancer, was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar in 2021 for his role as Levee Green in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. His performance won him Golden Globe, Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards, which his wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepted on his behalf.
"I think that his legacy, his body of work, his integrity, is going to influence on generations upon generations to come," costar Viola Davis told Yahoo Entertainment.
Ledger died at just 28 years old in 2008, six months before the release of his blockbuster Batman film The Dark Knight. At the 2009 Academy Awards, his parents and sister accepted his Best Supporting Actor Oscar on his behalf.
"Firstly, we would like to thank the Academy for recognizing our son's amazing work," his father Kim Ledger told the audience. "This award tonight would have humbly validated Heath's quiet determination to be truly accepted by you all here, his peers within an industry he so loved."
Like Boseman, Ledger swept the awards circuit that year, earning Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for The Dark Knight, too. He was previously nominated for the Best Actor Oscar in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain.
Dean, who was only 24 years old when he died in a car accident in 1955, received two Best Actor nominations after his death, in 1956 for East of Eden (right) and in 1957 for Giant. He did not win either award.
Tracy died at the age of 67 in 1967, and months later, earned his ninth Best Actor Oscar nomination for his part in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (right, with Katharine Hepburn). The actor, who had two Academy Awards to his name, lost to Rod Steiger in a field that also included Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman and Paul Newman.
Finch is the only other person to have won his posthumous Academy Award, his for his leading part in the 1976 film Network (right, with Faye Dunaway). Like many before him, he also won a Golden Globe for his role, as well as a BAFTA. He died just two months before the 1977 Oscars, having a heart attack in the lobby at the Beverly Hills Hotel at the age of 60.
Troisi actually received two posthumous Oscar nominations in 1996 for 1994's Il Postino (right, with Philippe Noiret): one for Best Actor and another for Best Adapted Screenplay. The Italian actor died in June of 1994 at age 41, shortly after filming the movie.
Richardson died at the age of 80 in 1983, and earned his second Best Supporting Actor nomination more than one year later for his posthumously released Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.
The only woman on the list, Eagels was up for Best Actress at the second-ever Oscars in 1930 for her role in The Letter. She died in 1929 at 39 years old, reportedly from complications related to drug and alcohol addiction.