It’s one of the biggest nights of an actor’s career when the envelope is opened and their name is announced as the winner of an Academy Award. But what happens after all the hoopla, media attention, and after parties are over? Many actors hope the golden statue will translate into more movies, bigger dollars, and juicier roles. According to USA TODAY, since 1980, Oscar winners were hired for approximately 6 roles the first five years following their win. That is about one movie per year. The number of roles increased if the film they were featured in earned more than $70.2 million, the standard average gross in Hollywood for a motion picture. Here are the top five most successful actors the first five years after an Oscar win.
5. Michael Caine-Won Best Supporting Actor
The Cider House Rules (Miramax Films) 1999
Runtime: 131 Minutes
Producer: Richard W. Glastein
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Delroy Lindo, Paul Rudd, Jayne Alexander, Erykah Badu
This poignant romance drama won two Oscars, one for Best Supporting Actor and Best Screen Play (John Irving). Michael Caine, born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in South London, has had an illustrious film career. He won a previous Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category in 1986 for the flick Hannah and Her Sisters, directed by Woody Allen which also starred Mia Farrow. Caine captured 13 movie roles after his second big win and his Oscar-winning film made a grand total of $57.5 million dollars. He attributes his success to hard work, seldom turning down a role or opportunity to practice his craft. He didn’t mind at all playing Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s manservant, in the Batman series. Caine’s formula for success: “First of all, I chose the great roles, and if none of these come, I chose the mediocre ones, and if they don’t come, I chose the ones that pay the rent.”
4. Jim Braodbent-Won Best Supporting Actor
Iris (Miramax Films) 2001
Runtime: 91 Minutes
Producers: Robert Fox
Cast: Kate Winslet, Hugh Bonneville, Judi Dench
Although Judi Dench was nominated for Best Actress and Kate Winslet for Best Supporting Actress, it was Jim Broadbent who won the Oscar for his portrayal of John Bayley, in a story about Irish novelist Iris Murdoch. This picture chronicles the love story and lifelong relationship between a husband, John Bayley, and wife, Iris from younger days until Iris contracts Alzheimer’s disease. After Oscar, Braodbent found plentiful work as a British actor. He appeared in two box-office stand-outs, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, released in 2005, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince released last year. Since taking home Oscar, he has secured 14 movie roles and is responsible for $5.6 million dollars in earnings Iris profited.
3. Anthony Hopkins-Won Best Actor
The Silence of the Lambs (Orion) 1991
Producers: Grace Blake
Director: Jonathan Demme
Cast: Jodie Foster, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith
One of the most exciting and captivating thrillers of all time, this flick, based on the novel by Thomas Harris, walked away Oscar night with five golden statues. Along with Hopkins’ big win for Best Actor, Jodie Foster captured the Best Actress category and they closed the evening with Best Picture. Hopkins skillfully plays the intellectual psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, who is forever confined to a psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane. Lecter is a killer who eats his victims, and FBI trainee Clarice Starling enlists his help to find a serial killer who skins his. This is the role he is most known for, and Hopkins returns in sequels Hannibal, and Red Dragon. He worked steady after his 1991 win, scoring 14 roles. Meanwhile, Silence of the Lambs collected a nifty $130.7 million dollar box-office profit.
4. Whoopi Goldberg- Won Best Supporting Actress
Ghost (Paramont Pictures) 1990
Producers: Steven-Charles Jaffe
Bruce Joel Rubin
Director: Jerry Zucker
Cast: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwin
This is not Whoopi’s first trip to the Oscars. The comic who grabbed fame with her one woman show on Broadway made her first appearance before Oscar for Best Actress in The Color Purple. Her win with Ghost put her name on the marquee, certifying her as a bona fide Hollywood actress. She quickly followed up two years later with Sister Act, and the sequel in 1993. As Oda Mae Brown, she made her mark and has been a popular and talented actress on the Hollywood scene ever since. In addition to her daytime TV gig, The View with Barbara Walters, she has 14 roles to her credit the first five years since Oscar. And, Ghost brought in a cool 217.6 million dollars.
5. Morgan Freeman–Won Best Supporting Actor
Million Dollar Baby (Warner Brothers) 2004
Runtime: 132 Minutes
Producers: Clint Eastwood
Albert S. Ruddy
Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank
Ex-boxer Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris, is one of many lucrative roles accomplished actor Morgan Freeman has graced the screen with. Already possessing an impressive film repertoire, he wins an Academy Award in this boxing story of a female with aspirations of capturing a title. Freeman also serves as narrator of the film, and there is a sweet, sentimental theme that weaves in well with conflict, violence, and finally, death. Eastwood (Frankie Dunn) and Freeman take Hilary Swank (Maggie Fitzgerald) under their wing and into training. In her awaited championship match, she fights well, only to end up paralyzed. Four Oscars and 100.4 million dollars later, this movie just continues to propel Freeman higher in an already stellar career. He joined the cast of Batman in 2005, and again in 2008 for The Dark Knight. He was contending again for an Oscar this year for his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in the movie Invictus. He has starred in 16 roles since his win in 2004.
The biggest night of an actors life can parlay into the biggest boost of their cinematic career. Winning an Oscar can be a performers ticket to ride, opening doors to Hollywood studios, garnering coveted roles, and keeping their names in bright lights on movie marquees and in the hearts of fans. Yes, Oscar carries a lot of clout in Hollywood, and winning one can be grand, indeed.
Rhonda Manning, www.usatoday.com, www.michaelcaine.com, www.imdb.com, Associated Content.