11 of the Youngest Oscar Nominees in History


As the wide-eyed, terrified young boy who sees dead people in M Night Shyamalan’s hair-raising thriller, Osment went toe-to-toe with Bruce Willis and left with a nomination for best supporting actor in 2000. His whispered monologues and glassy stares keep you on the edge of your seat.

9. Brandon De Wilde for Shane, aged 11

Photo: Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

Best remembered for its touching final scene in which De Wilde begs a departing gunfighter (Alan Ladd) to stay with him, George Stevens’s sweeping western has hidden depths. The earnestness of De Wilde’s performance won over critics and got him a best supporting actor nomination in 1954.

10. Patty McCormack for The Bad Seed, aged 11

Photo: Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Behind her angelic facade, McCormack’s character, Rhoda, is a devious killer in this psychological horror directed by Mervyn LeRoy. She was nominated for best supporting actress in 1957 and praised for her depiction of a girl who drowns classmates by day and manipulates adults by night.

11. Anna Paquin for The Piano, aged 11

Photo: Jan Chapman Prods/Miramax/Kobal/Shutterstock

Jane Campion’s lyrical period piece was a vehicle for two Oscar-winning turns in 1994: best actress for Holly Hunter as a passionate pianist and best supporting actress for Paquin as her mischievous, strong-willed daughter. The latter’s astonished acceptance speech is one of the sweetest in history.

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