More from EW
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An honorary Oscar in 2009 doesn't absolve the Academy for its neglect of comic actors, nor of Lewis' pitch-perfect portrayal of a Johnny Carson type in The King of Comedy (1982).
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Sure, she may lack a Streep-like body of work, but her unvarnished turn as two very different characters in Hitchcock's classic Vertigo (1958) was essential to the film's disturbing power.
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Before he became TV's iconic dad, MacMurray was pleasurably sleazy in 1944's Double Indemnity and the epitome of corporate soullessness in 1960's The Apartment.
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The model of an action hero in 1938's The Adventures of Robin Hood, the dashing star made the swordplay and wooing look so effortless that it's easy to ignore the craft behind his derring-do.
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A mere flicker from his hooded eyes can imply deadly menace (1999's Boys Don't Cry), guarded suspicion (2003's Shattered Glass), or bold curiosity (2004's Kinsey).
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The fiery redhead shone as a Welsh miner's daughter in 1941's How Green Was My Valley and sparkled while sparring with John Wayne in the 1953 comedy The Quiet Man.
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Many comics have stretched with a serious role or two. Still, Pryor's portrait of a bitter auto-worker in 1978's Blue Collar was as award-worthy as his best stand-up.
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An icon in her own time, Monroe rarely strayed from characters who mirrored her own irresistible persona. But that glamour and mystique just enhanced her turns as an unsophisticated saloon siren in Bus Stop (1956) and a boozy ukulele player in Some Like It Hot (1959). Though her dramatic skills were constantly overlooked, acting guru Lee Strasberg once ranked her second only to Marlon Brando in talent.
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The Juilliard-trained actor won raves for his performances in Inside Llewyn Davis and A Most Violent Year, but Oscar didn't reward Oscar with nominations. Joining two ginormous franchises — Star Wars and X-Men—likely won’t win Isaac a statuette, but it will help introduce his name and face to billions of fans, including some who have Oscar votes.
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Farrow flourished in Woody Allen-directed films such as The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), but it was her harrowing dance with the devil in Rosemary's Baby (1968) that still haunts us.
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The beauty of Quaid's performance as a closeted gay husband in the 2002 drama Far From Heaven lay in his simultaneous depiction of lust, frustration, and guilt.
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While he may be best remembered for 1942's Casablanca (''Reeeek, Reeeek, help me!''), Lorre's whistling child serial killer in 1931's M was both monstrous and pitiable.
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We can sorta understand why he wasn't nominated when his Officer and a Gentleman costars were. But no love for his surprising, delightful singing and dancing in 2002's Chicago? C'mon!
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The elastic jester proved himself a disciplined and subtle performer as an oblivious reality star in The Truman Show (1998) and as Kate Winslet's spurned boyfriend in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).
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How chilling was he as the debonair ''Merry Widow Murderer'' in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt (1943)? Watch as he opines about ''faded, fat, greedy women.'' Brrrr!
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Edward G. Robinson
Doing a 180 from his volatile Little Caesar role, he mesmerized as a homely, middle-aged Sunday painter who falls for a hooker in Fritz Lang's 1945 noir Scarlet Street.
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She was perfection as William Powell's sly sidekick in 1934's The Thin Man and touchingly understated in 1946's The Best Years of Our Lives as a postwar wife holding her family together.
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From leading man in Oscar-winning films (1971's Klute, 1980's Ordinary People) to scene-stealing supporting player in critical hits (1991's JFK), he's lifted nearly every film he's made.