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12 Youngest Academy Award Winners in History

Are you ready to explore the list of the 12 Youngest Academy Award Winners who defied the odds by defeating some of the industry’s all-time greats?

The Academy Awards ceremony is just around the corner.

The star-studded event is the most prestigious award competition for actors of all ages. This year, as those in previous years, the deserving candidate will take the Oscar to their home.

Not only is it a glamorous event, but it is also a great occasion for everyone to get credit for their accomplishments and dedication.

Oscar Awards
Oscar Awards (Source: abc.go.com)

Apart from the veteran Hollywood stalwarts, the young aspiring actors have demonstrated their ability in the industry by winning the Oscars.

These actors have proven that there is no age limitations when it comes to showcasing abilities and accomplishments.

Let’s check out 12 Youngest Academy Award Winners who walked away with golden statues from the star-studded ceremony.

Quick Overview

No.  Name   Age
12. Angelina Jolie 24
11. Goldie Hawn 24
10. Teressa Wright 24
9. Joan Fontaine 23
8. Anne Baxter 23
7. Janet Gaynor 22
6. Jennifer Lawrence 22
5. Marlee Matlin 21
4. Timothy Hutton 20
3. Patty Duke 16
2. Anna Paquin 11
1. Tatum O’Neal 10

12. Angelina Jolie

Long before Angelina Jolie became the global superstar, she had already cemented her place in the prestigious Oscar club as one of the youngest Academy Award winners.

In the year 2000, Jolie won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for “Girl, Interrupted,” and she was only 24 years old.

Jolie in Girl, Interrupted
Jolie in Girl, Interrupted (Source: Pinterest)

Everyone praised Jolie for her outstanding performance in the movie, where she played the role of a sociopath.

Throughout her career, Jolie has had a number of box office successes, including the Maleficient. Her work in films such as Girl, Interrupted positioned her in the ranks of some of the world’s best actresses.

Angelina is regarded as a global superstar who has inspired many young actors.

11. Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn is a well-known actress, singer, and dancer who rose to prominence on the sketch comedy series “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In.”

In 1969, she starred in the romantic comedy Cactus Flower alongside Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman.

Goldie Hawn Cactus Flower (Source: Pinterest)

The story follows a dentist (Matthau) who struggles with commitment, while Hawn plays the protagonist’s jittery girlfriend.

Although it was her first lead role, she went on to win a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Moreover, she was nominated for another Academy Award for her starring role in Private Benjamin.

10. Teresa Wright

One of the popular stars of the 1960s and 1970s, Teresa Wright, achieved Hollywood stardom on her unglamorized terms from a young age.

Teresa Wright is the only actress to have received Oscar nominations for her first three films.

She was 24 years old when she won the Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress.

Teresa Wright in Mrs. Miniver (Source: Pinterest)

She was highly admired for her outstanding performance in “Mrs. Miniver.”

Mrs. Miniver is a movie about a British housewife who experiences the effects of WWII on her life. Wright played the daughter-in-law of the main character.

Interestingly, she was nominated for the Best Actress for The Pride of the Yankees the same year.

9. Joan Fontaine

Joan Fontaine dominated the Golden Age of Hollywood with a career that spanned five decades.

Within three years of her debut, she got the opportunity to work with one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Alfred Hitchcock.

Joan was nominated three times for Best Actress, and she won one of them for her role in the movie “Suspicion.”

Joan Fontaine in Suspicion (Source: Pinterest)

The movie rotates around a married couple, and Joan played the role of the wife, Lina.

With the win, Joan Fontaine became one of the youngest actors to win the Academy Awards.

Joan became the first and only actress to win an Academy Award for a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Moreover, Joan Fontaine and her sister, Olivia de Havilland, are the only siblings who have earned the lead-acting Academy award.

8. Anne Baxter

All you vintage movie fanatics out there may know Anne Baxter from her role as Eve in All About Eve. She got nominated for Best Actress for her outstanding performance in the film.

Before All About Eve, Baxter earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in The Razor’s Edge. The movie was based on W. Somerset Maugham’s novel of the same name.

It portrays the story of Larry Darrell, an American pilot scarred by his experiences in World War I, who embarks on a journey to find the ultimate purpose in his life.

Anne Baxter The Razor’s Edge (Source: IMDB)

Sophie MacDonald, portrayed by Baxter, is certainly one of her most heartbreaking performances.

Her character brought tears to the eyes of all the viewers. Especially in one hospital scene in which Sophie loses her spouse and her son.

Even though Baxter was not nominated for any more film awards following her win, she is regarded as an iconic figure in the entertainment business.

She has worked with many notable Hollywood figures, including Alfred Hitchcock and Cecil B. De Mille.

7. Janet Gaynor

We all have watched Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s 2018 romance musical, A Star is Born.

It was the story’s fourth screen adaptation, with the first being a 1937 film starring Janet Gaynor.

Janet is known as the first actress ever to receive an Academy Award.

Janet Gaynor
Janet Gaynor (Source: TCM)

She got the award for her multiple roles in three movies, including Street Angel, 7th Heaven, and Sunrise.

It was also the only time an actress had won an Oscar for multiple roles.

Janet also held the record of the youngest actress to win an Oscar, which was later broken by Marlee Matlin.

She went on to star in multiple hits and became one of the most bankable performers of the era.

6. Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer is one of the most admired American actresses known for her on-screen versatility as well as her warm off-screen charisma.

In 2012, Jen won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook. She became the second-youngest Best Actress winner.

Youngest Academy Award Winners- Jennifer-Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook (Source: imdb.com)

Lawrence and Bradley Cooper starred in the heartwarming rom-com as individuals who bond over their struggles with mental illnesses, eventually partnering for a dance competition.

Jennifer even credits the role for her international acclaim and stardom.

She has also worked with some of the well-known figures in the entertainment world.

5. Marlee Matlin

The well-known author and deaf activist Marlee Matlin got her big break with Children of a Lesser God.

Marlee Matlin received the Academy Award for the Best Actress for her role as Sarah Norman in this film.

Matlin was just 21 years old at the time, making her the youngest actress to earn this accolade.

Matlin in Children of a Lesser God (Source: imdb.com)

The film Children of a Lesser God enlightened the broad audience about deaf culture and values.

William Hurt plays a teacher at a deaf school, and Marlin plays a former top student who works as a janitor in the movie. Despite vastly different teaching methods and ideas, they fall in love.

Marlee Matlin also has a Golden Globe win and four Emmy nominations to her name.

4. Timothy Hutton

Timothy Hutton won the Academy Award in 1980 for Best Supporting Actor at the age of 20.

He received the award for his performance in his debut feature film, Ordinary People.

He played the role of Conard Jarret, a depressed teenager recovering from the death of his brother.

Youngest Academy Award Winners- Timothy-Hutton
Timothy Hutton in Ordinary (Source: Pinterest)

Conard’s troubled relationship with his parents heightens the dysfunctional family tale.

Ordinary People, directed by Robert Redford, also won Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director.

Do You Know About the Academy Awards For Best Production Design

3. Patty Duke

Patty Duke won the Oscar for the Best Supporting Actress for her role of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker at the 35th Academy Awards in 1963.

Helen Keller was a legendary novelist, activist, and disability rights advocate.

Patty Duke was 15 years old when she received the award.

The Miracle Worker is an American biographical film directed by Arthur Penn, and the movie revolves around Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s blind instructor.

Youngest Academy Award Winners- Patty-Duke
Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker (Source: IMDB)

The 1962 film is notable for lowering sympathy and presenting a more believable and raw take on Keller’s younger days.

Patty played Hellen Keller so convincingly that she left a lasting impression on the global audience.

The film was a commercial success right away, and it was nominated for numerous accolades as well.

2. Anna Paquin

One of the most admired movies, The Piano, is a historical piece directed by Jane Campion.

The movie starred seasoned actors such as Holly Hunter and Harvey Keitel and a young starlet named Anna Paquin.

Anna was just 11 years old when she won Best Supporting Actress at the 1993 Academy Awards.

While receiving the award, the adorable Paquin took a hesitant step onto the stage and remained mute for 20 seconds.

Youngest Academy Award Winners- Anna-Paquin-The-Piano
Anna Paquin in The Piano (Source: Pinterest)

In the movie, Anna plays the daughter of Hunter. Anna’s character in the movie is an interesting flip of parental responsibilities and was truly a masterpiece.

Of course, Paquin became a household name as Rogue in the X-Men film franchise and Sookie in the True Blood television series. However, she is widely recognized for her debut film and her achievements as a child.

1. Tatum O’Neal

The youngest ever Oscar winner is the talented actress Tatum O’Neal.

She received the prestigious honor of the Best Supporting Actress for the film Paper Moon.

When she was awarded the Oscar, she was just ten years old.

The movie Paper moon was pretty emotional, and the young actress won a million hearts with her acting.

Paper Moon is an American road comedy-drama film released by Paramount Pictures and directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

Youngest Academy Award Winners- Tatum-O'Neal-Papermoon
Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon (Source: Pinterset)

Despite its humorous aspects, the movie’s masterful storytelling addresses serious economic inequality and poverty concerns in Depression-era Kansas.

Ryan and Tatum O’Neal, the real-life father and daughter duo, played Moze and Addie’s characters. Her outstanding performance crowned her the youngest Oscar winner in history.

She appeared in minor film roles and guest appearances on TV shows such as Sex and the City. But, Paper Moon is still O’Neal’s most popular cinematic credit.


We’ve only compiled 12 celebrities who won Oscars at star-studded events when they were very young.

Till now, many celebrities have captured the limelight among the masses of superstars at the most coveted event.

We have seen the youngsters in the movies and complimented them for their performance. But they have also marked their skills with an Oscar award.

Read About 11 Celebs Who Rejected Oscars



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