There are a number of legendary actors who’ve beaten the odds and been nominated for multiple Oscars. You’ll know their names: DiCaprio, Streep, Pacino, Hepburn. These stars are Oscars magnets and some of the best actors to grace the silver screen, all of whom have appeared in some of the best movies of all time.
When it comes to Oscars records, though, Meryl Streep is leagues ahead of her colleagues with an eye-watering 21 nominations. Just to explain how incredible that is, her closest competition is Katherine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, both of whom only managed a paltry 12 nominations each. Slackers, we know.
Still, there’s at least one actor who might just outshine Streep. The star only appeared in five films in just seven years, and every one of them was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. We’re talking, of course, about John Cazale, who’s probably best known for playing Fredo in one of the best drama movies ever made, The Godfather.
Cazale got his first movie role when he was 37, appearing in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather, and he followed that up with two more Coppola collaborations, The Conversation and The Godfather Part 2. The year after that, he made Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino, and then after a brief hiatus, he made one of the best war movies of all time, The Deer Hunter.
All five of Cazale’s movies were nominated for Best Picture, with three winning the coveted prize. Unfortunately, there’s a tragic reason for his incredible batting average. While making The Deer Hunter, Cazale was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he passed away shortly after filming concluded; he was only 42 years old.
Cazale’s most famous movie moment probably comes in The Godfather Part II when he receives the ‘kiss of death’ from Michael, who tells him; “I know it was you, Fredo.” Despite only acting in five movies, Cazale is still one of the greatest actors of all time.