ByJenika Enoch, writer at
I love movies, music, and art. I'm a certified graphic designer and love to be creative as much as humanly possible. @icemyeyes
Jenika Enoch

It's no secret that winning an Academy Award is the biggest honor that Hollywood has to give an actor, director, composer, or anyone working in the film industry. While most see winning an Oscar as a great achievement and a kickstart to a great career, there are many Oscar winners who were basically one and done.

With Oscar night just one day away, I figured we could focus on some of the winners of the past whose careers didn't really get any better with that statue. I'm not saying they got any worse, but these actors are proof that winning the coveted statue doesn't always mean you have a long, awards filled future ahead of you. A good number of these actors aren't even widely recognized for being an Oscar-winner. Either that or the Oscar win is just a thing of the past, so don't be surprised if you see a highly famous actress on this list. That doesn't mean their Oscar win is any less singled out than the others.

And the Oscar went to...

Adrien Brody

Category: Best Actor for The Pianist (2002)

Adrien Brody celebrated his first Oscar win back in 2003 for the WWII drama, The Pianist. He made Oscar history with his acceptance speech as he laid a massive smooch on Halle Berry, as well as beating the likes of Nicolas Cage, Michael Caine, and Jack Nicholson for the award. However, his Oscar career pretty much ended right there. Even though he's yet to win or be nominated for another statue, he has had a rather impressive and consistent career in Hollywood.

Mira Sorvino

Category: Best Supporting Actress for Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

Aside from not being too popular in general among moviegoers, Sorvino managed to take home the Oscar in 1996 for her role as a porn star prostitute and mother to a young genius adopted by director Woody Allen's character. The role obviously resonated with audiences as she also took home a Golden Globe for the role, but it exists as Sorvino's first and only Oscar win/nomination.

Marlee Matlin

Category: Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God (1986)

Matlin won her statue in 1987 with her first ever nomination for Best Actress. Unfortunately, it remains to be her first and only Oscar. She also became the youngest best actress winner as well as the first deaf actress to take home the statue. She somewhat disappeared from Hollywood after struggling with drug addiction, but you can currently see her on FreeForm's TV-drama, Switched at Birth.

Jennifer Hudson

Category: Best Supporting Actress for Dreamgirls (2006)

Hudson proved she has acting chops in addition to her vocal skills, but the statue she took home for Dreamgirls in 2007 remains to be her only win. Since winning, she has focused on her flourishing recording career as well as serving as a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers.

Cuba Gooding, Jr.

Category: Best Supporting Actor for Jerry Maguire (1996)

Cuba Gooding, Jr. took home the Oscar after famously inspiring Tom Cruise to shout, "show me the money!" in the 1996 film, Jerry Maguire. Despite serving as an Oscar presenter more than once, this remains to be his only award statue despite the extensive career he's had. Gooding, Jr. is currently starring in FX's American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson in the title role.

Angelina Jolie

Category: Best Supporting Actress for Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Despite what people may assume, Jolie's only Oscar statue came from her role as a sociopath institution patient in Girl, Interrupted. Since taking it home in 2000, she has starred in several roles, and has directed Oscar worthy films, but it remains to be her only win. She was nominated once again for her role in Clint Eastwood's Changeling in 2009, but she didn't have the same luck.

Tatum O'Neal

Category: Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon (1973)

At the tender age of 10, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar-winner in the Academy's history after taking home the statue in 1974 for her role in Paper Moon. However, O'Neal hasn't been recognized by the Academy since. The daughter of actor Ryan O'Neal, she has moved from Hollywood to reality television where she's competed in Dancing With the Stars as well as starring in her own show, Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals.

Timothy Hutton

Category: Best Actor for Ordinary People (1980)

Serving as Hutton's only nomination, he managed to take home the win in 1981 for the Robert Redford film, Ordinary People. Hutton is another that has had a rather lengthy film and television career since, but the 1981 statue remains to be the only one he's taken home. You can see him on the ABC drama, American Crime.

Anna Paquin

Category: Best Supporting Actress for The Piano (1993)

Anna Paquin has her share of awards statues aside from the Academy, but her one and only Oscar statue was received for her role in The Piano. Paquin was just 11-years old when she took home her award, but she hasn't gained much attention from the Academy since then as it also served as her only Oscar nomination. Paquin is probably best known for her roles in HBO's True Blood and the X-Men film franchise. She is currently filming the new TV-adaptation of Alex Haley's, Roots.


Category: Best Supporting Actress for Precious (2009)

Mo'Nique won the statue in 2010 for her somewhat terrifying role in Precious, but she hasn't had a very good relationship with the Academy since. After refusing to campaign for her statue, she claims she was "blackballed" by Hollywood resulting in her being ignored and blacklisted by certain studios and Academy members because she didn't want to be typecast in stereotypical African-American roles. One thing is for sure, you have to give her credit for trying.


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