5 Iowa Oscar Winners
The 88th Academy Awards are Sunday night on ABC-TV and here are the Iowa natives who've won the biggest award in the movie industry. Two of them have done it in the last six years.
Donna Reed was born in Denison, Iowa and is probably best known for her role as George Bailey's wife, Mary, in "It's a Wonderful Life." However, her Oscar came for Best Supporting Actress in 1953 for the movie "From Here to Eternity."
John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa and is truly a movie icon. Wayne was nominated for only three Oscars during his remarkable career. His only non-acting nomination came as a producer for "The Alamo," which was up for Best Picture at the 1960 Academy Awards.
Cloris Leachman was born in Des Moines, Iowa and her television and movie career spans the 1950's to today. While she's taken home more Primetime Emmy Awards than anyone (eight), the only Academy Award Leachman's won, to date, came in 1971. She won Best Supporting Actress for "The Last Picture Show." The movie was nominated for eight Oscars.
According to IMBD, the final scene in the movie was filmed once, with no rehearsal. Cloris reportedly told the director, Peter Bogdanovich, that she could do it better. His reply? "No, you can't - you just won the Oscar."
Louie Psihoyos was born in Dubuque, Iowa. He grew up there, working at a local newspaper as a teenager, where his work led him to photograph Sylvester Stallone who was in town working on the movie "F.I.S.T." According to Screenwriting from Iowa, Stallone loved the photograph and allowed Louie to stay on set, eventually casting him as the wedding photographer in the movie. Psihoyos was hired as a photographer by National Geographic at age 23.
In 2010, he won the Oscar for Best Feature Documentary for "The Cove," a film he directed. It questioned the way dolphins were hunted in Japan.
Don Hall was born in Glenwood, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa. He co-directed "Winnie the Pooh" five years ago and last year I wrote a story about his Oscar win for Best Animated Feature Film for "Big Hero 6."
There you have it. The five native Iowans who've won an Oscar. Who will be the next to take home the statue known as the Academy Award of Merit? The big screen and the future will tell us.