Oscar winning Canadians

Five incredible Canadians that have received Oscars for their outstanding work.
by Jessica Knapp February 19, 2016

Is it hot ticket Tuesday? If so, chances are someone you know is headed to the theatre to catch the latest flick. Maybe it’s to see Ryan Reynolds in a full leather suit in Deadpool or it’s to see what the most severe parts of the Canadian winter look like in Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Revenant (while the film is based in America it was filmed in Canada). Regardless of your preference, Canadians have been making a difference in the movie scene since 1929 when Mary Pickford – yes, America’s sweetheart is Canadian – won the Actress in a Leading Role award for Coquette. Here are five Canadians that have also received Oscars for their incredible work.

Richard Day, from Victoria, British Columbia, began his film career in 1918 as a set decorator. He won his first Oscar in 1936 for Best Interior Decoration award for The Dark Angel (1935). Day would continue his successful career, winning six more Academy Awards for Best Art Direction for Dodsworth (1936), How Green Was My Valley (1941), My Gal Sal (1942), This Above All (1942), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), and On the Waterfront (1954).

Deanna Durbin, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, was also known as “Winnipeg’s Sweetheart.” She made her first film appearance at fifteen years old with Judy Garland in Every Sunday (1936). In 1938, only two years later, Durbin was awarded the Academy Juvenile Award along side Mickey Rooney. When Durbin retired at the age of twenty-nine, she was the highest-paid female screen star in Hollywood.

Winning runs in the family. In 1948, Walter Huston, from Toronto, won the Actor in a Supporting Role award for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). That same year, his son John Huston won the Best Director award for the same film. Walter Huston's granddaughter, Anjelica Huston, won the Best Supporting Actress award in 1985 for Prizzi's Honor (1985).

Valli O'Reilly is one of the most highly regarded makeup artists in the film industry today. She won the Best Makeup award for her work in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004). More recently, she won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for the film Alice in Wonderland (2010).

Canadian composer Mychael Danna, from Winnipeg, won both the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Original Score for Life of Pi (2012). “The most gratifying filmmaking experiences are ones that take effort to unpeel the layers surrounding the heart of the story and to find the best musical expression of that heart,” says Danna. “Those are always the film scores I am most proud of.”

For more check out CBC's Oscar-winning Canadians timeline.

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