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4 People You Probably Didn’t Know Were Oscar Winners

February 23, 2015

The “Best Live Action Short Film” award at the Oscars has made Academy Award winners out of some notable names.

Peter CapaldiPeter Capaldi

Today, he’s best known as the latest actor to play the titular role on the long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who, and before that starred in the cult comedy shot The Thick of It. In 1993, the 36-year-old actor made a comic short for BBC Scotland called Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life, which was about Kafka trying to write The Metamorphosis.

Steven Wright

Wright was one of the most dominant stand-up comedians of the ‘80s. That was because of his singular, deadpan delivery of witty, observational one-liners. (E.g. “What’s another word for ‘thesaurus’?” and “Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.”) Wright was a co-winner of the 1989 Oscar for Live Action Short Film for “The Appointments of Dennis Jennings,” which concerns a very neurotic man and his disrespectful psychiatrist. (Wright plays the neurotic man.)

Christine Lahti

In 1996, Lahti was a well-known TV actress, at the time starring on the hit medical drama Chicago Hope. That year she won an Oscar for Best Short Subject for directing “Lieberman in Love,” a 39-minute short film she also starred in. Based on a short story by Canadian author W.P. Kinsella, the author had no idea that the film had even been made, and only found out about it when he was watching the Oscars and it won.

Taylor Hackford

Before he directed An Officer and a Gentleman in 1982, and before he directed Ray in 2004 (and got a Best Director nomination), and before he married Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren in 1994, Taylor Hackford won an Oscar in 1979 for his short film “Teenage Father.” It’s about, well, a teenage father.

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