Actor Tommy Lee Jones made history Sunday night when he received his twentieth consecutive Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his legendary portrayal of United States Marshall Samuel Gerard in the 1993 film The Fugitive. The win extended his record streak for Oscars given to the same actor for the same film; the next closest streak is one, shared by 76 others.
“For the twentieth year in a row, there was not a supporting performance in Hollywood worthy enough to unseat Mr. Jones,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “To be honest, it wasn’t especially close. This award will be his until he dies, and even then, probably still for another several years after that.”
Jones’ only legitimate challenger over his two decade run came in 1996 when he beat out Cuba Gooding Jr. for his role as Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire, which was the closest anyone has ever come to equaling Jones’ on-screen presence. Jones also narrowly defeated himself for his reprisal of Gerard in the 1998 sequel U.S. Marshals.
Upon having his name called for the twentieth consecutive year, Jones approached the stage to a thunderous standing ovation. He then took the award from presenter Anne Hathaway, stared deep into the soul of both the attendees and viewers at home simultaneously, and uttered, “I don’t care,” before retreating backstage and off into the night.
For the eighth consecutive year, Mark Wahlberg finished second in the voting for his portrayal of Sergeant Dignam in The Departed.