It’s been a long time — 39 years, to be exact — between rounds in the Oscar arena for Sylvester Stallone. The star, who was nominated for best actor for playing the title role in “Rocky” (1976), is looking like the heavyweight to beat in this year’s supporting actor race for reprising the role in “Creed.”
Stallone isn’t the only star to wait more than three decades before getting another shot at an Oscar. Here are some others, including one screen veteran who holds the record for the longest stretch between acting nominations.
The Hollywood everyman got his first best actor nomination in 1940 for “The Grapes of Wrath” but lost to his good friend James Stewart for “The Philadelphia Story.” Although the Fonda-produced courtroom drama “Twelve Angry Men” (1957) was up for best picture, it took 41 years before he ran in the best-actor race again, winning for “On Golden Pond” (1981). Fonda, who was too ill to attend the ceremony, died four months after his victory.
The legendary Broadway star only made a handful of movies between 1931 and 1970, which may explain why her two Oscar nominations were 39 years apart. She picked up men — and a best-actress Oscar — for playing a woman of ill-repute in the 1931 soap opera “The Sin of Madelon Claudet.” As the most adorable stowaway you’d ever want to meet, she hijacked 1970’s “Airport” from an all-star cast and landed the movie’s sole Oscar (for supporting actress).
The rugged actor only had to wait a year between his first two supporting actor nominations — for “Sudden Fear” (1952) and “Shane” (1953) — but then endured a 38-year stretch before getting nominated in the category again for “City Slickers” (1991). The third time was the charm, and Palance also won everyone over by doing a series of one-armed push-ups as he accepted his award.
As a supporting-actor nominee for his role as a returning Vietnam veteran in the 1978 drama “Coming Home,” Dern lost to Christopher Walken in “The Deer Hunter,” which was also about that conflict. Dern’s next nomination came 35 years later for “Nebraska” (2013) as an elderly man who thinks he may be a winner in the Publishers Clearinghouse sweepstakes. Alas, Dern was not a winner at the Oscars, either.