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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 3 March 2021

6 actors honoured posthumously at the Golden Globes: from Chadwick Boseman to James Dean

As the late 'Black Panther' star receives a nod for Best Actor, we reveal five other actors who were nominated after their deaths

Health Ledger, who died in 2008, and Chadwick Boseman, who died last year, were both posthumously nominated for Golden Globes. Getty Images, EPA
Health Ledger, who died in 2008, and Chadwick Boseman, who died last year, were both posthumously nominated for Golden Globes. Getty Images, EPA

Posthumous awards have been used for centuries to honour those in the military, but when it comes to the arts, the precedent is a little more recent.

The first Hollywood star to receive posthumous recognition was Jeanne Eagels, who in 1930 was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Leslie Crosbie in 1929 drama The Letter, after she died suddenly at the age of 39. Although she didn’t win – the Oscar went to both Norma Shearer for The Divorcee and Mary Pickford for Coquette in a year that featured two ceremonies – she was the first star, male or female, to receive the honour.

After that, James Dean became a double posthumous nominee, again at the Academy Awards for Best Actor in 1956 for East of Eden, and again the next year for Giant, following his death in September 1955.

As Chadwick Boseman receives a posthumous Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor for his role in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, we look back at six actors who were nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after their deaths.

Chadwick Boseman

The late Chadwick Boseman has been nominated for Best Actor for 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'. Netflix, EPA
The late Chadwick Boseman has been nominated for Best Actor for 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom'. Netflix, EPA

The beloved Black Panther actor, who died in August last year following a four-year battle with colon cancer, was recognised for his role as trumpet player Levee Green in the 1920s-era film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. The star received a posthumous nod in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) category at the Globes. The nomination follows his two NAACP Image Awards nominations last week, and is almost certainly a precursor to an Oscar nomination, which will be announced on Monday, March 15.

James Dean

James Dean was awarded a posthumous Special Achievement award at the 1956 Golden Globes for 'East of Eden'. Getty Images
James Dean was awarded a posthumous Special Achievement award at the 1956 Golden Globes for 'East of Eden'. Getty Images

The star achieved Hollywood legend status despite only having starred in three films during his all-too-short career, dying aged 24 in a car crash in September 1955. Showing his star power in the enduring classics Rebel Without A Cause, Giant and East of Eden, it was the latter which won him a posthumous Special Achievement award at the 1956 Golden Globes. He went on to receive Best Actor nominations at the 1956 and 1957 Oscars for East of Eden and Giant, respectively.

Peter Finch

British-Australian actor, Peter Finch won the Best Actor Golden Globe in 1976 for the drama, 'Network'. Getty Images, IMDb
British-Australian actor Peter Finch won the Best Actor Golden Globe in 1976 for the drama 'Network'. Getty Images, IMDb

The British-Australian actor was posthumously nominated for a Best Actor Golden Globe in 1976 for the drama Network, winning the award at the January 29, 1977 ceremony. He had died just weeks before on January 14 of a heart attack at the age of 60. A couple of months later, he won the Oscar for Best Actor for the same role, and became the first actor to win the Academy Award award posthumously.

Heath Ledger

Australian actor, Heath Ledger won the Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes in 1995 for his role as The Joker in 'The Dark Knight'. Getty Images, IMDb
Australian actor Heath Ledger won Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes in 2009 for his role as The Joker in 'The Dark Knight'. Getty Images, IMDb

The Australian star, who died aged 28 in January 2008, was nominated for and won a Golden Globe in 2009 for Best Supporting Actor for his acclaimed portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight. The film’s director, Christopher Nolan, accepted the award on his behalf, and Ledger went on to become only the second person, after fellow Australian Finch, to win a posthumous Academy Award.

Spencer Tracy

Hollywood legend, Spencer Tracy was nominated posthumously for 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner'. Getty Images, IMDb
Hollywood legend Spencer Tracy was nominated posthumously for 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner'. Getty Images, IMDb

One of the major stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Spencer Tracy died on June 10, 1967 at the age of 67. He was nominated posthumously for a Golden Globe in the Best Actor – Drama category for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and was also nominated for the same film for Best Actor at the following Academy Awards.

Raul Julia

The late actor, Raul Julia was awarded the Best Actor Golden Globe in 1995, months after his death, for 'The Burning Season.' Alamy
Raul Julia was awarded the Best Actor Golden Globe in 1995, months after his death, for 'The Burning Season.' Alamy

The Puerto Rican star of the Addams Family films, in which he played family patriarch Gomez, died on October 24, 1994 aged 54. He won a Golden Globe in 1995 in the category Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television for the 1994 TV film The Burning Season, which he had completed only months before his death. He would go on to posthumously win an Emmy Award.

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Read more:

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Golden Globe Nominations 2021: Three women nominated for Best Director for the first time in awards' history

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Updated: February 4, 2021 06:43 PM

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