In the Film "Going my Way" Barry Fitzgerald was nominated for an Oscar in both cathegories ("Best Actor" and "Best supporting Actor").

How is this possible?

  • 5
    Mistakes can happen. But the rule was changed after that. Actors cannot receive multiple nominations for the same performance.
    – A J
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 8:08
  • 1
    From Going My Way" Reception *"The New York Times critic Bosley Crowther criticized the film's length while lauding Crosby, and noting that "he has been stunningly supported by Barry Fitzgerald, who plays one of the warmest characters the screen has ever known. As a matter of fact, it is a cruel slight to suggest that this is Mr. Crosby's show. It is his and Mr. Fitzgerald's together. And they make it one of the rare delights of the year."" Which indicates to me that there was dissension as to whether Barry was lead or support. Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 8:08
  • IIRC, the movie director submits a list of award categories he thinks his film should be considered for to the academy. The academy then decides which of those categories the film should be properly nominated for (No, they don't watch every movie made in a given year in order to pick nominations.) My guess would be that the director submitted a blanket list of every category he could think of, and the fact that both of these got through was an oversight.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Feb 17, 2017 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Can an actor be nominated for “Best Actor” and “Best supporting Actor” awards for the same performance?


From the rules in their current state, under the acting awards (rule six) section:

  1. The leading role and supporting role categories will be tabulated simultaneously. If any performance should receive votes in both categories, the achievement shall be placed only on the ballot in that category in which, during the tabulation process, it first receives the required number of votes to be nominated. In the event that the performance receives the numbers of votes required to be nominated in both categories simultaneously, the achievement shall be placed only on the ballot in that category in which it receives the greater percentage of the total votes.

How did Barry Fitzgerald get away with it?

Because this was back in 1945 (The 17th Academy Awards). Rules have changed since then. According to Fitzgerald's Wikipedia article:

In 1945, Fitzgerald achieved a unique Academy Awards feat. For portraying Father Fitzgibbon in Leo McCarey's Going My Way (1944), he was nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (which he ultimately won) and the Academy Award for Best Actor; voting rules were changed shortly after this occurrence to prevent further dual nominations for the same role.

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