Sunday night is Oscar night and many will be tuned in to see who will be taking home that coveted golden statue. In the past, some Iowans have been lucky, included John Wayne (Winterset), who took home Best Actor for "True Grit" in Donna Reed (Dennison) who took home the award for Best Supporting Actress in "From Here To Eternity" in 1953. Cloris Leachman (Des Moines) took home Best Supporting Actress for 1971's "The Last Picture Show". Just last year, you may recall Iowan Don Hall (Glenwood) took home the Best Animated Feature Film Oscar for his directorial work on "Big Hero".

And while I'm sure there's more, there's also many who have not been as lucky. I think it's time we recognize these award deserving performances from Iowa actors/actresses.


  • Ilya S. Savenok - Getty Images
    Ilya S. Savenok - Getty Images

    Elijah Wood

    Cedar Rapid's own has received many honors over the years but has yet to win an Academy Award. In fact, he was robbed years ago. No, I'm not talking about Frodo in the 'Lord of the Rings' series, or even his role in the odd 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'. I'm talking about one of my favorite roles of his: The Guy in 'Spy Kids 3-D.' Who else could possibly pull off one of the best kids movie roles ever. Seriously, if you play "The Guy", how can you NOT win an award for the role?

  • Mike Coppola - Getty Images
    Mike Coppola - Getty Images

    Ron Livingston

    When it comes to comedies, easily the best movie of all time is 'Office Space'. No other movie can even possibly compare. And who played the lead? Another Cedar Rapids native, Ron Livingston as 'Peter Gibbons', a man so many of us, if not all of us, could relate to. How does that not deserve an Oscar? I nominate him for the Lifetime Achievement as the Most Relate-able Actor in a Comedic Role, Ever.

  • Charley Gallay - Getty Images
    Charley Gallay - Getty Images

    Lara Flynn Boyle

    Sure, the Davenport native has had quite a few TV roles, but her movie roles. For example, there's one male dominated movie that she just shined through on, and deserved a supporting actress nomination and win for, and that was the role of Stacy in 'Wayne's World.' Who else could play a crazy ex-girlfriend any better than she did? And to take that hit over the car... epic!

  • Frazer Harrison - Getty Images
    Frazer Harrison - Getty Images

    Ashton Kutcher

    Often labeled a son of Cedar Rapids, our beloved Ashton has not won an Oscar yet. And while some of his best work was on TV (between 'That 70's Show' and 'Two and A Half Men'), let's not forget some of his notable movies, like 'Just Married', 'Cheaper By The Dozen', 'My Boss's Daughter', and 'Guess Who' among others, where he lovingly plays the haphazard love interest. And while his role was impressive in 'Butterfly Effect', it'd be hard to argue that he deserved an Oscar for his most amazing role ever, as Jesse in 'Dude, Where's My Car'. Let's just say it sure would have been 'sweet' if he did, dude!

  • Mark Davis - Getty Images
    Mark Davis - Getty Images

    Michael Emerson

    This is one I'm sure many will argue with. Sure, the Cedar Rapids actor was in the movie 'Saw', but my argument is this: how could someone so amazingly villainous, with the most epic scary/devious role of all time, not win every award out there? Of course, I'm talking about his role as Ben Linus in 'Lost'. Yes, it was TV, but it was just THAT good, that he deserved an Oscar. I mean, at least, give him the EMMY for it.

    Oh, he did win that, didn't he. Well then...

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