Home Movie AwardsThe Oscars Hilary Swank Oscar: 21st Century’s First Two-Time Winner in Acting Categories

Hilary Swank Oscar: 21st Century’s First Two-Time Winner in Acting Categories


Hilary Swank Oscar triumph: The star of Clint Eastwood’s sentimental boxing melodrama Million Dollar Baby has become the 21st century’s first two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner. Her previous victory, for the gender-identity drama Boys Don’t Cry, took place in early 2000.
  • Hilary Swank Oscar achievement at age 30: Million Dollar Baby star has become not only the 21st century’s first two-time Best Actress winner but also its first two-time winner in the Academy Awards’ acting categories.

Hilary Swank Oscar feat: Million Dollar Baby star has become the new century’s first two-time winner in the Academy Awards’ acting categories

At the 2005 Academy Awards ceremony held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, 30-year-old Hilary Swank became the first two-time Best Actress winner of the 21st century. In fact, Swank became the young century’s very first two-time winner in any of the Oscars’ acting categories.

Only five years ago, at the 2000* Oscar ceremony, she was named Best Actress for her work as a young woman passing for a man in Kimberly Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry.

This second victory was for her performance in Clint Eastwood’s sentimental melodrama Million Dollar Baby, starring Swank in another “mannish” role: an all-but-unbeatable and steadfastly loyal boxer with whom a throaty-voiced, stone-faced trainer (Eastwood) develops a father-daughter relationship.

Swank’s Best Actress Oscar competition consisted of National Board of Review winner Annette Bening for Being Julia, Venice Film Festival winner Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake, Independent Spirit Award winner and Berlin Film Festival co-winner† Catalina Sandino Moreno for Maria Full of Grace, and London Film Critics Best British Actress winner Kate Winslet for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

* For all purposes, the beginning of the 21st century, not the end of the 20th.

† Tied with Charlize Theron for Monster.

Previous two-time Best Actress Oscar winners

The “Hilary Swank Oscar Double Dose” is the first one in the 21st century – but definitely not the first one ever. Below are the Academy Awards’ previous two-time Best Actress winners:

In a realm of her own, Katharine Hepburn won a total of four Best Actress Oscar statuettes:

Below are a trio of images from the 2005 Oscar ceremony, in addition to the list of this year’s winners and nominees, and the list of winners at the Spirit Awards.


Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman flank Clint Eastwood, director-producer-star of Best Picture Oscar winner Million Dollar Baby, backstage at the 77th Academy Awards. Flanking the three of them are Million Dollar Baby producers Tom Rosenberg and Albert S. Ruddy.
Hilary Swank Oscar honor from the hands of last year’s Best Actor winner, Sean Penn – coincidentally, for a performance in another melodrama directed by Clint Eastwood, Mystic River.
Clint Eastwood with Julia Roberts. This year’s Best Director Oscar winner for Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood had previously won in that category for the Western Unforgiven (1992). Roberts is herself a Best Actress winner for Erin Brockovich (2000).

Oscar winners & nominations

Picture
The Aviator.
Finding Neverland.
* Million Dollar Baby.
Ray.
Sideways.

Foreign Language Film
As It Is in Heaven (Sweden).
The Chorus (France).
Downfall (Germany).
* The Sea Inside (Spain).
Yesterday (South Africa).

Actress
Annette Bening - Being Julia.
Catalina Sandino Moreno - Maria Full of Grace.
Imelda Staunton - Vera Drake.
* Hilary Swank - Million Dollar Baby.
Kate Winslet - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Supporting Actress
* Cate Blanchett - The Aviator.
Laura Linney - Kinsey.
Virginia Madsen - Sideways.
Sophie Okonedo - Hotel Rwanda.
Natalie Portman - Closer.

Actor
Don Cheadle - Hotel Rwanda.
Johnny Depp - Finding Neverland.
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Aviator.
Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby.
* Jamie Foxx - Ray.

Supporting Actor
Alan Alda - The Aviator.
Thomas Haden Church - Sideways.
Jamie Foxx - Collateral.
* Morgan Freeman - Million Dollar Baby.
Clive Owen - Closer.

Director
* Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby.
Taylor Hackford - Ray.
Mike Leigh - Vera Drake.
Alexander Payne - Sideways.
Martin Scorsese - The Aviator.

Original Screenplay
The Aviator.
* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Hotel Rwanda.
The Incredibles.
Vera Drake.

Adapted Screenplay
Before Sunset.
Finding Neverland.
Million Dollar Baby.
The Motorcycle Diaries.
* Sideways.

Cinematography
* The Aviator.
House of Flying Daggers.
The Passion of the Christ.
The Phantom of the Opera.
A Very Long Engagement.

Film Editing
* The Aviator.
Collateral.
Finding Neverland.
Million Dollar Baby.
Ray.

Score
* Finding Neverland.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
The Passion of the Christ.
The Village.

Art Direction
* The Aviator.
Finding Neverland.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
The Phantom of the Opera.
A Very Long Engagement.

Documentary Feature
* Born Into Brothels.
The Story of the Weeping Camel.
Super Size Me.
Tupac: Resurrection.
Twist of Faith.

Animated Film
* The Incredibles.
Shark Tale.
Shrek 2.

Original Song
“Accidentally in Love” - Shrek 2.
* “Al otro lado del río” - The Motorcycle Diaries.
“Believe” - The Polar Express.
“Learn to Be Lonely” - The Phantom of the Opera.
“Look to Your Path” (“Vois sur ton chemin”) - The Chorus.

Costume Design
* The Aviator.
Finding Neverland.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Ray.
Troy.

Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
I Robot.
* Spider-Man 2.

Sound Mixing
The Aviator.
The Incredibles.
The Polar Express.
* Ray.
Spider-Man 2.

Sound Editing
* The Incredibles.
The Polar Express.
Spider-Man 2.

Make-Up
* Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
The Passion of the Christ.
The Sea Inside.

Live Action Short
Everything in This Country Must.
Little Terrorist.
7:35 in the Morning.
Two Cars One Night.
* Wasp.

Animated Short
Birthday Boy.
Gopher Broke.
Guard Dog.
Lorenzo.
* Ryan.

Documentary Short
Autism Is a World.
The Children of Leningradsky.
Hardwood.
* Mighty Times: The Children’s March.
Sister Rose’s Passion.


Independent Spirit Awards: List of winners

Film: Sideways.

Foreign Language Film: The Sea Inside.

Actress: Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace.

Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen, Sideways.

Actor: Paul Giamatti, Sideways.

Supporting Actor: Thomas Haden Church, Sideways.

Director: Alexander Payne, Sideways.

Screenplay: Sideways.

First Film: Garden State, dir.: Zach Braff.

First Screenplay: Maria Full of Grace, Joshua Marston.

Documentary: Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, dir.: Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky.

John Cassavetes Award: Mean Creek, dir.: Jacob Aaron Estes.

Debut Performance: Rodrigo De la Serna, The Motorcycle Diaries.

Cinematography: The Motorcycle Diaries, Eric Gautier.

Special Distinction: The Mean Creek cast (Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan, Josh Peck, Carly Schroeder).


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If you liked “Hilary Swank Oscar: 21st Century’s First Two-Time Winner in Acting Categories,” check out:


Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences website.

Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Rosenberg, Albert S. Ruddy, Sean Penn, Clint Eastwood, Julia Roberts, and Hilary Swank Oscar ceremony images: © A.M.P.A.S.

“Hilary Swank Oscar: 21st Century’s First Two-Time Winner in Acting Categories” last updated in May 2020.

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