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20 Academy Award nominated TV stars

TV actors aren’t just recognized for their talents on the small screen. Just because they act on TV shows doesn’t mean they can’t pursue a career on the big screen. Here are just a few TV stars that have really let their talents shine in movies - and have even been nominated and/or won an Academy Award.

1. Will Smith

Known For: “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”

Oscar Nomination: “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness”

Will Smith on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Who would have thought the boy who went to sit on his throne in Bel-Air would be an Oscar nom? I guess his life really did get “flipped, turned upside down.”

2. Helen Hunt

Known For: “Mad About You”

Oscar Nomination: “The Sessions”

Oscar Win: “As Good As It Gets”

Helen Hunt on Mad About You

Hunt isn’t afraid to show off her acting talents; after all she is an Academy Award winner. She has definitely made a cozy spot in Hollywood for herself and her talents.

3. Bradley Cooper

Known For: “Alias”

Oscar Nomination: “Silver Linings Playbook”

Bradley Cooper on Alias

“Alias” fans know him as reporter Will Tippin. Now, Cooper stars in more and more movies and is getting recognized for his acting abilities.

4. Sally Field

Known For: “The Flying Nun” and “Brothers & Sisters”

Oscar Nomination: “Lincoln”

Oscar Win: “Norma Rae” and “Places in the Heart”

Sally Field in The Flying Nun

It’s really no surprise that Sally Field has won two Oscars. She has been around Hollywood for years, and it was only a matter of time before “The Flying Nun” flew into the Dolby Theatre and snagged that gold statue.

5. George Clooney

Known For: “The Facts of Life” and“ER”

Oscar Nomination: “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Michael Clayton,” “Up in the Air,” “The Ides of March” and “The Descendants”

Oscar Win: “Syriana” and “Argo”

George Clooney on ER

Back in the day he made hearts go pitter-patter as Doug Ross, but there’s so much more to Clooney. For example, his acting, writing, producing and directing abilities are repeatedly honored with prestigious awards. He’s crazy good.

6. Melissa McCarthy

Known For: “Gilmore Girls,” “Samantha Who?” and “Mike & Molly”

Oscar Nomination: “Bridesmaids”

Melissa McCarthy on Gilmore Girls

This is one hilarious lady. She first stole hearts as chef Sookie St.James on “Gilmore Girls,” but her role in the comedy “Bridesmaids” really put her on the map - the Oscar map to be exact.

7. Glenn Close

Known For: “Damages”

Oscar Nomination: “The World According to Garp,” “The Big Chill,” “The Natural,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Albert Nobbs”

Glenn Close on Damages

Glenn Close isn’t afraid to try all sorts of parts - some have even scored her Oscar noms - six to be exact - but each week fans love to watch her strut her stuff as Patty Hewes in “Damages.”

8. Don Cheadle

Known For: “Picket Fences” and “House of Lies”

Oscar Nomination: “Hotel Rwanda”

Don Cheadle on House of Lies

Every week, Don Cheadle portrays Marty Kaan on “House of Lies,” but it was his role as Paul Rusesabagina in “Hotel Rwanda” that the Academy noticed.

9. Taraji P. Henson

Known For: “The Division,” “Boston Legal” and “Person of Interest”

Oscar Nomination: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Taraji P. Henson on Person of Interest

She was lucky enough to star alongside Brad Pitt, but fans adore Henson for putting the bad guys behind bars on CBS’ hit drama “Person of Interest.”

10. Alec Baldwin

Known For: “30 Rock”

Oscar Nomination: “The Cooler”

Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock

This is one funny actor. Not only was he nominated for an Oscar, but he also received many noms and wins for playing Jack Donaghy on the comedy “30 Rock.”

11. Laura Linney

Known For: “Frasier” and “The Big C”

Oscar Nomination: “You Can Count on Me,” “Kinsey” and “The Savages”

Laura Linney on The Big C

What can’t Laura Linney do? Not only is she a critically acclaimed movie star, but she is also beloved for her roles on TV like as cancer-stricken Cathy Jamison on “The Big C.”

12. Felicity Huffman

Known For: “Sports Night,” “Frasier” and “Desperate Housewives”

Oscar Nomination: “Transamerica”

Felicity Huffman on Desperate Housewives

You either loved her or hated her as Lynette Scavo on “Desperate Housewives,” but one thing remains true and that is Felicity Huffman can act. Do you think she gets any tips from fabulously talented hubby William H. Macy?

13. Charles Durning

Known For: “Evening Shade,” “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Rescue Me”

Oscar Nomination: “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and “To Be or Not to Be”

Charles Durning on Everybody Loves Raymond

Charles Durning is a legendary actor who sadly died in December 2012. Not only will he be remembered for his films, but also for his recurring roles on television.

14. Chloe Sevigny

Known For: “Big Love,” “American Horror Story,” and “Portlandia”

Oscar Nomination: “Boys Don’t Cry”

Chloe Sevigny on Big Love

She most recently appeared on FOX’s “The Mindy Project,” but she is widely recognized as Nicolette Grant on “Big Love.” Sevigny can pull of any role, just like she did in “Boys Don’t Cry.”

15. Rachel Griffiths

Known For: “Six Feet Under” and “Brothers & Sisters”

Oscar Nomination: “Hilary and Jackie”

Rachel Griffiths on Six Feet Under

Before she made Brenda Chenowith and Sarah Walker popular, Rachel Griffiths was busy getting nominated for her part in “Hilary and Jackie,” a film about cellist Jacqueline du Pre. Griffiths played Jacqueline’s sister, Hilary.

16. Anna Paquin

Known For: “True Blood”

Oscar Win: “The Piano”

Anna Paquin on True Blood

Did you know Sookie Stackhouse won an Academy Award at the age of 11? Now that’s talent. Her success started at a young age, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon.

17. Mary McDonnell

Known For: “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Closer” and “Major Crimes”

Oscar Nomination: “Dances with Wolves” and “Passion Fish”

Mary McDonnell on Major Crimes

When she isn’t busy investigating crimes for the Major Crimes Division as Captain Sharon Raydor on “Major Crimes,” Mary McDonnell is busy getting nominated for her fabulous roles in film.

18. Laura Dern

Known For: “Enlightened”

Oscar Nomination: “Rambling Rose”

Laura Dern on Enlightened

Laura Dern must follow in her mother’s, Diane Ladd, footsteps when it comes to acting. They were both recognized by the Academy for “Rambling Rose,” and they both starred alongside one another in the recently canceled “Enlightened.”

19. Linda Hunt

Known For: “The Practice” and “NCIS: Los Angeles”

Oscar Win: “The Year of Living Dangerously”

Linda Hunt on NCIS: Los Angeles

Some might recognize Linda Hunt as Hetty Lange on “NCIS: LA” or as Miss Schlowski in “Kindergarten Cop,” but she took home the big award - an Oscar - for playing a man.

20. Mary Tyler Moore

Known For: “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Rhoda” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”

Oscar Nomination: “Ordinary People”

Mary Tyler Moore

Mary Tyler Moore really did make it afterall. From playing Laura Petrie alongside Dick Van Dyke to playing Mary Richards on “Rhoda” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” it was the role of Beth Jarrett in “Ordinary People” that got her the nomination.

Would you rather see these actors on TV, motion pictures or both?

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