How Chadwick Boseman could make history with posthumous Oscar nominations

Illustration of actor Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman could earn two posthumous Oscar nominations
(Barry Falls/For the Times)

Making history, posthumously

Chadwick Boseman died in August at age 43 after battling cancer. His final performance, in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” is expected to bring him a lead actor Oscar nomination. His performance in another 2020 film, “Da 5 Bloods,” is a strong contender for a supporting nomination as well.


Performers in Academy Awards history have received posthumous nominations: Jeanne Eagels, James Dean, Spencer Tracy, Peter Finch, Ralph Richardson, Massimo Troisi and Heath Ledger.



Posthumous acting Oscars have been awarded, for Finch’s lead performance in “Network” (1976) and Ledger’s supporting turn in “The Dark Knight” (2008).


Actor, Dean, received posthumous nominations in two different years, for “East of Eden” (1955) and “Giant” (1956).


People have been nominated in two acting categories in the same year (including Scarlett Johansson last year). Boseman would be the first posthumous same-year dual nominee.