On Oscar night, Hollywood’s elite don tuxes and ballgowns to celebrate the year’s best films. While Academy Award nominees come from all corners of the world, many of the actors taking home trophies are homegrown in Hollywood. Here are 17 Los Angeles natives who grew up to take home the coveted gold Oscar statue.
Fay Bainter was named Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1939 for her performance as Aunt Belle in Jezebel, alongside Bette Davis. Bainter, born in Los Angeles on December 7, 1893, became the first LA native to win an Oscar for acting. She began her career in 1910 as a traveling stage actress and broke into Broadway as Celine Marinter in The Rose of Panama in 1912. It was actually MGM that convinced Bainter to move to film work and she made her film debut in 1934’s This Side of Heaven.
Gloria Grahame became the second LA native to take home a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1953 for her work in The Bad and the Beautiful. She was born in Los Angeles on November 28, 1923, and was the daughter of an architect and an actress (beginning a longstanding tradition of actors growing up in the industry). She worked on Broadway for several years before MGM signed her, leading to her film debut in 1944’s Blonde Fever.
In 1973, Liza Minnelli became the first legacy Oscar winner with her Best Actress award for Cabaret. The daughter of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli, she was born on March 12, 1946, in Hollywood. Minnelli started acting when she was just three years old, appearing in the final scene of the 1949 musical In the Good Old Summertime, which starred her mother. Her professional career didn’t really begin until 1963 when she was 17 and appeared in an Off-Broadway revival of Best Foot Forward. By 1967, Minnelli made the transition to film and, well, the rest is history.
Tatum O’Neal made history in 1974 when she became the youngest person to ever win a competitive Academy Award (a record she still holds today). She took home the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her work in Paper Moon. O’Neal was born on November 5, 1963 in Westwood to actor parents Ryan O’Neal and Joanna Moore. Paper Moon was Tatum’s first film role, which only makes the win that more impressive.
Diane Keaton took home the Best Actress Oscar in 1978 for her performance in Annie Hall. Keaton was born in Los Angeles on January 5, 1946, to a homemaker and a civil engineer. Even though she wasn’t raised by actors, she still credits her mother, Dorothy Deanne, with inspiring her to pursue acting. Deanne won the ‘Mrs. Los Angeles’ pageant and watching the very theatrical event inspired Keaton to become an actress. She moved to New York to begin a career on Broadway and broke into film work in the 1970s, teaming up with Woody Allen on several occasions.
The first male winner on this list, Dustin Hoffman took home the Best Actor Oscar in 1980 for his role in Kramer vs. Kramer, opposite Meryl Streep (who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress the same year). Hoffman was born in Los Angeles on August 3, 1937, to Lillian and Harry Hoffman. His father worked for a time as a prop supervisor at Columbia Pictures, so Hoffman was exposed to the film industry early on. He spent several years working in television before breaking into film in 1967 — the year he starred in The Graduate.
Sally Field was technically born in Pasadena, California, but it’s close enough that we’ll count her as an LA native. She was born on November 6, 1946, to an actress and an army officer and started her acting career on television as the star of 1965’s Gidget. In 1980, she won the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Norma Rae.
Timothy Hutton won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1981 for his role in Ordinary People. He was just 20 years old at the time and remains the youngest winner in the Supporting Actor category to this day. Hutton was born in Malibu, California, just outside of Los Angeles, to an actor and a teacher. Ordinary People was his first credited film role and the breakout performance launched him to stardom.
Santa Monica native Anjelica Huston won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1986 for her role in Prizzi’s Honor. The win made Huston the third generation in her family to win an Oscar (her father, John Huston, and her grandfather, Walter Huston, both took home Oscars for their work on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, with John winning for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay and Walter winning for Best Supporting Actor). Anjelica began her film career in 1969’s A Walk with Love and Death.
In 1989, Los Angeles native Jodie Foster won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in The Accused. She was born on November 19, 1962, to Evelyn Ella ‘Brandy’ and Lucius Fisher Foster III and began acting at three years old, appearing as the Coppertone girl in a 1965 TV ad. She broke into film work in 1972 when she was just 10 years old.
Nicolas Cage, whose given last name is Coppola, was born into an entertainment industry legacy. The nephew of famed director Francis Ford, Coppola was born in Long Beach, just outside of Los Angeles. He took home the Best Actor Oscar in 1996 for his role in Leaving Las Vegas.
Helen Hunt was born in Culver City, California on June 15, 1963, which definitely qualifies her as an LA native. Her family was deeply involved in the entertainment industry. Her father, Gordon Hunt, was a film, voice and stage director and acting coach and her uncle, Peter H. Hunt, is a director. Hunt got her start acting in the 1970s as a child actress and acted in her first film, Rollercoaster, in 1977. She won the Best Actress Oscar in 1998 for her performance in As Good As It Gets.
Gwyneth Paltrow won the Best Actress Oscar in 1999 for her role in Shakespeare in Love. Paltrow was born in Los Angeles on September 27, 1972, to Blythe Danner, an actress, and Bruce Paltrow, a producer-director. Her godfather is none other than Steven Spielberg, so it’s no wonder she ultimately found herself drawn to a career in entertainment.
Another Hollywood legacy, Angelina Jolie is the daughter of actor Jon Voight. It’s no surprise, given her famous father’s line of work, that Jolie was born in Los Angeles on June 4, 1975, and grew up in Beverly Hills. In 2000, she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her turn as a mental patient in Girl, Interrupted.
Sean Penn was born in Los Angeles County on August 17, 1960. His father was a director and actor and his mother was an actress, so a career in entertainment was a natural fit for Penn, who first became famous for his role in the 1982 teen comedy, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He eventually took home the Best Actor Oscar in 2004 for his performance in Mystic River.
Jeff Bridges was born in Los Angeles on December 4, 1949, to actor Lloyd Bridges, and actress and writer Dorothy Bridges. He made his first film appearance when he was almost two in 1951’s The Company She Keeps and continued to pick up occasional work as a child actor throughout his youth. His breakout performance came in 1971’s The Last Picture Show, a role that earned him an Academy Award nomination. He eventually won the Best Actor Oscar in 2010 for Crazy Heart.
Leonardo DiCaprio was born in Los Angeles on November 11, 1974, to a legal secretary and a comic artist. He was raised mostly by his mother, Irmelin, in the neighborhoods of Echo Park and Los Feliz. DiCaprio started acting as a child, appearing in commercials and kids’ shows, before moving onto film work in the 1991 direct-to-video horror film, Critters 3. By 1993, he was starring alongside Johnny Depp in the critically-acclaimed What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. He finally won the Best Actor Oscar in 2016 for his gritty part in The Revenant.