Greeks and the Oscars are no strangers to each other. The first Greek who has been nominated for an Academy Award was Hermes Pan (or Ermis Panagiotopoulos) who was a nominee for choreography for “Top Hat”, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, as early as 1935.
Greek Oscar nominees all the way back to 1935
In 2019 Yorgos Lanthimos was nominated Best Director and Best Picture for “The Favourite”. In 2017 Lanthimos and and Eythimis Filippou were nominated for “Lobster“, while Daphne Matziaraki was nominated for the short documentary “4.1 Miles”.
In 2014, Alexander Dinelaris was awarded for Best Screenplay for “Birdman”, alongside Alejandro Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone and Armando Bo.
Photography director Phedon Papamichael was a candidate for Alexander Payne‘s “Nebraska”, who is also of Greek descent.
Payne was honored in 2011 with an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Descendants”.
Lanthimos and Filippou were nominated again in 2011 for “Dogtooth”, in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
In 2009, Greek director Louis (Louie) Psihoyos earned his own Oscar for the feature documentary “The Cove”.
Patricia Field in 2007 was among the nominees for Best Costume Design Award for the film “The Devil Wears Prada”.
Greek Australian director George Miller has been awarded Best Animated Film for Happy Feet (2007).
In 2004 director Alexander Payne won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Sideways”.
In 2003, Nia Vardalos was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”.
Christina Lazaridis was nominated for Best Short Film for “One Day Crossing” in 2001.
In 1995 George Miller was nominated for Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay for “Babe”.
Miller, again, was also a candidate in 1993 for the screenplay for “Lorenzo’s Oil”.
In 1991, Dean Tavoularis was nominated for Best Cinematography for “Godfather 3”
In the same year, Italian film “Mediterraneo” won Best Foreign Language Film, starring Greek actress Vana Barba.
In 1989, for “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” Dean Tavoularis was nominated for Best Cinematography.
In 1988, Greek-born Olympia Dukakis earned an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “Moonstruck”.
In 1983 Costa Gavras was a candidate for Best Film for “Missing”, which eventually won the Best Adapted Script Award.
In 1982 Vangelis Papathanasiou won the Oscar for Best Soundtrack for “Streets of Fire”. He did not attend the ceremony and the gold statuette was received on his behalf by actor William Hurt.
In 1980 Dean Tavoularis was nominated for Best Cinematography for “Apocalypse Now”.
In 1979, Tavoularis was a candidate for Best Cinematography for “The Brinks’ Job”.
“Iphigenia” directed by Michael Cacoyannis was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 1977.
In 1976, Greek-American Chris Sarandon was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in “Dog Day Afternoon”.
Dean Tavoularis won Best Cinematography for “Godfather II” in 1975.
In 1974 costume designer Theoni Vachlioti Aldredge won the Oscar for Best Costume Design for “The Great Gatsby”, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.
In 1975, Hollywood director and actor John Cassavetes was nominated for Best Director for “A Woman Under the Influence”.
In 1970 Costa Gavras was nominated for Best Director and his film “Z” for Best Film.
In 1969 Cassavetes was Oscar nominee for Best Original Screenplay for “Faces”.
In 1968 Cassavetes was in the nominee list for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “The Dirty Dozen”.
In 1966, Vassilis Georgiadis was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film for “Blood on the Land”.
“Zorba the Greek” made the 1965 Academy Awards a “Greek affair” as it was nominated in seven categories: Best Picture, Best Director (Michael Cacoyannis), Best Actor (Anthony Quinn) and Best Screenplay Based on Another Medium (Michael Cacoyannis).
However, it won only Best Supporting Actress (Lila Kedrova), Best Cinematography (Walter Lassally) ann Best Art Direction Vassilis Photopoulos.
In 1964, Vassilis Georgiadis was nominated for the “Red Lanterns” in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
In 1964, Greek-born director Elias Kazan-Elias Kazantzoglou won Best Director for the film “America, America”.
In 1963, Telly Savalas was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “The Bordman of Alcatraz”.
The same year, costume designer Theoni Vachlioti Aldredge was nominated for her work in “Phaedra”.
Also in 1963, Michael Cacoyannis’ “Electra” was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.
In 1962 George Chakiris walked away with the gold stauette for Best Supposting Actor in “West Side Story”.
In 1961, costume designer Theoni Vachlioti Aldredge was nominated for Best Costume Design for “Never on Sunday”, starring Melina Mercouri. The protagonist was also nominated for Best Actress. However, the Greek who won the Oscar for Best Song (“Never on Sunday”) was Manos Hadjidakis.
In 1956 Elias Kazan was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director (“East of Eden”).
In 1955 Elias Kazan won the Academy Award for Best Director for “On the Waterfront”.
Elias Kazan was nominated for Best Director for “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1952.
Kazan won the Best Director Academy Award for “A Gentleman’s Agreement” in 1948.
In 1944 Katina Paxinou won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. She was the first non-American actress to succeed in this distinction.
In 1937, Greek-American dancer and close associate of Fred Astaire, Hermes Panagiotopoulos, known as Hermes Pan, won the Oscar for his choreography in “A Damsel in Distress”.
Hermes Pan was an Oscar nominee for his choreography in “Swing Time” in 1936.
Hermes Pan was an Oscar nominee for his choreography in “Top Hat” in 1935, the first-ever Greek-American to hear his name in the Academy Awards ceremony.