Comedy Oscar winners

Is Leonardo DiCaprio next? 9 TV comedy stars who later won an Oscar

Leonardo DiCaprio then and nowShare



If Leonardo DiCaprio indeed wins this year's Academy Award for best actor, he'll join an elite group of Oscar winners who had recurring or full-time roles on television comedies.

Everett Collection; Getty Images

He's not even the only 2016 acting nominee who can cite a recurring TV-comedy role. In the same lead-actor category, "Trumbo" star Bryan Cranston became a household name as the dad on Fox's wacky "Malcolm in the Middle." On the women's side, "Room" star Brie Larson starred on the short-lived WB sitcom "Raising Dad, " and more recently appeared in three episodes of the NBC/Yahoo comedy "Community." (Larson also starred on Showtime's "United States of Tara, " which could be considered a comedy and/or drama.)

Larson's competition includes an Oscar winner who also appeared on a TV comedy — more about her in a moment — proving there's a precedent for actors who transitioned from delivering serious laughs on TV to being taken seriously on the silver screen.

Listed in no particular order, the following rundown of Oscar winners with TV comedy experience isn't comprehensive. To keep it tidy, it doesn't include comedic actors who won an Oscar before 1980 (e.g. Art Carney, who won for 1974's "Harry and Tonto") or actors who didn't have enough of a recurring role on any one TV comedy (e.g. Alan Arkin, for 2006's "Little Miss Sunshine").

1. George Clooney


TV comedy: NBC's "The Facts of Life"

Oscar-winning movie role: Bob Barnes, in 2005's "Syriana"

Clooney recently recalled his days on the TV show, and thanked his "Facts of Life" co-star Charlotte Rae in the process. "You were such an incredible force in an early part of my career, " he told her during a recent reunion. "You were funny and kind and made a very young, not very skilled actor feel very much at home."

2. Mo'Nique

Everett Collection, Lionsgate Fi

TV comedy: UPN's "The Parkers"

Oscar-winning movie role: Mary, in 2009's "Precious"

The stand-up comic dropped jaws and earned critical acclaim for playing an abusive mother of a teen girl (played by Gabourey Sidibe).

3. Tom Hanks

Everett Collection

TV comedies: ABC's "Bosom Buddies, " NBC's "Family Ties"

Oscar-winning movie roles: Andrew Beckett, in 1993's "Philadelphia, " and the title character in 1994's "Forrest Gump"

4. Jennifer Lawrence

Everett Collection, The Weinstei

TV comedy: TBS' "The Bill Engvall Show"

Oscar-winning movie role: Tiffany Maxwell, in 2012's "Silver Linings Playbook"

We'll be honest: We nearly forgot that Lawrence, nominated again this year for her work in "Joy, " played a teenage daughter on every episode of the basic-cable comedy that aired between 2007 and 2009.

5. Helen Hunt

NBC, Everett Collection

TV comedy: NBC's "Mad About You"

Oscar-winning movie role: Carol Connelly, in 1997's "As Good as it Gets"

6. Jamie Foxx

Everett Collection
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