Sunday, February 9, 2020

Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar for "Joker" is also a distinction for Bill Finger

Joaquin Phoenix just won an Academy Award for Actor in a Leading Role for playing the Joker in Joker, as Heath Ledger posthumously did (Actor in a Supporting Role) for The Dark Knight in 2009.

This is only the second time in history that two actors have received an Oscar for playing the same character. The first: Mafia boss Vito Corleone. Marlon Brando won Best Actor for portraying him in The Godfather in 1973; Robert De Niro won Best Supporting Actor for The Godfather: Part II in 1975. (Interestingly, De Niro is also in Joker.)

Bill Finger helped conceive the Joker’s appearance and in 1940 wrote the first Joker story, which means he is one of only two people to write the debut of a character who has earned this rare honor. 

This coincides with the first time Bill’s name has been said/appeared on screen at the Oscars:

Of the many social media responses I saw, this was my favorite:

Alas, he removed his tweet later that night.

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