Farnsworth Is Oldest Actor Nominee
Feb. 15, 2000
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Richard Farnsworth, a 79-year-old former stuntman, became the oldest actor to get an Academy Award nomination today, for his role in ``The Straight Story.''
``It feels a lot better because I'm getting up there in age and might not have a chance again,'' the actor said in an interview from his longhorn cattle ranch in Lincoln, N.M.
His best actor nomination gives the field a generation gap. Another nominee, 11-year-old Haley Joel Osment, is the third-youngest nominated for supporting actor. Brandon De Wilde was one day younger when he was nominated for a supporting performance in ``Shane'' in 1953. Justin Henry, who appeared in ``Kramer vs. Kramer,'' was youngest at 8. (``Titanic'' star Gloria Stewart was the oldest actress to get a nomination at 87.)
It was the second nomination for Farnsworth, who was nominated for the 1977 film ``Comes a Horseman.'' Henry Fonda had been the oldest leading actor when he was nominated at 76 for his role in ``On Golden Pond.''
The Los Angeles native was a stuntman for more than 30 years who moved into acting, appearing in ``The Grey Fox,'' ``The Natural,'' ``Tom Horn,'' ``Resurrection,'' ``Rhinestone Cowboy'' and ``Anne of Green Gables.''
If he wins the Oscar, he said, ``I've got a good spot for it here.''
The actor lives in a small town he calls ``Billy the Kidd country.'' He got up at 4 a.m. and brewed some coffee to watch the Oscar nominations announcement on TV a half-hour later.
``I had to see it,'' Farnsworth said, and when they called his name, ``I let out a war whoop, naturally. I was sweating it out.''