7 Supporting Actors Who Stole the Show! (Being the Sidekick Never Looked So Good)

7 Supporting Actors Who Stole the Show! (Being the Sidekick Never Looked So Good)

Sidekicks are often looked over or under appreciated, but in the world of film “sidekick” is code for superstar!  Time after time we’ve fallen in love with the performance of supporting actors and actresses.  It is exciting to go to a theater and get something different from we expected.  Lots of talented supporting actors and actresses have snagged the eye of the press and even Academy Awards!  So we’ve gathered our favorite actors and actresses whose great performances stole the stage and the spotlight.

Check out 7 of the best supporting roles that out-shined their lead star.


Jennifer Hudson in Dream Girls

Viola Davis in The Help

Heath Ledger in The Dark Night

Cuba Gooding Junior in Jerry McGuire

Kevin Hart in Think Like A Man

Chloe Mortez in Kick-Ass

  • Again, no movie older than your demographic.
    What about Hector Elizondo in Pretty Woman.
    It was a crime he did not get nominated for an oscar.

  • WC

    You spelled Night wrong. 

    • WC

      It should be Knight. 

  • Email4jbriggs

    Tommy Lee Jones in the Fugitative.

  • Liz2866

    Ben Afleck in Good Will Hunting.

    • Antalx56

      he didn’t steal the movie. maybe robin williams but certainly not afleck.  though he was good

    • GetHusseinOBAMAOUT

      Robin Williams won and deserved the OSCAR!
      Ben Affleck is not an Academy Award winning ACTOR! PERIOD!
      He’s bald, A closet case liar and sucks as an actor.
       What are you related to him?!

      • Dan107

        Are you a professional pisser offer?

  • Guest

    Viola Davis in “The Help”??? How was she a supporting character, especially since all of her nominations were for best actress?

    • anonymous

      Exactly. If any supporting actor stole that movie, it was Jessica Chastain.

    • Kao

      Maybe they meant Viola Davis in “The Doubt”. She was definitely great on that one,

  • Timsunderland0531

    Hector Elizondo was good. A very unappreciated actor. But in terms of a second banana stealing the show, I can’t believe you passed over Val Kilmer in Tombstone. 

    • LeeLee

       Totally Agree!

  • Kevin Weeks

    Jennifer Hudson was not a supporting actress. Effie White is really the lead character in Dreamgirls, but it is an ensemble cast.

    • LeeLee

       She won the Academy for supporting. I think Beyonce’ was considered the lead.

      • Stefan

        The category has little to do with whether someone is “supporting” or “lead.” Often the line is blurry (as in Dreamgirls) and a studio simply submits for the most favorable category. For example, in 2006 the supporting field had parity (Hudson stood a good shot at a nomination and win). But the lead field had Helen Mirren win over Streep, Winslet, Dench, and Penelope Cruz.

      • A lot of times, to show solidarity among a cast, all of the cast will take supporting nods. You generally see it a lot with Emmys (Modern Family did this) but you will sometimes see it with Oscars, especially if the cast got along very well.

    • Eddie Murphy stole the show in Dreamgirls. He was totally robbed during awards season.

  • Kay

    In Girl Interrupted, Angelina Jolie stole the show from Winona Ryder!

  • Antalx56

    I wouldn’t say kevin Hart is a supporting actor who stole the show. He was the narrator for the movie in an ensemble cast.  He was one of the lead actors.

  • yep

    Considering most of those you listed are not supporting characters, you should probably go back to the drawing board and start over.

  • Robin Carduner

    Chloë Grace Moretz, not Mortez.

    Renée Zellweger, Cold Mountain

  • nanart001

    Alan Rickman – Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and Die Hard

    • Jayne

      Alan Rickman in anything.  He consistently steals the show!

  • Culture Glutton

    Viola Davis is not supporting, she is most definitely lead. A move can have more than one lead actress. 

  • EeyoreGal

    The reason that Jennifer Hudson shone so brightly is that Dreamgirls was the story of Effie White. For the play, Jennifer Holliday won a Tony for Best LEAD Actress in a Musical!  The film makers just did some political “beefing up” stuff to try to make it a starring vehicle for Beyonce.  Mistake. 

  • YouGotThatRight

    Jennifer Hudson is a STALE BORE! She is an ok singer, A LOUSY actress and didn’t deserve an Academy Award for Dream Girls! NOW!~~~~
     JENNIFER HOLIDAY! BROADWAY DIVA herself! she is and will always be the only EFFIE! I saw her 7 times on Broadway and she stopped the show everytime! And Hudson cannot hold a candle to her when it comes to  singing ” I Am Telling You ” YouTube” her online and see what Ia m talking about. HOLIDAY RULES! Hudson flash in the pan.

    • YourBrainOnDrugs

      Stop YELLING with all those ALL CAPS your hurting my eyes.

    • Broroc

      You Got that right!

  • GetOBAMAtheHELLout

    Heath Ledger was demonically brillaint as The Joker!
    He very much deserved the AWARD!
    All the awards he was given!

    • Laure

      He should have gotten Best Actor, but they didn’t put him in that category.  One of the greatest actor’s of our times.

    • Carl Young

      The Joker as he should have always been played.. I knew Heath we do something special with it when he was cast..

  • ratnok

    Denzel Washington in Glory. 

  • Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa?????? The best Supporting Actor upstage (of Brad Pitt, no less) of all TIME! 

  • dgcasey0325

    Diesel?  Diesel was no sidekick to Paul.  Who the hell wrote this story?  And they left out the greatest sidekick of all, again to Tom Cruise.   Goose from Top Gun.

  • Stefan

    This article steals the show for having typos and clearly no research. 

  • Sgdarkchild

    Val Kilmer in Tombstone… Hellloooo

  • Jack N

    I would have thought the classic case in recent memory of a supporting actor stealing the show would be Russell Brand in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

  • As awesome as Viola Davis was in the Help.  Octavia Spencer was better in my opinion

  • Babaruge

    Tom Arnold in True Lies

    • Jimbo

      I agree, a great role.

  • Medea

    Joachim Phoenix in 8MM

  • Appreciatesgoodacting

    I don’t usually do comments, but you left out the SUBLIME Christoph Walz in Inglourious Basterds, Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada…and this gal named Heather Matarazzo in a movie my daughter watched a MILLION times when she was little, “The Princess Diaries” – she was hilarious, even in a Disney movie!

    • YourBrainOnDrugs

      **applauding** your Emily Blunt call. That movie was so great all around. Anne and Meryl and Emily. Even wanky a@@ Adrian Grenier. 

  • Bunny

    Mickey Rourke in Rumble Fish and Body Heat

  • Jem

    If you want to go a little classier, Minnie Driver in An Ideal Husband, and none of the cast was slouching in that film.

  • Truenomad

    Val Kilmer in Tombstone

    • Carl Young

      Without question. One of the greatest portrayals of Doc Holliday ever. It is a crime he wasn’t recognized more for that performance. I barely get through the movie, because I keep rewinding every scene he has.. LOL

  • Lifetraveller

    Please fix the typo or correct the grammar mistake. 
    Thank you, your readers

  • critic

    Marisa Tomei in My Cousni Vinnie may not have been as good an actress as some but in that movie (she did win the Academy award) she surely  stole the show

  • Joseph Conners

    Yeah, it’s also kool to have a colored boy and a black ho in the other spots. Mytee white of dem.

  • Denise

    John Gielgud!!! Great great call. Wow I love the original Arthur movie. John and Dudley were smashing!

  • Brian199511

    Ridiculous list.  Claude Raines in Casablanca and Walter Brennan in anything so much more than any of these putzes.

  • Jimbo

    Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder.  He was nominated for a oscar for his role but lost.  His role was small but so wild it is what I most remember about the movie.

  • Lattyjudy

    Johnny Depp (Sands) in “Once Upon A Time In Mexico”….. absolutely was the star!!!!

  • Jo

    This list is bogus if it doesn’t have Val Kilmer in Tombstone on it. Best second banana performance in history!!!

    • Carl Young


  • Pseudonym Withheld

    How is, with respect to Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight”, the principal villain a supporting actor? A supporting actor in that film may have been Michael Caine as “Alfred”, or Morgan Freeman as “Lucius Fox”, but Ledger was the “Joker” which was more of a lead role although not THE lead role.

  • natalie


  • Katana_X

    I was right up with you until Vin Diesel. He should never be on the same list for acting as Viola Davis.

  • mike

    This list is retarded. No Javier Bardem in No Country, no Christopher Waltz in Inglorious Bastards, no Christian Bale in The Fighter. I guess they had to make room for the Kevin Hart and Vin Diesal. Who made this list, 13 year olds??

  • Heath Ledger was not the supporting actor he was the villain, and like Nicholsons Joker before him, was actually the more important character.

  • Kaboom

    Don Cheadle as Mouse in “Devil in a Blue Dress”

  • Eman

    Nice job putting up pictures. While I agree with most of your selections, I thought it would be a bit more professional to put WHY they shone brighter than the leading actors.

  • Aaron

    Viola Davis couldn’t steal the show because Aibileen is the main character.

  • ly

    Octavia Spencer won Best Supporting Actress for The Help,

  • Nix

    Kevin Hart? Every commercial that came out when the movie was out had him in it more than anyone else….

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