As we wait to see which actor will take home the award for Best Actor of 2011, let's look at some trivia about nominees and winners in years gone by.
Starting on the small screen doesn't mean you won't get a crack at Oscar gold. Here are 13 past Best Actor nominees who first did well on TV:
1) George Clooney (nominated in 2011, 2009, 2007) has a long TV resume, featuring shows as diverse as The Facts of Life, Roseanne and, most famously, ER.
2) Johnny Depp (nominated in 2003, 2004, 2007) was on 21 Jump Street.
3) Leonardo DiCaprio (nominated in 2006 and 2004) had a supporting role on Growing Pains.
4) Denzel Washington (winner in 2001, nominated in 1999 and 1992) was a doctor on Chicago Hope.
5) Jamie Foxx (won in 2004) was, of course, on The Jamie Foxx Show and In Living Color.
6) James Franco (nominated in 2010) has had a recurring role on General Hospital.
7) Will Smith (nominated in 2001 and 2006) was once The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
8) John Travolta (nominated in 1994 and 1977) was a Sweathog on Welcome Back, Kotter.
9) Ryan Gosling (nominated in 2006) was a Mousketeer.
10) Bill Murray (nominated in 2003) was one of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players on Saturday Night Live.
11) Clint Eastwood (nominated in 2004 and 1992) was a cowboy on Rawhide.
12) Woody Harrelson (nominated in 1996) was Woody on Cheers.
13) Tom Hanks was most successful TV actor turned Best Actor of all (nominated in 2000, 1998 and 1988, winner in 1994 and 1993) as well as an art director in drag in Bosom Buddies.