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Sam Rockwell (‘Three Billboards’) would be sixth Best Supporting Actor Oscar champ to beat a co-star

Sam Rockwell (‘Three Billboards’) would be sixth Best Supporting Actor Oscar champ to beat a co-star

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” ended a 26-year drought in Best Supporting Actor, producing two nominees, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, from the same film for the first time since “Bugsy” (1991) stars Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley lost to Jack Palance (“City Slickers”). By all appearances, it’s smooth sailing for Rockwell for the win, which would be the sixth time a Best Supporting Actor winner defeated a co-star in 18 dual duels.

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939) stars Harry Carey and Claude Rains were the first co-stars to be nominated against each other in Best Supporting Actor, but they lost to Thomas Mitchell for “Stagecoach.” It would be another 32 years — with seven pairs of double nominees in between — before a Best Supporting Actor champ, Ben Johnson, beat a co-star, Jeff Bridges, for 1971’s “The Last Picture Show.”

Three years later, Robert De Niro prevailed over fellow “The Godfather Part II

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