Oscars 2021: See 11 Nominees in Their Captivating TV Roles

Vanessa Kirby Steven Yeun Viola Davis
Netflix; Gene Page/AMC; Mitch Haaseth/©ABC/courtesy Everett Collection

The Oscars are upon us and many of the top nominees are very familiar to TV fans.

While the actors and actresses up for awards are being honored for the work on the big screen, a lot of them have have made their mark on the small screen, too.

Oscars 2020: See 16 Nominees in Their TV Roles (PHOTOS)See Also

Oscars 2020: See 16 Nominees in Their TV Roles (PHOTOS)

See who's popped up on TV, in everything from series regular roles to guest spots.

We’re taking a look at 11 of the nominees from this year’s ceremony and reflecting on some of their profound TV roles ranging from Best Actress nominees like Vanessa Kirby and Viola Davis to Best Actor nominees such as Steven Yeun and Riz Ahmed. Below, scroll through the roundup of stars to see which shows they’ve appeared in over the years.

And don’t miss The Oscars for a chance to see one of these stars possibly snag an award of their own.

The Oscars 2021, Sunday, April 25, 8/7c, ABC

The Crown Season 4 Olivia Colman

Olivia Colman (The Crown)

She graced TV screens for two seasons as Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix’s The Crown, but his isn’t Olivia Colman’s first Oscar rodeo. The actress previously won for her role in 2018’s The Favourite. This time around she’s nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Along with the regal favorite, Colman’s other TV roles include parts in Fleabag, Broadchurch, and The Night Manager.

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Craig Blankenhorn/©NBC/courtesy Everett Collection

Leslie Odom Jr. (Smash)

Musical man, Leslie Odom Jr. may have earned his nominations for One Night in Miami, but before portraying Sam Cooke in the Regina King-directed film, he hit the stage as Sam Strickland in NBC’s short-lived but majorly loved cult series Smash alongside Megan Hilty and Katherine McPhee. Best known for portraying Aaron Burr in Hamilton, Odom, Jr.’s nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Best Original Song. His other TV credits include Person of Interest, Central Park, Law & Order: SVU, and Love in the Time of Corona.

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Mitch Haaseth/©ABC/courtesy Everett Collection

Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder)

She may have earned her nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her part in Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, but Viola Davis is best known on TV for her role as Annalise Keating in the Shondaland drama How to Get Away with Murder. The powerhouse actress previously earned the coveted Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in 2016’s Fences. Her other TV parts include roles on Law & Order: SVU, The Andromeda Strain, and she’ll star as Michelle Obama in Showtime’s The First Lady.

Damages Glenn Close
20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection

Glenn Close (Damages)

A formidable actress, Glenn Close has earned her spot in Hollywood’s upper-echelon of acclaimed stars. This year marks her eight Oscar nomination, this time around it’s for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part in Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy. Long before she was dressing down though, Close was making high stakes choices as litigator Patty Hewes in Damages. She also made a splash on The Shield in which she played Monica Rawling.

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John P. Johnson / ©HBO / courtesy Everett Collection

Anthony Hopkins (Westworld)

Anthony Hopkins might be famed for his Best Actor-winning role as Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs, but more recently he’s made an impression as Dr. Robert Ford in HBO’s Westworld. This year’s nomination for Hopkins’ role in The Father marks his sixth overall for The Oscars.

The Night Of Riz Ahmed
Craig Blankenhorn/©HBO/courtesy Everett Collection

Riz Ahmed (The Night Of)

This British actor made an impression on American viewers with his role as Naz in HBO’s The Night Of, earning an Emmy for the performance in 2017. Now, Riz Ahmed is nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for playing a drummer who loses his ability to hear in Amazon’s Sound of Metal. Along with The Night Of, Ahmed’s other notable TV gigs include Girls and The OA.

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Gene Page/AMC

Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead)

Steven Yeun made a major leap to the “big screen” in 2020 with his performance in Minari which earned him a Best Actor nomination at this year’s Oscars. But before he won over the film crowd, Yeun played the beloved character Glenn Rhee on AMC’s The Walking Dead until he was murdered by Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan. Since then, Yeun’s taken on voice work in several other TV projects including Wizards and Invincible.

Vanessa Kirby The Crown Netflix

Vanessa Kirby (The Crown)

She was one to watch as The Crown‘s first Princess Margaret, which makes Vanessa Kirby’s Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role unsurprising. If you thought her turn in Pieces of a Woman was impressive, her two seasons spent playing the Queen’s sister are definitely worth checking out.

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Guy D'Alema / ©FX / courtesy Everett Collection

Lakeith Stanfield (Atlanta)

Nominated for Best Supporting Actor in his role as Bill O’Neal for Judas and the Black Messiah, LaKeith Stanfield is best known on TV for playing Darius in FX’s Atlanta. Stanfield’s character is roommates with Earn’s (Donald Glover) cousin, Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry)

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Jojo Whilden / © HBO / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Frances McDormand (Olive Kitteridge)

Frances McDormand delivers another flawless Oscar-worthy performance for her role in Nomadland, but she once brought that same level of talent to TV with HBO’s 2014 limited series Olive Kitteridge. McDormand’s turn in the titular role even earned her an Emmy. A previous two-time Oscar winner, McDormand’s Best Actress nomination marks her sixth overall.

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Sacha Baron Cohen (Who Is America?)

A master of disguise, before Sacha Baron Cohen earned his nomination for Best Actor at this year’s ceremony, the performer made a name for himself with shows like Da Ali G Show and Who Is America? (above). Nominated in acting for his more serious turn as Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7, Cohen still snagged a Best Adapted Screenplay nod for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.