See the 2018 Oscar Nominees in Their Biggest TV Roles (PHOTOS)

arrow - left
arrow - right
Homeland - Timothee Chalamet

Timothée Chalamet (Best Actor nominee, Call Me by Your Name)

Before breaking audiences’ hearts as Elio in Call Me by Your Name, Timothée Chalamet starred in Showtime’s critically-acclaimed Homeland. He played the role of Finn Walden, the teenage son of Vice President William Walden, who dated Dana Brody (Morgan Saylor) before being killed in an explosion in the Season 2 finale.

Warner Brothers

Gary Oldman (Best Actor nominee, The Darkest Hour )

English actor Gary Oldman hasn’t departed from film much, but when he did venture onto the small screen, it paid off. In 2001, Oldman stopped by Friends for the two-part episode “The One With Chandler and Monica’s Wedding.” He played Richard Crosby, Joey’s war movie co-star who insists on spitting during takes to perfect his enunciation. Oldman earned an Emmy nomination for the guest appearance.

Angels in America - Al Pacino and Mery Streep
Stephen Goldbaltt/HBO Films

Meryl Streep (Best Actress nominee, The Post)

As one of Hollywood’s greatest actresses, Streep rarely strays away from film. That is, except for 2003, when she starred alongside Al Pacino in HBO’s limited series Angels in America. Set in 1985 at the height of America’s AIDS epidemic, Streep plays Hannah Pitt, Ethel Rosenberg, The Rabbi, and The Angel Australia in the six different chapters.

She’ll return to HBO in the second season of award-winning miniseries Big Little Lies, playing the mother of Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård), who comes to Monterey searching for answers about her son’s death.

Olive Kitteridge - Frances McDormand

Frances McDormand (Best Actress nominee, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Frances McDormand first gained recognition on TV in the ’80s playing public defender Connie Chapman in Season 5 of police drama Hill Street Blues. Fast forward 30 years to 2014, when McDormand starred in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge as the titular character, earning her Emmy and SAG awards.

Pan Am - Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie (Best Actress nominee, I, Tonya )

Before the Australian bombshell played American figure skater Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, she appeared in 2012’s short-lived ABC series Pan Am. Set in the 1960s, the drama focused on the lives of the pilots and flight attendants—including Robbie’s runaway bride character Laura Cameron.

Drunk History – Sam Rockwell

Sam Rockwell (Best Supporting Actor nominee,
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missiouri)

Rockwell has made guest appearances on shows since 1988, and still continues to work on TV today. Currently, he’s a voice actor on Netflix’s animated sitcom F is for Family, playing family neighbor Vic. He also recently made an appearance on the comedic reenactment series Drunk History as mobster Bugsy Siegel in the “Las Vegas” episode.

Six Feet Under - Richard Jenkins as Nathaniel Fisher, Lauren Ambrose as Claire Fisher, Peter Krause as Nate Fisher, Frances Conroy as Ruth Fisher, Michael C. Hall as David Fisher

Richard Jenkins (Best Supporting Actor nominee, The Shape of Water)

Jenkins has had a steady career in the film industry for nearly 40 years, but shifted to TV in 2001 for the role of Nathaniel Fisher, the deceased patriarch on HBO’s Six Feet Under. Throughout the series, he appears as a ghost or in the dreams of his living relatives.

Nearly 10 years after the show’s finale, he co-starred as the husband of Frances McDormand’s character in HBO’s Olive Kitteridge. He won the Emmy for Best Leading Actor for the role.

Laurie Metcalf and Roseanne Barr in 'BOO!' episode of Rosanne from 1989

Laurie Metcalf (Best Supporting Actress nominee,
Lady Bird)

Metcalf has a wide-ranging TV career, with her first-ever as a cast member on a single episode of Saturday Night Live in 1981. She followed that up with her most iconic role of Jackie Harris, Roseanne’s younger sister on Roseanne, a role she will reprise on the reboot.

In recent years, she’s also guest-starred on sitcoms like 3rd Rock from the Sun, Monk, and The Big Bang Theory, as well as web series, Horace and Pete.

Lesley Manville as Lydia Quigley in Harlots
Liam Daniel/Hulu

Lesley Manville (Best Supporting Actress nominee, Phantom Thread)

Mostly known to American audiences for her performances in Mike Leigh’s films, Manville has starred on TV in 56 different roles to date, starting with British soap opera Emmerdale in 1974.

She now stars in two UK series: BBC Britcom Mum and the 18th century-based Hulu drama Harlots, in which she plays Lydia Quigley, a madam of a high-class brothel.


Octavia Spencer (Best Supporting Actress nominee, The Shape of Water)

Spencer has been on our TV screens since 1997, and she hasn’t slowed down yet. She’s had guest appearances in everything ranging from ER and CSI to Ugly Betty and 30 Rock.

She finally led her own ensemble in Fox’s one-season run of Red Band Society in 2014, playing strict nurse Dena Jackson.

Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Allison Janney (Best Supporting Actress nominee,
I, Tonya)

Before playing Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona Golden in I, Tonya, Janney had more than her fair share of notable TV roles. She’s won seven Emmys, making her the second most awarded actor in Emmy history.

She started in soap operas like As the World Turns and Guiding Light, before moving on to her most well-known role as White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg on The West Wing in 1999. After the show’s 2006 finale, she turned to film before returning to TV for the CBS sitcom Mom alongside Anna Faris. She also recurred in the first three seasons of Showtime’s Masters of Sex.

Mary J. Blige in the Ghost Whisperer
Monty Brinton/CBS

Mary J. Blige (Best Supporting Actress nominee,

Though best known for her music, Blige is set to co-star in Netflix’s upcoming series The Umbrella Academy, based on the comic book of the same name. She’ll play ChaCha, a time-travelling hitwoman.

She previously guest-starred on shows like Ghost Whisperer, Empire, and Black-ish, but this will be her first series regular performance. She also starred in NBC’s The Wiz Live! as The Wicked Witch of the West.

1 of

With the 2018 Oscars this Sunday, March 4, we wanted to take a look back at some of the Academy Award nominees’ performances in television. After all, it’s what they did on the small screen that may have led them to their big-screen success.

Click through the gallery above to learn more about the TV roles of favorites like Timothée Chalamet, Margot Robbie, Gary Oldman, and more!

The 90th Annual Academy Awards, Sunday, March 4, 8/7c, ABC