Casey Affleck

Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)

After years of honing his skills with small, yet memorable, roles in movies like To Die For and Good Will Hunting, first-time Oscar® nominee Casey Affleck had a breakout 2007.

Casey reprised his supporting role as one of the bungling Malloy brothers in the star-studded Ocean's Thirteen and starred as a troubled private investigator in his brother Ben's directing debut, Gone Baby Gone.

Casey's Oscar nomination comes for his third film of 2007—the Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford—in which he appeared with his Ocean's co-star Brad Pitt. In the film, Casey plays Robert Ford, a resentful member of Jesse James's outlaw gang.

The Academy Awards are a real family affair for Casey. Not only did his brother Ben win an Oscar for writing Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon, but his wife's brothers—Joaquin Phoenix and the late River Phoenix—have earned Oscar nominations, as well.
Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men) 

Playing Anton Chigurh, a murderous hit man in the Coen brothers' bloody thriller No Country for Old Men, Spanish actor Javier Bardem turns a pageboy haircut and a flipped coin into pure cinematic terror…and earns his second Oscar® nomination.

But Javier is in no danger of being typecast as a cold-blooded killer. His other role from 2007 was a film adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez's romantic novel—and Oprah's Book Club selection—Love in the Time of Cholera.

After acting for years in his native country, Javier earned an Academy Award nomination in 2000 for his work as a gay poet exiled from Castro's Cuba in Before Night Falls—his first English-speaking part.
Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War) 

When moviegoers recognized Philip Seymour Hoffman, it was usually as a scene-stealing character actor in movies like Boogie Nights, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Magnolia and Almost Famous.

Before long, Philip transformed into a powerful leading man, even winning Oscar® gold for his portrayal of famed author Truman Capote in the 2005 film Capote.

Philip had another year of outstanding performances in 2007. He played a desperate executive driven to rob his own family in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead and a son who must work with his estranged sister to care for their elderly father in The Savages.

This year, Philip earns a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Mike Nichols's Charlie Wilson's War. Philip plays a rogue CIA agent named Gust Avrakotos who helps a Texas Congressman—played by Tom Hanks—secretly fund Afghani rebels' war against the Soviet Union in the '80s.
Hal Holbrook

Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild) 

With five Emmys® and a Tony®, few actors' mantles boast as much hardware as Hal Holbrook's. Yet despite an illustrious 50-year career on stage, in television and on film, Hal's performance as Ron Franz, an old man who befriends a free-spirited adventurer in Sean Penn's 2007 film Into the Wild, is his first Academy Award® nomination.

Hal began his career in the 1950s with a one-man play called Mark Twain Tonight, a show he has performed as recently as 2006.

He's most famous for his performances in movies like All the President's Men and Wall Street and frequently is cast in television miniseries, made-for-television movies and guest-starring roles.
Tom Wilkinson

Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

Prior to his role as a choreographer in the 1997 international male striptease comedy The Full Monty, English actor Tom Wilkinson was rarely seen outside of British television.

After that breakout role, he has appeared in many films, including Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and In the Bedroom, for which he was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar®.

Tom's second nomination—this time for Best Supporting Actor—is for his role in Michael Clayton. In the movie, which stars George Clooney in the title role, Tom plays Arthur Edens, an attorney whose mental breakdown threatens to unravel a class-action lawsuit and expose corporate corruption.