Academy Awards 2008

Ladies in Waiting: The Supporting Actress Nominees

These actresses backed their movie's stars and came out shining, but only one was rewarded on Oscar night. By Suzy Byrne

RUBY DEE

American Gangster
Oscar History: This is the first Academy Award nomination for the 83-year-old.
2008 Scorecard: She took home the SAG Award for outstanding supporting actress.
Before She Hit Oscar: She was an aspiring writer. At age 9, her first poem – called "The Graveyard" – was published in the Amsterdam News.
Hitting Close to Home: "In the film, I see some of the very streets I lived on," the Harlem native told the NPR. "This film is where I come from. I don't know who I'd be if I weren't this child from Harlem, this woman from Harlem. It's in me so deep."