Academy Awards 2024: Actors Nominated In Oscars For Playing LGBTQ+ Characters; From Bradley Cooper To Jodie Foster

LGBTQ representation will be strong at the 2024 Oscars as six nominees across all four acting categories are representing the multifaceted lives of LGBTQ individuals.

Published on Mar 10, 2024  |  06:13 PM IST |  79.5K
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Bradley Cooper and Jodie Foster (Getty)

In 2017, Moonlight won Best Picture for the first gay film. In 2018, three actors were nominated for playing LGBTQ characters: Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All at Once, Cate Blanchett in Tár, and Brendan Fraser in The Whale. At the 96th Academy Awards, six nominees across all four acting categories are representing the multifaceted lives of LGBTQ individuals

Here are the actors who are nominated at the 2024 Oscars for playing LGBTQ+ characters.

1. Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro (IMDb)

Maestro, directed, co-written, produced and led by Bradley Cooper, 49, tells the story of composer Leonard Bernstein and his rocky marriage with Felicia Montealegre. Bernstein, a bisexual man struggling with addiction, was best known for composing music for West Side Story. Considered by most to be one of the most important conductors and by far the best American, he received numerous awards throughout his career, including, seven Emmys, two Tonys, sixteen Grammys, and an Academy Award nomination.

Apart from his music career, Bernstein was also a supporter of civil rights who protested against the Vietnam War and raised money for the HIV/AIDS crisis. Though he never divorced his wife, he had several affairs throughout his adult life with both men and women, something his wife Felicia later acknowledged.



While creating the film, Cooper stayed in contact with Bernstein and Montealegre’s three children, Jamie, 71, Alexander, 68, and Nina, 62, to ensure that their father’s story would be told properly. Cooper could win his first Academy Award out of 12 total nominations. He is also competing for Best Picture as Maestro’s producer and Best Original Screenplay.

2. Jodie Foster as Bonnie Stoll in Nyad

Jodie Foster as Bonnie Stoll in Nyad

In Nyad, Jodie Foster, 61, takes on the role of Nyad’s coach and longtime friend Bonnie Stoll. Like Nyad, Stoll openly identifies as lesbian. Bonnie Sue Stoll is an American athlete and businesswoman. She is a co-founder of Everwalk, a national walking and womens health initiative, with Diana Nyad. Stoll has also worked as an athletic trainer for celebrities and professional athletes. As a professional racquetball player, she was ranked number three in the world in 1984. She competed in the Ladies Professional Racquetball Tour throughout the 1980s.

Foster is nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Her last victory came in 1992, where she won her second Best Actress award for Silence of the Lambs and became one of two people to win multiple Oscars before turning 30.

3. Sterling K. Brown as Clifford “Cliff” Ellison in American Fiction

Sterling K. Brown as Clifford “Cliff” Ellison in American Fiction (IMDb)

In American Fiction Sterling K. Brown portrays the newly out brother of Jeffrey Wright’s Monk Ellison. At the outset of the film, viewers meet Cliff, a surgeon who recently divorced his wife after she found him in bed with a man. Throughout the comedy-drama, Cliff navigates the next era of his life, one of frequent drug use and hook-up culture. 

Brown is also known for his leading roles in the drama film Hotel Artemis (2019) and the mockumentary film Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. (2022), as well as his voice roles in the 2019 animated films The Angry Birds Movie 2 and Frozen II. He also had supporting roles in several critically acclaimed films such as Marshall (2017), Black Panther (2018), and Waves (2019).

Brown is nominated for the first time at the Academy Awards and is up for Best Supporting Actor at the ceremony.

4. Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in Rustin

Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin in Rustin (IMDb)

For his portrayal of openly gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in the biopic Rustin, Colman Domingo earned his first-ever Academy Award nomination. Rustin, who assumed a pivotal part in organizing the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr., was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by then-President Barack Obama in 2013.


Domingo has received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role as a drug addict in the HBO series Euphoria (2022). Domingo also received Tony Award and Laurence Olivier Award nominations for his supporting performance in the musical The Scottsboro Boys. For his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom he received Screen Actors Guild Award and Independent Spirit Award nominations. He received the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male for his performance as an abusive pimp in Zola

5. Annette Bening as Diana Nyad in Nyad

Annette Bening as Diana Nyad in Nyad (IMDb)

Annette Bening,plays long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad in a biopic depicting her attempts to swim the Florida Straits. Nyad, who is an out lesbian, has written four books, including a 2016 memoir titled Find a Way that detailed her reasoning for unretiring to have a fifth try at the odyssey.

Bening has received numerous accolades, including a BAFTA Award, two Golden Globe Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. She has also received nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award and two Tony Awards.

6. Sandra Hüller as Sandra Voyter in Anatomy of a Fall

Sandra Hüller as Sandra Voyter in Anatomy of a Fall (IMDb)

Sandra Hüller stars in Justine Triet’s courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall as a widow accused of murdering her husband. In the film, her character’s bisexual identity is weaponized by the prosecution as an incriminating factor during the trial.

Anatomy of a Fall premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2023, where it won the Palme d'Or and the Palm Dog Award and competed for the Queer Palm. It was released theatrically in France by Le Pacte on 23 August 2023, receiving critical acclaim, selling over 1.7 million admissions in France, and winning six awards at the 49th César Awards, including Best Film. The film also gained significant international success, winning two Golden Globes and one BAFTA, and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Triet.

ALSO READ: Academy Awards 2024: Why Are The Oscars Bringing Back ‘Fab 5’ Presenters Format This Year? Explained

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