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Young Artist Award for Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Young Artist Award for
Best Leading Young Actor
in a Feature Film
The Young Artist Award statuette, depicting a gilded figure of a man displaying a five-pointed star above its heads.
Awarded forOutstanding performance by a
juvenile actor in a leading role
in a feature film
CountryUnited States
Presented byYoung Artist Association
First awarded1979 (for performances in films released during the 1978/1979 season)
Currently held byTom Holland, The Impossible (2012)

The Young Artist Award for Best Performance by a Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film is one of the Young Artist Awards presented annually by the Young Artist Association to recognize a young actor under the age of 21, who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the film industry.[1][2][3][4] In its early years, the award was also known as the Youth in Film Award for Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture,[5] as well as by numerous other variations to its title over the years, however, the spirit of the award has remained essentially the same since its inception. Winners are selected by secret ballot of the 125 members of the Young Artist Association as well as former Youth in Film Award/Young Artist Award winners.[4][6]


Throughout the past 34 years, accounting for ties, category splits, and repeat winners, the Young Artist Association has presented a total of 43 "Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film" awards to 40 different actors. Winners of the award receive the traditional Young Artist Award statuette; a gilded figure of a man displaying a star above its head, reminiscent of a miniature child-sized Oscar.[7][8][9] The first recipient was Dennis Christopher, who was honored at the 1st Youth in Film Awards ceremony (1979) for his performance in Breaking Away.[10] The most recent recipient was Tom Holland, who was honored at the 34th Young Artist Awards ceremony (2012) for his performance in The Impossible.[11]

Throughout the history of the award, the "Best Young Actor in a Feature Film" category has been "split" several times. Until the 3rd Youth in Film Awards ceremony (1981), nominations for the "Best Young Actor in a Feature Film" award included all actors, regardless of whether the performance could be perceived to be in either a leading or supporting role.[12] At the 4th Youth in Film Awards ceremony (1982), however, the "Best Supporting Young Actor in a Feature Film" category (not listed on this page) was specifically introduced as a separate award.[13]

In the late 1980s, the category was split for three ceremonies; the 9th Youth In Film Awards ceremony (1987), the 10th Youth in Film Awards ceremony (1988), and the 15th Youth in Film Awards ceremony (1993).[14][15][16] During these three years, the Young Artist Association split the category into a total of four sub-categories; "Best Young Male Superstar in a Motion Picture", "Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture: Drama", "Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture: Comedy or Fantasy", and "Best Young Actor in a Motion Picture: Horror or Mystery" (all listed on this page).[14][15][16] However, the association would once again "merge" these various sub-categories back together after the 15th Youth in Film Awards.[17][18]

Beginning with the 14th Youth in Film Awards, the association once again split the category, this time creating a new category to recognize young film actors age 10 and under in their own separate category.[19] The "Best Young Actor Age 10 and Under in a Feature Film" category (not listed on this page) would become a permanent fixture of the Young Artist Awards and, as of 2012, is still awarded annually.[20] Despite the creation of the "10 and Under" category, some "leading" young actors under the age of 10 have continued to be nominated as "Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film".[16]


Although today the Young Artist Association has strict age requirements regarding which nominees are eligible for a Young Artist Award nomination, the association did not originally have such specific age restrictions. Today, candidates eligible for a Young Artist Award nomination must be between the ages of 5 and 21 at the time of principal production of the project for which they are nominated.[4] However, the eldest winner of the "Best Young Actor in a Feature Film" award is Dennis Christopher, who was 23 years old the night he won for his performance in Breaking Away at the 1st Youth in Film Awards ceremony (1979).[10] The youngest winner of a "Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film" award is Mason Gamble, who was 8 years old the night he won for his performance in Dennis the Menace at the 15th Youth in Film Awards ceremony (1993).[16]

The following list of superlatives is of winners/nominees in the "Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film" category. Wins/nominations in other Young Artist Award feature film categories, such as "Best Supporting Young Actor in a Feature Film", "Best Young Actor Age 10 and Under in a Feature Film", and "Best Leading Young Actor in an International Feature Film", are not included.

Superlative winners/nominees are listed alphabetically.

Superlative Actor Wins Nominations
Actors with most "Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film" wins Sean Astin 2 wins 2 nominations
Corey Feldman 2 wins 2 nominations
Josh Hutcherson 2 wins 4 nominations
Actors with most "Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film" nominations Josh Hutcherson 2 wins 4 nominations
Haley Joel Osment 1 win 4 nominations
Elijah Wood 1 win 4 nominations
Actor with most "Best Leading Young Actor in a Feature Film" nominations
(without winning)
Freddie Highmore 0 wins 4 nominations

Winners and nominees

For the first twenty-three ceremonies, due to the numerous "Television" awards also presented by the Young Artist Association, the eligibility period spanned two calendar years to recognize the traditional television season.[10][21] For example, the 1st Youth in Film Awards, presented in October 1979, recognized performers who appeared on television shows and in feature films that were released between September 1, 1978 and August 31, 1979. Starting with the 24th Young Artist Awards, presented in March 2003, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year, from January 1 to December 31, similar to the eligibility requirement used by the Academy Awards.[22]

Following the Young Artist Association's practice, the films below are listed by year of their qualifying run, which is the year the film was released in the United States, and not by the date of the ceremony, which has traditionally taken place the following calendar year beginning with the 10th Youth in Film Awards ceremony which recognized performances during the 1987/1988 season and took place in 1989.

★ Winners are listed first and highlighted in gold, followed by the other nominees in the category for that year.


Year Actor Film Studio
1978 / 1979
Dennis Christopher Breaking Away 20th Century Fox
Thelonious Bernard A Little Romance Warner Bros.
Panchito Gomez Walk Proud Universal Studios
Jeremy Levy Rich Kids United Artists
Ricky Schroder The Champ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer


Year Actor Film Studio
1979 / 1980
Justin Henry Kramer vs. Kramer Columbia Pictures
Christopher Atkins The Blue Lagoon Columbia Pictures
Matt Dillon My Bodyguard 20th Century Fox
Paul McCrane Fame Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Barry Miller Fame Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Ricky Schroder The Last Flight of Noah's Ark Walt Disney Pictures
1980 / 1981
Ricky Schroder The Earthling Filmways Pictures
Martin Hewitt Endless Love PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Otto Rechenberg Amy Walt Disney Pictures
Paul Schoeman Child's Play American Film Institute
Gabriel Swann Why Would I Lie? Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Henry Thomas Raggedy Man Universal Pictures
1981 / 1982
Henry Thomas E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Universal Pictures
Matt Dillon Tex Walt Disney Pictures
Doug McKeon Night Crossing Walt Disney Pictures
1982 / 1983
C. Thomas Howell The Outsiders Warner Bros.
Torquil Campbell The Golden Seal The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Sebastian Duncan Man, Woman and Child Paramount Pictures
Frederick Koehler Mr. Mom 20th Century Fox
Kelly Reno The Black Stallion Returns Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
1983 / 1984
Anthony Michael Hall Sixteen Candles Universal Pictures
Peter Billingsley A Christmas Story MGM/UA
Ross Harris Testament Paramount Pictures
Noah Hathaway The NeverEnding Story Warner Bros.
Barret Oliver The NeverEnding Story Warner Bros.
Jason Presson The Stone Boy 20th Century Fox
Byron Thames Heart Like a Wheel 20th Century Fox
Henry Thomas Cloak & Dagger Universal Studios
1984 / 1985
Sean Astin The Goonies Warner Bros.
Hunter Carson Paris, Texas 20th Century Fox
Lukas Haas Witness Paramount Pictures
Ethan Hawke Explorers Paramount Pictures
Jason Lively National Lampoon's European Vacation Warner Bros.
Barret Oliver D.A.R.Y.L. Paramount Pictures
1985 / 1986
Peter Billingsley The Dirt Bike Kid Trinity Pictures
Chad Allen TerrorVision Empire International Pictures
Brandon Douglas Papa Was a Preacher La Rose Productions
Scott Grimes Critters New Line Cinema
Corey Haim Lucas 20th Century Fox
Bobby Jacoby The Zoo Gang New World Pictures
1986 / 1987
Superstar: River Phoenix The Mosquito Coast Warner Bros.
Corey Haim The Lost Boys Warner Bros.
David Mendenhall Over the Top Cannon Films
Drama: Fred Savage The Princess Bride 20th Century Fox
Harley Cross The Believers Orion Pictures
Joshua Miller River's Edge Hemdale/Island Pictures
Jacob Vargas The Principal TriStar Pictures
Joshua Zuehlke Amazing Grace and Chuck TriStar Pictures
Comedy: Patrick Dempsey Can't Buy Me Love Touchstone Pictures
Ricky Busker Big Shots Lorimar/20th Century Fox
Keith Coogan Adventures in Babysitting Buena Vista/Touchstone Pictures
Darius McCrary Big Shots Lorimar/20th Century Fox
Joshua Rudoy Harry and the Hendersons Universal Studios
Horror: Corey Feldman The Lost Boys Warner Bros.
Stephen Dorff The Gate Alliance Entertainment
Michael Sharrett Deadly Friend Warner Bros.
1987 / 1988
Drama: Christian Bale Empire of the Sun Warner Bros.
Warwick Davis Willow Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Kevin Dillon The Rescue Touchstone Pictures
Roland Harrah III Braddock: Missing in Action III Cannon Films
Neil Patrick Harris Clara's Heart Warner Bros.
Sebastian Rice-Edwards Hope and Glory Columbia Pictures
Comedy/Fantasy: Corey Feldman (tie) License to Drive 20th Century Fox
Comedy/Fantasy: Corey Haim (tie) License to Drive 20th Century Fox
Jade Calegory Mac and Me Orion Pictures
David Moscow Big 20th Century Fox
Jared Rushton Big 20th Century Fox
Jamie Wild Overboard Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Horror/Mystery: Lukas Haas Lady in White New Century Vista Film Company
Rodney Eastman A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master New Line Cinema
Ricky Paull Goldin The Blob TriStar Pictures
Andras Jones A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master New Line Cinema
Michael Kenworthy Return of the Living Dead Part II Lorimar
Kieran O'Brien Bellman and True Island Pictures
1988 / 1989
Sean Astin Staying Together Hemdale Film Corporation
Kirk Cameron Listen to Me Columbia Pictures
Joel Carlson Communion New Line Cinema
Keith Coogan Cheetah Walt Disney Pictures
Cory Danziger The 'Burbs Universal Studios
Joshua Miller Teen Witch Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Leaf Phoenix Parenthood Universal Pictures
Jared Rushton Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Walt Disney Pictures
Ben Savage Little Monsters Vestron Pictures
Fred Savage The Wizard Universal Pictures


Year Actor Film Studio
1989 / 1990
Macaulay Culkin Home Alone 20th Century Fox
Balthazar Getty Lord of the Flies Columbia Pictures
Charlie Korsmo Dick Tracy Touchstone Pictures
Joshua Miller Class of 1999 Lightning Pictures
Elijah Wood Avalon TriStar Pictures
1990 / 1991
Ethan Randall-Embry Dutch 20th Century Fox
Jonathan Brandis The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter Warner Bros.
Balthazar Getty My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Lukas Haas Rambling Rose Seven Arts Pictures
Stian Smestad Shipwrecked Walt Disney Pictures
Robert J. Steinmiller Jr. Bingo TriStar Pictures
Elijah Wood Paradise Interscope/Touchstone Pictures
1991 / 1992
Elijah Wood Radio Flyer Columbia Pictures
Jonathan Brandis Ladybugs Paramount Pictures
Christopher Castile Beethoven Universal Studios
Christian Coleman South Central Warner Bros.
Stephen Dorff The Power of One Warner Bros.
Joshua John Miller And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird Trimark Pictures
Robert Oliveri Honey, I Blew Up the Kid Walt Disney Pictures
Ethan Randall-Embry All I Want for Christmas Paramount Pictures
Benjamin Salisbury Captain Ron Touchstone Pictures
1992 / 1993
Drama: Edward Furlong (tie) A Home of Our Own Gramercy Pictures
Drama: Jason James Richter (tie) Free Willy Warner Bros.
Jesse Bradford King of the Hill Universal Pictures
Andrew Knott The Secret Garden Warner Bros.
Austin O'Brien Last Action Hero Columbia Pictures
Heydon Prowse The Secret Garden Warner Bros.
Ernie Reyes, Jr. Surf Ninjas New Line Cinema
Robert J. Steinmiller Jr. Jack the Bear 20th Century Fox
Comedy: Mason Gamble Dennis the Menace Warner Bros.
Omri Katz Hocus Pocus Walt Disney Pictures
David Krumholtz Life with Mikey Touchstone Pictures
Sean Murray Hocus Pocus Walt Disney Pictures
David Netter One Good Cop Hollywood Pictures
Michael Oliver Problem Child 2 Universal Studios
1993 / 1994
Brad Renfro The Client Warner Bros.
Sean Nelson Fresh Miramax Films
Austin O'Brien My Girl 2 Columbia Pictures
Elijah Wood North Universal Pictures
1994 / 1995
Wil Horneff Born to Be Wild Warner Bros.
Jerry Barone Two Bits Miramax Films
Jesse Bradford Far From Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog 20th Century Fox
Joseph Mazzello & Brad Renfro The Cure Universal Pictures
Hal Scardino The Indian in the Cupboard Columbia Pictures/Paramount Pictures
Ryan Slater The Amazing Panda Adventure Warner Bros.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas Tom and Huck Walt Disney Pictures
1995 / 1996
Lucas Black Sling Blade Miramax Films
Kevin Bishop Muppet Treasure Island Jim Henson Prods./Walt Disney Pictures
Kyle Howard House Arrest Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Vincent Kartheiser Alaska Castle Rock Entertainment
Joe Perrino Sleepers PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
1996 / 1997
Blake Heron (tie) Shiloh Legacy Releasing/Warner Bros.
Kevin Zegers (tie) Air Bud Walt Disney Pictures
Blake Foster Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie Saban Entertainment/20th Century Fox
Brandon Hammond Soul Food 20th Century Fox
Mario Yedidia Warriors of Virtue China Film Co-Prod. Corp./MGM
1997 / 1998
Miko Hughes Mercury Rising Universal Pictures
Michael Caloz Little Men Warner Bros.
Joseph Cross Wide Awake Miramax Films
Kieran Culkin The Mighty Miramax Films
Kyle Gibson True Friends 2nd Generation Films
Joseph Mazzello Simon Birch Hollywood Pictures
Eamonn Owens The Butcher Boy Warner Bros.
Gregory Smith Small Soldiers DreamWorks
Ian Michael Smith Simon Birch Hollywood Pictures
Kevin Zegers Air Bud: Golden Receiver Keystone Pictures
1998 / 1999
Haley Joel Osment The Sixth Sense Spyglass Ent./Hollywood Pictures
Lucas Black Crazy in Alabama Columbia Pictures
Jeremy Blackman Magnolia New Line Cinema
Noah Fleiss Joe the King Trimark Pictures
Jake Gyllenhaal October Sky Universal Pictures


Year Actor Film Studio
1999 / 2000
Rob Brown Finding Forrester Columbia Pictures
Patrick Fugit Almost Famous DreamWorks SKG
Ryan Merriman Just Looking Sony Pictures Classics
Haley Joel Osment Pay It Forward Warner Bros.
Kevin Zegers MVP: Most Valuable Primate Keystone Family Pictures
2000 / 2001
Anton Yelchin Hearts in Atlantis Warner Bros.
Blake Foster Kids World Blue Steel Releasing
Trevor Morgan The Glass House Columbia Pictures
Camden Munson In The Bedroom Miramax Films
Haley Joel Osment A.I.: Artificial Intelligence DreamWorks
Alexander Pollock Cats & Dogs Warner Bros.
Tyler Hoechlin Road to Perdition DreamWorks/20th Century Fox
Jamie Bell Nicholas Nickleby MGM/UA
Rory Culkin Signs Buena Vista Pictures
Nicholas Hoult About A Boy Studio Canal/Universal Studios
Lil' Bow Wow Like Mike 20th Century Fox
Matthew O'Leary Frailty Lions Gate Entertainment
Mark Rendall Touching Wild Horses Animal Tales Productions
Jeremy Sumpter Peter Pan Universal Studios
Liam Aiken Good Boy! Jim Henson Productions
David Henrie Arizona Summer WestPark Productions
Shia LaBeouf Holes Walt Disney Pictures
Frankie Muniz Agent Cody Banks Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Haley Joel Osment Secondhand Lions New Line Cinema
Jamie Bell Undertow MGM/UA
Liam Aiken Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Paramount Pictures/DreamWorks
Rory Culkin Mean Creek Paramount Classics
Freddie Highmore Finding Neverland Miramax Films
Bobby Preston Motocross Kids Tag Entertainment
Josh Hutcherson Zathura: A Space Adventure Columbia Pictures
Adam Butcher Saint Ralph Alliance Atlantis
Freddie Highmore Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Warner Bros.
Taylor Lautner The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D Columbia Pictures
William Moseley The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Walt Disney Pictures
Logan Lerman Hoot New Line Cinema
Cameron Bright Running Scared Media 8 Entertainment
Conor Donovan Twelve and Holding Echo Lake Productions
Josh Hutcherson RV Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures
Alex Neuberger Running Scared Media 8 Entertainment
Thomas Sangster Nanny McPhee Universal Pictures
Josh Hutcherson Bridge to Terabithia Buena Vista Pictures
Alex Etel The Water Horse Columbia Pictures
Miles Heizer Rails & Ties Warner Bros.
Freddie Highmore August Rush Warner Bros.
Jacob Kogan Joshua Fox Searchlight Pictures
Logan Lerman 3:10 to Yuma Lionsgate
Zach Mills Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium 20th Century Fox
Alex Neuberger Underdog Buena Vista Pictures
Chris O'Neil The Last Mimzy New Line Cinema
Alejandro Polanco Chop Shop Koch-Lorber Films
Nate Hartley Drillbit Taylor Paramount Pictures
Freddie Highmore The Spiderwick Chronicles Paramount Pictures
Josh Hutcherson Journey to the Center of the Earth Warner Bros.
Skandar Keynes The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian Walt Disney Pictures
Max Records Where The Wild Things Are Warner Bros.
Jake T. Austin Hotel for Dogs DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures
Jimmy Bennett Alabama Moon Alabama Moon Entertainment
Devon Bostick Adoration Ego Film Arts
Taylor Lautner The Twilight Saga: New Moon Imprint Entertainment


Year Actor Film Studio
Jaden Smith The Karate Kid Columbia Pictures
Zachary Gordon Diary of a Wimpy Kid 20th Century Fox
Noah Ringer The Last Airbender Paramount Pictures
Eros Vlahos Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Universal Studios
Dakota Goyo Real Steel Walt Disney Pictures
Asa Butterfield Hugo Columbia Pictures
Joel Courtney Super 8 Paramount Pictures
Nathan Gamble Dolphin Tale Warner Bros.
Brian Gilbert The Son of No One Anchor Bay Entertainment
Zachary Gordon Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules 20th Century Fox
José Julián A Better Life Summit Entertainment
Tom Holland The Impossible Warner Bros.
Jared Gilman Moonrise Kingdom Focus Features
Zachary Gordon Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days Fox 2000
Quinn Lord Imaginaerum Nordisk Films
Jason Spevack Jesus Henry Christ Entertainment One
Christian Traeumer The Child Stealth Media Group
Miles Elliot Camp Roebuck Media
Skylan Brooks The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete Lionsgate Entertainment
Chandler Canterbury Standing Up Aldamisa Entertainment
Liam James The Way Way Back OddLot Entertainment
Maxim Knight Medeas Keyhole Productions

See also


  1. ^ Crouse, Richard (2005). Reel Winners (illustrated ed.). Dundurn Press Ltd. pp. 42–43. ISBN 9781550025743.
  2. ^ Riggs, Thomas (2007). Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. 74. Gale / Cengage Learning. ISBN 9780787690472.
  3. ^ "KABC-TV - Budding stars shine at Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  4. ^ a b c "Young Artist Awards - Nomination Submission Requirements". Archived from the original on 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  5. ^ "11th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Archived from the original on 2014-04-09. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  6. ^ "PopStar - 30th Annual Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on 2011-05-03. Retrieved 2011-04-04.
  7. ^ "The Kiddie Oscars". The Evening Standard. 2001-03-30.[dead link]
  8. ^ "HFPA Golden Globes - Young Artist Foundation". Archived from the original on 2011-03-17. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  9. ^ "Young Artist Award arrives in Russia". Archived from the original on 2011-04-25. Retrieved 2011-04-06.
  10. ^ a b c "1st Annual Youth in Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  11. ^ "34th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved 2012-05-06.
  12. ^ "3rd Annual Youth in Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  13. ^ "4th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  14. ^ a b "9th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  15. ^ a b "10th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  16. ^ a b c d "15th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  17. ^ "33rd Annual Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on April 4, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  18. ^ "16th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  19. ^ "14th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  20. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". Archived from the original on 2016-10-24. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  21. ^ "23rd Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31.[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ "24th Annual Young Artist Awards". Retrieved 2011-03-31.[permanent dead link]

External links

This page was last edited on 25 October 2020, at 08:28
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