Playwright Sidney Howard
was killed in a tractor accident on his farm in 1939, months before the film of his
Oscar-winning screenplay for Gone With The Wind appeared on the screen.
These have also recievd nominations
Jeanne Eagels, best known for creating the role of Sadie Thompson in
Somerset Maugham's Rain, died of a Heroin overdose on October 3, 1929;
months before she received a 1928/29 Best Actress nomination for her performance
in The Letter.
James Dean has the distinction of receiving two posthumous acting nominations. He
fatally crashed his Porsche on September 30, 1955, and was later nominated for
Best Actor for 1955 (for East of Eden) and 1956 (for Giant).
Spencer Tracy died on June 10, 1967, two weeks after completing
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. He received his ninth Best Actor nomination for
the film, still the record for that category.
Peter Finch died of a heart attack on Jaunary 14, 1977 that was thought to
brought on by his exhaustive campaign to win the Oscar for Network. He
won the award, prompting costar and fellow nominee William Holden (who had
previously won the 1953 Oscar for Stalag 17) to say "If the son of a *****
hadn't died, I could have won my second Oscar."
Ralph Richardson died on October 10, 1983, five months before his
Oscar nominated turn as Lord Greystoke in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan,
Lord of the Apes was released. The legendary Shakespearean actor also
has the distinction of being the first thespian to win the New York Film Critics
Best Actor Award without also receiving an Oscar nomination
(for Breaking The Sound Barrier, 1952).
Massimo Troisi was diagnosed as needing a heart transplant just before he began
shooting his screenplay of Il Postino/The Postman, and died on June 4, 1994 (the day after
completing it). Sentiment over Troisi's inspiring story was largely responsible
for his nominations for Best Actor and Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously
Produced or Published.