Forget this year’s red carpet hoopla: Consider yesteryear’s stars, films with Catholic connection

In the weeks, days and final hours leading up to Sunday evening’s Academy Awards telecast, we’ll have all heard plenty from prognosticators about who will be taking Oscar home as best actor and best actress, best director and best film.

But why not take a break from all that hoopla and consider some of the Oscar-winning films in Hollywood history whose leading actors and actresses portrayed Catholic figures or that otherwise had a Catholic-related theme?

Jim Breig looks at some of these stars and films of yesteryear in two articles posted on the website Fathers for Good, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus.

In “Oscar Actors of Faith,” he looks at the winners over the decades that have featured priests and nuns as their main characters.

“In the long history of movie-making, actors and actresses have won Oscars for playing” gangsters, kings, peasants, princesses, and “real-life geniuses … and fictional serial killers,” Breig writes. “A few of the golden statuettes have also been presented to performers who played outstanding Catholics, even saints, or appeared in films that centered on Catholicism.”

The second piece, “Faith on Film,” is about “how often Catholic themes have been the main topic of the winners in the best picture category.”

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