Amy Ryan
October 09, 2006 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Was this HeadScratcher far too easy? Sure, not many of you submitted guesses, and there were a couple of entertaining wrong answers. (No, it’s not that they’ve all been in B-horror flicks or played killers, and they have not all been in movies with the word ”Heaven” in the title.) Still, almost all of you who answered guessed correctly: Ann-Margret, Warren Beatty, Brad Dourif, William Hickey, and Randy Quaid were all nominated for Oscars in movies that saw them acting opposite Jack Nicholson. Or, as reader Scott Hoffman put it, ”Each of these actors succeeded in the admirable task of being able to garner an Oscar nomination (though none ‘departed’ with a win) for acting opposite the best eyebrows in the business, and thus able to divert attention long enough from the absolute master of scene-chewing, Jack Nicholson.”

Ann-Margret earned an Oscar nod opposite Nicholson in Carnal Knowledge. (Also, as many of you pointed out, in Tommy, though Nicholson’s role was a cameo there.) Beatty scored alsongside Jack in Reds. Dourif was nominated in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hickey in Prizzi’s Honor, and Quaid in The Last Detail. As reader John Romais points out, ”Among other stars you could have included are Karen Black (Five Easy Pieces); Faye Dunaway (Chinatown); Louise Fletcher (Cuckoo’s Nest); Diane Keaton and Maureen Stapleton (Reds); Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, and John Lithgow (Terms of Endearment); Anjelica Huston (Prizzi’s Honor); Meryl Streep (Ironweed); William Hurt, Holly Hunter, and Albert Brooks (Broadcast News); Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear (As Good as It Gets); Kathy Bates (About Schmidt); and Diane Keaton, again (Something’s Gotta Give).”

For extra credit: why did I devise this question? ”My guess is you’re making some backdoor Oscar predictions about Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon and their roles opposite Nicholson in this week’s The Departed,” writes Connie L. Chilton. Right you are, Connie! (Man, I should just let you guys write the questions and answers. What do y’all need me for?) I’m not saying whether Damon and DiCaprio (pictured, right, with Nicholson) actually deserve nominations, but history suggests that working with Jack raises everyone’s game.

(See the list of readers who answered correctly after the jump.)

Connie L. Chilton
Jeff Commings
Joe Cortazzi
Tyler Geditz
Scott Hoffman
Patrick Kelly
Brennan Parks
Harold Reynolds
Cliff Rives
John Romais
Gabe Smith
Sally Waters
Zachary Wilcha
Jan Willemsen
Patrick A. Yearout

Thanks for playing! Come back Friday afternoon for another HeadScratcher…

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