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10 people you didn't know had won Oscars

Digital Spy logo Digital Spy 2017-02-26 Emma Dibdin

10 people you didn't know had won Oscars © Peter Brooker/AMPAS/Getty Images / Rex Shutterstock 10 people you didn't know had won Oscars

If it had somehow escaped your notice – in which case, come on out from under that rock – the Oscars are almost upon us again.

We've already covered the biggest winners of all time, but what about the winners everyone has forgotten about? The unexpected ones. The forgotten heroes. Here are eight Oscar-winners you may not have realised owned a little gold guy.

1. Peter Capaldi

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The Twelfth Doctor took home a statuette from the Academy in 1995, for writing and directing short film Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life. (Not to be confused with Frank Capra's actual It's A Wonderful Life.) The absurdist short follows Kafka (played by Richard E Grant) in the throes of writer's block while attempting to write his masterpiece The Metamorphosis, and it tied for Best Live Action Short Film with Peggy Rajski's Trevor.

2. Eminem

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Yep, 8 Mile's 'Lose Yourself' became the first rap track ever to receive the Best Original Song Oscar. The win was so unexpected that when it was announced, Mr Mathers himself was at home, asleep in front of cartoons with his daughter. Aw.

In Pics: 2017 Academy Awards: Winners and highlights

2017 Academy Awards: Winners and highlights

3. Phil Collins

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Collins has won plenty of awards in his time, but Disney's 1999 Tarzan is unlikely to be the first place your mind goes to when you're pondering what for. He penned all of the soundtrack's songs (alongside Mark Mancina on scoring duties) and 'You'll Be in My Heart' nabbed the big prize on Oscar night. The soundtrack also earned a Grammy and a Golden Globe, which still left Collins a fair way from earning an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony). He does have the OGGG, for what that's worth.

4. Oprah Winfrey

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Despite being snubbed by the Academy last year for her compelling comeback performance in The Butler, the reason might simply have been that it's only been two years since they gave her the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. This special honour is bestowed periodically – Angelina Jolie will be this year's recipient – to celebrate outstanding contributions to humanitarian causes. It's given out at the separate Governors Awards rather than the main ceremony, which is one reason many people may be unaware of Oprah's status as an Oscar winner.

In Pics: 87 years of Oscar winners, fun & fashion

87 years of Oscar winners, fun & fashion

5. Nicolas Cage

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It's really, really difficult to look back beyond the fog of unrelenting bilge that has become Cage's career, particularly now that National Treasure 3 is reportedly in the works. But back in the day, Cage the respectable actor won the Best Actor gong for his performance as a suicidal alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas. Could he pull a Matthew McConaughey-style career renaissance out of the bag in time for next year's awards?

6. Jim Rash

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The Dean from Community. Totally won an Oscar, and not even for acting – Rash co-wrote the script for George Clooney-starrer The Descendants, alongside Nat Faxon and director Alexander Payne. Rash and Faxon reunited to write last year's similarly bittersweet indie comedy The Way Way Back, a gem which unfortunately didn't have a high enough profile to make this year's shortlist.

In Pics: 2017 Academy Awards: Red carpet

2017 Academy Awards: Red carpet

7. Walton Goggins

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Goggins is now best known for his work with Quentin Tarantino in Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight (plus his role as career criminal Boyd Crowder in FX drama Justified, for which he's been Emmy-nominated). But back in 2001, Goggins co-won the Best Live Action Short Film award for Ray McKinnon's "farm comedy" The Accountant, in which he played second lead.

8. Lionel Richie

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Hello? Is it him you're looking for? Yes. It is. Lionel won in 1985 for Best Original Song, with 'Say You, Say Me', which featured in White Nights, a Cold-War drama about defecting Russian and American dancers, and is only notable otherwise for having been the film where Helen Mirren met her husband, director Taylor Hackford.

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9. Annie Lennox

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It's not that we're surprised that Annie Lennox has won an Oscar – she's a legendary singer and songwriter, so of course she probably won one back in the Eurythmics days, or when her solo stuff dominated the Brits every year, right? Wrong. She won in 2003 for the "Elvish lament" 'Into The West', the end-credits theme of The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, which she co-wrote with Fran Walsh and Howard Shore.

10. Danny Dyer

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Okay, we'll admit this one is a stretch, since technically Danny Dyer wasn't the recipient of the 2005 Oscar for Best Live Action Short (yep, that old chestnut again). Fish Tank director Andrea Arnold won it for Wasp, a 30-minute drama which starred Dyer as an ex-boyfriend trying to rekindle the flame with Natalie Press's single mum. The very fact that Danny Dyer was involved in Oscar-winning work, however, justifies this inclusion.

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