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Columbia's Edward Norton grabs Oscar nod for 'Birdman'

Columbia's Edward Norton grabs Oscar nod for 'Birdman'
Columbia's own Edward Norton, right, received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his work in "Birdman" alongside star Michael Keaton (left). (Alison Rosa, Associated Press)

Columbia's own Edward Norton scored an Oscar nod for his work on "Birdman," in nominations announced early Thursday morning by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Norton, whose grandfather was Columbia founder James Rouse, earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the film, which stars Michael Keaton as a has-been movie star looking to revive his career via a star turn on Broadway. Norton plays Mike Shiner, a stage actor cast alongside Keaton's character in the play.

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This marks Norton's third Oscar nomination. In 1997, he received a Best Supporting Actor nod for "Primal Fear," his first major film role; he wound up losing to Cuba Gooding Jr. ("Jerry Maguire"). Two years later, he was nominated for Best Actor for "American History X." Roberto Benigni won that year, for "Life is Beautiful."

Other nominees for this year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar are Robert Duvall ("The Judge"), Ethan Hawke ("Boyhood"), Mark Ruffalo ("Foxcatcher") and early favorite J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash").

The 2015 Oscar nominations included a few other Maryland connections. Duvall, for instance, spent part of his boyhood in Annapolis, as the son of a U.S. Navy admiral. He attended Severn School in Severna Park. Duvall is a now a seven-time Oscar nominee, winning Best Actor in 1984 for "Tender Mercies."

And Dan Futterman, nominated for co-writing the screenplay of "Foxcatcher," was born in Silver Spring. For even more of a local connection, he appeared in a 1997 episode of the shot-in-Baltimore "Homicide: Life on the Street."

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