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[THE OSCARS] | Supporting actor

The patriarch: A leadership role

February 26, 2007|Sheigh Crabtree

ALAN ARKIN, whose character in "Little Miss Sunshine" spent a major chunk of the movie stiff as a board in the back of a VW minivan, ended up beating out Eddie Murphy in a category jam-packed with strong contenders.

Originally rejected for the salty role of a heroin-addicted grandfather by directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who found him "too virile," Arkin fell in love with Michael Arndt's script, pursued the directors and finally claimed a 12-inch gold Oscar.

"I know you're not supposed to read, but I'm totally incoherent," Arkin said as he referred to his notes. "More than anything, I'm deeply moved by the open-hearted appreciation our small film has received, which in these fragmented times speaks so openly of the possibility of innocence, growth and connection."

-- Sheigh Crabtree

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