Over the past decade (2000-2009), only 24 of 200 nominations for acting Oscars have gone to individuals who were 30 years old or younger (at the time of the nominations announcement); of those, only 6 went to men (4 for best actor and 2 for best supporting actor), while 18 went to women (11 for best actress and 7 for best supporting actress); and in no year did more than 5 of the 20 nominees fall into that demographic (that happened once, but in most years the number was 1 or 2). There is, however, reason to believe that these trends will be halted, if not reversed for the long-term, when this year’s nominations are announced on January 25, 2011.

I find ample reason to believe that on that date, as many as 8 nominees — and possibly more — could still be 30 or younger. The most likely candidates: Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) for best actor, Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) for best supporting actor, Anne Hathaway (“Love and Other Drugs”) for best actress, Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”) for best supporting actress, Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) for best actress, Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) for best actress, Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) for best supporting actress, and Justin Timberlake (“The Social Network”) for best supporting actor.

Following is an extensive list of Hollywood’s top actors and actresses who are currently 30 or younger:

Top Actors (30 or Younger)
Seth Rogen (4/15/82)
Andrew Garfield (8/20/83)
Jesse Eisenberg (10/5/83)
Jonah Hill (12/20/83)
Paul Dano (6/19/84)
Emile Hirsch (3/13/85)
Robert Pattinson
Shia LaBeouf (6/11/86)
Armie Hammer (8/26/86)
Haley Joel Osment (4/10/88)
Michael Cera (6/7/88)

To view the entire list of actors and actresses, click here.

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