From 'Lady Bird' to 'Little Women': Oscar Nominee Saoirse Ronan's Most Memorable Roles

8:39 AM 2/6/2020

by Annie Howard

Earning her first Oscar nomination at the age of 13 for 'Atonement,' Ronan ranks among the youngest Academy Award nominees of all time.

Saoirse Ronan in 'Little Women'
Saoirse Ronan in 'Little Women'
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

With four Academy Award nominations, a Golden Globe win and five BAFTA nominations, 25-year-old Saoirse Ronan boasts film credits from Lady Bird, Little Women and Atonement and has worked with directors Peter Jackson, Greta Gerwig, Joe Wright and Wes Anderson, to name a few.

Born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in Dublin, Ronan earned her first Oscar nomination at the age of 13 (Atonement). She ranks among the youngest Academy Award nominees of all time, alongside performances from a 12-year-old Jodie Foster (Taxi Driver) and an 11-year-old Anna Paquin (The Piano). Her following three nominations were for best actress for her leading roles in Brooklyn, Lady Bird and Little Women.

Upon her nomination for Brooklyn, Ronan became the second-youngest actress to receive two Oscar nominations at the age of 21, the youngest being Angela Lansbury (GaslightThe Picture of Dorian Gray). Upon her third nomination (Lady Bird), Ronan became the second-youngest actress to receive three Oscar nominations before the age of 24, the first being Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, Silver Linings Playbook — a win — American Hustle).

In addition to her four Oscar nominations, Ronan has a Golden Globe (Lady Bird), three Globe nominations and five career BAFTA nominations.

Look back on Ronan's notable work in the list below.

  • 'Atonement'

    2007

    Saoirse Ronan in 'Atonement'
    Saoirse Ronan in 'Atonement'
    Focus Features/Photofest

    Ronan earned her first of four Oscar nominations for her supporting role in Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel Atonement. She starred alongside Keira Knightley and Ewan McGregor. At the age of 13, she ranks among the youngest Oscar nominees of all time.

    The film won an Oscar for Dario Marianelli's original score and picked up six nominations, including one for Ronan, Christopher Hampton's screenplay, cinematography, production design, costumes and best picture. Atonement won the Golden Globe for best motion picture drama.

  • 'The Lovely Bones'

    2009

    Saoirse Ronan in 'The Lovely Bones'
    Saoirse Ronan in 'The Lovely Bones'
    Paramount Pictures/Photofest

    Ronan earned her second of five BAFTA nominations for her work in The Lovely Bones from director Peter Jackson. Stanley Tucci, Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg and Susan Sarandon also star. The film went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Tucci's supporting role.

  • 'Hanna'

    2011

    Saoirse Ronan in 'Hanna'
    Saoirse Ronan in 'Hanna'
    Focus Features/Photofest

    Ronan stars as a 16-year-old assassin in Joe Wright's action thriller Hanna. Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana also star.

  • 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

    2014

    Saoirse Ronan in 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'
    Saoirse Ronan in 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'
    Fox Searchlight Pictures/Photofest

    Ronan had a supporting role in Wes Anderson's Oscar-winning film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The film won four Oscars for Alexandre Desplat's original score, hair and makeup, production design and costume design. It picked up five additional nominations for best picture, directing (Anderson), cinematography, editing and original screenplay (Anderson).

  • 'Brooklyn'

    2015

    Saoirse Ronan in 'Brooklyn'
    Saoirse Ronan in 'Brooklyn'
    Photofest

    Ronan became the second-youngest actress to receive two Oscar nominations at the age of 21 when she earned her first best actress nomination for Brooklyn and second Oscar nomination. (Angela Lansbury remains the youngest actress to receive two nominations.) Brooklyn was directed by John Crowley and earned three Oscar nominations for Ronan, screenwriter Nick Hornby and best picture.

  • 'Lady Bird'

    2017

    Saoirse Ronan in 'Lady Bird'
    Saoirse Ronan in 'Lady Bird'
    Courtesy of Merie Wallace/A24

    Ronan earned her third Oscar nomination for her title role in Greta Gerwig's directorial debut, Lady Bird. The nomination made her the second-youngest actress (behind Jennifer Lawrence) to receive three Oscar nods before 24 years of age. Ronan won a Golden Globe for her performance and the film went on to earn five Oscar nominations, including one for Ronan, two for Gerwig (directing, original screenplay), best supporting actress Laurie Metcalf and best picture.

  • 'Mary Queen of Scots'

    2018

    Saoirse Ronan in 'Mary Queen of Scots'
    Saoirse Ronan in 'Mary Queen of Scots'
    John Mathieson/Focus Features

    Ronan starred in the title role of Mary Queen of Scots, the directorial debut of Josie Rourke. Beau William (House of Cards) penned the screenplay for the film, starring Margot Robbie as Elizabeth I. The film earned two Oscar nominations for best hair and makeup and best costume design.

  • 'Little Women'

    2019

    Scarlett Johansson in 'Little Women'
    Scarlett Johansson in 'Little Women'
    Wilson Webb

    Saoirse Ronan earned her fourth Oscar nomination for her role as Jo March in Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. While the Academy failed to recognize Gerwig's directing for her second collaboration with Ronan, she was recognized with a writing nomination for adapted screenplay. The film earned a total of six nods, in addition to Ronan and Gerwig's, for best picture, best supporting actress Florence Pugh, Alexandre Desplat's original score and Jacqueline Durran's costume design.