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Published on Mar 2, 2011
A Canadian-born, Boston-raised paratroop sergeant in World War II, Harold Russell lost both hands in a demolition accident and later appeared in this Army Signal Corps documentary in which he acted out the various phases of the rehabilitation process of an amputee. Director William Wyler saw the film while preparing "The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)" and cast Russell as the film's disabled returning veteran. For his performance in The Best Years of Our Lives, Russell won both the Academy Award as the year's Best Supporting Actor and a second, honorary Oscar "for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans." He is the only actor ever to win two Oscars for the same role.