Academy Awards 2023: A Tribute to Women

It's Academy Awards season, so let's look at some of the most impressive female winners and nominees over the years.
2023 Academy Awards

On Sunday, March 12, 2023, the 95th Academy Awards will begin its broadcast at 8 pm EST. And while I’m all about the glamour and celebrity spying the event provides (I can’t wait to check out the gowns!), It might be fun to showcase the strong, independent women who have been part of the awards throughout the years with some fun facts you may not know.

The Youngest Oscar Winner and Oldest Nominee Were Female

Tatum O'Neal
Tatum O’Neal

If you’re a movie buff, you undoubtedly have heard of Tatum O’Neal. In 1973, after a brilliant performance, O’Neal took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon just after hitting double digits—she was ten years old!

In 2012, 9-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Had she taken home the Oscar, she would have beaten Tatum by a year.

As for the oldest Oscar winner, Sir Anthony Hopkins takes the proverbial cake for his role in The Father in 2021. He was 83 when he accepted. Gloria Stuart’s role of Rose Dawson in Titanic was nominated but didn’t win. At age 87, she received a nod for Best Supporting Actress, making her the oldest actress to be nominated.

The First Female Best Actress Award Winner

Katherine Hepburn
Katherine Hepburn

Back in the days when silent films were all the rage, actress Janet Gaynor was hitting the black-and-white pictures with her beauty. In 1929, she became the first woman to win Best Actress for Seventh Heaven.

As for the person with the most acting Oscar wins ever, that honor proudly goes to a woman: Katherine Hepburn has taken home the prize four times:

  • 1934 – Morning Glory
  • 1968 – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
  • 1969 – The Lion in Winter
  • 1982 – On Golden Pond

On the other side of the coin, I can’t go without mentioning actress Glenn Close. She’s been nominated eight times but has never won. My fingers are crossed for her for the next one.

First Female Best Director

Kathryn Bigelow
Kathryn Bigelow

When I think of winning directors, big names like Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, and John ford come to mind. But have you ever heard of Kathryn Bigelow? In 2009, she became the first woman in Academy Awards history to win the Best Director Award for The Hurt Locker.

Most Expensive Dress

Jennifer Lawrence at the Academy Awards
Jennifer Lawrence

Most of the time, the couple of hours before the Academy Awards begin are just as entertaining as the show itself. It’s then I can watch interviews of nominees and see the stunning gowns as they walk the red carpet. And while I may not agree with the actresses’ choices, I must admit I love seeing the latest styles and trends.

So, let’s delve into the most expensive dress ever worn on the red carpet. In 2013, Ms. Lawrence glided (only to later trip and fall on the stairs while receiving her Best Actress award for Silver Linings Playbook) from interview to interview in a beautiful blush pink gown from Dior Couture with a price tag of $4 million! Talk about no pressure for spilling a drink on yourself!

Like Mother & Father, Like Daughter

Liza Minnelli
Photo by Rick Day

Liza Minnelli has a fun stat for the Academy Awards as she’s the only winning actress whose parents also took home awards. Liza’s winning role was for Sally Bowles in Cabaret in 1972, and her mother, Judy Garland, was given an honorary award in 1939. Her father, Vicente Minnelli, received one in 1958 for Best Director for the movie Gigi.

21 Times Nominated, Three Times a Winner

Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep is, by far, one of my favorite actresses. I could watch The Devil Wears Prada on a continuous loop, and her portrayal of Miranda Priestley is beyond brilliant.

And I’m not the only one that thinks so, either. Coming in with the title of Most Oscar Nominations, since 1979, Ms. Streep has been nominated 21 times (17 times for Best Actress, 4 for Best Supporting Actress) and has won three Academy Awards:

  • 1980: Best Supporting Actress for Kramer VS. Kramer
  • 1983: Best Actress for Sophie’s Choice
  • 2012: Best Actress for The Iron Lady

A 1940’s Best Supporting Actress Gave Her Speech in a Segregated Hotel

Hattie McDaniel

At the 12th Academy Awards, actress Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win for her poignant portrayal of Mammy in Gone with the Wind. Making this win all the more impressive is the fact that McDaniel was the daughter of two former slaves. The Awards took place that year at The Ambassador Hotel, where no African Americans were welcome. Director David O. Selznick literally had to call in a favor to have Hattie in the building for the presentation. 

Through tears, she spoke thoughtfully and proudly and told the audience she would hold the award as a beacon for anything she may be able to do in the future and that it would be a credit to both her race and the motion picture industry.

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