Saturday, October 16, 2010

Angela Lansbury and Other Oscar Record Holders

Slow and steady tortoises may win races but sometimes we have to stop to celebrate the hares that sprint. In the case of Angela Lansbury, who celebrates her 85th birthday today, we can do both.

<--- Angela in her Tony nominated role from A Little Night Music last season on Broadway. She's won 6 Golden Globes and 5 Tony Awards. Emmy (18 nominations) and Oscar (3 nominations) have eluded her. 

Slow and Steady.
She's been acting for 66 years and her longterm success is such that she means different things to different generations and may even mean different things to you at different times in your life. For example, when I was a wee lad I thought exclusively of Bedknobs and Broomsticks and as an adult, say "Lansbury" to me and it's like a switch has been flipped and I'll start talking about how great she is as Mrs. Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate. Other people will think of Murder She Wrote or her stage work or something else entirely.

Sprint. Lansbury wasn't always 85 and she was no late bloomer either. She actually holds the acting record of Youngest Actor (either sex) to become a Two-Time Oscar nominee. To make that record yet more impressive and an example of "sprinting" she had achieved that within her first three movies!

 Gaslight (1944) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)

We've been in a trivia / statistical mood for days now so here's some more "got there first!" Oscar sprinters. We're limiting it to the Actresses today. But more stat posts are coming. Wheeeee

"Youngest" Actress to Become...

  • a winner: Tatum O'Neal for Paper Moon when she was 10.
    runner up: Anna Paquin, The Piano at 11.
  • a 2 time Oscar winner: OOPS. I said it was Jodie Foster who won her second for Silence of the Lambs at 29. But Luise Rainer actually still holds this record. She won her two Oscars back to back at the ages of 27 (The Great Ziegfeld) and 28 (The Good Earth). Jodie, then, is runner up.
  • a 3 time Oscar winner: Ingrid Bergman won her third for Murder on the Orient Express at 60.
    runner up: Katharine Hepburn won her third for Lion in Winter at 61.
  • a 4 time Oscar winner: Katherine Hepburn won her last for On Golden Pond at 74.
    runner up: aint no such thing.

  • youngest winner & the second youngest double winner
  • a nominee: Tatum O'Neal for Paper Moon by the time she was 10.
    runner up: Mary Badham for To Kill a Mockingbird was also 10 but a month older.
  • a 2 time nominee: Angela Lansbury for Gaslight and The Picture of Dorian Gray by 20.
    runner up: Kate Winslet for Sense & Sensibility and Titanic by 22.
  • a 3 time nominee: Teresa Wright for Little Foxes, Pride of Yankees and Mrs Miniver by 24. runner up: Natalie Wood for Rebel Without a Cause, Splendor in the Grass and Love with the Proper Stranger by 25. Neither Teresa nor Natalie were ever nominated again. Too much too soon?
  • a 4 time nominee: Jennifer Jones hit #4 with Duel in the Sun by 27.
    runner up: Elizabeth Taylor for Butterfield 8 when she was just turning 29. (Kate Winslet also won her 4th nomination at 29)
  • a 5 time nominee: Kate Winslet for Little Children at 31.
    runner up: Olivia DeHavilland for The Heiress at 33.
  • a 6 time nominee: Kate Winslet for The Reader at 33.
    runner up: Meryl Streep for Out of Africa at 36

    from this number on...
    It's all about Oscar's three all-time favorite women. There are a few other women with 7 nods or more but aside from Streep only Jane Fonda is still with us.

  • a 7 time nominee: Bette Davis for Mrs Skeffington at 36.
    runner up: Meryl Streep for Ironweed at 38.
  • a 8 time nominee: Meryl Streep for A Cry in the Dark at 39.
    runner up: Bette Davis for All About Eve at 42.
  • a 9 time nominee: Meryl Streep for Postcards from the Edge at 41.
    runner up: Bette Davis for The Star at 44.
  • a 10 time nominee: Meryl Streep for The Bridges of Madison County at 46.
    runner up: Bette Davis for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? at 54. This Letter to Daddy was the last she wrote with Oscar.
  • an 11 time nominee: Meryl Streep for One True Thing at 49
    runner up: Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter at  61.
  • a 12 time nominee: Meryl Streep for Music of the Heart at 50
    runner up: Katharine Hepburn for On Golden Pond at 74.
  • a 13,14,15 and then 16 time nominee?
    It's only MERYL STREEP from there on out.
<--- Saoirse Ronan is 16. She's already been nominated once for Atonement. She'll need a second nomination by January 2014 to beat Angela's record. Can she do it?

All of this is a long way of saying... Winslet better get back to feature work if she wants to truly challenge Meryl Streep. And Saoirse Ronan, Dakota Fanning and the other teen drama queens of Hollywood had better work fast if they want to steal Angela Lansbury's "fastest to two noms!" crown away from her. She's held that record for an incredible 65 years.

So, um, happy birthday Angela Lansbury!?
I get distracted, I do.

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