By THOMAS SELLERS JR.
West 10 Media/MVP
With nearly 100 years of Academy Awards in the books, history awaits who will be the winners Feb. 9 at the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
The Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will use its subjective methods to recognize the best in the industry in far too many categories Sunday night.
But the big four awards every year are Best Director, Best Movie, Best Actor and Best Actress. The first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress was Janet Gaynor for her performance in “7th Heaven.”
Other notable history for the award includes Katharine Hepburn having won the most awards in this with four Oscars. With 17 nominations, Meryl Streep is the most nominated in this category, resulting in two wins. Marlee Matlin at 21 became the youngest actress to win this award for “Children of a Lesser God.”
In my research I realized a lot of my favorite women to grace the big screen haven’t won the precious golden mini statue. I guess the determination of a great actress is left up to the public and viewers of the movie.
Here are my honorable mentions: Julia Roberts, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Charlize Theron, Judi Dench, Julianne Moore, Grace Kelly, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Julie Andrews, Marilyn Monroe, Emma Thompson, Faye Dunaway, Glenn Close, Joan Crawford, Sigourney Weaver, Jessica Lange, Greta Garbo, Hilary Swank, Shirley MacLaine, Judy Garland, Natalie Wood, Viola Davis, Sissy Spacek, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Pam Grier, Whoopi Goldberg, Diahann Carroll, Nia Long, Cicely Tyson, Octavia Spencer, Jada Pickett-Smith, Ruby Dee, Queen Latifah, Vanessa Williams, Alfre Woodard, Hattie McDaniel, Loretta Devine, Lynn Whitfield and Debbi Morgan.
- Susan Sarandon
Her best overall performances came in “Bull Durham” and “The Client.” But prior to her Academy Award win in 1996 for “Dead Man Walking,” Sarandon garnered three Oscar nominations for her work in “Lorenzo’s Oil,” “Thelma & Louise,” and “Atlantic City, USA.” Her accent, charisma and range makes her a memorable actress in any role.
- Sally Field
I like her! I really, really like her! As a teen, I developed a crush on Sally Field from her role as Gidget. Then I saw her in the classic “Steel Magnolias.” Not only beautiful, she is a very talented actress. “Forest Gump” drove that point home as she portrayed Mama. Field has various accolades: three Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
- Phylicia Rashad
She has earned the title of “The Mother” in the black community for her portrayal of Clair Huxtable in the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show.” Most of her notable work has come courtesy of the small screen. But in recent years she has played the mother Creed in the hit motion pictures. Mary Anne Creed stole any scene she was in and gave more of a human element to those brutal boxing scenes.
- Meryl Streep
To many, she’s the G.O.A.T. Her work speaks for itself. The list of iconic movies reads as follow: “Sophie’s Choice,” “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Out of Africa” and Julie & Julia.”
This great actress has earned her voice in Hollywood because she’s great at changing her sounds for any role.
- Geena Davis
Oscars: 1 and the 2020 Humanitarian Award
Another childhood crush makes the list. But it was her performance in “A League of Their Own” that was Oscar-worthy. She was a great lead and carried that movie from start to finish. She was believable as Dottie Hanson, just one of many her memorable roles.
- Sandra Bullock
“Speed” made her a household name. But it took her playing a woman from Memphis to reach the pinnacle of her industry. Bullock’s Leigh Anne Tuohy nabbed her the 2010 Academy Awards. Bullock has a way of delivering funny and relatable characters.
- Kathleen Turner
I love her voice. I love when she’s serious. Then Kathleen Turner has a magical humor she can only bring to the big screen. The best example of this was in the black comedy classic “Serial Mom.” I was along for the ride of the sweet suburban mother finding a time to kill for those she loves. With the straightest delivery known to man, she had me laughing the whole time.
- Angela Bassett
Bassett is an ageless talent. She blasted on the scene as a great actress to most of America in the mid-1990s with her performance as Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do with It.” Her great portrayal of the legendary singer earned her an Academy Award nomination. Since then Bassett has kept busy with many projects. But the quality hasn’t suffered at all. She makes anything she’s attached to better and classy.
- Kathy Bates
The Memphis native has been in the Academy Award picture since 1991 after winning for “Misery.” She’s had three nominations since then, including this years for Best Supporting Actress for “Richard Jewell.”
You can tell she’s from Memphis because she plays the Southern belle to perfection. And she reminds me of my mother a combination of sweet and feisty. Bates is a go-to person for comedies as well. She has an amazing way of being captivating once on screen.
- Jodie Foster
Two totally different characters earned Foster Academy Awards. After her nomination in 1977 for “Taxi Driver,” many in the industry wondered if she was a youthful flash in the pan. But in 1989 Foster’s “comeback” was epic as she played a rape victim in “The Accused.” A woman who was a victim became so powerful by the credits. Foster made that transformation possible.
Fast forward three years later and she wins for “The Silence of the Lambs.” Foster is the female version of Tom Hanks. She’s relatable, funny, down-to-earth and can elicit the proper emotion from an audience.
THOMAS SELLERS JR. is the editor of The Millington Star and both the sports editor and a weekly personal columnist for West 10 Media/Magic Valley Publishing. Contact him by phone at (901) 433-9138, by fax to (901) 529-7687 and by email to email@example.com.