1 Age and Achievement: Best Actress Oscar Winners, 1929-Present

Research in Progress (June 20, 2022)

Age & Achievement: Best Actress Oscar Winners

Note:

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The first Best Actress Oscar was given in 1929 for achievements in 1927-1928.

78 winners in 93 years (up and including 2022)

1927-28: Janet Gaynor, Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, Sunrise, 22 (won for 3 roles)

1928-29: Mary Pickford, Coquette, 37

1929-30: Norma Shearer, Their Own Desire, The Divorcee, 28

1930-31: Marie Dressler, Min and Bill, 63

1931-32: Helen Haynes, The Sin of Madelon Claudet, 32

1932-33: Katharine Hepburn, Morning Glory, 26

1934: Claudette Colbert, It Happened One Night, 31

1935: Bette Davis, Dangerous, 27

1936: Luise Rainer, The Great Ziegfeld, 26

1937: Luise Rainer, The Good Earth, 27 (second Oscar)

1938: Bette Davis, Jezebel, 30

1939: Vivien Leigh, Gone With the Wind, 26

1940: Ginger Rogers, Kitty Foyle, 29

1941: Joan Fontaine, Suspicion, 24

1942: Greer Garson, Mrs. Miniver, 38

1943: Jennifer Jones, The Song of Bernadette, 24

1944: Ingrid Bergman, Gaslight, 29

1945: Joan Crawford, Mildred Pierce, 41

1946: Olivia De Havilland, To Each His Own, 30

1947: Loretta Young, The Farmer’s Daughter, 34

1948: Jane Wyman. Johnny Belinda, 31

1949: Olivia De Havilland, The Heiress, 33

1950: Judy Holliday, Born Yesterday, 29

1951: Vivien Leigh, A Streetcar Named Desire, 38

1952: Shirley Booth, Come Back, Little Sheba, 54

1953: Audrey Hepburn, Roman Holiday, 24

1954: Grace Kelly, The Country Girl, 25

1955: Anna Magnani, The Rose Tattoo, 47

1956: Ingrid Bergman, Anastasia, 41 (second Oscar)

1957: Joanne Woodward, The Three Faces of Eve, 27

1958: Susan Hayward, I Want to Live! 40

1959: Simone Signoret, A Room at the Top, 38

1960: Elizabeth Taylor, Butterfield 8, 28

1961: Sophia Loren, Two Women, 27

1962: Anne Bancroft, The Miracle Worker, 31

1963: Patricia Neal, Hud, 37

1964: Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins, 29

1965: Julie Christie, Darling, 24

1966: Elizabeth Taylor, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? 34 (second Oscar)

1967: Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl, 26

(Tie)

1967: Katharine Hepburn, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? 59 (second Oscar)

1968: Katharine Hepburn, The Lion in Winter, 60 (third Oscar)

1969: Maggie Smith, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 35

1970: Glenda Jackson, Women in Love, 34

1971: Jane Fonda, Klute, 34

1972: Liza Minnelli, Cabaret, 26

1973: Glenda Jackson, A Touch of Class, 37

1974: Ellen Burstyn, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, 42

1975: Louise Fletcher. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 41

1976: Faye Dunaway, Network, 35

1977: Diane Keaton, Annie Hall, 31

1978: Jane Fonda, Coming Home, 41

1979: Sally Field, Norma Rae, 33

1980: Sissy Spacek, Coal Miner’s Daughter, 31

1981: Katharine, Hepburn, On Golden Pond, 74 (fourth Oscar)

1982: Meryl Streep, Sophie’s Choice, 33

1983: Shirley MacLaine, Terms of Endearment, 49

1984: Sally Field, Places in the Heart, 38

1985: Geraldine Page, The Trip to Bountiful, 61

1986: Marlee Matlin, Children of a Lesser God, 21 (youngest winner)

1987: Cher, Moonstruck, 41

1988 : Jodie Foster, The Accused, 26

1989: Jessica Tandy, Driving Miss Daisy, 80 (oldest winner)

1990: Kathy Bates, Misery, 42

1991: Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs, 29

1992: Emma Thompson, Howards End, 33

1993: Holly Hunter, The Piano, 35

1994: Jessica Lange, Blue Sky, 45

1995: Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking, 49

1996: Frances McDormand, Fargo, 39

1997: Helen Hunt, As Good As It gets, 34

1998: Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love, 26

1999: Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry, 25

2000: Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich, 33

2001: Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball, 35 (first Black lead winner)

2002: Nicole Kidman, The Hours, 35

2003: Charlize Theron, Monster, 28

2004: Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby, 30

2005: Reese Witherspoon, Ray, 29

2006: Helen Mirren, The Queen, 61

2007: Marion Cottillard, La Vie en Rose, 32

2008: Kate Winslet, The Reader, 33

2009: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side, 45

2010: Natalie Portman, Black Swan, 25

2011: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady, 62 (second Best Actress)

2012: Jennifer Lawrence, The Silver Linings Handbook, 22

2013: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine, 44

2014: Julianne Moore, Still Alice? 54

2015: Brie Larson, Room, 26

2016: Emma Stone, La La Land, 29

2017: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, 60 (second Oscar)

2018: Olivia Colman, The Favourite, 45

2019: Rene Zellweger, Judy, 50

2020: Frances McDormand, Nomadland, 63 (third Oscar)

2021: Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, 45

Summary

Winners in their 20s: 31

Winners in their 30s: 31

Winners in their 40s: 12

Winners in their 50s: 2

Winners in their 60s: 2

Winners older than 70: 1 (Jessica Tandy)

 

Conclusion:

Over the past 93 years, there have been 78 Best Actress winners.

For the women who have won multiple times, the age at which they had earned their first Oscar was taken into account.  Thus, three-time Best Actress winner, Frances McDormand, was 39 at her first win (and 63 at her last).

The vast majority of female winners (62 of the 78) were younger than 39.

Only a minority (17) of women were older than 40.

Updated June 2022 (includes Jessica Chastain)