Oscar: Best Actress–Beginnings (Initial Interest in Acting)

Research in Progress (Jan 17, 2022)

Best Actress Winners: 77 (in chronological order)

Janet Gaynor

Mary Pickford

Norma Shearer

Marie Dressler

Helen Hayes

Katharine Hepburn

Claudette Colbert

Bette Davis

Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer

Bette Davis

Vivien Leigh

Ginger Rogers

Joan Fontaine

Greer Garson

Jennifer Jones

Ingrid Bergman

Joan Crawford

Olivia De Havilland

Loretta Young

Jane Wyman

Olivia De Havilland

Judy Holliday

Vivien Leigh

Shirley Booth, No Data


Audrey Hepburn


Grace Kelly

Anna Magnani

Joanne Woodward

Susan Hayward

Simone Signoret

Elizabeth Taylor

Sophia Loren

Anne Bancroft

Patricia Neal

Julie Andrews

Julie Christie

Elizabeth Taylor

Barbra Streisand

Maggie Smith

Glenda Jackson

Jane Fonda

Liza Minnelli

Glenda Jackson

Ellen Burstyn

Louise Fletcher

Faye Dunnaway

Diane Keaton

Jane Fonda

Sally Field

Sissy Spacek

Meryl Streep

Shirley MacLaine

Sally Field

Geraldine Page, father surgeon-author

Marlee Matlin


Jodie Foster

Jessica Tandy

Kathy Bates

Jodie Foster

Emma Thompson

Holly Hunter

Jessica Lange

Susan Sarandon

Frances McDormand

Helen Hunt

Gwyneth Paltrow

Hilary Swank

Julia Roberts

Hallie Berry

Nicole Kidman

Charlize Theron

Hilary Swank

Reese Witherspoon

Helen Mirren

Marion Cottillard

Kate Winslet

Sandra Bullock

Natalie Portman

Meryl Streep

Jennifer Lawrence

Cate Blanchette

Julianne Moore

Brie Larson

Emma Stone

Frances McDormand

Olivia Colman

(done, see below)

Renee Zellweger

Frances McDormand


Best Actress Winners: 77 (in alphabetical order)

Andrews, Julie

Bancroft, Anne

Bates, Kathy

Bergman, Ingrid

Berry, Hallie

Blanchette, Cate

Booth, Shirley

Bullock, Sandra

Burstyn, Ellen


Christie, Julie

Colbert, Claudette

Colman, Olivia



Cottillard, Marion

Crawford, Joan

Davis, Bette

De Havilland, Olivia

Dressler, Marie

Dunnaway, Faye

Field, Sally

Fletcher, Louise

Fonda, Jane

Fontaine, Joan

Foster, Jodie

Garson, Greer

Gaynor, Janet

Hayes, Helen

Hayward, Susan

Hepburn, Audrey, studied ballet dance

Hepburn, Katharine

Holliday, Judy

Hunt, Helen

Hunter, Holly

Jackson, Glenda

Jones, Jennifer

Keaton, Diane

Kelly, Grace

Kidman, Nicole

Lange, Jessica

Larson, Brie

Lawrence, Jennifer

Leigh, Vivien

Loren, Sophia

MacLaine, Shirley

Magnani, Anna

Matlin, Marlee

McDormand Frances

Minnelli, Liza

Mirren, Helen

Moore, Julianne

Neal, Patricia

Page, Geraldine, upper middle

Paltrow, Gwyneth

Pickford, Mary

Portman, Natalie

Rainer, Luise

Roberts, Julia

Rogers, Ginger

Sarandon, Susan

Shearer, Norma

Signoret, Simone

Smith, Maggie

Spacek, Sissy

Stone, Emma

Streep, Meryl

Streisand, Barbra

Swank, Hilary

Tandy, Jessica

Taylor, Elizabeth

Theron, Charlize

Thompson, Emma

Winslet, Kate

Witherspoon, Reese

Woodward, Joanne

Wyman, Jane

Young, Loretta

Zellweger, Rene


Olivia Colman

Sarah Caroline Colman was born in Norwich on January 30, 1974, the daughter of nurse Mary (née Leakey) and chartered surveyor Keith Colman.

She was privately educated at Norwich High School for Girls and Gresham’s School in Holt, Norfolk. Her first role was Jean Brodie in a school production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the age of 16. She cites her mother’s interrupted career as a ballet dancer as an inspiration to pursue acting professionally. Colman spent a term studying primary teaching at Homerton College, Cambridge before studying drama at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, from which she graduated in 1999.

During her time at Cambridge, she auditioned for the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club and met future co-stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb.

Colman was a subject of the UK genealogy program Who Do You Think You Are? in July 2018. Although she expected that her family tree would mainly relate to Norfolk, it was discovered that her fourth great-grandfather, Richard Campbell Bazett, had been born on the island of Saint Helena and that he worked in London for the East India Company. Bazett’s son, Colman’s third great-grandfather Charles Bazett, married Harriot Slessor.

Researchers discovered that she was born in the Indian city of Kishanganj, lost her British father when she was aged three, and then made the journey to England alone. Slessor’s passage was paid for by her paternal grandmother. The episode speculated that Slessor’s mother might have been Indian, but did not present concrete proof; after the episode aired, the Berkshire Record Office published the will of Slessor’s mother, which proved that her name was Seraphina Donclere, evidently of European origin, and that she died in 1810.

Colman made her professional acting debut in 2000, at the age of 26, as part of the BBC2 comedy sketch show Bruiser. She has since appeared in roles in many BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 television series, such as People Like Us, Look Around You, Black Books, The Office, The Time of Your Life and provided the voice-over for Five’s poll for Britain’s Funniest Comedy Character.

Colman regularly featured in BBC Radio 4 comedies, such as Concrete Cow, Think the Unthinkable, The House of Milton Jones and Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. She was also the voice of Minka, the Polish secretary in the Radio 4 comedy Hut 33, set in a fictional codebreaking hut of the real-life Bletchley Park during World War II. Colman appeared as Bev, alongside Mark Burdis as Kev, in a series of television adverts for AA car insurance. She provided voices for the Andrex “be kind to your behind” adverts and Glade fragrance adverts, where her character is a gorilla.