Oscar: Award as Compensation to Losers–Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins

Artists who have failed to win the award are not forgotten and are not lost cases.   The Academy tends to compensate the losers (or non-winners), usually in the near future, with belated Oscar Awards.

The consolatory awards serve as sort of a corrective mechanisms to the imperfections of the Oscar as a functional reward system.erformance of the year.

My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins

In 1964, George Cukor’s film musical My Fair Lady was nominated in every major category except for Best Actress, despite an elegant performance by Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle (even though she did not sing).

Production of this film was marked by resentment over Jack Warners’s refusal to cast Julie Andrews in a role she that she had originated and  played to great acclaim on stage.

Under other circumstances, Hepburn would have been nominated, but the Acting Branch expressed its indignation by denying Hepburn a nomination and by conferring on Julie Andrews the award for Mary Poppins, released the same year. Insiders felt as if Andrews got the award for the wrong film–had she played Eliza, she would have won an Oscar.

Mary Poppins served as sort of an excuse to compensate Andrews for the injustice done to her by Jack Warner, though it didn’t hurt that Andrews was good and that the film was a huge commercial hit.