Oscar Impact: McCambridge, Mercedes

“Was my life changed by winning” Mercedes McCambridge, the 1949 Supporting Actress (“All the King's Men”) notes in her memoirs. “Oh, yes, yes indeed, if change means money. Salary rocketed overnight, literally overnight.”

Mercedes McCambridge also realized that she really had entered into “the big leagues,” after winning. Going to New York on a publicity tour, she was amazed to find out that, “for the first time in my life a baggage porter recognized me!”

This meant, as she observes, that “I had moved into a new dimension: from now on my gratuities to such people would have to be stepped out to keep pace with my exalted station!” In the disgracefully broken-down taxi, the driver knew who McCambrdige was, and his flattery cost her another five bucks.