From Emma Stone to Anne Hathaway: 11 Actresses Who Earned Oscar Nods for Movie-Musicals
How much of a chance does Emma Stone stand at winning the Best Actress Oscar for La La Land? Let's take a look back and see
La La Land garnered a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations this year — it’s now neck-and-neck with Titanic and All About Eve for receiving the most Oscar nominations in a given year. Among those nods is a first-ever Best Actress nom for Emma Stone, who’s been racking up rave reviews for her performance in the film.
While we’ve got musicals on the mind, let’s take a look back at some other actresses who’ve received acclaim for their musical turns.
Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables (2012)
Hathaway’s turn as Fantine was the only non-technical award the 2012 adaptation of the smash musical picked up. And with good reason: Hathaway’s rendition of the musical’s iconic “I Dreamed a Dream” was — as with most of the film’s musical sequences — performed live in one take and is still as harrowing a performance as any of the other women nominated that year gave.
Penélope Cruz, Nine (2009)
Nine didn’t fare particularly well with critics, though it did garner four Oscar nominations: One for Cruz’s bravura turn as Carla Albanese – a character based on Anna Giovannini, Federico Fellini’s mistress. She didn’t win, but her performance has aged better than other aspects of the film.
Rita Moreno, West Side Story (1961)
The only EGOT on this list, Moreno, who’s also a winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, earned an Oscar in 1961 for her performance in West Side Story, adding to the movie-musical’s record 10 awards, currently the most for a musical — at least until La La Land makes its run this year.
Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music (1965)
Including Andrews on this list is almost academic, because her performance in The Sound of Music has passed into canon at this point. But avoiding it in a discussion of Oscar-nominated musicals — it was nominated for 10 awards and won five — would be missing the point entirely. (Andrews didn’t take home the Best Actress Oscar for her performance, though she did win in 1964 for another musical you may have heard of: Mary Poppins.)
Luise Rainer, The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
It’s worth including Rainer in this roundup simply because she won the Best Actress Oscar two years in a row. She was the first person to do so — in 1936 for The Great Ziegfeld and in 1937 for The Good Earth — a feat that’s only been matched since by Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Tom Hanks.
Liza Minelli, Cabaret (1972)
Cabaret won eight Oscars, including — aside from Minelli’s Best Actress — Best Director and Best Supporting Actor. It currently holds the record for the most Academy Awards won by a film that did not win the Best Picture Oscar.
Deborah Kerr, The King and I (1956)
The King and I also picked up a landmark nine Academy Award nods, and while Kerr didn’t win for Best Actress, the film racked up five Oscars that year, including a Best Actor statue for Yul Brynner.
Ann-Margret, Tommy (1975)
Tommy hasn’t aged as well as the album it’s based on, but Ann-Margret did pick up an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her role in the film. (She won the Golden Globe that year for the category.)
Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls (2006)
Though Dreamgirls‘ entire awards show season run was dogged by accusations of racism — it was the first film in the history of the Oscars to receive the highest number of nominations without also receiving a Best Picture nomination — Hudson’s role was rightfully acclaimed. She became one of the few actresses to ever win an Oscar for their debut performance, and picked up a Golden Globe that year to boot.
Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl (1968)
Streisand’s 1968 win for Funny Girl has the distinction of being the most famous tie in Oscar history. (There have been six.) She was just 26 at the time, and because Katharine Hepburn (the other winner) didn’t show at the ceremony, Streisand was the only actress who got to accept the award. (She would go on to win a few more awards in her career.)
Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Moulin Rouge! was the first live-action musical to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, and though it didn’t win that statue (or Kidman’s Best Actress), it arguably paved the way for Chicago‘s success the following year, rejuvenating the big-picture musical in the eyes of the Academy.
Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago (2002)
Chicago was the first musical to win the Best Picture Oscar since 1968 (Oliver!) and while John C. Reilly, Queen Latifah and Renée Zellweger were all nominated for their roles as well, Catherine Zeta-Jones picked up the only acting Oscar for the film that year.
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