85 Years Of Best Actress Beauty Looks

1
Janet Gaynor, 1928/1929
2
Mary Pickford, 1929/1930
3
Norma Shearer, 1930/1931
4
Marie Dressler, 1931/1932
5
Helen Hayes, 1932/1933
6
Katharine Hepburn, 1933/1934
7
Claudette Colbert, 1935
8
Bette Davis, 1936
9
Luise Rainer, 1937
10
Luise Rainer, 1938
11
Bette Davis, 1939
12
Vivien Leigh, 1940
13
Ginger Rogers, 1941
14
Joan Fontaine, 1941
15
Greer Garson, 1943
16
Jennifer Jones, 1944
17
Ingrid Bergman, 1945
18
Joan Crawford, 1946
19
Olivia de Havilland, 1947
20
Loretta Young, 1948
21
Jane Wyman, 1949
22
Olivia de Havilland, 1950
23
Judy Holliday, 1951
24
Vivien Leigh, 1952
25
Shirley Booth, 1953
26
Audrey Hepburn, 1954
27
Grace Kelly, 1955
28
Anna Magnani, 1956
29
Ingrid Bergman, 1957
30
Joanne Woodward, 1958
31
Susan Hayward, 1959
32
Simone Signoret, 1960
33
Elizabeth Taylor, 1961
34
Sophia Loren, 1962
35
Anne Bancroft, 1963
36
Patricia Neal, 1964
37
Julie Andrews, 1965
38
Julie Christie, 1966
39
Elizabeth Taylor, 1967
40
Katharine Hepburn, 1968
41
Barbra Streisand, 1969
42
Katharine Hepburn, 1969
43
Maggie Smith, 1970
44
Glenda Jackson, 1971
45
Jane Fonda, 1972
46
Liza Minnelli, 1973
47
Glenda Jackson, 1974
48
Ellen Burstyn, 1975
49
Louise Fletcher, 1976
50
Faye Dunaway, 1977
51
Diane Keaton, 1978
52
Jane Fonda, 1979
53
Sally Field, 1980
54
Sissy Spacek, 1981
55
Katharine Hepburn, 1982
56
Meryl Streep, 1983
57
Shirley MacLaine, 1984
58
Sally Field, 1985
59
Geraldine Page, 1986
60
Marlee Matlin, 1987
61
Cher, 1988
62
Jodie Foster, 1989
63
Jessica Tandy, 1990
64
Kathy Bates, 1991
65
Jodie Foster, 1992
66
Emma Thompson, 1993
67
Holly Hunter, 1994
68
Jessica Lange, 1995
69
Susan Sarandon, 1996
70
Frances McDormand, 1997
71
Helen Hunt, 1998
72
Gwyneth Paltrow, 1999
73
Hilary Swank, 2000
74
Julia Roberts, 2001
75
Halle Berry, 2002
76
Nicole Kidman, 2003
77
Charlize Theron, 2004
78
HIlary Swank, 2005
79
Reese Witherspoon, 2006
80
Helen Mirren, 2007
81
Marion Cotillard, 2008
82
Kate Winslet, 2009
83
Sandra Bullock, 2010
84
Natalie Portman, 2011
85
Meryl Streep, 2012
86
Jennifer Lawrence, 2013

By closely comparing Best Actress winners over the past 86 years, we were able to draw some conclusions about the role that beauty choices play when it comes to getting that Oscar guy to come home with you that night. Our insights are below. Now, bet responsibly...

-Of the 74 winners present to accept their awards (that's counting Joan Crawford [18], who claimed hers while bedridden, wearing an extravagant nightgown in full hair and makeup because it's diva-ism at its best and should be celebrated): 26 had updos, 21 had short hair, 25 wore their hair loose, and two wore hats. Basically this tells us that hairstyle won't help predict whose name will be in the envelope. And Jennifer Lawrence should totally wear a hat.

-Similarly: brows. Large, full brows have 17:4 odds against extremely thin ones. Although most winners fell somewhere in between.

-Of the 86 Best Actress Oscars awarded thus far (Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn tied for one in 1969), 48 went to brunettes (at least they were brunettes at the time), 29 to blondes, three to redheads, and six to ladies embracing their grey hair. Considering the 2014 nominees, this makes Sandra Bullock the front-runner with 24:43 odds; Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep not far off; 3:43 odds for Judi Dench; and leaves Amy Adams the definite underdog. Again, that's if you completely disregard talent and the fact that this has nothing to do with hair color.

-Fourteen winners had a bold lip, Sandra Bullock being the only one in the past 20 years (she won for her role in The Blind Side). But she has that brunette thing going for her, so she can afford to take risks.

-The conservatively dressed have the best chances. Of the 74 awards-night champs, 35 showed no major skin. Most of the earlier winners, in fact, were reminiscent of Girl Scout nuns. Twenty women went sleeveless over the past 86 years; 12 showed notable cleavage; and seven have gone strapless. Barbra Streisand, Cher, Halle Berry, and 2005 Hilary Swank have their own, special category.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • http://poppylilybeauty.wordpress.com Bana

    what a wonderful post! I am so excited about the Oscars on Sunday!

    Bana, xoxo

    http://poppylilybeauty.wordpress.com/

  • Lauren

    And one visible navel.

    • murt

      haha - Cher's dress was the best!

  • Sophie

    This is brilliant! Love seeing the evolution of style over the 20thC

    http://www.sophiemakesup.blogspot.com

  • Marlenne

    I love watching the old photo's from actresses, Audrey Hepburn was really pretty, serious brow envy here! Very curious about this years winner!

    marlennebeauty.blogspot.com

  • Grace Kelly News

    ...and the winning presentation goes to the way you showcased every Oscar winner by year.

    http://www.BeyondGraceKelly.com/movies/

  • fancies&beauty

    Great read! it's fun to see how much makeup and dress have changed each year at the Oscars. Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, my ladies <3

  • ITGLacey

    Hi Emma,
    Halle is the only woman of color here because she's the only woman of color who's ever won the Best Actress Oscar—we completely agree that it's unfair she's alone, & would love to see the Academy recognize the accomplishments of the many, many brilliant performers who were overlooked in their time because of bigotry.

  • Eliza

    Great photos, but by quick count: 85 white women + one black woman + one black man. Love your blog, but it would really help if you acknowledged that there may be reasons why people of color have not been awarded Oscars - you point out blondes, brunettes, conservative dress etc, but miss this important distinction.

  • FR

    I always loved Jodie Foster's 1992 win (Silence of the Lambs.) She's incredibly beautiful and her beauty is super underrated.

  • Greentee

    You can smell the crazy in Joan Crawford's eyes. I love it.

  • MoseyM

    ... And one pair of glasses. That photo of Marlee Matlin in pretty cool.

  • http://belleboulevard.com/ Audrey Knox

    Thanks for the history lesson! I've never seen all the best actresses lined up like that, and it was fascinating to go through the list and the photos.

  • Tinsley

    Viven Leigh did win another Oscar in 1952, but the photo you're showing for that year is actually from 1940 for her win for Gone With The Wind.

REPLIES

Dearest ITG Reader,

We're working on something new called Glossier. It's launching soon(!) and we want you to be the first to know updates.

xo, Emily