Oscar Hopefuls Don’t Need a Boost From Festival Season ... Telluride: ‘The 50 Year Argument’ Can Continue Outside of Oscar Contention ... Telluride: ‘Red Army’ Joins ‘Keep on Keepin’ On’ at Top of Heap of Best Doc Oscar Contenders ... Telluride: Hilary Swank Angles for Another Shot at Oscar With ‘The Homesman’ ... Telluride: The Making and Breaking of Oscar Contenders ... Telluride: ‘Foxcatcher’ Lands Stateside, Trio of Actors Strongly Embraced ... Telluride: ‘Birdman’ Flies Into Fest, With Slightly Bumpier Landing Than in Venice ... Telluride: A Film Fest That Knows How to Party ...
Countdown to Oscars

Monday, January 3, 2011
Print Friendly

STEINFELD WOULDN’T BE FIRST TO BE NOMINATED–OR WIN–FOR FILM DEBUT

It now appears to be more likely than not that Hailee Steinfeld, the 14-year-old actress who makes her big screen debut in the Coen brothers’ critically and commercially successful Western “True Grit,” will score an Oscar nomination — and perhaps even a win — in one category or another for her film-stealing performance. Consequently, some of you may be wondering if any other newcomer has ever earned that kind of recongition over the 82 year history of the Academy Awards. The answer is yes — in fact, it has happened precisely 47 times, 16 in lead and 31 in supporting.

Some of those women were famous before they received their nods (i.e. Jennifer Hudson and Barbra Streisand); most were not (i.e. Mary Badham and Gabby Sidibe). Some never made another movie after they received their nods (i.e. Jocelyne LaGarde); some made a few and then dropped off the face of the earth (i.e. Catherine Burns and Colette Marchand). Some went on to have long and accomplished careers (i.e. Julie Andrews and Angela Lansbury); a few wound up taking their own lives (i.e. Elizabeth Hartman and Maggie McNamara). Clearly, what’s uncertain is not whether actresses can score nominations for their big screen debuts; it’s what will happen after they do.

Here is a full list of the 47 women who received Oscar nominations — and the 12 (or 26%) who won — for their first at-bat…

Best Actress

  1. Greer Garson for “Goodbye, Mr. Chips” (1939)
  2. Martha Scott for “Our Town” (1940)
  3. Shirley Booth for “Come Back, Little Sheba” (1952) WON
  4. Julie HarrisThe Member of the Wedding” (1952)
  5. Maggie McNamara for “The Moon Is Blue” (1953)
  6. Julie Andrews for “Mary Poppins” (1964) WON
  7. Elizabeth Hartman for “A Patch of Blue” (1965)
  8. Barbra Streisand for “Funny Girl” (1968) WON
  9. Jane Alexander for “The Great White Hope” (1970)
  10. Diana Ross for “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972)
  11. Julie Walters for “Educating Rita” (1983)
  12. Marlee Matlin for “Children of a Lesser God” (1986) WON
  13. Emily Watson for “Breaking the Waves” (1996)
  14. Keisha Castle-Hughes for “Whale Rider” (2003)
  15. Catalina Sandino Moreno for “Maria Full of Grace” (2004)
  16. Gabby Sidibe for “Precious” (2009)

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Maria Ouspenskaya for “Dodsworth” (1936)
  2. Gale Sondergaard for “Anthony Adverse” (1936) WON
  3. Miliza Korjus for “The Great Waltz” (1938)
  4. Patricia Collinge for “The Little Foxes” (1941)
  5. Teresa Wright for “The Little Foxes” (1941)
  6. Katina Paxinou for “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1943) WON
  7. Angela Lansbury for “Gaslight” (1943)
  8. Mercedes McCambridge for “All the King’s Men” (1949) WON
  9. Lee Grant for “Detective Story” (1950)
  10. Colette Marchand for “Moulin Rouge” (1952)
  11. Eva Marie Saint for “On the Waterfront” (1954) WON
  12. Jo Van Fleet for “East of Eden” (1955) WON
  13. Diane Varsi for “Peyton Place” (1957)
  14. Maureen Stapleton for “Lonelyhearts” (1958)
  15. Mary Badham for “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)
  16. Grayson Hall for “The Night of the Iguana” (1965)
  17. Jocelyne LaGarde for “Hawaii” (1966)
  18. Lynn Carlin for “Faces” (1968)
  19. Sondra Locke for “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter” (1968)
  20. Catherine Burns for “Last Summer” (1969)
  21. Tatum O’Neal for “Paper Moon” (1973) WON
  22. Ronee Blakely for “Nashville” (1975)
  23. Lily Tomlin for “Nashville” (1975)
  24. Leslie Browne for “The Turning Point” (1977)
  25. Quinn Cummings for “The Goodbye Girl” (1977)
  26. Cathy Moriarty for “Raging Bull” (1980)
  27. Glenn Close for “The World According to Garp” (1982)
  28. Oprah Winfrey for “The Color Purple” (1985)
  29. Anna Paquin for “The Piano” (1993) WON
  30. Marianne Jean-Baptiste for “Secrets & Lies” (1996)
  31. Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls” (2006) WON

Photo: Hailee Steinfeld. Credit: Paramount.

Tags: ,

  • Anonymous

    What about the much shorter list of men in the same situation?

    • http://twitter.com/robert_hamer Robert Hamer

      It’s definitely a LOT shorter. In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever won Best Lead Actor for their debut performance…

  • Fufa32333

    You left off Whoopi Goldberg for “The Color Purple” definitely her first film.

  • Alan

    This article is enlightening. However, I wish to point out that the use of “i.e.” is incorrect. It should be “e.g.”: “i.e.” is Latin for “id est”, meaning “that is”; “e.g.” is Latin for “exempli gratia”, which means “for example”.

  • Willo Hausman

     Thank you for acknowledging my mother, Diane Varsi, for her Peyton Place nomination.  It was indeed her debut; she was all of 19 in her first acting role!

    • http://ScottFeinberg.com Scott Feinberg

      My pleasure — thank you for writing! Your mother was a very beautiful and talented woman — I’m very sorry that we (especially you) lost her at such a young age.