Whether she wins or loses her Best Actress bid for “American Hustle,” Amy Adams has joined an elite club at the Oscars. This is her fifth nomination, the benchmark set by the motion picture academy to merit separate mention in its database. She is the 55th performer to reach this threshold in the 86-year history of the Oscars.
Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“) is the presumed frontrunner to win Best Actress this year. However, she and Adams have yet to go head to head. The two will finally face-off at the BAFTAs on Feb. 16, two weeks before the Oscars.
Remember, “American Hustle” helmer David O. Russell has directed Oscar-winning performances in each of his last two films. Christian Bale — who reaped a Best Actor bid for “American Hustle” — and Melissa Leo won the supporting awards in 2010 for “The Fighter”; among those Leo beat was Adams. And Jennifer Lawrence, who contends in supporting for “American Hustle,” won Best Actress last year for “Silver Linings Playbook.”
And, as all four of Adams’ competitors are previous Oscar winners, this makes her the underdog, the one overdue to win. Five turned out to be the lucky number for six perennial nominees who finally prevailed with that bid:
Susan Hayward: Won Best Actress in 1958 for “I Want to Live!” after four losses in this race.
Gregory Peck: Won Best Actor in 1962 for “To Kill a Mockingbird” after four losses in this race.
Jack Nicholson: Won Best Actor in 1975 for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” after four losses in this race; he went on to win Best Supporting Actor in 1983 for “Terms of Endearment” and Best Actor again in 1997 for “As Good As It Gets” and has reaped 12 bids in all, a record among men.
Shirley MacLaine: Won Best Actress in 1983 for “Terms of Endearment” after four losses in this race.
Susan Sarandon: Won Best Actress in 1995 for “Dead Man Walking” after four losses in this race.
Jeff Bridges: Won Best Actor in 2009 for “Crazy Heart” after one loss in this race and three in supporting; he has contended once more for Best Actor.
However, there are also eight performers who never won an Oscar despite reaching at least this level:
Peter O’Toole lost all eight of his Best Actor bids. He did get an honorary Oscar in 2002.
His pal Richard Burton was defeated seven times in all, six for Best Actor and once in supporting.
Glenn Close has been bested in all six of her races; three of those were in supporting and three in lead. She is now in the company of two other also-rans who went 0 for 6: Deborah Kerr, who lost all six of her Best Actress bids and received an honorary award from Close in 1992 (watch that video below) and Thelma Ritter, who was defeated for Supporting Actress six times.
The three five-time also-rans are:
Irene Dunne (all in Best Actress);
Albert Finney (Best Actor – 4; Supporting Actor – 1; and
Arthur Kennedy (Best Actor – 1; Supporting Actor – 4).
Who do you think will win Best Actress this year? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Come back and change your predictions as often as you like till Oscar night, March 2.