Over her illustrious acting career, Frances McDormand has earned an Oscar, two Emmy Awards, a Tony Award and a pair of Screen Actors Guild Awards. This year, with her acclaimed leading turn in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” McDormand may at last add a Golden Globe and BAFTA Award to her mantle.
In the film, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, McDormand portrays Mildred Hayes, a grieving mother who, incensed after months having passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case, paints signs leading into her town chastising the local chief of police (Woody Harrelson) for his failure to solve the homicide.
To date, McDormand has garnered four Oscar nominations. Her first appearance came in 1988 for her portrayal of the long-suffering wife of a racist sheriff’s deputy (Brad Dourif) in “Mississippi Burning.” While she picked up Best Supporting Actress honors from the National Board of Review, it would be Geena Davis (“The Accidential Tourist”) triumphing on Oscar night.
Nearly a decade later, however, McDormand went home with the golden statue. Her iconic turn as the lovable Minnesota police chief Marge Gunderson in “Fargo” (1996) earned her the Best Actress Oscar, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award and another trophy from the National Board of Review.
In the following decade, McDormand earned a pair of Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations. First, there was a nomination for her portrayal of the loving but concerned mother of a young rock music aficionado (Patrick Fugit) in “Almost Famous” (2000). McDormand scored Best Supporting Actress honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, a prize also for her work in “Wonder Boys,” but was defeated by Marcia Gay Harden (“Pollock”), earning a surprise win at the Oscars. Five years later, McDormand received a nomination for her turn as an iron miner battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease in “North Country” (2005). She would fall short on Oscar night to Rachel Weisz (“The Constant Gardener”).
Among McDormand’s other honors are a Tony Award for portraying a working-class Boston single mom in the play “Good People” (2011) and an Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award for her turn as the title character in “Olive Kitteridge” (2014). The actress also scored an Emmy for producing the HBO miniseries.
Despite these many accolades, however, McDormand has yet to win a competitive Golden Globe or BAFTA Award.
McDormand has earned five Golden Globe nominations, as well as part of a special Golden Globe awarded to the large ensemble cast of “Short Cuts” (1993). The actress was first recognized by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for her turn in “Fargo” but would lose to “Evita” star Madonna on the big night.
Over the following decades, McDormand’s work in “Almost Famous” (the winner was Kate Hudson for the same film); “North Country” (Weisz in “The Constant Gardener”); “Burn After Reading” (Sally Hawkins in “Happy-Go-Lucky”); and “Olive Kitteridge” (Maggie Gyllenhaal for “The Honourable Woman”) would also come up short at the Golden Globes.
Should McDormand again be nominated and lose, she will join the following group of actors who won zero prizes on five Golden Globe nominations for their work on the big screen: Doris Day, Mia Farrow, Cary Grant, Lee Grant, Anthony Hopkins, Anjelica Huston, Steve Martin, Kevin Spacey and Natalie Wood.
At the BAFTA Awards, McDormand has earned a trio of nominations. Her turn in “Fargo” lost to Brenda Blethyn (“Secrets & Lies”); performance in “Almost Famous” was defeated by Julie Walters (“Billy Elliot”); and work in “North Country” fell short to Thandie Newton (“Crash”).
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