No acting category at the Oscars has had more repeat winners than Best Actress, with 13 performers claiming two or more statues. Now Frances McDormand is in a strong position to add her name to that list for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” As of this writing McDormand leads our predictions with odds of 2/13 based on the combined forecasts of more than 3,400 users who have entered their picks at Gold Derby. If our predictions prove true, McDormand would join the following repeat champs:
Ingrid Bergman: “Gaslight” (1944) and “Anastasia” (1956)
Bette Davis: “Dangerous” (1935) and “Jezebel” (1938)
Olivia de Havilland: “To Each His Own” (1946) and “The Heiress” (1949)
Sally Field: “Norma Rae” (1979) and “Places in the Heart” (1984)
Jane Fonda: “Klute” (1971) and “Coming Home” (1978)
Jodie Foster: “The Accused” (1988) and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
Katharine Hepburn: “Morning Glory” (1933), “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967), “The Lion in Winter” (1968) and “On Golden Pond” (1981)
Glenda Jackson: “Women in Love” (1970) and “A Touch of Class” (1973)
Vivien Leigh: “Gone With the Wind” (1939) and “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951)
Luise Rainer: “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936) and “The Good Earth” (1937)
Meryl Streep: “Sophie’s Choice” (1982) and “The Iron Lady” (2011)
Hilary Swank: “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999) and “Million Dollar Baby” (2004)
Elizabeth Taylor: “Butterfield 8” (1960) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966)
Among those facing off against McDormand in this year’s Best Actress race is one of those 13 Oscar repeaters: Meryl Streep (“The Post”). If Streep were to win here, it would be her fourth overall. But because one of Streep’s three previous Oscars was for Best Supporting Actress — for “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979) — Streep would still have a little further to go to catch Hepburn, the all-time biggest acting winner at the Oscars with four wins, all in the lead category.
But most signs currently point to McDormand winning her second Oscar. She has dominated the awards season so far, picking up Best Actress prizes at the Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and SAG Awards. Time is another factor that might favor McDormand. Many of the women listed above earned their second Oscar just a few years after their first, but McDormand has waited 21 years since her last Oscar win, so no one would hesitate to hand the veteran her second trophy. Having to wait so long between Oscars was part of the narrative that helped Streep to her second Best Actress win for “The Iron Lady” almost 30 years after her first for “Sophie’s Choice.” Even four-time winner Hepburn had to wait 34 years between her first and second victories.
McDormand has solidified her reputation in the industry in the years since her first win, earning two additional Oscar nominations for supporting roles in “Almost Famous” (2000) and “North Country” (2005), then winning a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (for 2011’s “Good People”), and claiming two Emmys for producing and starring in HBO’s 2014 limited series “Olive Kitteridge.” Will that good will translate to a second Oscar win?
Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in all 24 categories. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your Oscar winner predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4.