2018 Best Actress Oscar race is one for the ages

Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”) and Meryl Streep (“The Post”) are all projected to earn Best Actress Oscar nominations, per our latest combined odds. And if any of them wins, she’d rewrite the Oscar history books as one of the oldest (McDormand, Streep) or youngest (Ronan) Best Actress champs ever.

The current top 10 oldest Best Actress winners — their age calculated at the time of the award — are:

1. Jessica Tandy, “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989): 80 years, 292 days
2. Katharine Hepburn, “On Golden Pond” (1981): 74 years, 321 days
3. Marie Dressler, “Min and Bill” (1930/31): 63 years, 1 day
4. Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady” (2011): 62 years, 249 days
5. Katharine Hepburn, “The Lion in Winter” (1968): 61 years, 337 days
6. Helen Mirren, “The Queen” (2006): 61 years, 214 days
7. Geraldine Page, “The Trip to Bountiful” (1985): 61 years, 122 days
8. Katharine Hepburn, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967): 60 years, 334 days
9. Shirley Booth, “Come Back, Little Sheba” (1952): 54 years, 201 days
10. Julianne Moore, “Still Alice” (2014): 54 years, 81 days

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After her Golden Globe win and magnetic speech, McDormand saw her Oscar odds rise even more to a leading 11/5. She will be 60 years and 254 days old by the March 4 ceremony. If she wins as expected, she would become the ninth oldest winner, knocking Moore out of the top 10. Moore and Booth are the only actresses to win the prize in their 50s, a sign of not only the lack of juicy roles for actresses of a certain age but Oscar’s well-known preference for young starlets.

Streep, who sits in fourth place with 7/1 odds, will be 68 years and 255 days old by the Oscars, which would make her the third oldest winner. She’d join Hepburn as the only actresses to appear multiple times in the top 10. Hepburn, of course, won the first of her record four Best Actress Oscars at 26 years and 308 days old and bagged her final three trophies after she hit her 60s, a decade that has proven to be most fruitful for older actresses.

SEE Oscar experts predict Best Actress: Frances McDormand (‘Three Billboards’) widens lead after Golden Globes win

Even though Hepburn’s first victory came when she was in the Best Actress Oscar sweet spot age of mid-20s, she is not in the top 10 of youngest winners. They are:

1. Marlee Matlin, “Children of a Lesser God” (1986): 21 years, 218 days
2. Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012): 22 years, 193 days
3. Janet Gaynor, “7th Heaven,” “Street Angel” and “Sunrise” (1927/28): 22 years, 222 days
4. Joan Fontaine, “Suspicion” (1941): 24 years, 127 days
5. Audrey Hepburn, “Roman Holiday” (1953): 24 years, 325 days
6. Jennifer Jones, “The Song of Bernadette” (1943): 25 years, 0 days
7. Grace Kelly, “The Country Girl” (1954): 25 years, 138 days
8. Hilary Swank, “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999): 25 years, 240 days
9. Julie Christie, “Darling” (1965): 26 years, 4 days
10. Vivien Leigh, “Gone with the Wind” (1939): 26 years, 116 days

Ronan will be 23 years and 326 days old by the Oscars and would displace Fontaine for the No. 4 spot. She’d also be the third straight twentysomething to win the award — after Brie Larson (“Room” [2015]), who was 26 years and 150 days old, and Emma Stone (“La La Land” [2016]), who was 28 years and 112 days old — and the fourth in six ceremonies (Lawrence).

Ronan, who’s the second favorite with 10/3 odds, is already part of two “youngest ever” Oscar lists: She’s the eighth youngest Best Actress nominee (21 years, 277 days for “Brooklyn” [2015]) and the seventh youngest Best Supporting Actress nominee (13 years, 285 days for “Atonement” [2007]).

As for the other two predicted nominees, Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) and Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), they’ll fall just outside of both lists should they win. Hawkins, who is third with 4/1 odds, would be the 20th oldest winner at 41 years and 311 days, while Robbie, in fifth with 17/2 odds, would rank as the 19th youngest at 27 years and 245 days old.

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Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in this and the other top races. 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 odds before you make make your Oscar nomination predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.

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