Glenn Close is currently sitting in a very precarious position and could be on the verge of breaking a record nobody really wants to have. Ever since her new film “The Wife” started premiering at film festivals last year, Close has been getting Oscar buzz about a possible Best Actress bid for her role as the spouse of a renowned author (Jonathan Pryce). Should she be nominated and lose, Close would become the most nominated actress in Oscar history never to win. (On the male side Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton both went to their graves with eight and seven unrewarded nominations, respectively.)
Close is currently tied with Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter with six nominations apiece without a statue. However, number seven could be the lucky number for Close. There is precedence. Both Geraldine Page and Al Pacino were also perennial Oscar also-rans but finally took home trophies on their eighth and seventh tries, respectively.
Close had an incredible start with the film academy. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for three out of her first four films (“The World According to Garp” in 1982, “The Big Chill” in 1983 and “The Natural” in 1984.) She lost those awards to Jessica Lange (“Tootsie”), Linda Hunt, (“The Year of Living Dangerously”) and Peggy Ashcroft (“A Passage to India”), respectively.
When Close graduated to leading roles she received two Best Actress nominations for “Fatal Attraction” in 1987 and “Dangerous Liaisons” in 1988. Despite “Fatal Attraction” becoming a national sensation she still lost that year to Cher in “Moonstruck.” She seemed to have a good shot at winning in 1988 for “Dangerous Liaisons” since it was a Best Picture nominee and a prestige period piece which academy members love, but Jodie Foster prevailed that year for “The Accused.”
Unlike her fellow six-time losers Kerr and Ritter, Close actually came “close” to winning a few times, say Gold Derby readers in our forums. As stated she was considered a heavy front-runner for “Dangerous Liaisons” and it seems a little inexplicable nowadays that she lost to Foster for a flop film with no other nominations, but Foster’s narrative of how the film brought up troubling times when she had to testify against failed presidential assassin John Hinckley won voter’s hearts.
Then in 1982 Close could have possibly won too since she garnered high praise and a few critics’ circle awards for her gangbuster film debut in “The World According to Garp,” but there was the tricky factor that year of what to do with Lange. Meryl Streep was a sure thing for Best Actress for “Sophie’s Choice” but Lange had given an equally spellbinding performance in “Frances” and had a Best Actress nomination for it. The academy gave Lange the Supporting Actress Oscar for “Tootsie” as kind of a consolation prize, thereby blocking Close’s chance at possibly winning.