A 3rd Oscar for Frances McDormand (‘Nomadland’) would put her within striking distance of Katharine Hepburn’s record

Two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand currently ranks second in Gold Derby’s odds in the race for Best Actress. Should the actress triumph this year for her performance in Searchlight Pictures’ “Nomadland,” she would become only the second person in history to win three Best Actress Oscars. This would put McDormand within striking distance of Katharine Hepburn, the record holder among all lead acting winners, who won four times in the Best Actress category.

McDormand is a strong contender this year for her performance as Fern, a woman who travels the country in search of work. The film, directed by Chloe Zhao, has already won Best Picture awards from the Chicago Film Critics and the Gotham Awards, as well as the Golden Lion at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. It was also the People’s Choice Winner at the 2020 Toronto Film Festival. In recent years, the winner in Toronto frequently earned a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. McDormand — who could earn a second nomination as a producer of “Nomadland” — dominates the film, making her a leading contender in the Best Actress category at the Oscars.

McDormand earned her previous Oscars for “Fargo” (1996) and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (2017). She also received Best Supporting Actress nominations for “Mississippi Burning” (1988), “Almost Famous” (2000) and “North Country” (2005). While nobody other than Hepburn has taken home three Best Actress Oscars, McDormand is one of 13 actresses with two wins in that category. That list includes: Luise Rainer, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Olivia De Havilland, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Glenda Jackson, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Jodie Foster, Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep.

A third Best Actress win would also put her ahead of Hepburn in the sense that McDormand would achieve that milestone 11 years faster than Hepburn, who famously went more than three decades between Oscar wins. Hepburn earned her first Oscar for “Morning Glory” (1933) and won a second prize 34 years later for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967). Her third win came the very next year — in a tie with Barbra Streisand (“Funny Girl”) — for 1968’s “The Lion in Winter.” Hepburn would go on to win her fourth Best Actress prize for 1981’s “On Golden Pond.”

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