Nicole Kidman and Olivia Colman are hoping to break a 50-year Oscar streak

After two years of repeat winners in Best Actress, Oscar voters might go back to yet another familiar face in a few months. Previous Best Actress winners Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”) and Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”) are in contention yet again in this category, with some entertaining the possibility that one of them could add a second Oscar to their mantel. Should either of them win, it would end a major Best Actress streak dating back to more than 50 years ago.

Starting in 1967, the Academy began a three-year streak of giving Oscars to leading ladies they had already rewarded before. Elizabeth Taylor kicked off the trend for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and Katharine Hepburn was given her second and third Oscars over the next two years, for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and “The Lion in Winter,” respectively. Since then, repeat winners in Best Actress have only happened as often as twice in a row. Of course, there is a caveat for that last award for Hepburn since she tied with Barbra Streisand, who won for her film debut in “Funny Girl.” Thus, unless we get another historic tie, we will be in uncharted territory if Kidman, Colman or any other past acting winner is handed another trophy on Oscar night.

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We haven’t seen a new acting winner in Best Actress since, ironically, Colman for “The Favourite” in 2019, with Renee Zellweger (“Judy”) and Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) adding new Oscars to their collections over the past two years. Other contenders that would also accomplish this if they were to win again include Penelope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”) and Jennifer Hudson (“Respect”), who already conquered Best Supporting Actress like Zellweger had but have yet to win in lead. A win for Lady Gaga (“House of Gucci”) would also technically mean three repeat Oscar champs in a row, but her previous victory was for songwriting, not acting.

In a category that historically tends to reward the previously unrewarded, this streak of repeat winners would be rare. Yet, Colman and Kidman are at the top of the latest Gold Derby odds as presumed frontrunners. If we do get a newly minted Oscar winner, though, Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”) and Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”) appear to be the likeliest candidates who could take down those previous winners. But with Kidman and Colman continuing to lead such enviable careers in both film and television, it will be a challenge to leapfrog two of the most respected actresses in the industry.

Oscar odds for Best Actress
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