The Academy Awards have been handing out a Best Actress trophy since the very first ceremony in 1928. Janet Gaynor for a combo of “7th Heaven,” “Street Angel” and “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” was the first recipient for his leading roles. The most recent champ was Renee Zellweger for “Judy.”
Since then, only one woman has won the category four times: Katharine Hepburn for “Morning Glory,” “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “The Lion in Winter” and “On Golden Pond.” The ladies with two lead wins have included Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Jodie Foster, Glenda Jackson, Vivien Leigh, Frances McDormand, Luise Rainer, Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank. Streep holds the record of most lead nominations at 17.
The oldest winner was Jessica Tandy (“Driving Miss Daisy”) at age 80. The oldest nominee was Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) at age 85. The youngest winner was Marlee Matlin (“Children of a Lesser God”) at age 21. The youngest nominee was Quvenzhane Wallis (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) at age 9.
Click through our updated photo gallery of every Academy Award-winning Best Actress, from the most recent Oscar winner to the very first champion.
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