OSCARS 2012: Know Your Nominees:Best Actress

In the days leading up to the 84th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well know, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Glenn Close

Nominated for: playing the title character, a woman pretending to be a man in 19th century Ireland, in Albert Nobbs.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Where you might know her from:

Close has had a long and varied career. Her most memorable roles are as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction, Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil in Dangerous Liasons, and Sunny von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune. Most recently, she is known for her role of Patty Hewes in the TV show Damages.

History with Oscar:

Glenn Close has five prior Oscar nominations.

1983: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The World According to Garp (lost to Jessica Lange, Tootsie).

1984: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Big Chill (lost to Linda Hunt, The Year of Living Dangerously).

1985: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Natural (lost to Peggy Ashcroft, A Passage to India).

1988: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Fatal Attraction (lost to Cher, Moonstruck).

1989: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Dangerous Liasons (lost to Jodie Foster, The Accused).

Viola Davis

Nominated for: playing Aibileen Clark, an African-American maid who provides insight into the lives of the black servantry the 1960’s South in The Help.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Actress, Washington DC Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Nominated, Best Actress, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Where you might know her from:

You might remember her fromher Oscar nominated role of Mrs. Miller in Doubt or from her recurring roles as Donna Emmett on the TV series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit or as Lynda P. Frazier on The United States of Tara television program.

History with Oscar:

Viola Davis has one prior Oscar nomination.

2009: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Doubt (lost to Penélope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona).

Rooney Mara

Nominated for: playing Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker who investigates a missing persons case in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Outside of her showy cameo in The Social Network, Mara’s only major screen role was as Nancy in 2010’s Nightmare on Elm Street remake.

History with Oscar:

This is Rooney Mara’s first Oscar nomination.

Meryl Streep

Nominated for: playing controversial British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Actress, Washington DC Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, New York Film Critics Circle.

Nominated, Best Actress, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Actress, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Her almost yearly appearances on the Oscar telecasts.

History with Oscar:

Meryl Streep has sixteen previous Oscar nominations and two wins. If you need to have a pee break or get a snack, you should probably do so now. This is going to take a while.

1979: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Deer Hunter (lost to Maggie Smith, California Suite).

1980: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Kramer vs. Kramer (Won).

1982: Best Actress in a Leading Role, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (lost to Katharine Hepburn, On Golden Pond).

1983: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Sophie’s Choice (Won).

1984: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Silkwood (lost to Shirley McLaine, Terms of Endearment).

1986: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Out of Africa (lost to Geraldine Page, A Trip to Bountiful).

1988: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Ironweed (lost to Cher, Moonstruck).

1989: Best Actress in a Leading Role, A Cry in the Dark (lost to Jodie Foster, The Accused).

1991: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Postcards from the Edge (lost to Kathy Bates, Misery).

1996: Best Actress in a Leading Role, The Bridges of Madison County (lost to Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking).

1999: Best Actress in a Leading Role, One True Thing (lost to Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love).

2000: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Music of the Heart (Lost to Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry).

2003: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Adaptation (lost to Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago).

2007: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, The Devil Wears Prada (lost to Helen Mirren, The Queen).

2009: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Doubt (lost to Kate Winslet, The Reader).

2010: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Julie & Julia (lost to Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side).

Michelle Williams

Nominated for: playing a fragile Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn.

Other honors for this role:

Won, Best Actress, Washington DC Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, Boston Society of Film Critics.

Nominated, Best Actress, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Won, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy , The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actress, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Nominated, Best Female Lead, 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Even though she has been noticed and received much critical acclaim for her work in films such as Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine and Shutter Island, she will probably always be remembered for her role of Jen Lindley in Dawson’s Creek.

History with Oscar:

Michelle Williams has two prior Oscar nominations.

2006: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Brokeback Mountain (lost to Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener).

2011: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Blue Valentine (lost to Natalie Portman, Black Swan).

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About William Gatevackes 1931 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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