Is Meryl Streep’s Oscar Record Out of Reach?
With the presentation of Academy Awards completed last Sunday, I am able to tabulate the last Actors of the Decade winners. For the male actors, the winner is Daniel Day Lewis.
|Top Actors of the Decade|
|2007 to 2016 Releases|
|Actor||Lead Actor Nominations||Lead Actor Wins||Supporting Actor Nominations||Supporting Actor Wins||Total Academy Award Points|
|Daniel Day Lewis||2||2||0||0||12|
This result is pretty incredible when you consider that Daniel Day Lewis only appeared in three movies during the entire decade. His three Academy Award Best Actor wins stands alone in the history of the category. It might be interesting to measure Oscar nominations per movie made. I’d be surprised if we found any actor who is even close to Daniel Day Lewis.
As for the Best Female Actor, once again, it is Meryl Streep.
|Top Actresses of the Decade|
|2007 to 2016 Releases|
|Actress||Lead Actress Nominations||Lead Actress Wins||Supporting Actress Nominations||Supporting Actress Wins||Total Academy Award Points|
When the 28 year old Emma Stone accepted her Best Actress in a Leading Role award, she commented that she still has a lot to learn. It is that kind of attitude, and a commensurate work ethic, for a young actress today to take a run at Meryl Streep’s Oscar nomination record of 20 nominations. Consider that the actresses that Streep chased early in her career, Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis, received their first nominations some 45 years before Streep earned her first nomination. It has been 38 years since Meryl Streep received her first nomination. We should be on the lookout for the next actress of a generation. Is there a contender already out there?
Let’s look first at the career Oscar performance of Streep, Hepburn, and Davis.
|Acting Nomination Points|
|Lead Actress = 1 point, Supporting Actress = .5 points|
|Points at Age:|
I chose not to equate a supporting actress role with a lead actress role to be fair to Hepburn and Davis. With the studios in control of the movies they appeared in, stars didn’t get the chance to do supporting roles. Bette Davis had a strong career before age 50. Katherine Hepburn was strong after age 50. Meryl Streep has outperformed both of them before 50 and after 50. It is not unreasonable to expect more nominations in her future.
As for today’s actresses, I looked at multiple nominated actresses in different age groups to see if anyone is close to tracking her.
|Age as of 12/31/2016||Comparison Age||Points at Comparison Age||Streep at Comparison Age|
Except for the 30-ish actresses, none are keeping pace. You might argue that Kate Winslet is in striking distance but, given Streep’s strength after 40, that’s probably not good enough.
Of the young actresses, Jennifer Lawrence has had a very strong start to her career. With 3 lead actress nominations and 1 supporting nomination over the next 14 years she would join Bette Davis as the only actresses to keep pace with Meryl Streep through age 40. Then all she would have to do is average between 3.5 and 4 points every 10 years for anther 30 years or more.
Good luck with that. Along side Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak, it may become a record that will never be broken.