|portrait of Katharine Hepburn and her four Oscar statuettes|
Katharine Hepburn was nominated for the Academy Award for Actress in a Leading Role 12 times, a record that has only been beaten in recent years by Meryl Streep, although treep has only won three of her nominations while Hepburn has won four. Of Katharine Hepburn’s Oscar nominations that she didn’t win, which of the following do the you think she deserved to win?
|as Mary Tyrone in LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT|
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (Sidney Lumet, 1962) co-starred Ralph Richardson in Eugene O’Neil’s dark play about a family torn apart by drug addiction and alcoholism. At the 35 Academy Awards (1963), Bette Davis was also nominated for WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? but the award that year went to Ann Bancroft for THE MIRACLE WORKER.
|with Elizabeth Taylor in SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER|
SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959) was an adaptation of a sinister Tennessee Williams play about an oppressive and manipulative mother who wants to cover up the truth about her son’s death through any means possible, even if she has to bride a doctor to have the only witness lobotomized. Co-stars Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. Hepburn had a difficult time making this film, but she gives an undoubtably strong performance as Violet Venable. Elizabeth Taylor was also nominated for her role in this film, along with Doris Day for PILLOW TALK and Audrey Hepburn for THE NUN’S STORY. The award went to Simone Signoret for ROOM AT THE TOP.
|with Burt Lancaster in THE RAINMAKER|
THE RAINMAKER (Joseph Anthony, 1956) is one of Hepburn’s “spinster” films in which she plays an old maid who resists her family’s attempts to marry her off. Burt Lancaster co-stars. The Oscar for best leading actress that year went to Ingrid Bergman for ANASTASIA.
|with Rossano Brazzi in SUMMERTIME|
SUMMERTIME (David Lean, 1955) is another spinster role for Hepburn, but one rather more progressive than in THE RAINMAKER. She plays Jane Hudson, a single professional woman who finds romance while on holiday in Venice. This beautiful film by David Lean is romantic and thoughtful, but with its fair share of laughs, too. Co-stars Rossano Brazzi. Lean was nominated for best director, but lost to Delbert Mann for MARTY. Anna Magnani won leading actress for her role in THE ROSE TATTOO.
|with Humphrey Bogart in THE AFRICAN QUEEN|
THE AFRICAN QUEEN (John Huston, 1951): Hepburn plays a spinster again, the sister of a missionary in Africa who must join Humphrey Bogart on his boat in order to escape the Germans during WWI. This is considered one of Hepburn’s best performances, but the Academy Award that year went to Vivien Leigh for A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE.
|with Spencer Tracy in WOMAN OF THE YEAR|
WOMAN OF THE YEAR (George Cukor, 1942) was Hepburn’s first film with Spencer Tracy. It’s about a political journalist (Hepburn) and a sports journalist (Tracy) who fall in love and try to make a marriage between two professionals work. It’s not the most progressive feminist film Hepburn ever made, but it does attempt to address the “woman issue” directly. It was a big year for strong leading ladies with nominations for Bette Davis in NOW, VOYAGER, Rosalind Russell in MY SISTER EILEEN, and Teresa Wright in THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES. The win, however, went to the great Greer Garson for MRS. MINIVER.
|with Cary Grant and James Stewart in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY|
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (George Cukor, 1940) is often considered Hepburn’s greatest performance as the classic, intelligent, snobbish Tracy Lord. The film stars Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Ruth Hussey, Virginia Weidler, and a dozen other familiar faces. The film was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress (Ruth Hussey). James Stewart won for Best Actor, but Hepburn lost to Ginger Rogers in KITTY FOYLE.
|as ALICE ADAMS|
ALICE ADAMS (George Stevens, 1935) co-starred Fred MacMurray in this sweet story about a working class American girl who struggles to find romance and happiness in challenging circumstances. Hedda Hopper has a minor part and Hattie MacDaniel lends her talents to the role of the hired serving girl. Hepburn was very proud of this movie and was disappointed when she lost the Oscar to Bette Davis for DANGEROUS.