As every Oscarologist knows, academy voters adore actresses who play hookers. (And nuns, too, but that's another matter.)
Oscar's taste for tarts became a topic in a (unintentionally) funny game played in our forums when posters were challenged by our moderator Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch to "name 20 actresses (10 for lead, 10 for supporting) who have been nominated, but did not win, for playing prostitutes or 'loose' women."
Sure, lots of stars have won for portraying trollops, including Charlize Theron ("Monster"), Mira Sorvino ("Mighty Aphrodite"), Jane Fonda ("Klute"), Elizabeth Taylor ("Butterfield 8"), Shirley Jones ("Elmer Gantry"), Donna Reed ("From Here to Eternity"), Jo Van Fleet ("East of Eden"), Susan Hayward ("I Want to Live"), Claire Trevor ("Dead End"), Helen Hayes ("The Sin of Madelon Claudet").
Heck, the very first Academy Award for best actress in 1928 went to Janet Gaynor for one of three roles that included a sidewalk strumpet in "Street Angel."
But what about nominees?
At that first Oscar smackdown, Gaynor beat Gloria Swanson ("Sadie Thompson"). In later years in the lead race: Nicole Kidman ("Moulin Rouge"), Elizabeth Shue ("Leaving Las Vegas"), Julia Roberts ("Pretty Woman"), Julie Christie ("McCabe & Mrs Miller"), Melina Mercouri ("Never on Sunday"), Sharon Stone ("Casino"), Marsha Mason, ("Cinderella Liberty").
Two actresses were nominated twice for playing hookers, but got short-changed by voters both times: Greta Garbo ("Anna Christie," "Camille") and Shirley MacLaine ("Some Came Running," "Irma La Douce").
In supporting category, there were Jodie Foster ("Taxi Driver"), Jennifer Tilly ("Bullets Over Broadway"), Madeline Khan ("Blazing Saddles"), Gloria Grahame ("Crossfire"), Marjorie Rambeau ("The Primrose Path"), Claire Trevor ("Dead End").
Now here comes the funny part.
"Does porn star count?" poster "Baby Clyde" asks when weighing Julianne Moore's role in "Boogie Nights." Or what about Valerine Perrine in "Lenny"? She was really more of a stripper than a prostitute?
Shirley MacLaine sleeps around in "The Apartment," but is she really a call gal?
And what about Madeline Kahn in "Paper Moon"? At one point she beds a chap when she thinks he gave her a box of candy. Does that transaction count? It doesn't matter, insists DoubleD: "Madeline Kahn is definitely a prostitute in 'Paper Moon.' There's a scene midway through the film in which Trixie's maid (P.J. Johnson) clarifies this to Addie (Tatum O'Neal)."
See the forums thread, CLICK HERE. To maneuver through the section, click on the page numbers at the bottom or top.