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Meryl Streep sets new record with 16th Oscar nomination

February 2, 2010 |  5:50 am
Meryl Streep Julie and Julia

Meryl Streep's nomination for "Julie & Julia" increases her Oscar record to 16, putting her even further ahead of Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson (both at 12). Though Hepburn won four lead-actress Oscars and Nicholson a pair of lead-actor Academy Awards as well as a supporting one, Streep has just one lead Oscar and a supporting prize to show for all her nominations.

Though Streep just broke Hepburn's record of an even dozen nods in the lead-actress race, she should take inspiration from Hepburn's Oscar history. Hepburn won her first Oscar bid, for "Morning Glory" in 1933, but she lost her next eight Oscar races. It was only after Hepburn turned 60 in 1967 -- the age Streep is now -- that she prevailed again with nod No. 10 for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Hepburn credited that win as a way for the academy to honor her late love and frequent costar Spencer Tracy, who had died just days after finishing "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

The following year, Hepburn won again for "The Lion in Winter," becoming the first repeat champ since Tracy pulled off that feat in 1937 ("Captains Courageous") and 1938 ("Boys Town"). Hepburn shared the prize with Hollywood newcomer Barbra Streisand ("Funny Girl"). And in 1981, Hepburn collected her record fourth Oscar for "On Golden Pond." Among her competition in that race -- Meryl Streep contending with her first lead nod for "The French Lieutenant's Woman."

Streep won the lead actress Oscar the following year for "Sophie's Choice." Her lead losses since then are as follows: "Silkwood" (1983) to Shirley MacLaine ("Terms of Endearment"); "Out of Africa" (1985) to Geraldine Page ("The Trip to Bountiful"); "Ironweed" (1987) to Cher ("Moonstruck"); "A Cry in the Dark" (1988) to Jodie Foster ("The Accused"); "Postcards From the Edge" (1990) to  Kathy Bates ("Misery"); "The Bridges of Madison County" (1995) to Susan Sarandon ("Dead Man Walking"); "One True Thing" (1998) to Gwyneth Paltrow ("Shakespeare in Love"); "Music of the Heart" (1999) to Hilary Swank ("Boys Don't Cry"); "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006) to Helen Mirren ("The Queen"); and "Doubt" (2008) to Kate Winslet ("The Reader").

Streep was 30 when she won her first Oscar -- a supporting award for "Kramer vs. Kramer." She lost her first supporting bid -- "The Deer Hunter" (1978) --  to Maggie Smith ("California Suite") and her most recent supporting nod -- "Adaptation" (2002) -- to Catherine Zeta-Jones ("Chicago").

If Streep wins on March 7, it will be 27 years since her previous victory. The longest time span between two victories was 38 years, a record set by Helen Hayes: lead actress for "The Sin of Madelon Claudet" (1932) and supporting actress for "Airport" (1970).

If Streep claims a third Oscar, she'll be tied with three other stars for having the second-most wins for performance: Nicholson ("As Good as It Gets," 1997; "Terms of Endearment," 1983; "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," 1975), Ingrid Bergman ("Murder on the Orient Express," 1974; "Anastasia," 1956; "Gaslight," 1944) and Walter Brennan ("The Westerner," 1940; "Kentucky," 1938; "Come and Get It," 1936).


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Photo: Meryl Streep in a scene from "Julie & Julia." Credit: Columbia

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The comments to this entry are closed.


if meryl does not win it is an outrage. can't help but to notice that it is mentioned that she is "over the top" and "full of herself"...for all the credit she should give herself, she is modest! she is the best actress alive, based on my opinion and statistically! and streep has never spoken a sour word about being nominated so many times and only winning twice, instead of ranting and raving like a lunatic, because the woman has class. so all you haters, read up on your facts before you make negative feedback at this oh-so-worthy actress

Meryl Streep deserves to win but she's not going to. Unfortunately Bullock is going to win which is not right because The Blind Side is nothing but cheesy melodrama (at least in my opinion). Streep's performance was very good, she's so natural that you almost forget she's acting. There is still a little bit of hope though (but no much)...

Brilliant comment Kevin! I agree with you in every way!
If Meryl doesn't get Oscar it will be a joke and Academy will show what we could think about them!
Meryl deserves Oscar, because of her fantastic role in ,,J&J'' and because of her up 30 years work! How could anybody put Meryl and Sandra in the same category. I like Sandra and I think she's good actress, but comparing her to Meryl Streep is absurdity.

Brilliant comment Kevin! I agree with you in every way.
Meryl deserves for 3rd Oscar, because of her role in ,,J&J'' and because of her up 30 years work! Meryl is a Queen, how could ANYBODY compare her with Sandra!

Meryl deserved to win for the following:

Out of Africa
A Cry in the Dark
The Bridges of Madison County (The best performance of the 90s by any actress)
The Manchurian Candidate (which she wasn't even nominated for)
The Devil Wears Prada (although for supporting actress, not leading)

—she did not win for Out of Africa because it was Geraldine Page time to win (she was a great actress who had never won an oscar)
—she did not win for A Cry in the Dark because it was Jodi Foster's time to win (people oohed and awed over Jodi getting raped on a freaking pinball machine and forgot about her bad wig, accent and mediocre performance)
—she did not win for Bridges of Madison County because it was Susan Surandon's time to win (Susan Surandon basically played herself. We are all told what a great actress Susan is, but the woman cannot do true character roles to save her life.)
— she did not win for Doubt because it was Kate Winslet's time to win (I like Kate Winslet, but all she did was take off her clothes and play dumb.)
—she wasn't even nominated for Manchurian Candidate because people were sick of her
—she did not win for the Devil Wears Prada because it was Helen Mirrens time to win and she was also nominated in the wrong category. (People seem to remember Meryl's performance and forget Mirrens.)

This year Meryl gave the best performance, but you know what? Now, it's Sandra Bullock's time to win for a performance that should not even been nominated. I mean does Hollywood or these critics who are handing Bullock these accolades think that everyone is stupid? You would think they would have some self-respect. Don't they know they are also being judged for their decisions. No one really believes that Sandra Bullock gave the best performance this year, and if they do, they should not be voting on these awards.

Who cares if Meryl has already won two oscars? I thought that the academy was suppose to actually vote on the performances—not hand out charity.

to meryl streep fans,

its understandable how frustrated you are about ms. streep's predicament and all (especially that the momentum is now with the bullock train), but it is really annoying when you say bad things about ms. bullock and her work just to make a point that ms streep should win this. give ms. congeniality a break.

take the gold and shove it!

I would love to see Meryl win this year. I like Sandra too but just because Sandra won the SAG award doesn't automatically mean she wins the Oscar. I remember Renee Zellwegger won the SAG actress for Chicago but lost the Oscar to Nicole Kidman for the Hours. Kate Winslet didn't win the SAG for best actress last year either. Meryl won the SAG. Kate won the Oscar. I'm sure there has been a few other times that has happened as well. Anyway Meryl has proven time and time again that she can deliver.

If they keep giving Meryl's Oscar to "the other person" just because...I would stop watching the Oscars forever, even if they award her, her well deserved hardware afterwards. I still won't watch it. I am just sick and tired of this endless charade.

History is serious business...and giving people awards posthumously means, you're just relieving your own conscience after having robbed someone OF A WELL DESERVED SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT after all they did AND MEANT to the rest of the world.

Meryl Streep is the one who keep a lot of us believing in what an onscreen performance can bring to those who would like to know what it would be like to be someone that we're not, experience something that is real and important and needs vent, then she steps away in real life and she is a real person and adorable to boot. We her fans appreciate that.

I wish Meryl a long life because those who vote in the Oscars seem to be spending too much time doing anything else but honoring the arts and those in it who have really made a difference in the world and I do want her to know that we really do appreciate her and are very grateful for her genious.

As one of her many fans, we who range from ages 13 years and younger to 113 years old, as one of the new generations of fans who have recently discovered Le Streep, we honor you, woman, and we award you, as you so well deserve, Your Royal Streepness, the first ever award for consistently and exceptionally achieving unmatched excellence in the field of acting, The Oscar of Oscars, or more aptly named, The Streep Award,which shall from henseforth remain exclusive to be given out in the future to only those who have equalled and/or surpassed your efforts, your gift to the world, your genious, and your humility in honoring love, family, friends and life above it all.

If there is any justice at the Academy, they should give Streep the Oscar. But I think there is no justice at all. It`s just money, which rules the Academy. A few weeks ago everyone said it`s Meryl Streeps year. Now, suddenly it´s Bullocks year. Since they announced her film passes the 200 million dollar. I have nothing against Bullock, but if you are honest: was she better than Mulligan, Sidibe, Mirren or Streep?
Tom and Pete, don`t say Streep can win next year. If you are honest than you have to judge over the acting not if someone has "the momentum". In my opinion there will be surprises at the Oscars. I´m not sure that Bridges will win. You said he is overdue. The same thing is with Streep. And his film isn`t nominated either.
The Academy can not longer overlook the fact that Streep is many times nominated. I personally thing she will win. By the way, is it really an honor for an actress to be nominated so many times without any win? You taken her for granted and I have the feeling, Tom and Pete, you dismiss her.

Sandra Bullock set a new record too: She won Best and WORST Lead-Actress nominations, both in the same year ... remarkable! Please, be serious, let her have the Razzie and give the Oscar to a more deserving performance.

If Sandra Bullock wins an OSCAR for that sappy, predicatable performance it will prove the Academy is just as irrelevant as the Golden Globes by awarding people on the basis of popularity over talent. On her best day Bullock can't equal Streep's or Mirren's most mediocre performances. I actually like Bullock as a movie star, but she is not Oscar material. Please Academy voters, don't denigrate your organization by falling prey to the buzz that it's somehow 'Bullock's turn.' Uphold the standard of excellence you're known for.

I so want Meryl to win again. Another year for another film. To win for THIS film would A) be insulting to her immense talents, and B) rob her in the future of winning for an actual WORTHY film because she already got something recently.

Better to be patient and honor her for something like A Cry in the Dark rather than something so, well, just plain awful.

That said, I'm in the anybody-but-Bullock camp. Even if it means awarding Meryl for something as horrid as Julie & Julia.

Congrats to all the nominees. I do have to say that it's pretty maddening that we're all of a sudden supposed to bestow an Oscar on Sandra Bullock because she suddenly decided to take her craft seriously after decades of doing goofy crap. Bullock has a likeable and often charming screen persona, but just because she turned in a decent performance doesn't put her in the league with Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren. And in my opinion, her performance in 'The Blind Side' isn't anywhere near as good as what Mulligan or Sidibe did. Doing a fun movie now and then is fine, but Bullock sold out time and time again to make money and win People's Choice awards. I hope Oscar voters can look past this and give the award to any of the other deserving nominees. If I were voting, I'd go with Streep who brought such a joie de vivre to Julia Child. But I would also love it if Sidibe won.

Meryl: the best actress in the world. Mirren, Mulligan and Sidibe, great performances. Bullock,an horrible actress who give a mediocre performances years after years

beauty queen you are an idiot! to call a beautiful, elegant woman like Meryl a cow is typical of you shallow Sandra fans, all blinded by youth, popularity and box office cash. go to hell.

that being said, I am afraid that the Best Picture nom for The Blind Side and no other noms for Julie & Julia means the momentum is with Sandra this year and she can't be stopped. ugh!

I believe the record for both nominations and wins belongs to Edith Head.

Tom and Pete, Meryl Streep will win. She gave a great performance in Julie&Julia. I think the Academy should vote for the best performance and not because of someone who makes a lot of money with a movie.
Otherwise, please explain to me why the Academy voted last year for Kate Winslet? There were also the thing about Kate Winslet that "she deserves the Oscar after losing so many times"! Meryl Streep gave 13 chances to other actresses to win an Oscar. And don`t say the phrase "she can win next year"! I´m tired of this sentence. Meryl Streep will take a break and maybe for the next 2 years there won`t be an Oscarnomination. Tom and Pete, I have the feeling that you dismiss Meryl Streeps acting.Slowly but surely it is getting ridicoulos if the Academy is nominating Streep all the time and she doesn`t win. She is taking for granted and that is her problem with the Academy and Journalists.
Seriously, Sandra Bullock over Streep? This is absurd! And if you are talking about the best picture "blind Side", don`t forget there are a lot of actors and actresses in the past who had won an Oscar without an nomination for their film! Look for example at Marion Cotillard.

I really do think she has a good chance on winning this year...Kate Winslet was way overdue last year - so it wasn't surprising she won it. Sandra is not overdue.
While Meryl really is.
And I've heard she said she would take a break after the whole "there's always next year!" arguments won't be very likely to happen.

She does deserve another Oscar, so we'll just wait and see! Hopefully the Academy realises she's overdue as well.

Of all the years hoping I would see Meryl Streep win an Academy Award and having seen (or read) that she lost to CZJ, Paltrow and Cher I never thought I would see the day where it was being discussed as to whether Sandra Bullock or Meryl Streep would win the Best Actress Oscar... My word.
Arguably the greatest actress ever she has not won in a generation (mine) and now the Rom-Com Queen seems ready to usurp her!

If anyone else, Bullock included, had pulled off Cry In The Dark, Bridge of Madison County, Adaptation, to name just 3, they would have won hands down. It is so sad that over the years people have become almost numb to Streep's fabulous performances to the point that they actually say things along the lines of 'Oh, yeah, Meryl's nominated but she's always great... Anyway who else is in there?'.

So consistency at that high a level is not to be rewarded, no? To be nominated essentially every other year of her career since her first nomination 32 years ago but to let her lose for her last 11 nominations or 27 years is normal practice? Or is it a nomination every 18months techincally...? That is a career to die for but i's not rewarded with the top top award for getting on for 3 decades!

To gloss over Streep's uncomprising career because a 30-something actress gave their first good turn in a "real" film and hasn't been seen since in the same way (Roberts, Zellwagger, Jones, Witherspoon and I suspect Bullock I am looking at you) is questionable behaviour to say the least.

The only thing that used to make me feel less sad about it was that I thought Streep might be past the award winning thrill. But anyone can see from the SAG win last year and from her recent GG successes that she does still enjoy the thrill and the recognition and that of course it does mean something to win it.

Of course Streep arguably didn't give the best actress performance of the year. Is that Cornish? Mulligan? Sidibe? It's all subjective (and rarely judged that way anyway!) but right now it is a 2 horse race between Bullock and Streep. I hope come Oscar night Streep is up on that stage remebering what a absolute thrill it is to win an Oscar and be recognised. Even if it is the "over due" factor that does it for her. Hell, she's been a victim of it more than a benefitor more than enough times.


Woo woo woo, slow down, girl!
You dare to attack Meryl's brilliant work in Angels in America? Seriously?
You must be insane.

Meryl Streep can do whatever she like to. Period.

Well, she might have lost her frontrunner status, she might not win her third this year... But I still refuse to give up hope for a miracle until the name is spelled out of the envelop on March 7th.

Anyway, I congratz her to her 16. nomination!
NOONE is gonna beat that, as long as she lives!

And she will, third Oscar or not, ALWAYS be the BEST actress of the world!^^

If Meryl loses to the likes of SANDRA BULLOCK this year I will be absolutely horrified. I don't know what I'll do. I've put up with a lot of Academy b.s. in the past decade but this is just ridiculous. Meryl Streep is the finest actress of our time and the fact that she's even head to head with Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side of all films is mind boggling to me. People have said that Meryl shouldn't win for J&J because it's not her best but is Sandra Bulllock for The Blind Side a better alternative? Really? She shouldn't be given a statuette because she's had a "good year". I love the Oscars but this just sickens me.

In one of her best performances (Ironweed) she lost to Cher.
I still can't figure that one out. Then to Paltrow & Winslet. Meryl Streep so deserves the Oscar this year. As for Bullock? can't be serious, she should not be in this or any other catagory.

IMHO Streep is an over-rated cow, waaaayyyy too full of herself. I'm sick of everyone mooning over her acting ability. She's good, no doubt, but she knows it - and that sickens me.

While you're all busy praising her every belch, does anyone dare mention the travesty she made of Mamma Mia!, or that RIDICULOUS Jewish male rabbi caricature she portrayed in HBO's Angels in America? Sometimes her audacity to play roles that she just plain shouldn't is her own undoing. What's next? Is she going to appear as a high school sophomore in the next Twilight movie? Tracey Ullman she ain't.

While I agree that at times she can be brilliant, at other times she's so over the top I could just puke.

That said, let her win if she deserves it. While I don't dislike Sandra Bullock as some others here seem to, I also don't think her performance was so extraordinary that it deserves an Oscar.

(As an aside, I do hope to see Bullock grow even more beyond this point... )

Jolene I think you're right...Meryl is a victim of her own brillance....I mean really...27 years and she hasn't deserved another Oscar in all that time....The up side is that this is Bullocks first nomination and she's know as a comedic actress...if you can call it that....and I'm not sure if the academy voters will steal the rediculously overdue Oscar from Meryl to give it to of all people Sandra Bullock. Meryl is the sentimental favorite here....WAY OVERDUE.....In all honesty I wasn't thrilled last year when Kate Winslet beat Meryl but at least Kate is a REAL actress.

It's absolutely criminal if Streep does not win the Oscar this year. People need to stop saying "oh, there's next year." Streep is a victim of her own brilliance and it looks like she will just continue losing to mediocre performances.




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