Will 'SVU' be good luck charm for Ann-Margret at Emmys?
Ann-Margret might finally nab the Emmy that has eluded her five times with her guest actress bid for "Law & Order: SVU." Over the years, guest actresses on this procedural drama have garnered 14 Emmy nominations resulting in four wins: Amanda Plummer (2005) and the last three years in a row -- Leslie Caron (2007), Cynthia Nixon (2008) and Ellen Burstyn (2009). With that victory, Burstyn became the 18th performer to win the acting triple crown of Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards.
Ann-Margret has contended for lead actress in a movie or mini-series four times and supporting once but has always gone home empty-handed. She was nominated for the first time in 1983 for her performance as a dying woman in "Who Will Love My Children?" but was bested by Barbara Stanwyck for "The Thorn Birds." That gracious Hollywood legend acknowledged the younger woman's work in her heartfelt acceptance speech. (That also marked the first of 18 Emmy bids for Angela Lansbury, who was nominated for "Little Gloria ... Happy at Last.")
The following year Ann-Margret wowed critics with her performance as Blanche duBois in "A Streetcar Named Desire" but she lost the Emmy to Jane Fonda in "The Dollmaker." In 1987, she was back in the hunt for her performance as a gold digger in "The Two Mrs. Grenvilles" but was edged by Gena Rowlands in "The Betty Ford Story."
In 1994, Ann-Margret was nominated in the supporting category for "Queen: The Story of an American Family" but lost to Mary Tyler Moore for "Stolen Babies." Most recently, she contended in 1999 for the title role in "Life of the Party: The Pamela Harriman Story" but was bested by Helen Mirren for "The Passion of Ayn Rand."
This year, the red-headed dynamo reaped her sixth Emmy bid for playing a faded star caught up in an unsolved criminal case. Among her competition for the guest actress Emmy are two Oscar champs -- Sissy Spacek ("Coalminer's Daughter") for an arc on "Big Love" and Shirley Jones ("Elmer Gantry") for "The Cleaner" -- as well as Tony and Emmy winner Lily Tomlin for her arc on "Damages," Emmy champ Mary Kay Place for her work on "Big Love" and Elizabeth Mitchell for reprising her regular role on "Lost."
Photo: Ann-Margret in "Law & Order: SVU." Credit: NBC.