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Team Top Ten: Women Who Deserve An Honorary Oscar

Amir here, to bring you this month’s Team Top Ten on a topic that remains one of our biggest collective pet peeves here at The Film Experience.

Every year when the Academy announces the list of recipients of the Honorary Oscar, we can expect only one thing: they will all be men. Sure, the odd woman wins the award here and there, but consider this: between 1993, when the honor was bestowed upon Deborah Kerr, until 2009, when Lauren Bacall shared the award with two men, not a single woman was deemed worthy of the biggest honor AMPAS has to offer. Apologists can point to the fact that men have run the industry at large since its inception. They would be right; the industry as a whole is equally at fault, if not more, but take a look at the list of women still awaiting their first statue – or *gasp* first nomination – and tell me they don’t deserve better than one golden man every sixteen years. If the drought is as depressingly long this time as it was between Kerr and Bacall, it can be 2025 before we see another lady take home an honorary Oscar!

Deborah Kerr in 1993 and Lauren Bacall in 2009 and a great chasm between them

We know all too well that complaining about the Academy’s decision doesn’t get us anywhere, but since we found recently that they do have a listening ear, we’ve decided to do our part and help them correct this injustice. Let’s give voters the benefit of the doubt and assume that all they really needed all these years was a list of suggestions. So, here is ours: the top ten women who most deserve an honorary Oscar, under the following three criteria: they need to be alive, above the age of 55 and Oscar-less.


[tie] 10. Marni Nixon
You may not know what Marni Nixon looks like, but I guarantee you know what she sounds like. If you've seen Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Secret Garden (1949), The King and I, An Affair to Remember, West Side Story, or My Fair Lady, you have heard Nixon's golden voice coming from the mouths of some of Hollywood's most legendary actresses. As if it isn't hard enough work to try to make your voice sound just like someone else's, in some instances Nixon had to do so in secret, the studios wanting to hide the dubbing from their big stars. Nixon's onscreen credits may number only in the single digits (her role as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music being the most famous by far), but had she actually performed the roles she dubbed onscreen, she would have had at least two Oscar nominations by now. She's an indelible part of film history, and she never received any onscreen credit for her most famous work. If that isn't cause to give someone an Honorary Oscar, then I don't know what is.
-Daniel Bayer

10 more legends to honor after the jump!  

[tie] 10. Jeanne Moreau
Sublimely melancholic in Louis Malle's one-two punch breakthrough (Elevator to the Gallows and The Lovers), irresistibly free-spirited and dangerously passionate in François Truffaut's masterpiece Jules et Jim, flamboyantly toxic in Jacques Demy's scintillating black diamond Bay of Angels, Jeanne Moreau stands as the female embodiment of one of the most influential movements in the history of cinema: the French new wave. Much like the groundbreaking works of the brash young directors who made her a star, her unconventional beauty defied preconceived standards, her brazen charisma and unpredictable stylings magnetized audiences around the world, while her singular choices (Antonioni, Welles, Losey, Buñuel, Fassbinder...) made her an eternal symbol of artistic freedom.
-Julien Kojfer


9. Mia Farrow
It takes more than fine acting to build the kind of enduring legacy that awards bodies were made to honor. The most enduring movie stars are those with that magic trifecta of inspired performances, uniquely storied celebrity, and the good luck to have appeared in (multiple) cinematic classics. On all three counts Mia Farrow is an inarguable winner. Even if she'd only had Rosemary's Baby she'd be worth honoring. Perhaps her decision to rarely venture outside Woody Allen's filmography for half her career dimmed the recollection of her extraordinary range within it (watch Alice, Broadway Danny Rose, and The Purple Rose of Cairo back to back and try to convince yourself it's the same actress!). 
-Nathaniel R.

8. Maureen O’Hara
Irish actress and singer, Maureen O'Hara, may never have received a single Oscar nomination during her film career which began in the 1930s at the age of 19 in films like Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn and The Hunchback of Notre Dame and continued into the 1990s with Only the Lonely opposite John Candy. Nor was she a larger-than-life movie-star whose legend grew over the years like a Marilyn Monroe or a Bette Davis. But, she was a singular beauty effortlessly able to cross genres (from Musicals to Westerns to Swashbucklers) and her motherly devotion in a pair of Family Films (the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street and as matriarch to Hayley Mills and...Hayley Mills in the original Parent Trap) is still beloved by multiple generations. But it is perhaps for her work with director John Ford (whom she worked with 5 times) that her real gifts as an actress were utilized. Playing tough yet warm Irish women in the Best Picture winner How Green Was My Valley and The Quiet Man with John Wayne (whom she also worked with 5 times), Ford brought out something in her that made her a legend in her own right--a fire within that burns as bright as the golden shine of an Honorary Oscar should to celebrate her remarkable career.
-Andrew Stewart 

7. Angela Lansbury
What makes one worthy of an Honorary Oscar? With the 18 (non winning) Emmy nominations and the five Tony Awards Angela Lansbury's place as a legend of the small screen and the stage would seem more assured than her place as a legend of the big-screen. But even in the face of Jessica Fletcher and Mrs. Lovett, Lansbury's place in the "greats" of movie history is assured. She's one of the few still active performers from the Golden Age of Hollywood and although she never reached the popularity level of her peers (damn those fair but unspectacular MGM films of the forties) her contribution to cinema is surely indelible. From her two early nominations by age 20, the overbearing mothers of the 50s, the singing witches of the 70s and the iconic voice-work of the 90s Angela's importance to cinema is evident. And that's not even counting her unfortunately less fêted (but still exemplary) work in films like The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and All Fall Down. Whether Honorary Oscars are created for excellent also-rans or illustrious non-winning careers Lansbury is deserving of the prize either way.
-Andrew Kendall


6. Doris Day
In her heyday, Doris Day was the biggest female screen star, regularly topping box-office charts and named the biggest star of the year on several occasions - she still ranks at #6 in the all-time charts. Those dollars only ever led her to one Oscar nomination - for the first of her Rock Hudson collaborations, Pillow Talk - despite earlier, defter performances in comedy, drama and musicals (head to Love Me or Leave Me first), the latter being the arena she's always been most famous for. The HFPA gave her their lifetime achievement prize all the way back in 1989, but despite continued campaigning (not from Day herself, wrapped up in animal welfare causes and happy retirement), AMPAS has never bitten. Day's cinematic reputation is rather faded these days, but almost any of her films, regardless of their individual quality, still demonstrates the warm charisma and vibrant individualism that made her such a star in her day.
-David Upton


5. Kathleen Kennedy
Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Sixth Sense, Back to the Future, Persepolis, Jurassic Park… I’m tempted to simply list producer Kathleen Kennedy’s credits here and call it a day, but then listing a dozen of the most popular films ever made would be scratching the surface. In terms of the most financially successful producers in history she is second only to Steven Spielberg, with whom she co-founded Amblin Entertainment. She has eight – count ‘em eight – Oscar nominations in the Best Picture category, stretching from ET to Lincoln, without a win. If that wasn’t enough she is currently slated to take over leadership of Lucasfilm from George himself. Do I need to go on? (I could) What are honorary Oscars for, if not to honor monumental careers like this one? The only reason not to is that she is still going so strong she would probably deserve a second honorary trophy a decade down the road.

- Michael C. 

4. Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve is called the Doyenne of French Cinema for a reason. There is of course Leslie Caron, Jeanne Moreau, Fanny Ardent and Isabelles Huppert and Adjani. All exemplary. But  Deneuve is  Deneuve. Her work is her life is her work. She’s a solid gold bona fide star; an actress, a singer, an icon with a magnetic presence. She adds 100% more robust glamour and sultry skill to all her films — whether with Buñuel, Vadim, Demy or Truffaut or countless other notable filmmakers. Hey, not too many internationally-renowned actresses can say they sang with Joe Cocker, dated Clint Eastwood, speak four languages and design greetings cards. Pretty busy and eclectic, eh, particularly for someone with 100+ film appearances over 50+ years and her face on every key fashion magazine since, like, year dot. At 69 she looks as remarkable as ever. At 69 she performs as magnificently as ever. Look at Belle de Jour, Repulsion, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Place Vendôme, Tristana and— after feeling the Denevue delirium — furrow your brow at her lack of an Oscar among her achievements. Then look at Un Flic, Hustle, The Hunger, The Last Metro, Ma saison préférée, Dancer in the Dark, 8 Women, Kings and Queen, Time Regained, Indochine and furrow your brow into infinity. Admittedly, she got a nomination for that last one. She won an Honorary Golden Palm from Cannes. At the very least she deserves an Honorary Oscar. Really, she deserves a couple.
-Craig Bloomfield

3. Gena Rowlands
When Tilda Swinton was asked if she thought about Gena Rowlands while filming her genius performance in Julia, she gave, as usual, the best possible answer: "Yes I was, but then again, I'm always thinking about Gena Rowlands."  It's bad enough when the Academy board passes over brilliant actresses every year for Honorary Oscar attention, but Rowlands is something else: the brilliant inventor of a whole kind of acting, blending Method intensity and preparation with freewheeling, extravagant, knife-edge improvisations that can be tragic, comic, or both.  If she "only" had her co-creations with Cassavetes to her name she'd already deserve a statuette or two.  When you add the frighteningly cold academics, the Depression-era chanteuses, the nurturers, the kooks, the villains, and the late-in-life romantics Rowlands has rendered so indelibly over the years, the bareness of her mantel is all the more staggering.  We all live under her influence, and are much the better for it.
- Nick Davis 

2. Agnes Varda
Being Jacques Demy's widow and muse should be enough to warrant Agnès Varda an Honorary Oscar but in a career that has spanned over five decades she has done much more than that. Part of the Rive Gauche film movement (the nouvelle vague's even more rebellious sibling) she created films that deal with mortality, time and a revised social realism. That she continues making movies well in her 80's should be proof of how committed she remains to her passion for the medium. Yet despite her achievements, she's remained strangely unknown outside a circle of devout cinephiles. When asked in an interview if she wanted to be famous she cleverly replied "No. I would like my films to be shown more".
-Jose Solis

1. Liv Ullmann
The triple-threat Ullmann is accomplished enough as a writer and director to merit attention, but it's as an actress that she's won most of her acclaim, and deservedly so. Merely limiting the conversation to her collaborations with Ingmar Bergman, for whom she was the most consistently great member of an impressively talented stock company, there are more than a few strong candidates for the title of best performance ever filmed: particularly the fiercely enigmatic Elisabeth of Persona, the insidiously childish Maria of Cries and Whispers, and the profoundly level-headed, complex depiction of an extraordinarily normal woman, Marianne, of Scenes from a Marriage. Broaden your perspective to include her great work for other world-class filmmakers, most notably Jan Troell, and you end up with a picture of a woman whose middle-level work is as exemplary as the highest career peaks of many truly wonderful actresses. Two Oscar nominations and no wins doesn't even begin to approach the level of acclaim she's earned.
-Tim Brayton



Due a mistake on my (Amir's) part, our ballot didn't go out to one of our contributors, Glenn Dunks, in time. Had his late vote counted, Claire Denis would have ranked tenth, breaking the current Marni Nixon and Jeanne Moreau tie. I promise a Denis retrospective in the future to make up for this error!


• The four women at the top of the list were head and shoulder above the rest in terms of point totals and within their ranks, Liv Ullmann was the clear favorite. There was never any doubt that Bergman’s muse would top the list, given that she appeared on all but three ballots, and topped four of them. 

• We’ve already established that readers are more protective of Glenn Close's legacy than Team Experience is. Yet again, she missed our cut when she seemed like a natural choice... but not by much this time! Here are our 13th to 20th suggestions: Glenn Close (actress), Juliet Taylor (casting director), Patricia Norris (costume designer), Emmanuelle Riva (actress), Eleanor Parker (actress), Debbie Reynolds (actress), Elaine May (writer/director/actress).

More Women We Love: Claire Denis and Glenn Close

• There are six Francophone ladies in the top 20, but that’s not where it ends. Danielle Darrieux, Chantal Akerman, Edith Scob and Isabelle Adjani all had their fans. Other non-English speakers we’d like Oscar to embrace are: Machiko Kyo, Lina Wertmueller, Fernanda Montenegro, Setsuko Hara, Gina Lollobrigida, Agnieszka Holland and Carmen Maura.

• Costumers and writer/directors aside, one of the things this poll really brought to light was the lack of lengthy careers for female talent behind the camera. This isn’t so much the fault of women as it is of an industry that doesn’t nurture their talents in these areas. Something is clearly broken when, despite our very best efforts to be open-minded, we could barely come up with anyone who met our criteria in almost all below the line aspect of cinema. Here’s hoping this situation changes in the next few decades.

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Reader Comments (76)

Lansbury would be No. 1 in my book. Glad to see you included Kathy Kennedy. Still sad she didn't finally win it for Lincoln last year, which would've been richly deserved and the perfect cap to her work with Spielberg before selling her soul, er, leaving to work with George Lucas.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Lansbury would've also topped my own list. Fantastic list of women though!

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Lansbury and Day top my list - no doubt.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBilly Held An Oscar

I never quite understood the Oprah Humanitarian Oscar when Mia Farrow has been really out there in the trenches 2-3times longer than Oprah - not garnering all the attention for herself but more focused on human rights. Her personal life is one of giving. an amazing human being. Bravo Mia. In terms of acting - Angela Lansbury from Manchurian Candidate to Mrs. Potts....a real gem. great post. all deserving. most of those you posted much more than Laurne Bacall.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjimmy

Bah, if they pick a woman, it'll be Maggie Smith, now with her current newfound buzz for everything she does. Only Maggie could play herself and win Emmys and almost get Oscar-nom'ned.

(not that she's not deserving).

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay


They're afraid of what she'll say on Twitter :P

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay

What Jimmy said.

Jay -- yeah. and Maggie already has two Oscars. But that's how they roll.

July 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

What's sad about this is that probably Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Michelle Pfeiffer and Glenn Close will never win one competitively and will never get at least an Honorary one.

And Doris Day and Angela Lansbury are my #1 choice. But my heart wants Gena and Mia to win one, too. What a filmography those two have.

P.S. - Meryl, Judi, Mirren and Maggie will probably get one eventually. Look at the Globes - they may even award Jodie Foster like'em.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

I'm sorry but I don't believe this award should be handed out to make up for women not winning Best Actress Oscars in their careers. Sorry. That's just stupid. I do think it should be done to acknowledge people who truly made a huge impact on movies in America. With that in mind - I think 2 people on the list above deserve recognition. Doris Day was one of the biggest stars in the history of movies - she had an entire genre pretty much named after her - and she was top box office for a decade, wasn't it? And Kathleen Kennedy has produced a truly remarkable collection of films - many of which will be favorites for years and years and certainly considered classics. Otherwise all these women are remarkable accomplished, successful actresses who weren't able to play the right role in the right film in the right year. That's part of what makes the whole shebang fascinating and emotionally involving.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

And Nicholson, DeNiro and Hoffman will probably win one sooner than all these ladies. Which is sad to think about.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

Agnès Varda! Agnès Varda! Agnès Varda! An awesome potato suit and 50 years of amazing filmmaking is s all I've got in ways of persuading the Academy for why she is brilliant. Oh, and did I mention that she is a feminist revolutionary? And that she is cooler than any of us can hope to be,in many ways? Did I mention (twice) the potato suit?

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

Thank you for adding Eleanor Parker to the list! Angela Lansbury, Doris Day, Maureen O'Hara and Parker are at the top of my list for obvious (age-related) reasons. But Rowlands, Moreau, Deneuve and Ullmann make a lot of sense.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

what? no nicole kidman? you've let me down, film experience youngsters...

but seriously- doris. day.

get on it, academy.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

I agree with all on the list but Doris Day should be first, a huge presence for in both film and music for decades what more do they require.

The first two that came to mind when I read the title aside from Doris were Eleanor Parker and Debbie Reynolds, a survivor if ever there was one and someone who has been involved with charities since the 50's.

I see Mia more in line for the Hersholt award, that one is supposed to be all about good works and that is a huge part of what Mia does and who she is.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

billybill - I don't think the Academy restricts itself to people who have made an impact on AMERICAN cinema, hence why we have (deserving) winners like Satyajit Ray and Federico Fellini.
As for the impact, I'd argue that both Agnes Varda and Liv Ullmann have been more important to the medium of cinema than Doris Day. As Nick suggests in his writeup, Gena Rowlands can also be argued for in that regard.

par3182 - Nicole Kidman is neither 55 nor Oscar-less, which were two of our three criteria.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Glenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn CloseGlenn Close

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I tend to agree with tough love Billy Bill. The honorary Oscar should be for clear legends or major philanthropists (ideally recipients are both). There is no makeup sex allowed in the world of acting Oscar. Sandra Bullock brilliantly threw Meryl under the bus repeatedly in public because she wanted to win. Liv Ullman is directing Jessica Chastain so she may be back. As a contender for director. Or not. If you want to win you must deliver and be willing to grab it.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHelen Sharp

This is a great list, with excellent texts. More of these posts please. ;-)

Dede Allen should have received an honorary Oscar before she passed away in 2010.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

My top three:
Angela Lansbury
Mia Farrow
Debbie Reynolds.

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

billybil -- i guess i dont fully understand how your argument does not support this list. These women made major contributions to film history. You dont have film history without the French New Wave. and you lose a TON of classics if you lose Ullman, Deneuve, O'Hara and Farrow. etcetera.

But even according to the Academy it's not only about "legends" which equates to fame, otherwise they would only give honorarys to men who were actors or directors since those are the two professions which make people famous in hollywood. but honorary oscars have gone to other fields as well. but i think the award has to be a mix of individual contributions to the craft, importance to popular cinematic culture, and a great filmography.

July 2, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'm genuinely interested in the debate of what warrants an Honorary Oscar though. I think Lansbury, who topped my list, manages to be worthy both as a make-up and as being a legend of the trade. And I'd say all the women though (even the ones I didn't vote for that made the eleven) are legitimate legend status except, maybe I'd quibble on Farrow - maybe?

Then, of course though, the question of what makes a legend comes up. I'm especially thrilled Maureen made this list, I always forget she never earned a competitive nomination and it's a shame she'll probably never earn an Honorary one in her lifetime either. True, she never reached Davis / Hepburn / Fonda / Streep status in the term of "legend" but I'd say she's indelible to film over the last century. One of her least "actorly" moments in MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, is still one of the most beautiful earnest Christmas performances I've seen.

Either way, though, more women for this prize, though.

(Also, I voted for Glenn Close.)

July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Seeing Setsuko Hara being only a footnote is sorta depressing, but the optimist in me thinks that the Great Gena has a shot an honorary O. Like Becall she's an amazing and initiative actor with decades of goodwill, legendary beauty and who just happened to be married to another icon of cinema who died before could their honorary

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJJ'sDiner

Doris Day and Lansbury are the two i would vote for.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Note: Sophia Loren received an honorary Oscar too, no?

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDan

I agree it should be about who made an impact on cinema ("American cinema" in relation to something such as this is a disgusting term for the modern age - haven't we moved on from America being the center of the universe, even if The Academy is indeed an American organisation? Cinema is GLOBAL), but that accounts of basically all of the women on the list.

I personally didn't include Angela Lansbury or Marni Nixon, but my knowledge of the former's cinema career is too small. And, I guess, for somebody who works as frequently as she does, an honourary Oscar probably doesn't mean all that much to her. Marni Nixon on the other hand, as nice as her story is, I don't really see as somebody deserving of an honourary Oscar. Great singer, yes, but put her in the roles she dubbed and who knows whether they'd be any good. They'd still have great soundtracks, sure, but... I dunno. It's a tricky one. I also feel strongly against a voice acting category. It just doesn't seem like much effort to be rewarded with an Oscar and I think it'd set a weird, dangerous precedent. "Oscars for anyone who spends a day in a recording booth! woo!" I dunno. It's tricky. :/

Alas, yes, I don't think you have a discussion about women who are important to the history of cinema as an artform and not include the likes of Agnes Varda, Liv Ullman, Gena Rowlands, Mia Farrow, Doris Day and so on. They actively improved the craft of filmmaking with their talents and their careers have ripple effects through time. My own list included Elaine May whose filmography is small and not entirely filled with classic masterpieces, but she's an iconic figure and like Lina Wertmuller, who was also on my list, a pioneer for female directors. Less heralded would be Claire Denis, somebody else from my list as Amir pointed out, and I was surprised to discover she's in her late '70s. If the Academy is serious about preserving film history then I think they could do far, far worse than awarding a trio of honourary Oscars to female directing and producing legends like Elaine May, Lina Wertmuller, and Kathleen Kennedy. Of course, that won't happen, but it'd be nice.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Dan, she did in 1991. So, before Kerr.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Sadly, I think the closest Glenn will get to an honorary Oscar is the one she presented to Kerr.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermatt

If I owned a hat, I would promise to eat it should AMPAS ever acknowledge the existence of Claire Denis, considering that even the major European festivals and the Césars have never given her anything and almost always ignore her work.

Also, where did you discover that Denis is in her late seventies, Glenn? According to IMDb, she's 65 (not that it would change her eligibility for this list).

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJan

I was a little surprised by the lack of support for Wertmueller. Did Guy Ritchie's Swept Away poison her by association or something? She was in my top 5.

If I had done the write up for Lansbury it would've gone like this...

Angela Lansbury: Manchurian Fucking Candidate (drops mic)

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

Deneuve was the first one that came to mind before I read the list, but I must say, this is the best top 10 list Team Experience has done. All are worthy. Bravo.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Doris Day- Rumor is she has actually refused to receive the honor.

Mia Farrow- YES!

Gena Rowlands

Deneuve/Moreau/Huppert- Either of these ladies getting one (Huppert not even nominated before) would make my day.

Agnes Varda- **NODS EMPHATICALLY** If she only made Cleo from 5 to 7, I would be on board with this.

Chantal Akerman- She definitely deserves to have one. There's not a better director on feminism.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

My number one would be Maureen O'Hara !! because she's never been nominated and that's much worse then if you at least have a nomination to your name. and Maureen fits the same reasons the lovely Myrna Loy received one.

Jeanne Moreau would be #2 for me for the same reasons.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLola

We all do realize that Meryl Streep will receive her honorary Oscar before any of these women, right?

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

NOT THAT I'M HATING ON MERYL, as she is deserving. I'm just saying.

As for this list, I fully endorse Angela Lansbury.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I would be inclined to place Doris Day in the #1 spot simply because she excelled at comedy, drama and musicals. She was the cinematic female face of the Fifties and Sixties.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPete

Of this list, I think Lansbury is the most likely to receive an Honorary Oscar. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me at all if it's within the next 5 years.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

what I like to see this year:

honorary oscars to max von sydow and liv ullman (bergman's goes to heaven!);
Irving J. Thalberg award to Kathleen Kennnedy;
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Vanessa Redgrave.

That's all folks! =)

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrendam

brendam - Oh man, Ullmann and von Sydow getting up there on the stage would be so dreamy. Not that the Academy even invites the winners on the stage anymore, but still...

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

I love how Nick defines Rowlands so perfectly with just a few words. The impact of her acting and the way she influenced a lot of actors that came after her was so intense and overwhelming would be enough to give her the honorary Oscar.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Troy H -- but why would Meryl be deserving of an Honorary ? (genuine question as she has already won 3... i'm wondering how people could possibly justify it though i'm still mega-confused by Sophia Loren's honorary given that 1 oscar was enough for that -- and most - careers)

sawyer -- agreed that Lansbury is most likely purely from a still very involved in the showbiz industry standpoint.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Nathaniel -- I should clarify by saying it would be understandable why the Academy would want to bestow here with one. It would be excessive in my opinion.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Tory H.- I fail to see that actually. It would be precisely the opposite of understandable if the Academy decided that a three time winner deserves an honorary Oscar too.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

Amir -- I agree, but it does seem like something the Academy would do.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I'm always in a state of perpetual suffocation whenever Glenn Close is being ignored.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

CMG: Chantal "Jeanne Dielman has NO reason to not be making a more honest living" Ackerman? Sorry, but why? Seriously: The ending is stupid for four reasons: First, we have to deal with the fact that the visual framing of the kill is badly chosen, next there's that, even IF we were to accept her choice of framing, the scene is under edited, giving the audience too low an amount of info to follow along. Penultimately, and most importantly, It opens up the can of worms of why she's working the job she's working. The kind of woman who doesn't have a pimp and who would kill someone she doesn't love over having an orgasm SHOULD NOT BE WORKING IN THE SEX TRADE. And she's supposed to be viewed as an intelligent feminist cinematic icon. Yeah, and I just so happen to know the Queen of England. Then, finally, it cuts away before she even says a word to her son. A movie that starts and ends without much in the way of drama is absolutely fine (see Flesh or other naturalistic films for that), but you can't introduce a big dramatic action like that and then refuse the audience ANYTHING in the way of resolution. Honestly? C+.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

It's funny but we Americans are so sure that OUR motion picture award should be the one to acknowledge international film achievements. We assume that if they don't get the "oscar" then they aren't being acknowledged sufficiently world wide. Crap on that, I say. Seriously this is an American award established to award films that play in America. Yes - I think it's wonderful when we acknowledge a brilliant foreign speaking actress who's film was released in America. But come on - Glenn I find your objection to my labeling the honory oscar as a way to acknowledge impact on American cinema silly and uninformed. I do believe the movie has to play in AMERICA for at least a week to qualify so to suddenly decide that our "Oscars" are a way to acknowledge worldwide impact in the cinema is self-reverential. For instance, there are a ton of really accomplished actresses in India who'se films never open here. Why aren't we scrambling to give them honorary Oscars? Because their films didn't play in America.

Seriously guys - I know we all worship the Oscars (I have for many years) but can't we get over outselves a little. Especially when we're sitting around wanting to dole out "make up" oscars to those women who just never won one? Isn't it sort of insulting to those that haven't - really? I mean it's a contest which reflects specific years and specific moments. The fact that Liv Ullmann has never one an Oscar in a competitive race doesn't even begin to reflect on her brilliance and accomplishments. I mean, every year there are incredible thoroughbreds who almost win the triple crown - now you want to go back and give them honorary triple crowns because they didn't get one in their year? I hate that. Besides I think it begins to sully the Oscars that were won. They're really tough to get and sometimes you go a whole career with lots of nominations but never manage to win the award. That's hard - that's disappointing - MAYBE - but let's not go crazy. I want to believe that every one of these incredibly successful and accomplished women are cool with the way their lives have gone.

Angela Lansbury??? Seriously? What the fuck impact has she seriously had in the movies? Sure she's an icon - on BROADWAY and on TELEVISION but now wer're going to give her an honoray Oscar?!! Mia Farrow?!?! Except for being Woody Allen's leading muse for a few wonderful years, is she really such an icon? Maureen O'Hara? How many really special movies did she make? Sure she was amazing in them but really? How many years was she a star? I believe Gena Rowlands is one of the most amazing actresses we've ever had. Her performance in A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE blows me away every time I see it. But, again, how many movies has she made that were truly important films? She's a brilliant actress but if we insist on giving honoary Oscars to every brilliant actress there is - can't you see how ridiculous this is gonna be? And where do you draw the line? I guess we'll definitely be giving Laura Linney and Joan Allen and Emily Watson honory Oscars soon. It's just crazy.

I can maybe see a rule that says - if you're nominated for 6 or more Oscars and never won, then we'll give you an honorary one (like they did for Kerr) (and this would guarantee Glenn Close one) but when do you decide to award it? When they're really old or the year after they lost their sixth try? But at least that makes some sort of sense. Of course none of the women on this list come anywhere close to that requirement. Some have never even been nominated for one.

As a way to list and discuss favorites actresses who people feel need special recognition, then it's fine but an Honorary Oscar is not the appropriate recognition in my opinion. Mia Farrow?!?!?!?!?

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

I think my favorite honorary Oscar for an actress went to Myrna Loy. That was so great. Greta Garbo should definitely have gotten one too, but they probably didn't award her one because she wouldn't show up for the ceremony.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy


Three given a three film reason from your question marks

Farrow: Rosemary's, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Radio Days
Lansbury: Gaslight, The Manchurian Candidate, (maybe) Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Rowlands: A Woman Under the Influence (natch, being so titanic ON IT'S OWN that she kind of deserves it, Opening Night, Love Streams

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Not sure where the lists came from, but I would absolutely put Doris Day at the top of the list. Her impact was inarguably the largest on this list in the only thing that really matters in Hollywood, i.e. cold hard cash. ;-) (Okay, besides Kathleen Kennedy who is still in the running for a competitive Oscar, so too soon).

I personally don't think it matters if Doris refused an honor (which tale I find suspicious). I think she might refuse to show up which is quite different. And if there is some sort of unknown rule about needing to show up, then give her the humanitarian award. Animals aren't humans sure, but they're part of the human experience. Come on people. Money, popularity, talent, old age and good works? What more do you need?

They should be giving out one of these a year. What is the Academy thinking? That by only giving one every 20 years it makes it that much better? How cheap can you get.

Doris Day -- the obvious choice for me.

Rumor has it that she's been approached to be so honored, but has refused because it would, in part, require her to attend the Oscar ceremonies, which she is disinclined to do.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

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