Oscar History

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« Tribeca: Do You Hear What You Hear | Main | Tony Award Noms 2014: Much Movie-to-Stage Madness »

Curio: Michelle Pfeiffer Turns 56

Alexa here. Like Nathaniel I adore Michelle Pfeiffer and can't pass up the chance to mention that she is turning 56 today. Oh if only she were as ubiquitous a presence during awards season as Meryl Streep, with all the plum non-ingenue roles going her way!  Whether it be a lack of willingness or opportunity, the sightings are far too infrequent.

Here are some curios to wax nostalgic over her heyday; if only we could conjure her a brilliant third act.

Altered Barbie, seen here. Always and forever the only Catwoman (no offense Anne).

Inspirational teachers comic featuring Dangerous Minds, available here.

 Vintage Scarface poster image with an unnecessarily enhanced Michelle, available here.


The most recent addition to my LP library. Love this one SO MUCH.


Note to self: must craft up Michelle's Grease 2 costume for Christmas next year.

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Reader Comments (20)

As I brace myself for an onslaught of hate from angry Pfans, I'm just wondering if anyone else thinks she's overrated? And that Jessica Tandy totally deserved that Oscar.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Jessica Tandy > Michelle Pfeiffer

There, I said it...


April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaloma

Nat,try and do this on her b/day and test your fandom take away all of Michelle's oscar nominations 2 in Actress and 1 in Supporting and give them back to her for 3 other performances 2 in Actress and 1 in Supporting.

I'd choose

Supporting for White Oleander and Actress for A thousand acres and Cheri

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

Oh and Todd Haynes cast her in your next film.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

mark: I'd guess, if he HAD to change all three (he actually really likes her work in The Fabulous Baker Boys), his would be Lead Actress becoming Batman Returns and either Cheri or Married to the Mob and Supporting Actress becoming White Oleander.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Joe & Paloma -- you are both crazy. Susie Diamond is one of the great creations of that entire decade. Driving Miss Daisy is just kind of a "good" performance.

mark -- why would i do that when she deserved SO MUCH MORE than she ever got.

if i ran the world this would be her Oscar history

1983 Scarface (nomination)
1988 Dangerous Liaisons (nomination)
1989 Fabulous Baker Boys (win)
1992 Batman Returns (win)
2002 White Oleander (win)

the rest is debatable but those are the five essential nominations so her Oscar record should be 5/3 not 3/0

April 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

To Michelle on your 56th birthday my wish to you is Paul Thomas Anderson writing you a jolting to the senses role that is reminiscent of Kristin Scott Thomas in Only God Forgives. Now break free of your old habit of rejecting auteur solicitations and accept. Because in the end you'll sweep award season. And to see you on the podium outshining every trophy in your hand would be luminous.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Who here speaks ill of the Tandy?


April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Wait, are Madonna and Michelle Pfeiffer the same age? Awesome!

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

"For the plum role of Susie Diamond, actresses such as Madonna, Debra Winger, Brooke Shields, Jodie Foster and Jennifer Jason Leigh were considered.[6] Madonna was highly critical of the finished picture, calling it "too mushy." The role eventually went to Michelle Pfeiffer "

I did not know this!

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSilencio

peggy sue -- yes, 1958 was a very very good vintage. Also Holly Hunter, Annette Bening, Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Stone, Jamie Lee Curtis, Miranda Richardson, Bebe Neuwirth.

parents made great girl babies that year

April 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Joe - "Overrated" where? TFE is practically the only place I see mention of her anymore.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Nathaniel -- That Peggy Sue is not me. I know my shit regarding Pfeiffer and Madonna.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I love Michelle Pfeiffer, and she has not gotten enough recognition for her performances. She should have won for Fabulous Baker Boys

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachele

I'd add a nomination for The Age of Innocence (1993) to your list, Nathaniel.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

What a waste. Michelle had such a great run in the late 80's and early 90's. Hollywood does not know what to do with women over 40, let alone 50. There also seems to be an unwritten rule for women that your movie must make money or get an Oscar nomination, otherwise there is little chance of you getting a part. So if it's over 40, they go to the same players (Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Juliannne Moore) and then they go even older (Meryl Streep, Judi Dench). Michelle needs a great part but I don't know that she is even offered them anymore. Sad. She should self-produce because I am sure that people would love to work with her and see her excel again.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Carter

Nathaniel, you forgot another 1958 baby -- Angela Bassett.

Pfeiffer should have been nominated for both "Batman Returns" and "White Oleander" without question. As much as I love Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Chicago," I would have loved even more to see Pfeiffer take that award.

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

I love Pfeiffer as much as anyone (even Nathaniel) but I think these days she's just playing it safe...she is too keen on being the "superstar" to take on risky roles. I'd love to see her in a Todd Haynes or Paul Thomas Anderson film (as has been mentioned), but she doesn't step outside her comfort zone anymore. While I agree that roles for women slow down over the age of 40 or 50, she would still be one of the few actresses in those age brackets that would be at the top of any director's wish list. It is up to her to get back to work and do something different

April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRich

I loved when she told James Lipton that she took the "White Oleander" role because "I understood every woman in that book ... except her."

I loved the hell out of Batman Returns as a kid. I watched it recently and Pfeiffer's scenes in it are really the only ones that hold up (still great fun to watch for the set design, though).

April 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjakey

3 wins for her? What??? LOL!

April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe34

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