Oscar-watcher Matt Mazur dips into the history of this category and compares the Academy nominees with his own (frequently better) nominees!
Katharine Hepburn ... The Lion in Winter
Patricia Neal ... The Subject was Roses
Vanessa Redgrave ... Isadora
Barbra Streisand ... Funny Girl
Joanne Woodward ... Rachel, Rachel
Stephane Audran … Les Biches
Mia Farrow … Rosemary’s Baby
Liv Ullmann … Shame
Tuesday Weld … Pretty Poison
Joanne Woodward … Rachel, Rachel
Oscar Winner: Academy voters decreed the single tie in the Best Actress category, ever: Hepburn and Streisand both took home the gold, in a shocking twist. In an even more shocking twist, voters didn't bother to opt for the best of nominees, but for sheer star power.
Mazur Winner: Though a strong case can be made for Farrow, Ullmann or Weld as winners, this year belongs to Mrs. Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, directed lovingly by her husband in Rachel, Rachel. Playing a stock character type -- the small town spinster with one last chance at love -- Woodward defies all conventional wisdom about this kind of woman and plays Rachel with acerbic wit, cautious optimism and deeply-felt warmth. The complexity of the character is perfectly represented by the actress, and fearlessly played.