Best Actress Rewind: 1959

Elizabeth Taylor … Suddenly, Last Summer

Best Actress Rewind is back! Oscar-watcher Matt Mazur challenges the Academy's choices in his favorite category, comparing the Academy nominees with his own (frequently better) nominees!

Oscar Nominees:

Doris Day ... Pillow Talk

Audrey Hepburn ... The Nun's Story

Katharine Hepburn ... Suddenly, Last Summer

Simone Signoret ... Room at the Top

Elizabeth Taylor ... Suddenly, Last Summer

Mazur Nominees:

Dorothy Dandridge … Porgy and Bess


Marilyn Monroe … Some Like it Hot


Simone Signoret … Room at the Top


Elizabeth Taylor … Suddenly, Last Summer


Lana Turner … Imitation of Life


Oscar Winner: Simone Signoret took top honors for her blowsy, strong portrait of a middle-aged woman in a doomed affair with a younger man. The French actress bested some seriously iconic American actresses, including two Hepburns, Doris Day in her single Oscar bid, and Taylor, who was on a very hot streak during this period. Signoret was poignant in the drama, and it is tough to not endorse her win, but this was a very competitive year in which there were several deserving choices, including several other Hollywood legends who weren't even nominated.

Mazur Winner: After delivering one of the most sexy screen performances of all-time the in a Tennessee Williams classic, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), legend Elizabeth Taylor did something amazing: she gave an even more incredible performance in another Williams piece the very next year in Suddenly, Last Summer. Taylor knew her way around a Williams story and shined the brightest when speaking his language. This tale of homosexuality, mental illness, money, and cannibalism was, unsurprisingly, a box office hit, but it is also one of Taylor's best moments as an actress.

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