Best Actress Academy Award Nominees of the 1950'sby HarlowMGM | created - 03 Apr 2012 | updated - 03 Apr 2012 | Public
Actress | The Lion in Winter
Born May 12, 1907 in Hartford, Connecticut, she was the daughter of a doctor and a suffragette, both of whom always encouraged her to speak her mind, develop it fully, and exercise her body to its full potential. An athletic tomboy as a child, she was also very close to her brother, Tom, and was ...
Four nominations: The African Queen (1951), Summertime (1955), The Rainmaker (1956), Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
2. Deborah Kerr
Actress | The King and I
Deborah Kerr was born on 30 September 1921 in Helensburgh, Scotland, the daughter of Captain Arthur Kerr-Trimmer. She was educated at Northumberland House, Clifton, Bristol. She first performed at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park, London. She subsequently performed with the Oxford Repertory ...
Four nominations: From Here to Eternity (1953), The King and I (1956), Heaven Knows Mr Allison (1957), Separate Tables (1958)
Actress | I Want to Live!
Susan Hayward was born Edythe Marrener in Brooklyn, New York, on June 30, 1917. Her father was a transportation worker, and Susan lived a fairly comfortable life as a child, but the precocious little redhead had no idea of the life that awaited her. She attended public school in Brooklyn, where she...
Three nominations: With A Song in My Heart (1952), I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955), I Want To Live (1958)
Actress | Breakfast at Tiffany's
Audrey Hepburn was born on May 4, 1929 in Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium. She was a blue-blood and a cosmopolitan from birth. Her mother, Baroness Ella Van Heemstra, was of a Dutch descent, and her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Hepburn-Ruston, was born in Úzice, Bohemia, and of an English and Austrian ...
Three nominations: Roman Holiday (1953), Sabrina (1954), The Nun's Story (1959)
Actress | Caged
Eleanor Jean Parker was born on June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio, the last of three children born to a mathematics teacher and his wife. Eleanor caught the acting bug early and began performing in school plays. She was was so serious about becoming a thespian that she attended the Rice Summer ...
Three nominations: Caged (1950), Detective Story (1951), Interrupted Melody (1955)
Actress | Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was considered one of the last, if not the last, major star to have come out of the old Hollywood studio system. She was known internationally for her beauty, especially for her violet eyes, with which she captured audiences early on in her youth and kept the world hooked ...
Three nominations: Raintree Country (1957), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
7. Anna Magnani
Actress | Roma città aperta
Anna Magnani was born in Rome, Italy (not in Egypt, as some biographies claim), on March 7, 1908. She was the illegitimate child of Marina Magnani and an unknown father, often said to be from Alexandria, Egypt, but whom Anna herself claimed was from the Calabria region of Italy although she never ...
Two nominations: The Rose Tattoo (1955), Wild is the Wind (1957)
8. Bette Davis
Actress | All About Eve
Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but...
Two nominations: All About Eve (1950), The Star (1952)
9. Jane Wyman
Actress | Falcon Crest
Jane Wyman was born Sarah Jane Mayfield on January 5, 1917, in St. Joseph, Missouri (she was also known later as Sarah Jane Fulks). When she was only eight years old, and after her parents filed for divorce, she lost her father prematurely. After graduating high school she attempted, with the help ...
Two nominations: The Blue Veil (1951), Magnificent Obsession (1954)
10. Judy Holliday
Actress | Born Yesterday
Judy Holliday was born Judith Tuvim in New York City on June 21, 1921. Her mother, a piano teacher, was attending a play when she went into labor and made it to the hospital just in time. Judy was an only child. By the age of four, her mother had her enrolled in ballet school which fostered a ...
One nomination: Born Yesterday (1950)
11. Shirley Booth
Actress | Come Back, Little Sheba
Character actress Shirley Booth could play everything in all facets of show business, whether it was a smart-mouthed cashier on radio's "Duffy's Tavern", the sassy maid on TV's Hazel (1961) or the pathetic woman in Come Back, Little Sheba (1952). For those who only know her through her sitcom, it ...
One nomination: Come Back Little Sheba (1952)
12. Grace Kelly
Actress | Rear Window
On November 12, 1929, Grace Patricia Kelly was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to wealthy parents. Her girlhood was uneventful for the most part, but one of the things she desired was to become an actress which she had decided on at an early age. After her high school graduation in 1947, Grace ...
One nomination: The Country Girl (1954)
13. Ingrid Bergman
Actress | Notorious
Ingrid Bergman was one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood's lamented Golden Era. Her natural and unpretentious beauty and her immense acting talent made her one of the most celebrated figures in the history of American cinema. Bergman is also one of the most Oscar-awarded actresses, tied with ...
One nomination: Anatasia (1956)
14. Joanne Woodward
Actress | Rachel, Rachel
Joanne Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward was born on February 27, 1930, in Thomasville, Georgia, to Wade Woodward and Elinor Gignilliat Trimmier Woodward in a modest household. Her one older brother, Wade Jr., who was the favorite of her father, eventually became an architect. Elinor Woodward was a ...
One nomination: Three Faces of Eve (1957)
15. Simone Signoret
Actress | Les diaboliques
The face of Simone Signoret on the Paris Metro movie posters in March 1982 looked even older than her 61 years. She was still a box office draw, but the film, L'étoile du Nord (1982), would be her last theatrical release. She played the landlady. Signoret had a long film apprenticeship ...
One nomination: Room at the Top (1959)
16. Anne Baxter
Actress | All About Eve
Anne Baxter was born in Michigan City, Indiana, on May 7, 1923. She was the daughter of a salesman and his wife, Catherine, who herself was the daughter of Frank Lloyd Wright, the world-renowned architect. Anne was a young girl of 11 when her parents moved to New York City, which at that time was ...
One nomination: All About Eve (1950)
17. Gloria Swanson
Actress | Sunset Blvd.
Gloria Swanson went to public schools in Chicago; Key West, Florida; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her film debut was as an extra in The Fable of Elvira and Farina and the Meal Ticket (1915). From the following year on, she had leading roles in pictures for Keystone, then a year with Triangle, and, in...
One nomination: Sunset Blvd (1950)
18. Shelley Winters
Actress | The Poseidon Adventure
Shelley Winters was born Shirley Schrift of very humble beginnings on August 18, 1920 (some sources list 1922) in East St. Louis, Illinois. Her mother, Rose (Winter), was born in Missouri, to Austrian Jewish parents, and her father, Jonas Schrift, was an Austrian Jewish immigrant. Her father moved ...
One nomination: A Place in the Sun (1951)
19. Joan Crawford
Actress | What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas, to Anna Belle (Johnson) and Thomas E. LeSueur, a laundry laborer. By the time she was born, her parents had separated, and by the time she was a teenager, she'd had three stepfathers. It wasn't an easy life; ...
One nomination: Sudden Fear (1952)
20. Julie Harris
Actress | The Haunting
One of the finest classical and contemporary leading ladies ever to grace the 20th century American stage, five-time Tony Award winner Julie Harris was rather remote and reserved on camera, finding her true glow in front of the theatre lights. The freckled, red-haired actress not only was nominated...
One nomination: The Member of the Wedding (1952)
21. Leslie Caron
Actress | Gigi
Born in the suburbs of Paris, France, Leslie Caron is an actress and dancer. Gene Kelly got her into the movies for the film An American in Paris (1951). Got a world-wide reputation for her roles in Lili (1953) and Gigi (1958). Most recently Caron has appeared in British TV series The Durrells (...
One nomination: Lili (1953)
22. Ava Gardner
Actress | The Night of the Iguana
Ava Lavina Gardner was born on December 24, 1922 in Grabtown, North Carolina, to Mary Elizabeth (née Baker) and Jonas Bailey Gardner. Born on a tobacco farm, where she got her lifelong love of earthy language and going barefoot, Ava grew up in the rural South. At age 18, her picture in the window ...
One nomination: Mogambo (1953)
23. Maggie McNamara
Actress | The Moon Is Blue
Maggie McNamara -- with her brown hair in a ponytail -- arrives in Rome in Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) expecting great things to happen. Petite and slender, she looks almost like a schoolgirl in her prim blue suit. She is bright and vivacious and goes for what she wants -- a proposal from "...
One nomination: The Moon is Blue (1953)
Actress | Carmen Jones
Dorothy Jean Dandridge was born on November 9, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Ruby Dandridge (née Ruby Jean Butler), an entertainer, and Cyril H. Dandridge, a cabinet maker and minister. Under the prodding of her mother, Dorothy and her sister Vivian Dandridge began performing publicly, usually in ...
One nomination: Carmen Jones (1954)
25. Judy Garland
Actress | The Wizard of Oz
One of the brightest, most tragic movie stars of Hollywood's Golden Era, Judy Garland was a much-loved character whose warmth and spirit, along with her rich and exuberant voice, kept theatre-goers entertained with an array of delightful musicals.
She was born Frances Ethel Gumm on 10 June 1922 in ...
One nomination: A Star is Born (1954)
26. Jennifer Jones
Actress | The Towering Inferno
One of the world's most underrated Academy Award-winning actresses, Jennifer Jones was born Phylis Lee Isley on 2 March 1919 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Flora Mae (Suber) and Phillip Ross Isley, who ran a travelling stage show. As a young aspiring actress, she met and fell for young aspiring actor ...
One nomination: Love is a Many Splendored Thing (1955)
27. Carroll Baker
Actress | Baby Doll
Carroll Baker was born on May 28, 1931 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a traveling salesman, William W. Baker. She attended community college for a year and then worked as a dancer and magician's assistant. After a brief marriage, she had a small part in Easy to Love (1953), did TV ...
One nomination: Baby Doll (1956)
28. Nancy Kelly
Actress | The Bad Seed
Coached by her show-business mother, a former actress, brunette Nancy Kelly started her career as a one-year-old model for James Montgomery Flagg. While receiving her education at the Bentley School for Girls she also trained as an actress. From 1926, the precociously talented Nancy became one of ...
One nomination: The Bad Seed (1956)
29. Lana Turner
Actress | Peyton Place
Lana Turner had an acting ability that belied the "Sweater Girl" image MGM thrust upon her, and even many of her directors admitted that they knew she was capable of greatness (check out Niemand ontkomt zijn noodlot (1946)). Unfortunately, her private life sometimes overshadowed her professional ...
One nomination: Peyton Place (1957)
30. Shirley MacLaine
Actress | Terms of Endearment
Shirley MacLaine was born Shirley MacLean Beaty in Richmond, Virginia. Her mother, Kathlyn Corinne (MacLean), was a drama teacher from Nova Scotia, Canada, and her father, Ira Owens Beaty, a professor of psychology and real estate agent, was from Virginia. Her brother, Warren Beatty, was born on ...
One nomination: Some Came Running (1958)
31. Rosalind Russell
Actress | His Girl Friday
The middle of seven children, she was named after the S.S. Rosalind at the suggestion of her father, a successful lawyer. After receiving a Catholic school education, she went to the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York, having convinced her mother that she intended to teach acting. In 1934...
One nomination: Auntie Mame (1958)
32. Doris Day
Soundtrack | Love Me or Leave Me
One of America's most prolific actresses was born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff on April 3, 1922, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Alma Sophia (Welz), a housewife, and William Joseph Kappelhoff, a music teacher and choir master. Her grandparents were all German immigrants. She had two brothers, Richard, who ...
One nomination: Pillow Talk (1959)