Honorary Oscars and Women Pt.3: Deceased Honorary Oscar-less - Joan Crawford, Claudette Colbert, Ava Gardner, Greer Garson

Walter Pidgeon Greer Garson Mrs. Miniver
Walter Pidgeon, Greer Garson in William Wyler’s Mrs. Miniver

Honorary Oscars and Women Pt.2: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux, Joan Fontaine, Maureen O’Hara

On the list of film industry women who have yet to receive an Honorary Award, I did not include Olivia de Havilland, Elizabeth Taylor, Maggie Smith, Glenda Jackson, Luise Rainer, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep, Sally Field, Jodie Foster, and Jessica Lange because each of them has already won two acting awards. Barbara Kopple, Thelma Schoonmaker, and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, for their part, have each already won two Oscars for, respectively, documentary feature, film editing, and screenwriting. Barbra Streisand, I should note, has also won two Oscars; the second one, however, was as co-composer (with Paul Williams) of the song "Evergreen" from A Star Is Born.

Only someone like Elia Kazan — i.e., with friends in high Academy places — can have two Academy Award wins in a specific category and still be allowed to get a third statuette for career achievement.

As for the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have gone to the Great Beyond without receiving an Honorary Oscar for career achievement, one could include actresses Greer Garson, Claudette Colbert, Gloria Swanson, Audrey Hepburn, Jill Clayburgh, Jennifer Jones, Jean Simmons, Rosalind Russell, Marlene Dietrich, and the first Best Actress Oscar winner, Janet Gaynor.

Also: Alida Valli, Simone Signoret, Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, Paulette Goddard, Anna Magnani, Ava Gardner, Mae West, Miriam Hopkins, Ginger Rogers, Patricia Neal, Janet Leigh, Susan Hayward, Dolores del Rio, Norma Talmadge, Anne Baxter, Joan Bennett, Edwige Feuillère, Lilli Palmer, and Kay Francis.

In addition to Constance Bennett, Ann Sheridan, Lana Turner, Ann Harding, Constance Talmadge, Irene Dunne, Colleen Moore, Jean Arthur, Anne Bancroft, Judy Garland, Norma Shearer, Annie Girardot, Betty Grable, Gene Tierney, Anna Neagle, Merle Oberon, Joan Blondell, Pola Negri, Eve Arden, Mary Astor, Sylvia Sidney, Claire Trevor, Corinne Griffith, Margaret Leighton, Alice Faye, Jane Wyman, Grace Kelly, and Ruth Chatterton.

Corinne Griffith Victor Varconi The Divine Lady
Corinne Griffith, Victor Varconi in Frank Lloyd’s The Divine Lady

Here’s more: Constance Cummings, Nancy Carroll, Margaret Lockwood, Giulietta Masina, Edith Evans, Clara Bow, Silvana Mangano, June Allyson, Agnes Moorehead, Ann Todd, Lucille Ball, Hedy Lamarr, Susannah York, Gloria Stuart, Jeanne Crain, Margaret Rutherford, Thelma Ritter, Gladys Cooper, Simone Simon, Ann Miller, Fay Wray, Aline MacMahon, Mary Boland, Marjorie Main, and Dame May Whitty.

Plus: pioneer director/screenwriter/actress Lois Weber; pioneer director/producer Alice Guy (aka Alice Guy-Blaché); pioneering actresses Theda Bara, Pauline Frederick, Dorothy Gish, Alice Joyce, Mae Marsh, Viola Dana, Clara Kimball Young, and Blanche Sweet; actress/director Ida Lupino; director/editor Dorothy Arzner; editors Anne Bauchens, Dede Allen, and Barbara McLean; composer/screenwriter Betty Comden; and screenwriters Suso Cecchi d’Amico, Bess Meredyth, Dorothy Farnum, Ruth Cummings, Jane Murfin, Jeanie Macpherson, Lenore J. Coffee, and Anita Loos.

Once again, the list above — which could have been quite a bit longer — doesn’t include women who throughout their careers received two or more Academy Awards in a particular category/branch, e.g., actresses Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Helen Hayes, Shelley Winters, and Vivien Leigh; screenwriter Frances Marion; costume designer Edith Head.

In the meantime, the Academy has recognized the body of work of numerous male actors — from Alec Guinness to Robert Redford, from Laurence Olivier to Eddie Cantor, from Danny Kaye to Sidney Poitier, from Edward G. Robinson to Groucho Marx, from Mickey Rooney to Henry Fonda, from Gilbert M. ’Broncho Billy’ Anderson to Cary Grant.

In addition to male directors (from King Vidor to Satyajit Ray, from Jean Renoir to Blake Edwards, from Sidney Lumet to Akira Kurosawa, from Robert Altman to Jean-Luc Godard), producers/executives (Joseph M. Schenck, B.B. Kahane), studio heads (Louis B. Mayer, Hal Roach), animators (Chuck Jones, Walter Lantz), inventors (Lee De Forest, George Alfred Mitchell), composers (Alex North, Ennio Morricone), choreographers (Michael Kidd, actor-dancer Gene Kelly), and cinematographers (Jack Cardiff, Gordon Willis).

Also: a producer-director (Roger Corman), a production designer (Robert F. Boyle), a stunt coordinator (Yakima Canutt), a make-up artist (Dick Smith), a short-film creator (Pete Smith), a screenwriter (Ernest Lehman), a film exhibitor (Sid Grauman), a film archivist (Henri Langlois), a film historian/preservationist (Kevin Brownlow), and even a censor (the infamous Joseph Breen).

[Continues on next page. See link below.]

Continue Reading: Bette Davis, Fay Kanin: AMPAS Only Two Women Presidents

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"Honorary Oscars and Women Pt.3: Deceased Honorary Oscar-less - Joan Crawford, Claudette Colbert, Ava Gardner, Greer Garson" © 2004-2013 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s). "Honorary Oscars and Women Pt.3: Deceased Honorary Oscar-less - Joan Crawford, Claudette Colbert, Ava Gardner, Greer Garson" text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

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2 Comments to Greer Garson, Joan Crawford: Deceased Honorary Oscar-less

  1. What’s worse is that they’ve stopped presented the honorary Oscars on the broadcast itself when those were usually the highlights, Several years ago — when they still did give them on the show — I got so tired of them giving honorary awards and Thalbergs to both men and women who already had won competitively (Loren, Eastwood, Zaentz, Kazan, Beatty, Poitier and Redford) while so many who had never won went unhonored, I wrote then-Academy President Frank Pierson with a list of suggested honorees, all over 65 and alive at the time, that they should consider. I’m not egotistical enough to believe they paid attention to me but since then they have honored a lot of the names that were on my list though, unfortunately, many have passed on in the interim. Here are the names who are still alive from oldest to youngest who have never won: Maureen O’Hara, Charles Durning, Glynis Johns, Doris Day, Julie Harris, Angela Lansbury, Jeanne Moreau, Christopher Plummer (of course he’ll win competitively next week), Joan Plowright, Max von Sydow, Gena Rowlands, Leslie Caron, Piper Laurie, Debbie Reynolds, Burt Reynolds and Albert Finney. Here, alphabetically, were suggestions I made who have since died without an honor: Eddie Albert, June Allyson, Cyd Charisse, Hume Cronyn, Tony Curtis, Jules Dassin, Peter Falk, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Glenn Ford, John Frankenheimer, Richard Harris, Betty Hutton, Van Johnson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Arthur Penn, Jean Simmons and Richard Widmark. Here are the ones that were on my list that they have honored since: Blake Edwards, Peter O’Toole, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, Ennio Morricone, Jerry Lewis, Lauren Bacall, Jean-Luc Godard, Eli Wallach, James Earl Jones. The one on my list who won competitively: Morgan Freeman.

  2. Ah yes, Old Hollywood! Congratulations to all! Those were the days. I don’t think we have actresses that measure up to Joan Crawford, Claudette Colbert, and others. Some come close but these ladies had a essence about them that just isn’t seen today.

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