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Best Actress

The History of Oscar®-Winning Women

Stephen Tapert (author) Roxane Gay (Foreword by)

ISBN: 9781978808058

Publication Date: Nov 2019

Format: Hardback

The list of women who have won the coveted and legendary Academy Award for Best Actress is long and varied. This lavishly illustrated coffee table book offers a vital examination of the first 75 women to have won the Best Actress Oscar over the span of 90 years.
£33.50

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About This Book
Ingrid Bergman. Audrey Hepburn. Elizabeth Taylor. Jane Fonda. Meryl Streep. The list of women who have won the coveted and legendary Academy Award for Best Actress is long and varied. Through this illustrious roster we can trace the history of women in Hollywood, from the rise of Mary Pickford in the early 20th century to the #MeToo and Time's Up movements of today, which have galvanized women across the world to speak out for equal pay, respect, power, and opportunity.

This lavishly illustrated coffee table book offers a vital examination of the first 75 women to have won the Best Actress Oscar over the span of 90 years. From inaugural recipient Janet Gaynor to Frances McDormand's 2018 acceptance speech that assertively brought women to the forefront, Best Actress: The History of Oscar®-Winning Women serves to promote a new appreciation for the cinematic roles these women won for, as well as the real-life roles many of them played – and still play – in advancing women's rights and equality. Stories range from Bette Davis' groundbreaking battle against the studio system; to the cutting-edge wardrobes of Katharine Hepburn, Diane Keaton and Cher; to the historical significance of Halle Berry's victory; to the awareness raised around sexual violence by the performances of Jodie Foster, Brie Larson, and others.

Showcasing a dazzling collection of 200 photographs, many of which have never before been seen or published, Best Actress honors the legacies of these revered and extraordinary women while scrutinizing the roadblocks that they continue to overcome.

Reviews

Reviewed in the New York Times:

"Open Tapert's elegant doorstopper of a coffee-table book and you'll find yourself face to face with Frances McDormand looking as if she has a trick up her sleeve. With her unspackled skin and gold ball earrings – the kind you get from the piercing kiosk at the mall – the two-time Oscar winner sets the real-life tone for Best Actress. Tapert, a film studies professor and an eight-year veteran of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is not a purveyor of headshots and puff pieces. He presents stars the way we want to see them: in action. There's Anne Bancroft wearing protective padding backstage while filming 1962's "The Miracle Worker"; there's Halle Berry gripping her statuette as she becomes the first – and so far only – black woman to win the best actress Oscar. The accompanying profiles are textured and timeless (Grace Kelly was fighting gender discrimination back in 1955), and Roxane Gay's frank foreword acknowledges the women who are not represented in these pages – and challenges the academy to right that wrong. Immediately."
Illustrations 97 black & white photographs, 103 colour photographs
Pages 516
Dimensions 305 x 229
Date Published 30 Nov 2019
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Subject/s Individual actors & performers   Media studies   Popular culture   Gender studies: women   Film guides & reviews   Feminism & feminist theory  
Stephen Tapert earned his M.A. from the University of Chicago. He worked for eight years at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where, as a museum researcher, he provided foundational work for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. He subsequently curated an exhibition on the Best Actress Oscar winners at the Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Turin, Italy, and at the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, Germany. He currently teaches film studies at the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.

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