Hailee’S Comet: Academy Awards Very Rare For Big Screen Debuts

There are a significant number of pundits who are betting that Hailee Steinfeld, the 14-year-old star of “True Grit,” will win the best supporting actress Oscar over Melissa Leo, the veteran thespian who won top honors this year from the Bfca, HFPA, and SAG for her performance in “The Fighter.” As great as Steinfeld is in her film — and she is great — the following stat may make them reconsider their pick…

Over the 73 years prior to this year in which the Academy Awards featured a best supporting actress category, only eight women who were nominated in it for their big screen debut — as is Steinfeld — wound up taking home the Oscar. That’s less than 11% of them. They were…

Gale Sondergaard for “Anthony Adverse” (1936) Katina Paxinou for “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (1943) Mercedes McCambridge for “All the King’s Men” (1949) Eva Marie Saint for “On the Waterfront” (1954) Jo Van Fleet
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