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Best Actress: The History of Oscar-Winning Women

Stephen Tapert Roxane Gay



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Rutgers University Press
30 November 2019
Film, TV & Radio; Individual actors & performers; Film movie guides & reviews; Popular culture; Feminism & feminist theory; Gender studies: women
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 (R)-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.
By:   Stephen Tapert
Foreword by:   Roxane Gay
Imprint:   Rutgers University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 305mm,  Width: 229mm, 
ISBN:   9781978808058
ISBN 10:   1978808054
Pages:   516
Publication Date:   30 November 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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.

Reviews for Best Actress: The History of Oscar-Winning Women

This book presents a frank and timely narrative of the boundary-pushing winners of the Best Actress Oscar and should be on every library shelf. --Andie MacDowell This book is a valuable contribution that illustrates the profound changes that have characterized the role of women in the film world while demonstrating - time and again - how the ability to entertain is never far from the front lines of social change. --Susan Sarandon A smart and thought-provoking journey that doesn't miss a bump or a turn in its depiction of the important role women have played in the development of American cinema. --Liza Minnelli While providing a wonderful opportunity to retrace the history of the Academy Awards through the great actresses who have won its top prize, this book shines an important spotlight on the prejudices that women in the film industry have continuously battled. --Alberto Barbera Venice Film Festival Artistic Director

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