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There are only a few days left until the 2014 Academy Awards, so most of our predictions are solidified by now. But even though Cate Blanchett appears to be a lock for Best Actress and Alfonso Cuaron has the highest odds of winning Best Director, there's still one race that's impossible to guess: Best Supporting Actress. The two candidates who could snag the trophy are Lupita Nyong'o for her work in 12 Years a Slave and Jennifer Lawrence for her performance in American Hustle.
Normally, we could just rely on the previous awards shows to help influence our predictions. Blanchett and Cuaron have both swept their categories, as have Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto (who we think will take Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively). But Lawrence and Nyong'o have split the opinions of the various awards organizations, which means the Oscar is still anyone's game. In an attempt to solve this problem once and for all and help you solidify your Oscar pool, we've taken a look back at all of the women who have won Best Supporting Actress in order to see if we could use the winners of yesteryear to determine who will walk home with the trophy on Oscar night.
Major Precursor Awards Won: 2 (for each)Lawrence won both the Golden Globe and the BAFTA for her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, while Nyong'o picked up the Critic's Choice Award and the Screen Actor's Guild Award for playing the slave girl Patsey.
Actresses 25 and Under Who Won Best Supporting Actress: 8If Lawrence, who at 23 is the youngest actress to earn 3 Oscar nominations, were to take home the award on Sunday, she would join a list of young winners that includes Tatum O’Neal, Patty Duke, Goldie Hawn, Anna Paquin, Jennifer Hudson, Angelina Jolie, Teresa Wright, and Anne Baxter.
Actresses Between 25 and 30 Who Won Best Supporting Actress: 13At 30, Nyong'o would be in good company as a Best Supporting Actress winner, as Shirley Jones, Mary Steenburgen, Marisa Tomei, Mira Sorvino, Miyoshi Umecki, Gloria Grahame, Kim Hunter, Sandy Dennis, Rita Moreno, Eva Marie Saint, Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Celeste Holm also took home an Oscar around the same age.
Best Supporting Actress Winners Who Won for Their First Performance: 9It's hard to believe that 12 Years a Slave is Nyong'o's first feature film, but she's not the only actress to impress the Academy with her debut perfomance: Katina Paxinou, Mercedes McCambridge, Eva Marie Saint, Jo Van Fleet, Tatum O’Neal, Goldie Hawn, Miyoshi Umecki, Anna Paquin, and Jennifer Hudson all stunned on their first try.
Actresses Who Won Best Supporting Actress After Winning Best Actress: 3 After winning for Silver Lining's Playbook at last year's awards, Lawrence would join an elite club of women who topped their Best Actress win with a Best Supporting Actress trophy. : Helen Hayes, who won Best Actress for her work in The Sin of Madelon Claudet in 1931 and Best Supporting Actress for Airport in 1970, Ingrid Bergman, who took home Best Actress for Gaslight in 1944 and Anastasia in 1956 then won Best Supporting Actress in 1974 for Murder on the Orient Express, and Maggie Smith, who was awarded Best Actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 1969 and followed it up with Best Supporting Actress for California Suite 1978.
Best Supporting Actress Winners Who Won on Their First Nomination: 51The Best Supporting Actress category has been particularly kind to newcomers, with 51 actresses who have taken home gold on their first nomination (a fact that bodes well for Nyong'o). If she wins, she would be added to the long list that includes Gale Sondergaard, Hattie McDaniel, Jane Darwell, Mary Astor, Katina Paxinou, Ethel Barrymore, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, Mercedes McCambridge, Josephine Hull, Kim Hunter, Donna Reed, Eva Marie Saint, Jo Van Fleet, Dorothy Malone, Miyoshi Umecki, Shirley Jones, Rita Moreno, Patty Duke, Margaret Rutherford, Lila Kedrova, Sandy Dennis, Estelle Parsons, Goldie Hawn, Cloris Leachmann, Tatum O’Neal, Beatrice Straight, Mary Steenburgen, Jessica Lange, Linda Hunt, Peggy Ashcroft, Anjelica Huston, Dianne Wiest, Olympia Dukakis, Geena Davis, Brenda Fricker, Mercedes Ruehl, Marisa Tomei, Anna Paquin, Mira Sorvino, Juliette Binoche, Kim Basinger, Angelina Jolie, Marcia Gay Harden, Jennifer Connolly, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rachel Weisz, Jennifer Hudson, Tilda Swinton, Mo’Nique, and Octavia Spencer.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for a Comedic Role: 7Although the Academy tends to favor dramatic performances, the Supporting Actor and Actress categories often reward more comedic roles, like Lawrence's. If she wins, she would join the seven other women who laughed their way to an Oscar: Josephine Hull for Harvey, Goldie Hawn for Cactus Flower, Maggie Smith for California Suite, Olympia Dukakis for Moonstruck, Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny, Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite, and Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress Winners For Playing Servants: 3Although Nyong'o would be the first Best Supporting Actress winner to win for portraying a slave, three women have previously won for playing servants: Gale Sondergaard, Hattie McDaniel, and Octavia Spencer.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for Playing the Wife of the Lead: 7Before Rosalyn Rosenfeld came along to "inspire" her husband Iriving, there were countless other wives who played a key role in their husband's stories, and seven actresses won an Oscar for playing them: Mary Astor, Kim Hunter, Gloria Grahame, Jennifer Connolly, Rachel Weisz, Meryl Streep, and Mary Steenburgen.
Black Women Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress: 4If Nyong'o takes home the Oscar on Sunday, she will become only the fifth black woman to win Best Supporting Actress, and just the sixth black woman to win an acting Oscar overall. The previous Best Supporting Actress winners are Hattie McDaniel, Whoopi Goldberg, Mo’Nique, and Octavia Spencer, while Halle Berry is the lone black Best Actress winner.
Actresses Who Have Won Best Supporting Actress for Playing a Character with a New York Accent: 2Whether you love Lawrence's accent in American Hustle or it makes you want to stab yourself in the ears, there's no denying that the New York accent is a tricky one to pull off. Only two women have done it well enough to earn an Oscar: Marisa Tomei as the wise-cracking fianceè of the title character in My Cousin Vinny and Olympia Dukakis as Cher's mother in Moonstruck.
Our Prediction: Lupita Nyong'o Despite being evenly matched, we think that the combination of 12 Years a Slave being Nyong'o's film debut, as well as her first nomination will help swing the votes in her favor, as the Academy has proven that there's nothing it loves more than an impressive breakthrough performance. Plus, she deserves it, and we have to believe that there is some semblance of justice left in this world.
Swedish heavy metal stars Katatonia are on the search for a new guitarist after parting ways with bandmate Per 'sodomizer' Eriksson. The rockers reveal creative differences and logistical issues following Eriksson's move to Spain last year (13) have prompted the group to find a replacement after four years together.
A statement released by the band reads: "A difference in views on the band's current operative as well as last year's decision from Per to permanently live in Barcelona have made his involvement in the band too problematic, both for him and for the remaining band members. They part ways as good friends."
A replacement has yet to be announced, but Katatonia have assured fans the line-up change won't affect its upcoming tour - Bruce Soord, from Wisdom of Crowds, will stand in as a special guest for the shows.
The members of British pop band Slowdive are reuniting to perform their first live shows in 20 years. The Holding Our Breath hitmakers, who rose to fame in the early 1990s, have announced they will play a warm-up gig at the Village Underground in London on 19 May (14) and then make their official comeback at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona, Spain on 30 May (14).
Frontman Neil Halstead hopes the reunion will reignite their creative spark to work on a new studio album, a follow-up to 1995's Pygmalion.
He tells TheQuietus.com, "We're not getting paid enough for there to be any real financial incentive for doing it (reunion gigs). But there are loads of artistic reasons, especially if we can get a new record together."
Slowdive split in 1995 after guitarist Christian Savill and bassist Nick Chaplin quit the band, a year after drummer Simon Scott's exit. The remaining members, singers Rachel Goswell and Neil Halstead, went on to form another group, Mojave 3.
Rapper Drake helped to convince British soccer star Jermain Defoe to leave the English Premier League and join Major League Soccer's Toronto Football Club after sharing his favourite things about the Canadian city. The Started From the Bottom hitmaker serves as a global ambassador for the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment group, which owns Toronto F.C., and he was recently rumoured to have played a part in recruiting his pal Defoe from London's Tottenham Hotspur F.C. for his hometown team.
Drake has now opened up about his involvement in the transfer deal, insisting he simply shared some advice about the North American city.
The musician tells the Toronto Sun, "I don't know if I had an influence on him coming here (to Canada). I think that all I did was give him the necessary information about a city he didn't know much about. I told him how great it's been to me, and how great I assumed it would be to him. We had a great conversation. We built up a personal relationship.
"I'm excited to see him begin his career here. I just do what I can. (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment president Tim Leiweke) is the boss. It's all Tim, really. I was just a piece of the puzzle, I guess."
England striker Defoe was officially unveiled as a Toronto F.C. player during a press conference on Monday morning (13Jan14). His four-year deal with the club will kick off at the end of February (14).
Defoe, 31, isn't the first big name soccer star to leave a top European team for the MLS - David Beckham famously helped to raise the profile of the MLS during his five years at the Los Angeles Galaxy, while Frenchman Thierry Henry left Spanish side Barcelona in 2010 to join the New York Red Bulls.
Meanwhile, Drake's new role landed him the honour of introducing the starting line-up for the Toronto Raptors basketball team, another brand owned by the Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment company, on Saturday (11Jan14), as they took on New York's Brooklyn Nets at home. The event was dubbed Drake Night and his presence appeared to be good luck for the Raptors - they went on to win the showdown 96 to 80.
Ralph Lauren's jewellery designer niece has been fined $2,475 (£1,650) for a drunken outburst on a flight to New York City on Monday (06Jan13). Jenny Lauren, 41, appeared in court on Wednesday (08Jan13) and pleaded guilty to breaching the peace and being drunk onboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Barcelona, Spain to her native Big Apple.
The plane had to be diverted to Shannon Airport in Ireland after she became embroiled in an ugly row with staff.
Ennis District Court in County Clare, Ireland heard that the diversion cost the airline around $43,158 (£28,772).
Judge Patrick Durcan slapped her with the fine on Wednesday and Lauren is expected to return to the U.S. later on Wednesday.
Fashion mogul Ralph Lauren's jewellery designer niece has been arrested after allegedly displaying drunken and abusive behaviour on board a flight from Barcelona, Spain to New York on Monday (06Jan14). Pilots of the Delta plane had to make an unscheduled stop in Shannon, Ireland to have Jenny Lauren escorted off the aircraft by police after she reportedly began hurling verbal insults at flight staff and her fellow passengers.
The 41 year old was arraigned before Judge Patrick Durcan in a makeshift court session, ironically based in a village pub, on Tuesday (07Jan14), when she was charged with making threats and abusive comments, exhibiting drunkenness severe enough to pose a danger to herself and others, and behaving in an obnoxious and offensive fashion.
Lauren, who did not enter a plea, was released on $3,400 (£2,270) bail after agreeing to surrender her American passport, remain at a nearby hotel and report to local authorities.
Her New York-based lawyers have since revealed she plans to plead guilty to all three counts during a court hearing in the town of Ennis on Wednesday (08Jan14).
The Master actor Christopher Evan Welch has died. He passed away on Monday (02Dec13) at a Los Angeles, California hospital, his agents have confirmed. He is believed to have been 48 years old and the cause of his death has yet to be revealed.
Welch was a frequent presence on television with his work on The Sopranos, The Good Wife and Rubicon, as well as the stage, including multiple roles in Broadway plays.
He also worked with acclaimed film directors over the years including twice with Steven Spielberg in War of the Worlds and Lincoln, Paul Thomas Anderson in The Master, and Woody Allen in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, in which he voiced the Narrator.
Welch was in Hollywood shooting a role in the upcoming U.S. TV series Silicon Valley.
Electronic dance music artist Skrillex is curating a series of concerts around the world and inviting some of his favourite artists to perform. The superstar DJ has spent most of 2013 in the studio recording his next album, but he has big plans for 2014 by taking his talents around the globe as part of the "Skrillex Takeovers" initiative.
The gigs will start in San Francisco, California in February (14) with A$AP Rocky, Seven Lions, Jack Beats and more.
The celebrity DJ will then visit Brooklyn, New York; Amsterdam, Holland, and Barcelona, Spain, throughout February (14).
Spanish actress Amparo Soler Leal has died at the age of 80. The veteran star passed away in Barcelona on Friday (25Oct13) after a long period of ill health.
Soler Leal rose to fame in the 1950s and '60s as a stage and screen actress and was known for her work with director Luis Garcia Berlanga, teaming up for a slew of projects, such as 1961's Placido, La Escopeta Nacional in 1978, and 1993's critically-acclaimed comedy Todos a la carcel.
Her filmography also includes 1976's Retrato de Familia with Antonio Gimenez-Rico, and Pedro Almodovar's 1984 comedy drama What Have I Done to Deserve This?.
She was married to actor and theatre director Adolfo Marsillach from 1954 and 1956, and was the widow of producer Alfredo Matas, who died in 1996.
"We're friends. We have a wonderful friendship, and I feel very fortunate. I can trust him to keep all my secrets safe. He has a deep understanding about them, and he's very discreet." Scarlett Johansson on her unlikely friendship with her Vicky Cristina Barcelona director Woody Allen.