2024 Oscars: Best Actress Predictions

The motion picture academy has handed out Oscars for leading performances since the first ceremony in 1929. While the Best Actor prize is typically taken by a veteran, the Best Actress Oscar has tended to go to an ingenue. However, those age biases could be changing.

While a whopping 32 of the 96 Best Actress champs were in their 20s when they picked up their Oscars, the last five women to win were: 60-year-old Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”); 45-year old Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”); double champ Frances McDormand (who was 60 and 63 when she won for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “Nomadland” respectively), 45-year-old Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) and 50-year-old Renee Zellweger (“Judy”). Yeoh’s closest rival last year was Cate Blanchett, 53, for “Tar.” (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2024 Oscar predictions for Best Actress.)

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Besides Zellweger, the only other Best Actress champs in their 50s were both 54 when they won: Julianne Moore, who finally prevailed after four losses for “Still Alice” in 2015, and theater veteran Shirley Booth, who won for reprising her Tony-winning role in 1952’s “Come Back, Little Sheba.”

Sixteen of the 93 Best Actress winners, including Chastain, were in their 40s when they took to the stage while 34 were thirtysomething.

McDormand was the sixth winner in her 60s when she won Best Actress for the second time in 2017 (she was just shy of 40 when she did so for “Fargo” in 1997). Her pal Meryl Streep had also defied the youth bias when, at age 62, she picked up her third Oscar in 2012 for “The Iron Lady.” Streep also had the overdue factor in her favor as it had been almost three decades since her second win for “Sophie’s Choice.” Likewise for Helen Mirren who was 61 when she was crowned champ for “The Queen” in 2007 after two previous losses. Geraldine Page was also 61 when she finally won on nomination #8 for “A Trip to Bountiful” in 1986.

Katharine Hepburn, who was 26 when she claimed her first Oscar in 1934 for “Morning Glory,” had just entered her 60s when she won Best Actress back-to-back (“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” 1967; “The Lion in Winter,” 1968). The only other Best Actress champ in her 60s was Marie Dressler who won for “Min and Bill” at the 4th Academy Awards in 1931. Hepburn was almost 75 when she won her record fourth Oscar for “On Golden Pond” in 1982 while Jessica Tandy was 80 when she prevailed in 1990 for “Driving Miss Daisy.”

Who will win Best Actress at the 2024 Oscars? Below, we consider the contenders. This roster includes past Academy Awards champs, previous nominees and those looking for their first bids, be they film newcomers or long-time screen actors.

Please note: To read full descriptions of each film, check out our 2024 Oscars Best Picture predictions. Category placement remains in question for several of these contenders who could be positioned in Best Supporting Actress.

UPDATED: September 5, 2023

Fantasia Barrino, “The Color Purple” (Warner Bros.)
Annette Bening, “Nyad” (Netflix)
Sandra Hüller, “Anatomy of a Fall” (Neon)
Carey Mulligan, “Maestro” (Netflix)
Margot Robbie, “Barbie” (Warner Bros.)
Cailee Spaeny, “Priscilla” (A24)
Emma Stone, “Poor Things” (Searchlight)

Sandra Hüller, “The Zone of Interest” (A24)
Vanessa Kirby, “Napoleon” (Apple/Sony)
Greta Lee, “Past Lives” (A24)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “You Hurt My Feelings” (A24)
Natalie Portman, “May December” (Netflix)
Julia Roberts, “Leave the World Behind” (Netflix)

Emily Blunt, “Pain Hustlers” (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, “The Bikeriders” (20th)
Eve Hewson, “Flora and Son” (Apple)
Jane Levy, “A Little Prayer” (SPC)
Helen Mirren, “Golda” (Bleecker Street)
Hilary Swank, “Ordinary Angels” (Lionsgate)

DISCUSS All the Oscar contenders with Hollywood insiders in our notorious forums

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