The Best Actress Oscar Award: Jessica Chastain Emerges As Our Top Leading Lady

The Best Actress Oscar Award: Jessica Chastain Emerges As Our Top Leading Lady

The Best Picture and Best Actor awards may garner a lot of attention at each Oscars ceremony, but one equally-coveted award is the Best Actress statue. Each year, five women with the top film performances are put up for the Best Actress award and throughout the Academy Awards’ 94 years, plenty of them have made history.

Academy Award for Best Actress

Who won Best Actress in 2022?

Best actress academy awards
Best Actress Academy Award Winner – Jessica Chastain takes home the win.

Now that Oscar’s are here for 2022 we’ve all been guessing who would win the golden trophy. Here are this year’s Best Actress Academy Award nominees:

  • Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter
  • Penelope Cruz – Parallel Mothers
  • Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos
  • Kristen Stewart – Spencer

It was a tough race this year with many experts split over whether it would be Jessica Chastain’s transformation into Tammy Faye that wins the award or if Oscar favourite Olivia Colman could win it again. Kristen Stewart was also a dark horse in the race for her incredible turn as Princess Diana in Spencer.

Jessica Chastain, however, is the leading lady who has taken home the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2022. She took to the stage speaking about radical acts of love, how The Eyes of Tammy Faye taught her more about that, and the need for support and love for queer communities.

Check out Jessica Chastain’s acceptance speech below:

Who won Best Supporting Actress in 2022?

Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose
Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, West Side Story. Disney

The nominees for Best Supporting Actress in 2022 were:

  • Jessie Buckley – The Lost Daughter
  • Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
  • Judi Dench – Belfast
  • Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog
  • Aunjanue Ellis –  King Richard

In a powerful moment for representation for queer and Afro-Latinx communities, Ariana DeBose took home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Anita in West Side Story (please watch it if you haven’t yet). Rita Moreno, who played the role in the original film, watched on bright-eyed as DeBose gave her speech.

Historic Best Actress wins over the years

Marlee Matlin – Youngest winner of Best Actress Award

best actress marlee matlin
(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Marlee Matlin made history for a number of reasons when she won in 1986, beating out both Jane Fonda and Sigourney Weaver that year.

Matlin’s win for her role as Sarah Norman in Children of a Lesser God occurred when she was just 21 years of age, making her the youngest Best Actress winner to date. She is also the first and only deaf actress to have won the Oscar.

Jessica Tandy – Oldest winner of Best Actress Award

best actress jessica tandy
Best Actress Academy Award. Image: Warner Bros.

From Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds to Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Jessica Tandy had quite the career before her history-making Best Actress win.

Tandy was 80 years of age when she received the award for her role in Driving Miss Daisy, making her the oldest actress to receive the top acting gong.

Halle Berry – First Black woman to win

halle berry best actress
Best Actress Academy Award. (Photo By Getty Images)

The Oscars still has a startling lack of diversity, if it’s 13 Black female nominees are anything to go by. Of these 13, only one Black woman has won the Best Actress Oscar and that honour went to Halle Berry at the 2001 ceremony.

Berry’s role in Monster’s Ball secured her the win, where she was nominated alongside Judi Dench, Nicole Kidman, Sissy Spacek and Renee Zellweger.

Katharine Hepburn – Most award wins

katharine hepburn
Best Actress Academy Award. Image: IMDB

Securing her place as one of the most iconic actresses of all time, it comes as no surprise that Katharine Hepburn has the Oscar wins to back it up. Her four wins for Morning Glory, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter and On Golden Pond make her the person with the most Best Actress Oscar wins in history.

Hepburn also received 12 Best Actress nominations over her lifetime but Meryl Streep retains her place as the person with the most nominations for the award with a whopping 17 nods.


We’ll keep you posted on the 2022 Oscar nominees and winners to see whether this will be another history-making ceremony.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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