Getting there from here: the first role for 2014 Best Actress nominees Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, and Meryl Streep

I did this yesterday for Best Actor and it was interesting, so I’m going to go ahead and do it again for Best Actress. First thought: sheesh, loaded field. Bullock has an Oscar, Adams/Blanchett are stunning, Streep defines female acting over the past 20 years, and Judi Dench is like the den mother of this crew. Really strong. Just whoa. Let’s get into it.

Amy Adams

Interesting: her first appearance was apparently Drop Dead Gorgeous as Leslie Miller. She definitely looks younger here, no question.

FYI: you can argue the lead in that movie is Denise Richards. In 2014, if you said Amy Adams and Denise Richards were in the same movie, you’d probably get laughed at.

Cate Blanchett

Unsurprisingly, her first role is Australia-based. It was the 1993 series Police Rescue. This is the episode she was in:

For more context on her career, though, I’d watch the 60 Minutes profile — although there is a bit of fawning by Lesley Stahl, yes.

Sandra Bullock

Her first movie was 1987’s Hangmen. (That’s seven years before Speed, which is when you probably thought her career began.)

Judi Dench

106 credits as an actress, and it begins with the Hilda Lessways TV series in 1959. I couldn’t find that one on the wide web, but … here’s a 1962 clip of her in The Cherry Orchard. 

Yesterday we had Bruce Dern’s career beginning in 1960, and he has 144 appearances — Dench has 106. Not sure if that says something about the quality of female roles or just willingness to work on a Los Angeles lot when you may live in the UK, but that gap of 38 or so movie appearances is interesting.

Meryl Streep

She was a voice in the animated Everbody Rides the Carousel in 1975 (that’s four years before Kramer vs. Kramer), then appeared in a TV movie called The Deadliest Season in 1977.

Check this out too. She does look a bit like her daughter (who was on The Newsroom last season as Jim’s long-distance campaign love interest):

It’ll probably be Cate Blanchett and, when it is … does she thank Woody Allen?

Ted Bauer


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