I originally titled this entry "Judy Holliday wins Best Actress, 1950", but I love Judy Holliday and her turn as Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday is delightful; she was never better. It's probably the only reason this travesty isn't higher on the list. Why? Because I have this prejudice against actors who play a role forever on stage and then cop an Oscar for the same performance in a film. Yes, stage and screen are different mediums blah blah blah, but it almost always ends up costing a once-in-a-lifetime film performance the Oscar I feel it richly deserves.
Anne Baxter in All About Eve
Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday
Eleanor Parker in Caged
Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard
Bette had votes pulled away from her by her All About Eve co-star, Anne Baxter; she was also up against a career-defining role with Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. Bette losing among such fine competition and the fact that All About Eve was just too good for its own good; an abundance of riches in a year that was among the very best roles for women. Still, Davis-as-Margo Channing is among her top three Oscar-nominated performances and it's a shame she didn't bring home the prize a third time.