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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1940s Famous People

For those of you who missed it, the Oscar's were last Sunday. The once a year chance for those in Hollywood to be recognized for their work in the film industry and for the rest of us to see those amazing dresses walking down the red carpet. My cousin holds an annual Oscar party where you have to dress to the nines to attend. Her pictures from the evening were fantastic!

All the buzz had me thinking about the Oscar winners from the 1940s. Who won, what were the films about, where there any repeats?  My curiosity was bubbling over.  I went in search of three categories for each year: best film, best actor, and best actress. (See a full list of awards at Classic Movies)

Picture            Rebecca
Actor              James StewartThe Philadelphia Story
Actress           Ginger RogersKitty Foyle

Picture            How Green was my Valley
Actor              Gary CooperSergeant York
Actress           Joan FontaineSuspicion

Picture            Mrs. Miniver
Actor              James CagneyYankee Doodle Dandy
Actress           Greer GarsonMrs. Miniver

Picture            Casablanca
Actor              Paul LukasWatch on the Rhine
Actress           Jennifer JonesThe Song of Bernadette

Picture            Going my Way
Actor              Bing CrosbyGoing my Way
Actress           Ingrid BergmanGaslight

Picture            The Lost Weekend
Actor              Ray Milland The Lost Weekend
Actress           Joan CrawfordMildred Pierce

Picture            The Best Years of Our Lives
Actor              Fredric MarchThe Best Years of Our Lives
Actress           Olivia de HavillandTo Each His Own

Picture            Gentleman’sAgreement
Actor              Ronald ColmanA Double Life
Actress           Loretta YoungThe Farmer’s Daughter

Picture            Hamlet
Actor              Laurence OlivierHamlet
Actress           Jane WymanJohnny Belinda

Picture            All the King’s Men
Actor              Broderick CrawfordAll the King’s Men
Actress           Olivia de HavillandThe Heiress

Only one repeat winner in 10 years!  Olivia de Havilland started the decade on the 1939 hit Gone with the Wind and left with 2 Oscars for best actress.  Wow!

Many of these movies I have not seen, but there is one on the list that was a favorite of mine as a child, Yankee Doodle Dandy.  I watched this movie over, and over again.  I knew every line, and every song, and I am pretty sure I wore the tape out.  Until this evening I did not know that James Cagney had won the Oscar for it, and I am sure it was not only for his tap dancing down the steps of the White House in the end of the film. 

Seeing as everyone is in the 1940 US Census, who will you look up?  I think I may look up a few of the actors listed above to see what they were doing before they won their golden statuette.

screenshot of James Cagney from the trailer for the film Yankee Doodle Dandy


  1. Thank you for sharing. Very interesting.

  2. You're welcome! I am glad you enoyed it.

  3. I actually did a history paper on George M. Cohan in high school and used Yankee Doodle Dandy as one of my sources (and an excuse to watch the movie, 'cause I loved it, too!)