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Janet Gaynor

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with Janet Gaynor receiving the award for her roles in 7th Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise.
In 1929, she was the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in three films: 7th Heaven (1927), Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927), and Street Angel (1928).

Katharine Hepburn

HepburnLudlow Ogden SmithKatherine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn has won the most awards in this category, with four Oscars.
She appeared in a range of genres, from screwball comedy to literary drama, and she received a record (for any gender) four Academy Awards for Lead Acting Performances, plus eight further nominations.

Marlee Matlin

At age 21, Marlee Matlin became the youngest actress to win this award for Children of a Lesser God.
She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God (1986) and to date is the only deaf performer to have won an Academy Award; also, having won the award at the age of 21, she is the youngest winner in the category.

Meryl Streep

Merryl StreepMeryl Streep AwardStreep
With 17 nominations, Meryl Streep is the most nominated in this category, resulting in two wins.
Streep went on to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), and the Academy Award for Best Actress for Sophie's Choice (1982) and The Iron Lady (2011).

Jeanne Eagels

Jeanne Eaglesstage and silent-screen actress
One actress has been nominated posthumously, Jeanne Eagels.
She posthumously was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her 1929 role in The Letter after dying suddenly that year at the age of 39.

91st Academy Awards

(91st)20192018
As of the 2019 ceremony, Olivia Colman is the most recent winner in this category for her portrayal of Anne, Queen of Great Britain in The Favourite.
Olivia Colman was awarded Best Actress for portraying Anne, Queen of Great Britain in The Favourite.

2nd Academy Awards

(2nd)2nd1928/29
Mary Pickford, a founding member of AMPAS and the wife of its first president, lobbied to be considered for the Best Actress award, inviting the judges over for tea at her home, while other actresses who were considered for the same award were not made aware of their consideration.

Coquette (film)

CoquetteCoquette'' (film)
For her performance, Pickford won the second Academy Award for Best Actress.

7th Heaven (1927 film)

7th HeavenSeventh Heaven1927
The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with Janet Gaynor receiving the award for her roles in 7th Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise.
Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film (she also won for her performances in 1927's Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and 1928's Street Angel).

1932 in film

1932321932 film
Note: Prior to 1933 awards were not based on calendar years, which is how there are no Best Actor, Best Actress or Best Director awards for 1932 films.

7th Academy Awards

(7th)19347th
Frank Capra's influential romantic comedy It Happened One Night became the first film to perform a "clean sweep" of the top five award categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.

10th Academy Awards

(10th)193710th
Luise Rainer received the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Good Earth, earning her the distinctions of being the first actor to win two Academy Awards and the first to win consecutive acting awards.

Olivia Colman

Colman, Olivia Olivia ColmanOlivia Colman (Sarah Caroline Sinclair)
As of the 2019 ceremony, Olivia Colman is the most recent winner in this category for her portrayal of Anne, Queen of Great Britain in The Favourite.
For her portrayal of Anne, Queen of Great Britain in the period black comedy film The Favourite (2018), she received critical acclaim and won numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Actress, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical, and the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

It Happened One Night

motion picture screenplay
It Happened One Night is the first of only three films (along with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Silence of the Lambs) to win all five major Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

SunriseL'Aurore
The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 with Janet Gaynor receiving the award for her roles in 7th Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise.
Janet Gaynor won the first Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in the film (she also won for her performances in 1927's 7th Heaven and 1928's Street Angel).