Who did Meryl Streep lose the Oscar to? -- We look at the eleven actresses who beat out Oscar's most-nominated performer

By Whitney Pastorek
Updated January 31, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

Sure, Meryl Streep, 55, holds the record for Oscar nods in acting. But she’s won only two statuettes — the first 25 years ago for Kramer vs. Kramer, the second in 1982 for Sophie’s Choice. Here’s a glimpse at the 11 women who’ve bested the Academy’s most lauded performer, male or female.

Maggie Smith

In 1979, Dame Maggie won Best Supporting Actress playing an Oscar nominee in California Suite (nice preparation!), beating Streep’s turn as a Vietnam-era girlfriend in The Deer Hunter. Oscar Veteran? She’s had six nods; this was her second win. Costarred With Streep? Never. Fun Fact While Vietnam vets picketed Deer Hunter outside, Smith’s award was presented by 83-year-old George Burns…alongside 13-year-old Brooke Shields.

Katharine Hepburn

In 1982, Hepburn scored Best Actress as an awesome old lady in On Golden Pond, outdrawing Streep’s film-within-a-film actress in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Oscar Veteran? Oh, just a few times. Costarred With Streep? Never. Fun Fact Great Kate picked up a record fourth statuette on her then-record 12th nomination.

Shirley MacLaine

In 1984, MacLaine won Best Actress playing tough Texas mama Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment, edging out Streep’s nuclear whistle-blower Karen Silkwood in Silkwood. Oscar Veteran? Her only win out of six nominations. Costarred With Streep? Twice, in Postcards From the Edge (1990) and Defending Your Life (1991). Fun Fact MacLaine ended her acceptance speech: ”I deserve this.” No word on how her past lives felt about it.

Geraldine Page

In 1986, she won Best Actress playing a restless old woman in The Trip to Bountiful, topping Streep’s lusty plantation owner in Out of Africa. Oscar Veteran? Her first win after eight nods. Costarred With Streep? Never. Fun Fact Page once said of Streep’s frequent use of unusual accents: ”People are beginning to wonder if she can talk normal.”


In 1988, she won Best Actress for playing a Brooklyn romantic in Moonstruck, besting Streep’s washed-up singer in Ironweed. Oscar Veteran? Only win out of two nods. Costarred With Streep? Both were nominated for Silkwood (1983) and had cameos in a little art-house film (ha!) called Stuck on You (2003). Fun Fact In her acceptance speech, she raved, ”I also would like to thank Mary Louise Streep” — Mary Louise? — ”who…I feel…so unbelievable that I did my first movie with her and now I was nominated with her.” Cher had been in three movies pre-Silkwood.

Jodie Foster

In 1989, she won Best Actress portraying a rape victim in The Accused, even though dingoes ate Streep’s baby in A Cry in the Dark. Oscar Veteran? Nominated four times, won twice. Costarred With Streep? Both provided voices for 1989’s animated short Rabbit Ears: The Fisherman and His Wife. Fun Fact Streep was so certain she wouldn’t win that she spent a whopping 60 bucks on her outfit.

Kathy Bates

In 1991, she won Best Actress for her psychotic fan in Misery, beating Streep’s stretch as a struggling actress in Postcards From the Edge. Oscar Veteran? Her only win on three nominations. Costarred With Streep? Never. Fun Fact A pregnant Streep missed the ceremony for the first time on doctor’s orders.