Imagine a world where the Academy didn’t accept this fraudulent ranking and Tatum O’Neal was up for Best Actress. Would there still be a path for her to become the youngest Oscar winner of all time? Well… this is where it is understood why this jockeying category is made. The other nominees that year were Ellen Burstyn for “The Exorcist,” Marsha Mason for “Cinderella Liberty,” Barbra Streisand for “The Way We Were,” Joanne Woodward for “Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams” and the winner, Glenda Jackson for ” A touch of class.”
From the start, O’Neal has to fill in for one of these women, and that’s no easy feat. Today, Marsha Mason seems the most vulnerable because she’s the least recognizable of the nominees, but she actually won the Golden Globe in drama for that performance over Burstyn, Streisand and Woodward. I think she stays.
“The Exorcist” was a phenomenon and tied for the most nominations of the night, so I think Burstyn is in it. “The Way We Were” received the second most nominations, and Streisand was such a huge star that he’s certainly in it. Jackson won, so obviously she’s in. I guess Joanne Woodward ends up on the chopping block, even though she won the New York Film Critics Circle acting award. Once again, she is not an easy choice.
As for winning, it’s an even steeper climb for O’Neal. For one, he lost to Glenda Jackson at the 1973 Golden Globes in the comedy category, when they went up against each other. This was also Jackson’s third nomination and her second Oscar win in four years. She was a prize giant. If Tatum O’Neal was in the right category at the Oscars, I don’t think she would have walked away with the trophy that night.