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At the fifth Academy Awards, held in November 1932, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne became the first married couple to be nominated for an Oscar in the same year. Both lost, but they ended up with a much scarcer prize: a loving 55-year union. Since then, more than a dozen other Hollywood pairs have lit up the Oscar race in the same year, including Elsa Lanchester and Charles Laughton in 1957 (for Witness for the Prosecution) and Rex Harrison and Rachel Roberts in 1963 (for Cleopatra and This Sporting Life, respectively). "I love movie stars, but they can be very fickle," says Robert Dickinson, who, as lighting director for the ceremony for more than a quarter of a century, has seen many partners walk the Oscar aisles. "But the couples that are really committed root really hard for one another, especially when they're both nominated."
Now Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender will take their turn as Oscar-nominated lovers: She's favored to win for The Danish Girl; he's not for Steve Jobs. And Margaret Sixel is this year's film editing frontrunner for her work on Mad Max: Fury Road, while husband George Miller's best director race is too close to call.
In their 50-plus years together, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman — nominated 14 times in all but only once together — were more loyal to each other than they were to Oscar. "Joanne and Paul did not give a shit about awards," their longtime ICM agent, Boaty Boatwright, tells THR. "I remember saying to him after [he attended the 1983] Academy Awards, the one where everyone thought he was going to win [for The Verdict], 'Paul, tell me the truth: If you were nominated again, would you go?'" recalls Boatwright. "And he looked at me and said, 'Not if you put a .45 in my mouth.'" Newman stayed true to his word: When he finally won, for 1986's The Color of Money, Robert Wise accepted on his behalf. "I think they were very happy when they stopped going," says Boatwright of the pair. "I doubt they even watched the whole thing to the end."
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