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When Julianne Moore won the Academy Award for best actress for her role in Just Alice on Sunday night, she said in her acceptance speech that she read somewhere that “winning an Oscar can help make you live five years longer,” which she added was good because she had a husband who was younger than her.
At Norby Walters‘ annual Night of 100 Stars Oscar viewing party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, some of the veteran performers on hand recalled the impact being nominated and winning high-profile awards had on them and their careers. The result, they said, was a mixed bag at best and none said they felt it would make them live longer.
Martin Landau recalled that after he won the Oscar, Golden Globe and other honors in 1995 as the lead actor in Ed Wood, it had an immediate positive impact. “It affected [my career] immeasurably,” said Landau. “It helped me get better roles and more roles and better money.”
That lasted “for a period of time,” recalled Landau, “and then I went back to just being a normal actor.”
Robert Forster said after he was nominated for Jackie Brown in 1998, it sent his career soaring — for a time. “Winning or even being nominated gives your career buoyancy,” said Forster. “You know what the stock market looks like. It goes up, and then it goes down. It’s like that in a career. Added Forster: “You get buoyancy, and you’re up there for a while. You get work on account of that. People get a feeling for you. Suddenly you are known for something that carries you for a long time.”
Bruce Davison experienced a boost after he was nominated for an Oscar in 1991 for the movie Longtime Companion, which also won him a Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award.
“It changed things,” said Davison. “I could suddenly go up to [director] Robert Altman at a party and say, ‘I would read the phone book for you’ ” and then get a call from my agent the next week saying, ‘Hey, we got this interview for you with Robert Altman.’ “
“That’s how I got [the movie] Short Cuts,” added Davison, which earned him another Golden Globe nomination in 1994. “That carried me for a good five, 10 years of getting good parts where I got to play with the big boys.”
It was life-changing at the time, added Davison: “I got paid better, and I got better parts. Independent films came along. I could buy a house and raise a family.”
Garry Marshall created, wrote and directed such shows as Mork & Mindy and The Odd Couple, which got more than a dozen Emmy nominations and wins, which he recalls was “very, very nice.” However, he said it did not really give him a significant career boost at a time he already had a busy career.
He was much more excited about being honored by the Writers Guild of America in 2014 with the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for lifetime achievement. “That was a great award,” said Marshall, noting that he and Chayefsky attended the same high school in The Bronx, New York — Dewitt Clinton.
Longtime Jeopardy host Alex Trebek, who has been nominated for an Emmy 29 times and won five, said he never felt that the honors had a major impact on his career, but he did appreciate what it meant. “It means your fellow workers in the industry appreciate the work you do,” he told THR.
Gary Busey, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1979 for The Buddy Holly Story, said it did help him get more work, but he never felt it really helped his career significantly. “It was just wonderful to be considered like that by my peers,” he said.
Lauren Shaw, a 20-something New Zealand actress [and stunt player] who appeared as a CIA analyst in the 2012 movie Zero Dark Thirty, which was nominated for five Oscars and won one [for sound editing], said being part of that project boosted her career enough that she was able to get work to make the move to Hollywood on a full-time basis.
Said Forster: “Little things that come along once in a while give you that buoyancy, and the rest is coasting.”
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