3-in-5'ers: Meryl Streep Rejoins the Elite Oscar Club This Year

"The Iron Lady" star is one of only 20 women who have scored at least three best actress noms within a five-year span -- something she's now done four times.
The Weinstein Company

A few days ago, I wrote a post in which I noted that George Clooney (thanks to his best actor Oscar nomination last month for The Descendants) is now a member of an elite club of men who have scored three or more best actor Oscar nominations within a span of just five years, and that the majority of the other members wound up winning at least once during their streaks -- something that Clooney has yet to do, but hopes to do on February 26.

PHOTOS: 'Iron Lady' Red Carpet -- Who Came, What Happened, Who Wore What

What I neglected to realize at the time was that Clooney is not the only one of this year's acting Oscar nominees who has been nominated at least three times since the 2007-2008 awards season.

Meryl Streep (thanks to her best actress Oscar nomination last month for The Iron Lady) is now a member of a comparably exclusive club of women who have scored three or more best actress Oscar noms within a span of just five years!

Whereas Clooney brought the male total to 16 men and 18 streaks (Spencer Tracy and Jack Lemmon had two each), Streep brings the female total to 20 women and 23 streaks. Most amazingly, this is her fourth such streak -- no other female has more than one -- but she has won a best actress Oscar only once, and that was 29 years ago.

PHOTOS: Academy Awards 2012 Nominees

Although Streep lost this year's best actress SAG Award to Viola Davis (The Help), and although seven of the last 10 winners of that prize went on to repeat at the Oscars, she can take heart from the fact that 14 of the 19 other women's streaks produced at least one statuette (three produced two) -- five for the third film in the streak (as would also be the case for Streep).

Here's a breakdown of each streak...

Norma Shearer
[The Divorcee (1929/1930) WON, Their Own Desire (1929/1930), A Free Soul (1930/1931), [The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)], Romeo and Juliet (1936), Marie Antoinette (1938)]

Bette Davis
[Of Human Bondage (1934), [Dangerous (1935) WON, [Jezebel (1938) WON], Dark Victory (1939)], [The Letter (1940), The Little Foxes (1941), Now, Voyager (1942)], Mrs. Skeffington (1944)]

Irene Dunne
Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939)

Joan Fontaine
Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941) WON, The Constant Nymph (1943)

Greer Garson
[Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), [Blossoms in the Dust (1941), Mrs. Miniver (1942) WON, Madame Curie (1943)], Mrs. Parkington (1944), The Valley of Decision (1945)]

Jennifer Jones
The Song of Bernadette (1943) WON, Love Letters (1945), Duel in the Sun (1946)

Ingrid Bergman
[For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), [Gaslight (1944) WON, The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)], Joan of Arc (1948)]

Olivia de Havilland
To Each His Own (1946) WON, The Snake Pit (1948), The Heiress (1949) WON

Katharine Hepburn
Summertime (1955), The Rainmaker (1956), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Elizabeth Taylor
Raintree Country (1957), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Butterfield 8 (1960) WON

Deborah Kerr
[From Here to Eternity (1953), [The King and I (1956), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)], Separate Tables (1958), The Sundowners (1960)]

Glenda Jackson
[Women in Love (1970) WON, [Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971), A Touch of Class (1973) WON], Hedda (1975)]

Jane Fonda
Julia (1977), Coming Home (1978) WON, The China Syndrome (1979)

Marsha Mason
The Goodbye Girl (1977), Chapter Two (1979), Only When I Laugh (1981)

Jessica Lange
Frances (1982), Country (1984), Sweet Dreams (1985)

Sissy Spacek
[Coal Miner's Daughter (1980) WON, [Missing (1982), The River (1984)], Crimes of the Heart (1986)]

Meryl Streep
The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), Sophie's Choice (1982) WON, Silkwood (1983), Out of Africa (1985)
Ironweed (1987), A Cry in the Dark (1988), Postcards from the Edge (1990)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995), One True Thing (1998), and Music of the Heart (1999)
Doubt (2008), Julie & Julia (2009), The Iron Lady (2011) PENDING

Susan Sarandon
Thelma & Louise (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), The Client (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995) WON

Emma Thompson
Howard's End (1992) WON, The Remains of the Day (1993), Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Kate Winslet
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Little Children (2006), The Reader (2008) WON