Best Actress Bracket Game: Julie Andrews Vs. Jane Fonda


We’re making our way through the 1960’s and into the 70’s.  As a two-time winner, Jane Fonda was a natural inclusion.  But to further fill out the decade of the sixties and also to throw a bone to the Disney fans among our readership, I turned to Julie Andrews.  This contest is lopsided in Fonda’s favor in terms of quantity of wins and nominations.  But Andrews may be able to pull off an upset thanks to sentimental favorites like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.

But before we get into today’s match, let’s recap yesterday’s results.


If this contest is determined by quantity, Katharine Hepburn will walk away with it.  She has twice as many Best Actress wins as anyone else.  She also has more nominations than anyone but Meryl Streep.  So it’s probably not too surprising that Hepburn handily beat out raven-haired beauty, Elizabeth Taylor.  Of course Taylor herself hated the movie that earned her first Oscar.  So Hepburn advances to round two where she will face the winner of today’s contest.

Julie Andrews won Best Actress for her movie debut.  Prior to Mary Poppins, Andrews had a successful stage career.  She originated the role of Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway musical My Fair Lady.  When it came time to adapt the play for the big screen, Jack Warner passed over Andrews in favor of Audrey Hepburn despite the fact that Hepburn had to have her singing dubbed.  Warner was concerned that the untested Andrews wasn’t a big enough star to carry his movie.

Warner’s loss was Walt Disney’s gain.  He courted Andrews to star in his adaptation of P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins books.  At the time, Andrews declined due to her pregnancy.  But Disney held up the schedule to accommodate her.  According to Andrews, she received a phone call from Travers the day after giving birth.  The author told Andrews “You’re far too pretty, of course. But you’ve got the nose for it.”

The movie went on to win five Oscars including Best Actress for Andrews.  The following year, she was nominated again for The Sound of Music – a part she got in part because Disney was willing to screen early footage from Mary Poppins for director Robert Wise.  Andrews was nominated a third time in 1982 for the comedy Victor Victoria, but lost to Meryl Streep.

Our next contest won her first Oscar for a part that was a little more mature.  Jane Fonda was Hollywood royalty.  She is the daughter of Henry Fonda (not to mention brother Peter and niece Bridget).  Like Andrews, Fonda started her career in theater before transitioning to film.  She spent most of the 60’s appearing in comedies.  At the end of the decade, Fonda earned her first Best Actress nomination for a dramatic turn in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

In 1971, Fonda won her first of two Best Actress Oscars for the crime-drama, Klute.  She played a prostitute with connections to a murder victim.  Donald Sutherland costarred as the detective investigating the case.

Following her Oscar win, Fonda’s career cooled.  She attributed this partially to her outspoken activism against the Vietnam conflict.  Six year later, Fonda was nominated again for the drama Julia.  She lost to Diane Keaton that year.  Then in 1978, Fonda won her second award for the Vietnam-themed drama, Coming Home.

Although she has yet to take home a third statue, Fonda was nominated again in 1979 for The China Syndrome and 1986 for The Morning After.


Posted on February 9, 2017, in Awards, bracket game, Movies, Oscars and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. I detest Jane Fonda and adore Julie Andrews. Easy vote.


  2. I don’t dislike Fonda at all, but I’ve never seen what the big deal was about her talent. Maybe it’s because the first thing I saw her in was Barbarella where her delivery is so artificial (the movie itself is fun). She’s fine in the other movies I’ve seen but just not at the level of these other actresses.


    • My first exposure to Fonda would have been the exercise videos. Every mom in the neighborhood including mine used them.

      I don’t remember which of Jane Fonda’s movies I saw first. I know I say Barbarella in college. Her delivery doesn’t bother me at all. It fits the tone of the movie which is weird and goofy. Not sure how much of that was on purpose.


  3. Today is our first matchup of birthday article headliners in this game. 🙂 I’ve been familiar with Julie Andrews for over 40 years—The Sound of Music was a favorite in our household when I was young, and Mary Poppins only a little less so. Jane Fonda I first encountered when I saw Cat Ballou while I was in college, where she was pretty good but nothing spectacular. It was more recently, when I saw Klute for the first time, that I started to have more respect for her.

    A vote here for Fonda, but I kind of think we are voting for who will lose to Hepburn in the next round.


    • The battle to determine who loses to the favorite is a common one in our bracket games. Although every now and then, you get upsets. With all the Disney fans in our readership, Mary Poppins could pull an upset. I’d bet against it, but it could happen. Like I said in the article, if you’re just tallying up statutes, Hepburn wins. But do readers have strong attachments to the four movies she won for? I don’t know.


  4. This is another tough vote for me. I think “Mary Poppins” is great, “The sound of music” is a classic (but one which I don’t feel like revisiting anytime soon) I like “Victor Victoria”, and “S.O.B.” is pretty outrageous, and that makes me want to vote for Julie Andrews.
    On the other hand, Jane Fonda has “Klute”, “The China Syndrome”, “Coming Home”, “9 to 5”, and “The Morning After” on record, plus she’s something of a polarizing figure (Vietnam, the marriage to Ted Turner), so maybe…Fonda, because she’s getting her rear kicked in the poll, and it’s an underdog vote.


  5. Julie Andrews has never been in anything I liked, and I associate her with Disney; her body of work just isn’t interesting to me. Fonda at least did some stuff that was interesting, and unlike the other folks, I like her BECAUSE of political stuff, like what she’s done for Standing Rock, for instance.


  6. maybe you could have a kilmer and Rourke thing since both actors had such similar career


  7. or tom hanks vs tom cruise


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