<--- Katharine Hepburn in Morning Glory (1933) as depicted by artist Joseph Grant
I thought I should take in some of the sights while I'm here in DC. So today I briefly ventured into the rather schizophrenic National Portrait Gallery with a little time to kill before hitting a screening of Hamlet 2. Maybe I was moving too quickly through the museum but it seemed very erratic: hip hop artists here, political historical presidential types there, Judy Garland by Warhol, Joseph Smith and Brigham Young (!!! and ???) were suddenly there without warning, Queen Elizabeth (before she was Cate Blanchett), and then a lengthy series involving The Civil War. What an odd collection.
I felt as if I had stumbled into Oscar's wet dream edited by the folks who brought you La Vie En Rose: biopics were everywhere! All those Important Lives™ flashing before my eyes in no discernable order ...certainly not chronologically. Naturally the one thing that stopped me dead in my tracks was the Oscars themselves. Four of them to be precise...
...all of them belonging to one Katharine Hepburn, the most decorated of all Hollywood thespians. They had a whole exhibit dedicated to her which is up for one more month. I snapped this photo (my phone is old and weak) to show you her golden boys in chronological order for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981). The 30s Oscar is shorter than the rest but strangely it's the 80s Oscar that looks the most worn. The ones from the 60s are still sparkly. Did she manhandle it a lot or was the gold plating just much cheaper by the 1980s?
Will that four statue triumph of a record ever be tied... let alone broken? I once though Jack Nicholson would do it. He still could. Just one shy... and if he could win for As Good As it Gets he could probably win for something heftier again should he choose to push himself. (That pass for The Departed sure was weird though given their usual nutso devotion to him).
I used to strongly believe and hope that Meryl Streep would do it --being halfway there and because I prefer her to Hepburn --but I often doubt that that will happen now. Then I stop to remember: Kate didn't even win her second golden boy until she was 61. Meryl turns 60 next summer! Wouldn't it be something if she won two in a row, like Hepburn, as she entered her 60s. She could start with Doubt.