It's the crème de la crème of the cinema world — the Academy Awards. Simply being nominated is a big deal, but actually winning an Oscar can change your life. Winning more than one? Well, that's an even more exclusive club. Before the 2021 Oscars, Frances McDormand had two best actress Oscars to her name. She won the first for her performance in "Fargo" in 1997 and her second for her starring turn in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" in 2018. But by the time the 2021 Academy Awards ended, she owned four Oscars: Frances won her third best actress trophy, this time for her performance in "Nomadland," as well as a best picture Oscar as she also produced the project from filmmaker Chloe Zhao. The wins mean Frances has now won for best actress more than anyone else other than the great Katharine Hepburn.
Keep reading to see more stars who've won multiple Oscars…
Anthony Hopkins has two best actor Oscars. The Welsh star won his first in 1992 for his portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs." He won his second in 2021 for his starring turn as an aging man dealing with memory loss in "The Father."
Tom Hanks is in rare company after winning two Academy Awards. But he's in even rarer company for having done it in consecutive years. Tom won his first Oscar for best actor at the 1994 Academy Awards for his groundbreaking performance in "Philadelphia." The following year, he won again for his work in "Forrest Gump."
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Hilary Swank earned two best actress Oscars within five years — in 2000 and 2005 — for her work in "Boys Don't Cry" and "Million Dollar Baby," respectively. After winning her first Oscar, Hilary gave an emotional speech in which she thanked her mom. "It looks like living out of our car was worth it!" she said while hoisting the award in the air. (She forgot to thank her then-husband Chad Lowe, but that's a story for another day.)
Denzel Washington has two Oscar wins: He took home the best actor award in 2002 for his work in "Training Day" and the best supporting actor award in 1990 for his performance in "Glory." When he won his first Oscar, he shared an adorable story his speech: "My son said he was gonna make one of these out of clay for me — now I got the model for him." The iconic movie star has been nominated a whopping nine times, most recently for his role in "Roman J. Israel, Esq." in 2018.
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Jane Fonda is a seven-time Oscar nominee and a two-time winner (which just goes to show you how hard to win these things actually are). Jane has two gold statues to her name, both for best actress. She first brought one home in 1972 for her work in "Klute" and followed it up with a twin statue in 1979 for her performance in "Coming Home." Jane is so good that there was talk that she was going to be nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for just one major scene in "Youth." One scene! She's THAT good!
It didn't take long for Robert De Niro to show that he is one of the best in the business. He won the Oscar for best supporting actor in his very first nomination for his work in "The Godfather: Part II" in 1974. Then he won an Oscar for best actor in 1981 for his performance in "Raging Bull." Robert has been nominated five other times, most recently in 2013 for his work in "Silver Linings Playbook" — his first nomination in 21 years. "I was surprised that it was so long," he told Vanity Fair of the two-decade drought. "I can account for all the things and all the time, and everything, but there it is."
Renee Zellweger is no stranger to winning an Academy Award — in fact, she has two! In 2004, she earned her first statuette for best supporting actress for her performance in "Cold Mountain." At the 2020 Academy Awards, she became a second-time Oscar winner, taking home the honor for best actress for her performance as Judy Garland in "Judy." Thus far, she's won two Oscars in four nominations. Not bad at all.
In 2014, Cate Blanchett joined the elite ranks of those who own multiple Oscars when she took home a gold statue for best actress for her work in "Blue Jasmine." Cate had previously won an Oscar for best supporting actress in 2005 for her performance in "The Aviator." During her speech in 2014, she said the awards mean "a great deal" to her.
Mahershala Ali's illustrious career was made even more golden in 2017 when he earned his first Academy Award — best supporting actor for his work in best picture winner "Moonlight." In 2019 — just two years later — his "Green Book" performance earned him his second statue in the same category. Mahershala not only won both Oscars he's been nominated for, but he was also the first Black man to win two in the best supporting actor category. "It's not about you. It's about these characters," he said while accepting the honor in 2017. "You are a servant. You're in service to these stories and these characters."
Hello, Clarice! Jodie Foster knows her way around an Academy Awards stage (and every other award show, for that matter). The actress is the proud owner of two Oscar statues, both for best actress. She won in 1991 for her work in "The Silence of the Lambs," in which she played Clarice Starling opposite Anthony Hopkins, who won for best actor that year for his transformative role as Hannibal Lecter. She also won in 1988 for her performance in "The Accused."
Sean Penn's most talked-about Academy Awards moment might not have even been when he won either of his two best actor Oscars. At 2015's ceremony, Sean announced that filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu won for best director. Before saying Alejandro's name, though, Sean said, "Who gave this son of a b**** his green card?" Many were insulted. Alejandro, who is close friends with Sean, thought it was hilarious. Sean's previous biggest Oscar moments came from his wins for his performances in "Mystic River" in 2004 and "Milk" in 2009. Love him or hate him, Sean is magic on the big screen.
Christoph Waltz has won two Oscars, both for best supporting actor and both for his work in Quentin Tarantino films, and he did it in two nominations: first for "Inglourious Basterds" in 2010, then for his performance in "Django Unchained" in 2013.
Kevin Spacey is one of many actors with two Academy Awards. And Kevin is two for two when it comes to nominations and winning. In 2000, he took home the best actor Oscar for his work in "American Beauty." He won a best supporting actor trophy in 1996 for his performance in "The Usual Suspects," when he may or may not have played Keyser Soze (don't worry, it's not a spoiler).
Oh, Meryl Streep, the queen of our time! With 21 nods, Meryl has been nominated for more Oscars than any actor or actress. She's won three of them. Meryl's first big win came in 1980 when she was bestowed the best supporting actress honor for her work in "Kramer vs. Kramer." Three years later in 1983, she won her first best actress Oscar for her performance in "Sophie's Choice." She followed it up with another one in 2012 for her portrayal of U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady." Meryl was most recently nominated in 2017 for her performance in "Florence Foster Jenkins" and in 2018 for her work in "The Post."
Daniel Day-Lewis has been, and always will be, one of the best actors around. He's won the best actor Oscar three times: for his work in "My Left Foot" in 1989, "There Will Be Blood" in 2007 and "Lincoln" in 2012. He was also nominated three other times. When he won in 2012, he joked about the toll acting has taken on his marriage. "Since we got married 16 years ago, my wife Rebecca [Miller] has lived with some very strange men," he said. "Luckily, she's the versatile one of the family and she's been the perfect companion to all of them." He was most recently nominated for his performance in "Phantom Thread" in 2018.
Ingrid Bergman was one of the best actresses of her time and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized that by awarding her three Oscars. The Swedish actress took home the best actress award in 1945 and 1957 for her work in "Gaslight" and "Anastasia," respectively. In 1975, she was named best supporting actress for her performance in "Murder on the Orient Express." Perhaps more notable is that she wasn't even nominated for her performance in "Casablanca."
Mr. Cool himself! Over a career that's spanned seven decades, Jack Nicholson has been nominated for an astounding 12 Academy Awards. He's won three. He first nabbed an Oscar for best actor in 1976 for his work in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." He won again in 1984 for his performance in "Terms of Endearment," that time for best supporting actor. Showing how consistent he is, Jack won his third Oscar in three decades in 1998 for his work in "As Good As It Gets." He actually danced on stage when he won his third!
Walter Brennan was an every-other-year winner. The Massachusetts-born actor was the star of the '30s, with few matching his acting success. He won the Academy Award for best supporting actor in 1937 for his work in "Come and Get It," in 1939 for his performance in "Kentucky," and in 1941 for his work in "The Westerner." To this day, he's still tied (with Daniel-Day Lewis and Jack Nicholson) as the male actor with the most Oscars.
Katharine Hepburn is the goddess of the Oscars. During her 66-year acting career, she took home four Academy Awards, all for best actress, but she never once received them live at the ceremony. She simply didn't attend. Her first win came in 1934 for "Morning Glory." She followed it up with three others for her performances in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" in 1968, "Lion in Winter" in 1969 and "On Golden Pond" in 1982. She's still the most awarded actor or actress in the history of the show. "As for me, prizes are nothing," she once said. "My prize is my work."
If you follow the Oscars closely, you have certainly heard of Edith Head. The legendary costume designer won a record eight Academy Awards for best costume design. Her first came in 1949 while her last came in 1973, eight years before her death. During her 57 years in the industry, she dressed legends including Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. She also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and rightfully so.
He might not be an actor, but Walt Disney has the most Oscars of anyone. Ever. The late creative genius won 22 Academy Awards in a variety of categories. He was nominated an astounding 59 times (eat your heart out, Meryl!). Walt actually had 26 Oscars if you include the four honorary awards he received. It's all but certain that Walt's record for both Oscar wins and nominations will never be broken.