As we wait to see who will be named Best Actress of 2011, let's look back on the lady who owns the category, the incomparable Katharine Hepburn.
1) She won four Oscars in the lead category, more than any other actor or actress ... ever. Meryl Streep is unlikely to top her, since of the two Oscars she currently has, the first was for Best Supporting Actress.
2) She had twelve Oscar nominations, spanning the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 80s.
3) She tied with Barbra Streisand for Best Actress of 1968. Babs won for Funny Girl, Kate for The Lion in Winter. This was only the second, and most recent, tie in Oscar history.
4) Streisand accepted her Oscar in person, but Kate did not. She never showed up for the ceremonies as a nominee, saying that sitting through the broadcast, waiting to hear if she won, would give her "dyspepsia."
5) She also never sent anyone to accept "on her behalf." Though all of her Oscars were sent to her home in Connecticut.
7) Cate Blanchette won an Oscar simply for playing Kate. I thought she was a lovely Hepburn to Leo's Howard Hughes in The Aviator.
8) Hepburn won her first Oscar playing a struggling actress in Morning Glory. That was back in 1933. It was only her third movie. She was 26 years old.
9) There were only two other actresses nominated back then -- May Robson and Dana Wyland. I have no idea who either of those ladies were.
10) She won her other three Oscars playing mothers. Even though she was childless in real life.
11) Jane Fonda and Anthony Hopkins were among her children in those Oscar-winning turns. Fonda was her daughter in On Golden Pond, Hopkins was her son in The Lion in Winter. Her real-life niece and namesake, Katharine Houghton, played her daughter in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
12) Two actors won Oscars for playing opposite her: Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond and James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story. These were the only Oscars those screen legends ever won.
13) According to TCM, her most popular movie is not an Oscar winner. They get consistently very high ratings whenever they broadcast her screwball classic, Bringing Up Baby. When that movie was first released in 1938, it was a box office bomb.