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Female Oscar Winners

With multiple Academy Awards

The film industry remains male dominated today, but female Oscar winners are finally gaining more and more recognition for their talent. Today we take a look at some of the women who have proven this by winning more than one Academy Award in their career. Although these women have had fruitful careers, they are still outnumbered by their male counterparts. Since the Awards began 92 years ago, women have only made up 14% of all nominations, with only 7 for best director. Although this Guardian article is 2 years old, it can help you visualise this gender gap.

Despite the odds, many women have persevered and made a name for themselves in Hollywood. We can only hope that their success will pave the way for more opportunities for female actors in the future. So let’s look at the women who have impressed the industry with their multiple Academy Awards.

female oscar winners




Jane Campion

Campion has always made history for women in film, she is the first and only one of 2 women who have won the Palm D’Or at Cannes Film Festival and is the first and only woman in the Academy Awards’ 92 year history to be nominated twice for Best Director, for The Power of the Dog and The Piano. With 4 total nominations she has won 2, Best Director for The Power of the Dog in 2022 and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for The Piano in 1994.


Kathryn Bigelow

Kathryn Bigelow made history as a female Oscar winner, when she won 2 Awards in the same year for The Hurt Locker in 2010. She won both Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Achievement in Directing.


Chloé Zhao

Zhao followed in Bigelow’s steps in 2021 when she won Best Motion Picture of the Year and Best Achievement in Directing for Nomadland. Making her the first woman of colour to ever win Best Directing.




Frances Marion

Marion must have surprised audiences by winning 2 Academy Awards for her writing in the 1930s, when women were yet to be widely recognised for their creative skills. She won Best Writing, Original Story for The Big House in 1930, and then again shorty after in 1932 for The Champ.


Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

It was many years until another female Oscar winner would take home two awards for her writing. This was Jhabvala in 1987, when she won Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium for A Room With A View and then the award for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published in 1993 for Howards End.


Costume Design


Jenny Beavan

Beavan has had an extremely successful career as a costume designer for films, with a total of 11 Academy Award nominations. She won 3 of these, making her one of the very few female Oscar winners with more than 2 wins. These were for her costume work on Cruella in 2022, Mad Max: Fury Road in 2016 and A Room with a View in 1987.



There are many female Oscar winners with 2 wins, so today we will focus on the oscar-winning actors who have won even more than that! A truly impressive list of performers.


Katharine Hepburn

Hepburn is, unsurprisingly, at the top of this list. She is the only female Oscar winner with 4 wins! Not only did she win this many, they were all for Best Actress, no supporting roles, so she kept the audiences impressed throughout the entire films with her performances. Her first win was in 1934 for Morning Glory, followed by Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in 1968, The Lion in Winter in 1968 and finally her fourth award in 1982 for On Golden Pond. Her many wins spanned over almost 50 years, making her career incredibly and uniquely successful.


female oscar winners


Meryl Streep

Another absolute legend of cinema is, of course, Meryl Streep, who has received the most ever nominations, with a whopping 21! No other nominee has received more than 12. Out of these she has won 3 Oscars. Her first win was in 1980 for Kramer vs. Kramer,  for Actress in a Supporting Role, only 3 years later she won Best Actress in a Leading Role for Sophie’s Choice. Her final win was in 2012 for her leading role in The Iron Lady.


Along with Hepburn, McDormand is the only other woman who has won Best Actress for leading roles three times. She received these for Fargo in 1997, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in 2018 and Nomadland in 2021. She was also a producer on Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, so she has actually won 4 Oscars in total.


Ingrid Bergman

The final female Oscar winner with more than 2 acting wins is Bergman. Despite her most famous role being Ilsa in Casablanca, she did not win for this film. Her first Leading Actress win was in 1945 for Gaslight, followed by Anastasia in 1957. Then she went on to also win Best Supporting Actress for Murder on the Orient Express in 1975. Another impressively successful career which spanned over many years.




We are hopeful and confident that over the next few years there will be more equality at the Academy Awards, with more female Oscar winners gaining recognition for their work and talent. In recent years, we have seen a number of female-led films receive critical acclaim and box office success. These films have demonstrated that audiences are eager to see complex stories about female characters on the big screen. We believe that the success of these films will lead to more opportunities for women in the film industry, both in front of and behind the camera. As a result, we are confident that we will see more female Oscar winners in the years to come.


If you found this article interesting, you can check out our many others on the Nostairway website, we are a video production company in London and we write about women in the film, arts and media industries. Such as: