Academy Award for Best Actress

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Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Prior to the 49th Academy Awards ceremony (1976), this award was simply known as the Academy Award of Merit for Performance by an Actress. Since its inception, however, the award has commonly been referred to as the Oscar for Best Actress. While actresses are nominated for this award by Academy members who are actors and actresses themselves, winners are selected by the Academy membership as a whole.

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History

Throughout the past 82 years, accounting for ties and repeat winners, AMPAS has presented a total of 83 Best Actress awards to 69 different actresses. Winners of this Academy Award of Merit receive the familiar Oscar statuette, depicting a gold-plated knight holding a crusader's sword and standing on a reel of film. The first recipient was Janet Gaynor, who was honored at the 1st Academy Awards ceremony (1929) for her performances in Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise. The most recent recipient was Sandra Bullock, who was honored at the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony (2010) for her performance in The Blind Side.

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