As we reported yesterday, last year's Best Actress Oscar winner Kate Winslet and her husband of seven years, director Sam Mendes, have separated. This surprising news now has the Internet buzzing with talk of a Best Actress curse. Kate Winslet And Sam Mendes Are Divorcing: Oh No!
This "curse" is not a new idea. Gossip junkies haven't been able to ignore a very distinct pattern that has developed over the last nine years. Seems that, more often than not, when a lead actress is awarded for her work, her husband or boyfriend gets dumped for the new man in her life: Oscar.
The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog sums up:
Consider that four of the last seven Oscar winners for Best Actress split from their long-time partners after winning: Charlize Theron (Stuart Townsend), Hilary Swank (Chad Lowe), Reese Witherspoon (Ryan Phillippe) and now Winslet, last year’s winner for “The Reader.” Toss in Halle Berry, who won an Oscar in 2001 for “Monster’s Ball” and soon after divorced husband Eric Benet, and you’ve got five of the last nine winners.
And that's not all. The Frisky points out that Julia Roberts also broke up with her then-boyfriend of three years, Benjamin Bratt, after taking home the Oscar for her role in Erin Brockovich. And even though Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise had already divorced shortly before she won her Oscar, her career really flourished after she stepped out of Tom's shadow. Do Successful Women Intimidate Men?