The Oscar divorce jinx

Winning the Academy Award for Best Actress increases the likelihood of divorce, according to a new study.  In other news, the media has completely run out of things to write about the Academy Awards.

Over the decades, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Halle Berry, Hilary Swank, Reese Witherspoon and Kate Winslet all saw their marriages spiral into divorce after picking up Academy Awards in the Best Actress category.

So this year’s married Best Actress nominees like Nicole Kidman, 43, and Annette Bening, 52 may have reason to worry about winning, according to a new study from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Carnegie Mellon University.

The 2010 study looked at the 751 nominees in the Best Actor and Actress categories of the Academy Awards between 1936 and 2010.

The results showed that Best Actress winners have a 63 per cent chance of their marriages ending sooner than the marriages of non-winners.


According to the study, the median marriage duration for Best Actress winners was 4.30 years. Researchers called that “substantially lower” than the 9.51 year marriage duration for non-winners.

By contrast, the difference in marriage duration between Best Actor non-winners (12.66 years) and Best Actor winners (11.97 years) was not statistically significant.

Why this is so is open to interpretation, but other studies add insight to the trend.

“We know from several studies of the general population that gender differences have historically given greater superiority to husbands over wives in terms of their professional, economic and social status,” says Casciaro.

When that norm is violated couples feel discomfort.

It could be worse.  You could win an Oscar and later find yourself starring in Daddy Day Camp.

4 thoughts on “The Oscar divorce jinx

  1. Ruth Evans says:

    My ex-husband should WIN an Oscar for the best actor playing the dramatic role of a “family man”: devoted husband and father.

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