The Top 10… Post Oscar Breakups of the Last 20 Years

The “best actress curse” dates back to the very first Academy Awards: when Janet Gaynor took home her Oscar for “Seventh Heaven,” “Sunrise,” and “Street Angel,” her beloved husband was by her side; just four years later, they were divorced. Over the years, many other women have followed a similar trajectory, including legends like Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Vivien Leigh, Ginger Rogers, Ingrid Bergman, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, Jane Fonda, and Faye Dunaway. Over the past 20 years, the number of instances has exploded — indeed, no fewer than 10 have seen their relationships crumble shortly after their big night, during which most had professed their undying love to their significant other from the podium before an international audience. We highlight each — from least to most high-profile, in my estimation — below.

10. Emma Thompson (and Kenneth Branagh)

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The top-echelon British thespians married in 1989. They were still together when she won her best actress Oscar for “Howard’s End” (1992) in 1993, but in October 1995—just months before she’d pick up another Academy Award for adapting the screenplay of “Sense and Sensibility” (1995)—they issued a joint-statement announcing that their marriage was coming to an end because they had “drifted apart.” (Reports suggested that his relationship with actress Helena Bonham Carter had expedited the drift.)

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