Oscar love curse
Winning an Oscar is a blessing for any actress’ career — but for her love life, the award can be a devastating curse.
In the past dozen years, nearly every woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress has broken up with her husband, boyfriend or lover — some just months after thanking them from the award show stage.
This week’s Sandra Bullock and Kate Winslet love dramas are only the latest in a long string of Hollywood heartbreak that goes back to March 1998, when rom-com sweetheart Helen Hunt thanked boyfriend Hank Azaria as she got the award for “As Good As It Gets.”
She called him “the very best man I know” and married him later that year. In just six months, they were divorced.
The rest of the Best Actress list reads like a roll call of romantic ruin.
* Gwyneth Paltrow won in 1999 for “Shakespeare in Love.” At the time, she was in love with hunky actor Ben Affleck. Just two months after she accepted the award, the couple were broken up.
* Hilary Swank won in 2000 for “Boys Don’t Cry.” It was her first of two Oscars in five years. But all that success couldn’t help her personal life. A year after winning in 2005 for her role in “Million Dollar Baby,” she split from husband Chad Lowe, whom she had called “my everything” during her acceptance speech.
* Julia Roberts, who won in 2001 for “Erin Brockovich,” broke up with boyfriend Benjamin Bratt just three months after she got the award. They had been together for four years.
* Halle Berry won in 2002 for “Monster’s Ball,” and called husband Eric Benet “just a joy of my life” as she made her acceptance speech. The couple split the next year, after reports Benet cheated.
* Charlize Theron, who won in 2004 for “Monster,” split with her longtime actor boyfriend, Stuart Townsend, this past January. As she accepted her Oscar, she said of Townsend: “I have to thank my incredible partner in crime. You are one hell of a partner to have. Thank you for standing by me.”
* Reese Witherspoon accepted the Best Actress award in 2006 for playing Johnny Cash’s wife, June Carter, in “Walk the Line.” By the end of that year, she was done with her husband, actor Ryan Philippe. He had reportedly met actress Abbie Cornish as they were filming the movie “Stop Loss.”
* Kate Winslet, who won for playing a Nazi in “The Reader” in 2009, saw her marriage to director Sam Mendes go kaput this week — amid reports that he had grown close with actress Rebecca Hall.
* Sandra Bullock won for “The Blind Side” earlier this month, only to suffer through reports that her husband, famed motorcycle builder Jesse James, was cheating on her with a tattoo model.
The only other two winners to escape heartbreak are Helen Mirren, who won for “The Queen” in 2007, and Marion Cotillard, who won for “La Vie en Rose” in 2008. They are both still with their significant others.