Frances McDormand has built a career playing headstrong characters on film, television, and the stage. She hasn’t stopped stealing scenes or winning praise since her feature debut in the 1984 crime drama Blood Simple. Over five decades, the Illinois native has earned numerous awards, cementing her place at the top of her profession. She is one of only 24 actors to have won the “Triple Crown of Acting”: an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony.
McDormand is particularly recognized for her work with the Coen Brothers, starring in nine of their films to date. Her link to the award-winning brothers runs deep off-screen, too. After meeting Joel Coen at her 1983 audition for Blood Simple, the pair married the following year.
Outside the Coen Brothers’ movies, McDormand is mainly recognized for her work in independent and smaller films ⏤2021’s Nomadland had a budget of $5 million⏤but she has also taken on mainstream roles. Supporting parts in 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon and 2012’s Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted have helped her worldwide box office gross to more than $2.2 billion.
How Many Oscars Has Frances McDormand Won?
McDormand is one of the few actors nominated for an Academy Award in five consecutive decades. Her first nomination came in 1989 as Best Supporting Actress for Mississippi Burning, which she lost to The Accidental Tourist’s Geena Davis. Eight years later, McDormand landed her first Oscar, picking up the Best Actress Award for her role as Marge Gunderson in 1996’s Fargo. She would be nominated for Best Supporting Actress two more times in the 2000s, for Almost Famous in 2001 and North Country in 2006.
In recent years, she’s claimed the Academy Award for Best Actress for two outstanding performances: in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in 2018 and Nomadland in 2021. Both films also won Oscars for Best Picture. As a producer of Nomadland, she became the first person in Oscar history to pick up awards for both acting in and producing the same film.
In all, McDormand has won three Oscars for Best Actress and one for Best Picture, joining a few select clubs along the way. She is the third actress in history to have won three Best Actress Academy Awards and only the seventh actor to have won three competitive acting awards at the Oscars.