Today is the birthday of forgotten, or better said, obscure actress Marsha Mason. But, back in let's say 1979, she was a hot ticket, making movies every year and making a name for herself, picking up 4 Oscar nominations for Best Actress in a span of 8 years. Marrying Neil Simon in 1973, she made a name for herself appearing in hit films based on his most famous plays.
What was it about her that made her such a force of nature during this time, but quickly faded away, ironically, after she divorced Neil Simon. Her most notable appearance after 1981 was in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge. Her big eyebrows, weirdly seductive looks, and superior attitude was apparent in nearly everyone of her performances. When she appeared in The Goodbye Girl (her best performance) she left behind the sexy, smoky performance she gave in Cinderella Liberty. She even played a version of herself in Chapter Two, receiving her 3rd Oscar nomination. This neurotic, romantic character was what she was a pro at playing.
Yet, that still doesn't answer the question of what made her such a force during this time. It's probably the answer of the 1970s where a diverse, wild, and incredibly interesting era of Oscar history. And in the end, I like Marsha Mason and her Oscar nominated performances. She may of not have had a career that was promised from her early success, but her image is left on the screen and maybe it is all left to Neil Simon or maybe just luck. Or maybe the Academy just knew how to recognize more actresses, giving them multiple nominations in a short period.