Five of Broadway’s finest actors are in the running for 2012 Academy Awards! In honor of their stellar work onscreen, Broadway.com is looking back at the most unforgettable stage roles of Oscar nominees Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Janet McTeer, Christopher Plummer and Meryl Streep. Check back each day for a different Oscar Watch feature, then tune in to ABC's live telecast on February 26, hosted by Broadway vet Billy Crystal, to find out which stage great will take home Hollywood's biggest prize.
GLENN CLOSE, Best Actress nominee for Albert Nobbs
Barnum (1980): Glenn Close was a little-known 33-year-old stage actress when previews began for Barnum, the Broadway musical that became her big break. In addition to nabbing a Tony nomination as P.T Barnum’s stalwart wife, Charity, Close caught the eye of film director George Roy Hill, who cast her as Jenny Fields in The World According to Garp, launching her movie career.
The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs (1982): Close’s 2012 Oscar nomination is the culmination of her 30-year effort to bring Albert Nobbs to the big screen. She first played the gender-bending Victorian waiter at Manhattan Theatre Club in a performance that won an Obie Award. Close co-wrote the big-screen adaptation of George Moore’s short story, turning the youthful Albert into an aging, watchful figure who hasn’t given up on love.
The Real Thing (1984): In Tom Stoppard’s brainy romantic drama, Close won her first Tony Award as an actress who embarks on a complicated affair with a playwright (Jeremy Irons, also a Tony winner). The two stars shared a fiery chemistry in a hit Broadway production that also featured The Good Wife’s Christine Baranski in a Tony-winning turn as Irons’ wife.
Death and the Maiden (1992): This dark psychological drama by Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman attracted the starry trio of Close (as a former political prisoner), Richard Dreyfuss (as her husband) and Gene Hackman (as the man who may or may not have raped her in prison). Critics weren’t thrilled with the two men or the tone of the production, but Close took home her second Best Actress Tony.
Sunset Boulevard (1994): Close excels at playing buttoned-down women, but she reveled in glorious excess as faded movie queen Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical remake of the classic film. The show arrived on Broadway amid controversy over Lloyd Webber’s decision to replace London star Patti LuPone with Close, and Trevor Nunn’s over-the-top production left some critics cold. But a turbaned Close won her third Tony—and hasn’t starred on Broadway since.