God as my witness, these are the most acclaimed actresses on the planet.
2. Katharine Hepburn, "Morning Glory" (1932), "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967), "The Lion in Winter" (1968), and "On Golden Pond" (1981)
Though Katharine Hepburn has twice as many Best Actress wins as her nearest competitor, two of her wins feel slight enough that it's shocking she lands here at #2. "Morning Glory" gave Hepburn a chance to play -- get this -- a young actress with a je ne sais quoi that ushers her into success, but Hepburn is not a revelation in this film. It took "Bringing Up Baby" and "The Philadelphia Story" for Hepburn to own her gregarious charms. In the '60s she scorched us with a conflicted performance in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (a movie that certainly feels like a film adaptation of an OK play) and "The Lion in Winter," a movie featuring a performance as Eleanor of Aquitaine so bold, so open, so ferocious, and so enchanting that only a primed Hepburn could play it. "On Golden Pond" is charming and her maternal (and grand-maternal) instincts are fabulous. Hepburn's Oscar movies together feel like such a sumptuous composite, a mosaic by an artist whose sheer energy, angularity, and fire could fuel an entire century of cinema.