Meryl Streep in 'Julie & Julia'It's hard to believe, but Meryl Streep, arguably America's most acclaimed actress, has not won an Academy Award since 1983, when she took home the Best Actress trophy for 'Sophie's Choice.' (Three years earlier she nabbed her first Oscar for her supporting role in 'Kramer vs. Kramer.')

That's a grand total of two wins -- and only one for a leading role -- in her entire 32-year movie career, despite having been nominated 15 times. (For some perspective: Sally Field and Hilary Swank both won the Best Actress award twice.) Streep's current and 16th nomination is for her delicious portrayal of Julia Child in 'Julie & Julia.' Will she lose out yet again?

Judging from past years ... it's a distinct possibility. Winning an Oscar, of course, is all about who else is in the running that particular year. In addition to other disadvantages, which are detailed below, Streep's had the misfortune to be nominated repeatedly alongside actresses who not only gave outstanding performances, but whose "Time Had Come" to win. When the Academy, like God, decides that it's someone's time, there's no getting around it.

Let's break it down by year of nomination (all for Best Actress unless otherwise stipulated; winners are in bold):
categories Features, Oscars