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Ten Topless Performance by Oscar Winning Actresses

Recently, a flurry of lawsuits hit blogs who published the above photo (uncensored). It depicted a image taken from The Break-Up, but showed rather more than made it into the final cut. Many takedown notices later, it's all but disappeared online.

I guess, fair is fair - if she'd never approved the release of the images, I can't blame her for trying to stop their appearance. What amazes me, though, is why she got upset in the first place. It seems to be, that if you're to be considered a serious actress, a well-placed nude scene can definitely enhance your chances of an award. As UK Tabloid The Sun pointed out in Breast Supported Actress (man, I wish I'd thought of that title), all FIVE of this years nominees have done nude scenes at one time or another.

Which made me wonder - just how many winners of the Best Actress Oscar over the last decade or so have flashed their assets onscreen?

Turns out, pretty much all of them (with one exception)....

(Do I need to tell you that this one is not safe for work, and contains many nekkid pictures and video clips? You've been warned)

Helen Mirren
2006 - The Queen
There are probably more nude sequences featuring Helen Mirren than any other oscar winning actresses, as this is clearly a thespian who's more than willing to get her kit off at any opportunity, from Savage Messiah through Caligula. The one above is from the early Age of Consent. But for the raunchiest sequences, seek out the arthouse hit The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, from which this mpeg is lifted.

Reese Witherspoon
2005 - Walk The Line
It's hard for me to imagine the squeaky clean Reese in a nekkid love scene, but apparently that's what you get with Twilight.

Hilary-Swank 10
Hillary Swank
2004 - Million Dollar Baby & 1999 - Boys Don't Cry
To be honest, Hilary's one true topless scene in Boys Don't Cry is a pretty sordid and depressing sequence, so I added a much nicer image to this page. Until hilary stops getting beaten up so much in her movies, we'll have to wait for something that allows her fans to Swank properly.

Charlize Theron
2003 - Monster
This is almost too easy. This is from Reindeer Games, which proves that there's a direct ratio between the awfulness of a script and the desperation of a Director to persuade his leading lady to take her top off. I could equally have chosen The Devil's Advocate or Two Days in the Valley or any number of paparazzi images from beaches around the world. Or even one from Monster itself, but then she's covered in blood. So maybe not.

Nicole Kidman
2002 - The Hours
We have a lot to thank the late Stanley Kubrick for - 2001, Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove. Add to the list: persuading Nicole Kidman that she needed to get naked a lot, purely for narrative reasons, in his final film Eyes Wide Shut.

Halle Berry
2001 - Monster's Ball
Though she was later to get to spice up the forgettable Swordfish with a famous and unnecessary topless scene (which she denies getting paid a rumored $500k to do), she's also one of the few actresses to do the full monte in the very film she won the award for. Here's the entire sequence courtesy of iFilm (which I couldn't embed for some reason).

Julia Roberts
2000 - Erin Brockovich
Nope, nothing, nada, zip, despite playing one of the most famous prostitutes in cinema history. So let's not count this one and move on.

Gwyneth Paltrow
1998 - Shakespeare in Love
Gwyneth is another actress who appeared topless in the movie for which she won her award, and very nice it was too (if a little brief).

Helen Hunt
1997 - As Good As It Gets
As far as I can tell, one lonely sequence from The Waterdance is all we have, but you have to admire the carefully designed rim lighting to make the most of the scene.

Frances McDormand
1996 - Fargo
This is from Laurel Canyon. Now, that's just nasty.

Susan Sarandon
1995 - Dead Men Walking
I tried ti find clips from The Hunger or White Palace, both of which figured pretty highly in my pre-marriage lonely nights at home. Or even Pretty baby, but no luck. So you'll just have to make do with this one.

Coming soon - Part Two, where we find out if Julia Roberts is the only topless holdout in recent Oscar history. Or maybe not, because then I'm going to have to show you Kathy Bates' nipples *shudder*. Or if you can't wait that long, I'd recommend hours poring over the archive at fellow Brit's Robb's Celebrities where many similar images can be found.

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You Mongs, Julia Robert's isn't the " the only topless holdout in recent Oscar history".

If you re-watch Pretty Woman, which I'm sure you do all the time already, in the scene where her and Gere finally 'kiss' to cement their relationship as more than just sex and money, you do indeed see a breast and nipple combo sneaking onto the screen.

So there.

said Fred Ward on March 26, 2007 3:29 PM.

Sorry Fred, but that was not actually Julia Roberts showing skin in 'Pretty Woman' - It was a body double. This has been well known since the movie first came out. So, therefore, Scaramouch (the guy who wrote this article) is correct.

said Anonymous on March 26, 2007 4:28 PM.

I think Gwyneth's scene in Great Expectations is way better than the one in Shakespeare in Love

said KJ on March 26, 2007 5:24 PM.

Absolutely, positively not true. Julia Roberts did indeed show nip in Pretty Woman, in the very scene indicated. A body double was used in the opening sequences, and she really didn't show anything you can't show on regular tv there. If you look through the headboard of the bed, as her shirt comes off, you'll see Julia's face, and nip, in the same scene. Mr. Skin lists this as well.

said k. kreme on March 26, 2007 6:43 PM.

I can attest that Scaramouch does not watch Pretty Woman "all the time" or even some of the time, for that matter. It sounds like you and k. kreme were really searching for a nip shot.

said Cindy on March 26, 2007 7:01 PM.

I could swear I saw a clip from a Julia Roberts's pre-fame movie that had some really hard action going, but I might have mixed something up. I am trying to find it again but I'm not too sure I can.

said John Smith on March 28, 2007 12:05 PM.

Wasn't Susan Sarandon topless in Rocky Horror?

said eri on December 7, 2007 10:22 AM.

The movie clip for Reese Witherspoon which you have is from the old (1998) movie "Twilight" starring Paul Newman.

said bigdocmcd on September 22, 2009 11:08 PM.
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