Frances McDormand ’79 Adds to Her List of Big Screen Accolades

BETHANY, W.Va. — Frances McDormand, a graduate of Bethany College in West Virginia, has won the Academy Award in the category of Best Actress in Leading Role for the second time in her career, this time for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

McDormand, who earned her bachelor of arts in theater from Bethany in 1979, won the coveted Oscar for her role as Mildred Hayes, a grieving mother who rents three billboards to call attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder. Three Billboards was also nominated for Best Picture.

Earlier this year, McDormand won the award for Best Actress for her role in Three Billboards at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards, where the film also took top honors for Best Motion Picture-Drama.

McDormand is one of the few performers on stage and screen who have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting: an Academy Award for Fargo (1996) and Three Billboards (2018), a Tony Award for the Broadway play Good People (2011), and an Emmy Award for the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge (2014).

She has achieved acclaim on the stage, in television, and on the big screen, having been nominated three times for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Mississippi Burning (1988), Almost Famous (2000), and North Country (2005).

McDormand received a Tony Award nomination for her performance as Stella Kowalski in the 1988 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire. She returned to Broadway for the first time in 20 years to star in the 2008 revival of The Country Girl, leading to a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Play.

About Bethany College
Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.