The phenomenon is called the Curse of the Best Actress Oscar. Its occurrence has been blamed on bad luck and bad relationships.
No single person has been accused of masterminding the greatest string of unsuccessful relationships in Hollywood history since George Clooney began dating. Until now.
Meryl Streep, we're onto you.
See, if Winslet shows up to an event wearing the same gown as Witherspoon, that is a coincidence. But if Winslet separates from Sam Mendes, Roberts parts with Benjamin Bratt, Berry from Eric Benét, Theron from Stuart Townsend, Swank from Whatshisname, and Witherspoon from Ryan Phillippe, that's six of the last 10 Best Actress winners. And as any steroid-era baseball fan can tell you, a batting average doesn't get that high without help.
We don't know how Streep does it. But we know she has the motive.
Twenty-seven years past her last win, Streep is the biggest loser among actors in Academy Award history. We weren't surprised the star laughed when Steve Martin made a punchline of that fact at the recent Oscars: She is the Greatest Living Actress of All Time.
But do you think it's funny to get dressed up for nothing, century after century? Do you think it's OK to walk all over the Greatest Living Actress of All Time? Do you think the apparently happily married Sandra Bullock sucked up this past awards season to Streep for comedic purposes—or because the poor woman wished to remain happily married…even after walking all over the Greatest Living Actress of All Time?
So far in the 2000s, only Bullock, Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren and Marion Cotillard have won Best Actress and not lost a headline-worthy relationship, although we wouldn't put it past a certain living legend to have had a hand in Kidman's divorce from Tom Cruise—in the same year Kidman achieved her first Oscar buzz, for Moulin Rouge! (As for Mirren and Cotillard, we figure, one, nobody messes with a Dame; and two, nobody knows who Cotillard goes out with.)
Is it madness to suggest that one woman driven by Oscar lust would wreak havoc upon the lives of her upstart peers?
Just remember what they always say: Meryl Steep can do anything.
Either Meryl Streep's been very busy, or relationships and Hollywood just don't mix. Check out all the ex-couples in our Big Celebrity Splits gallery.