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Oscar Curse? Study Finds Divorce Rate Higher For Best Actress Winners

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Actress Reese Witherspoon accompanies former husband actor Ryan Phillippe at a screening of "Flags Of Our Fathers" at the Tribeca Grand screening room October 16, 2006 in New York City. The couple officially split up later that year.  (credit: Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

Actress Reese Witherspoon accompanies former husband actor Ryan Phillippe at a screening of “Flags Of Our Fathers” at the Tribeca Grand screening room October 16, 2006 in New York City. The couple officially split up later that year. (credit: Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — What do Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon and Bette Davis have in common? All of them got divorced after winning the Academy Award for Best Actress.

A new study that looked at the 751 nominees in the best actor and actress categories since 1936 suggests earning the prestigious honor takes a heavy and often destructive toll on marriages, with 63 per cent ending sooner than the marriages of non-winners.

Tiziana Casciaro, a professor of organizational behavior at the Rotman School of Management, tells KFWB’s Michael Shappee that whether coincidentally or otherwise, the numbers don’t lie.


Researchers at the Rotman School of Management and Carnegie Mellon University also found that the trend does not extend to males, as there appears to be no significantly increased risk of divorce in the wake of a Best Actor win.

Noting that gender role play a substantial role in the trend, Casciaro also points out that “breaching this social norm” of the women attaining greater social status can strain the marriage.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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