Should cinema veteran Peter O'Toole at long last win an Oscar, he'll have Augusta resident Regina Lee to thank.
Ms. Lee, a voting member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, put the British thespian on her Oscar ballot this year, along with a couple of Scandal-ous Brits and a heroin-addicted pageant coach.
Ms. Lee, who enjoyed a successful pop career with her 1986 hit Baby Love, became a member of SAG by virtue of her talk-show appearances and advertising work. As a SAG member, she is entitled to vote for the Academy Awards. Although conceding she is the antithesis of Hollywood politics, she said she sees voting as an honor that she doesn't take completely seriously.
"It's a happy medium with me," she said. "I try to weigh things out the best I can, but I also approach this as a real movie fan."
She rarely gets upset if her votes aren't registered as winners - Joaquin Phoenix's 2000 supporting actor snub for Gladiator being the exception - but said she does approach the ceremony with a vested interest in the outcome.
"Now the Grammys get me very affected," she said. "But with the Oscars, I'm happy if something I liked won, but I certainly don't take it as seriously."
HERE'S HOW REGINA LEE FILLED OUT HER BALLOT THIS YEAR:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)
BEST ACTOR: Peter O'Toole (Venus)
BEST ACTRESS: Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal)
BEST PICTURE: Little Miss Sunshine
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or email@example.com.