The answer is Katharine Hepburn. She won for 1933’s Morning Glory, 1967’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, 1968’s The Lion in Winter, and 1980’s On Golden Pond. She won 4 times in total as Best Lead Actress. She was also nominated 8 other times, for a total of 12 nominations. Her nominations were for 1935’s Alice Adams, 1940’s The Philadelphia Story, 1942’s Woman of the Year, 1951’s The African Queen, 1955’s Summertime, 1956’s The Rainmaker, 1959’s Suddenly, Last Summer, and 1962’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
She appeared at the Academy Awards in person only one time, and never when she was a nominee or winner. She was part of a tribute in 1974 to Lawrence Weingarten, who that year received the Irving Thalberg award. If you do not know who Irving Thalberg is, you should read about him because he was one of the most creative geniuses Hollywood has ever seen. He was known as The Boy Wonder. There’s an excellent book about him, Boy Wonder to Producer Prince, by Mark Vieira. He is an expert on old Hollywood, and has also written a book on Greta Garbo.
Thalberg was Louis B. Mayer’s assistant from 1924 until Thalberg’s death in 1936. Together, they made Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) the greatest studio of that time, and probably forever. They had “more stars than there are in heaven.” Garbo was top in prestige, but there were also other magnificent actresses, like Joan Crawford and Thalberg’s wife Norma Shearer.
1930s movies were the best. Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, Ginger Rogers, Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer, Shirley Temple, Claudette Colbert, and of course Greta Garbo. Actors of the time were Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart. The movies at this time had glamour. The houses were often huge mansions, there was no swearing. Do not be put off by the fact that they are in black in white. That just adds to the glamour!