Can Winning an Oscar Be a Curse?

It is the actor's ultimate dream to make the leap from the heartland to Hollywood and finally win the coveted Oscar. But according to some superstitions, winning an Oscar might actually hurt an actor's career.

That is just one piece of the extensive folklore surrounding Hollywood's biggest night.

According to legend, history has not been kind to the winners of the supporting roles. For example, since he won Best Supporting Actor for "Jerry McGuire," Cuba Gooding Jr. has made a string of forgettable movies.

"The Oscar is supposed to be the ultimate blessing of your career, and in fact it can turn out to be the ultimate curse," said Tom O'Neil, senior editor at In Touch Weekly.

It seems even more true for supporting actresses. Marissa Tomei won for "My Cousin Vinny" in 1992 but waited another ten years until she was nominated again. Since she won for "Mighty Aphrodite," Mira Sorvino has faded from the foreground.

Sometimes the problem is peaking too early. Tatum O'Neal won an Oscar at age 11, but just this year, she was "Dancing with the Stars."

Oscar Longevity

But winners can take heart -- one study found Oscar winners live on average four years longer than the losers and six years longer if they win multiple times like Tom Hanks or Hillary Swank. Four-time winner Katherine Hepburn died at the age of 96.

There also seems to be some good luck attached to those who shun the celebration and stay home.

"Poor Paul Newman had lost seven times and then finally didn't show up for number eight and then won for the 'Color of Money'," O'Neil said.

Woody Allen and Michael Caine also had the same no-show luck.