Oscar winning actors found to live longer than those who go unrewarded
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Canada has found evidence showing that actors and actresses who win an Academy Award live a few years longer than other actors who do not win such an award. The group has published a paper describing their study on the open-access site PLOS ONE.
Several decades ago, a team of researchers found evidence suggesting that Oscar-winning actors and actresses tend to live longer than actors who never won the award. In this new effort, the researchers took a much broader approach. They obtained data for 934 actors/actresses who had been nominated and/or won an Oscar through the years 1929 to 2020. Included in the data was their age at death if applicable. They also collected the same type of data for actors who had appeared in the same film as the Oscar-winning actor and who were similar in age and gender as a control group. In all, they studied the data of 2,111 actors, 1,222 of whom had died.
They then compared the lifespans of those who had won the Oscar to those who did not. They found that the winners of the award lived on average 77.1 years; those who had been nominated but did not win lived on average 73.7 years, and those who had not been nominated lived for an average of 73.6 years.
The researchers noted that over the years, lifespans have increased in general. Then, to determine how long today's actors should expect to live, they used a statistical model to make predictions for each group of actors. It showed winners living to approximately 81.3 years, nominees to 76.4, and non-nominated actors to 76.2.
The data did not provide any clues as to why Oscar-winning actors might live longer, but the researchers suggest it could be due to eating better and living a healthier lifestyle to go along with their increased stature after winning such a prestigious award. They also suggest that after winning an Oscar, many actors may not face as much stress in their careers.
More information: Donald A. Redelmeier et al, Long-term mortality of academy award winning actors and actresses, PLOS ONE (2022). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266563
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