A study of actors and actresses found that Oscar winners lived, on
average, almost four years longer than nominees who went home
empty-handed, reports the March issue of the Harvard Health Letter.
aren’t the only people who reap benefits. Dr. Donald Redelmeier of
Toronto’s Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre found
that Oscar-winning directors live longer than non-winners, and male
directors live 4.5 years longer on average than actors.
findings add to a large body of evidence delineating connections
between social status and health and longevity, reports the Harvard Health Letter.
Redelmeier theorizes that an Oscar on the mantel moves the winner up
the Hollywood pecking order. Winners find it easier to get work, and
when they do, they’re better appreciated and better paid.
it comes to screenwriters, however, this study found that winners died
3.6 years earlier on average than mere nominees. One theory: An Oscar
doesn’t anoint the screenwriter with celebrity status, and the
opportunities and privileges that go with it. Furthermore, successful
screenwriters, because they aren’t in the public eye, don’t have the
incentive to stay fit, look good, and watch what they eat the way movie
The Harvard Health Letter
offers some condolence to screenwriters: A follow-up study of medical
school class presidents in 2004 also showed that success exacts a
price. Despite enjoying prestigious careers, the class presidents died
an average of 2.4 years earlier than their med school classmates. Dr.
Redelmeier says class presidents are typically go-getters who may take
on more responsibilities and, accordingly, more stress that causes them
to neglect their own health.