Funnily enough, all five nominated performances were adaptations of stage plays. Bergman was taking a role played by fellow Swede Viveca Lindfors. As the barely-legal bride of a Mississippi Delta cotton gin owner, Baby Doll's Carroll Baker was taking on a role previously played, albeit in a slightly different form, by Maureen Stapleton in the one-act play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. Katharine Hepburn's spinster at the center of The Rainmaker was originated on Broadway by Geraldine Page. Deborah Kerr was lip-syncing throughout The King and I, but there was no getting the original actress: Tony-winning Gertrude Lawrence had died four years previously.
Only Nancy Kelly of The Bad Seed was adapting for the screen a role she had originated on stage; indeed, she had won the Tony for her role of a high-strung mother who realizes her little girl may, in fact, be a cold-blooded killer. It is also worth noting, I think, that she is the only nominee who received no citation from any other awards body. Stage or screen, it's a performance that seems to really click with actors.
Anyway, those are the roles. As for the performances:
first and only nomination; BAFTA Award nominee for Best Foreign Actress, Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress - Drama
past winner, fifth of seven nominations; Golden Globe winner for Best Actress - Drama, NYFCC Awards winner for Best Actress
past winner, seventh of twelve nominations; BAFTA Award nominee for Best Foreign Actress, Golden Globe nominee for Best Actress - DramaClearly too old for the part by at least 15 years, but oh, what a vibrant performance! who else could so convincingly play a brassy gal like Lizzie, who doesn't act as a lady "should," whose eyes shine with a perfect light when she sees herself reflected in Starbuck's own, who is both unapologetically herself and insecure about how she is? She's screamingly funny and gut-kickingly heartbreaking. Brazen, confident work.
The Bad Seed
first and only nomination
The King and I
third of six nominations; Golden Globe winner for Best Actress - Musical/Comedy; NYFCC Awards runner-up for Best Actress
As I've said, Bergman was unbeatable, and as I've noted above...that ain't how I see things. My vote goes to:
Tomorrow, the nominees for Best Motion Picture Story: The Brave One, The Eddy Duchin Story, The Proud and the Beautiful and Umberto D. ...plus an explanation for why there's only four.