The second mention of the Academy Awards is a brief one, but it comes on the precipice of major change in the life of Abigail Phelps.
With the release and success of Pretty Woman, I became a bona fide movie star. Most of the praise I had received for When Harry Met Sally… had been for writing, including an Oscar nomination, but with Pretty Woman I received my second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, six years after my debut in Out of Africa. I lost again, this time to Kathy Bates for Misery, but I did win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. I didn’t have George there with me to laugh at it all, and I didn’t prepare a melodramatic speech that I knew I would never have to recite. Instead, I thanked the producers, and Garry Marshall, and the cast. It was dreadfully dull and safe, but very grown-up.
I was very much in demand, and had my pick of movies that I could have filmed. Tom Hanks and I wanted to work together, and he begged me to do a baseball movie called A League of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall. I had worked with Penny’s brother and her ex-husband, so I joked that it only seemed right to work with the entire Marshall/Reiner Hollywood triumvirate. I was very close to signing on, and then life took a slightly different path.
I remember very clearly the contents of my mailbox that day: my electric bill, a Spiegel catalogue, a reminder that I was due for a dental cleaning, and an invitation to the wedding of Isabelle Duchesnay and Christopher Dean.