"And the Oscar goes to..."
Those words have launched actors and actresses into stardom, no matter how obscure they were beforehand. When Mira Sorvino won, she went from "an actor's daughter" to America's next sweetheart. And she was, if only for a little while. She won the same year Susan Sarandon, Nic Cage and Kevin Spacey also took home acting awards, and there was no indication she'd be anything less than successful.
Sorvino seemed to embody the Daddy's Little Girl image. Her father Paul, known for his role on Law & Order, sobbed his way through her entire acceptance speech at the Oscars. Everyone was rooting for the likable actress to make her mark.
After winning her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Mighty Aphrodite, a small Woody Allen movie that was much loved in the '90s even if it has been forgotten now, Sorvino landed a few leading roles in moderate box office successes. Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion has actually endured as her most well-known role, even though no one wanted her to make it.
"They were all 'an Oscar-winner cannot do that movie'," she said of the female-buddy comedy. "It turned out to be my most beloved role."
Although that movie made money, it did nothing to continue Sorvino's star. When the calendar flipped and brought in a new Millennium it seemed that the page turned without her.
Where did she go? Find out on the next page.
Less than 3 years after winning her Oscar, Sorvino was relegated to TV movies and video game voice overs. Hardly the kind of work you'd expect to land after an Oscar.
However there is more to success than just movie roles, and Sorvino proves that.
In 2003, with her career still mired in odd jobs and patch work, Sorvino met actor Christopher Backus. The two hit it off and married in 2004. At 37 Sorvino had her first child, followed by another in the next year. She now is a mother of 4 and happily married.
She wasn't just raising a family though. The Harvard-educated woman was always active in charity work and was named a UN Goodwill Ambassador in 2009. She's made fighting child slavery a focus of her life and has taken her fight to congress.
She's done that all while still appearing on the screen, if mostly now only TV. She finds something to love about almost any role, and is frequently a standout.
Anyone who has seen House might remember her turn as a doctor seeking treatment while freezing her butt off in Antarctica.
Even with all her work she says there's one job she might turn down if she was offered it again, and it's a surprising one: Mighty Aphrodite.
"I think it would be odd for me, just because of my position. (She) is a great comedic character and I certainly don't regret playing her, but....yeah," she said of her role in the film.
Mighty Aphrodite is about a struggling prostitute trying to break out of the life, something that Sorvino says mirrors too many child slaves.
She's smart, successful and passionate about the work she does. Many people consider her career a flame out, but a closer look shows that Sorvino is doing A-OK, and that's better than any award.