The spate of 1980s musical biopics can be traced to the success of 1980’s Coal Miner’s Daughter. Nominated for seven Oscars, it captured a Best Actress statuette for Sissy Spacek, who played the title character.
Loretta Lynn, has never been nominated for an Oscar (yet) but wrote the book and lived the life on which the film was based. (Arkansan Levon Helm was robbed of a nomination for playing Lynn’s father in the film.)
Over her career, Lynn has made numerous appearances in Little Rock, gradually moving up the billing until she was the star attraction. Among her most recent appearances were a 2007 concert at Robinson Center (with three generations of Lynns and Webbs–the latter being her maiden name), and a 1997 concert at Wildwood Park.
While musical biopics were quite popular in the 1930s through 1950s, by the 1960s and 1970s, they had fallen out of favor. But the success of Coal Miner’s Daughter led to numerous (countless?) on the big screen and TV. Spacek ably captured Lynn’s grit, warmth, and talent in a well-deserved Oscar turn.