Fay was nominated for two Oscars in 1940,in the Leading and Supporting Actress categories. She won the Best Supporting Actress award for Jezebel and lost the Leading Actress award to her Jezebel co-star Bette Davis.
Fay presented Hattie McDaniel her Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1941. Hattie was the first African American person to be nominated for, and win, an Oscar.
She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.