The Academy Awards

Sunday 8:30 PM on ABC Premiered May 16, 1929 Special




  • Season 64 Episode 1: The 64th Annual Academy A...

  • This was the year in which Jack Palance turned an Oscar acceptance speech into an uproarious display of his physical agility. While accepting his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for City Slickers he fumbled through a few scattered thoughts about the history of his career and the age problem for actors.
    Then, at a loss for words he flopped down on the floor and began doing a series of one-handed push-ups. Afterwards when he was asked about the stunt he simply said, "I didn't know what the hell else to do".

  • Audrey Hepburn presented an honorary award to Indian film legend Satyajite Ray who was bedridden in his home in Calcutta. It was originally planned to have Mother Theresa present the award but the idea was dismissed because the producers felt it would be inappropriate to have the elder humanitarian mingling amidst the Hollywood glitz.

  • Due to safety concerns, the crew aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, who delivered a congratulatory message to Thalberg recipient George Lucas via a large viewscreen, taped their message earlier in the week. It was broadcast on the show as if it were being shown live.

  • Beauty and the Beast became the only animated feature film to be nominated for Best Picture.

  • When 100 year-old film pioneer Hal Roach was honored the show's producers decided to have him give his acceptance speech from his seat. However, he didn't have a microphone and, not realizing this, proceeded to speak anyway. The home audience (and 95% of those in the auditorium) watched him speak though they heard nothing. The gaffe was quickly covered by host Billy Crystal who jibed "I think that's appropriate because Mr. Roach started in silent films".

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