The Academy Awards

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ABC Premiered May 16, 1929 Special

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  • Season 66 Episode 1: The 66th Annual Academy A...

  • This is the last time a black and white film would win "Best Picture", it's the first time it has happened since 1960.

  • Whoopi Goldberg became the first woman to host the Academy Awards solo.

  • Holly Hunter (The Piano) became the 7th Oscar winner to have played characters who have spoken no more than one word in their winning performance.

  • Season 65 Episode 1: The 65th Annual Academy A...

  • Snow White had not been seen on the Academy Awards show since her infamous pairing with Rob Lowe in 1989. She was brought back for this show, as animation, to award the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film. However a glitch interrupted the moment, as she named the winner, the recorded announcement stopped dead in the middle and she sat frozen for a few seconds before it started back up again.

  • For his role as Charlie Chaplin in Richard Attenborough's Chaplin, Robert Downey Jr. became the first Best Actor nominee nominated for playing a previous Best Actor nominee.

  • Audrey Hepburn's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was awarded posthumously as she has died on the 20th January, 2 months prior to the ceremony.

  • 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".

  • Season 63 Episode 1: The 63rd Annual Academy A...

  • This is the first time a Western - themed movie has won the Oscar for Best Picture since 1930.

  • Reba McEntire, who sang the nominated song "I'm Checkin' Out" from Postcards From the Edge, was a replacement for Meryl Streep who was supposed to perform the song. She could not attend the ceremony on orders of her obstetrician.

  • Before Annette Bening presented the Oscar for Costume Design, she was introduced by host Billy Crystal as "coming soon as none other than Catwoman in Batman II". However Bening dropped out of the role a few weeks later due to her pregnancy and the role went to Michelle Pfeiffer.

  • All four of the acting winners played criminals of one sort or the other. Jeremy Irons played Claus Von Bulow who poisons his wife in Reversal of Fortune. Kathy Bates plays a psychotic nurse who turns to murder in Misery. Joe Pesci plays a gun-happy mobster in Goodfellas. Whoopi Goldberg plays a crooked psychic in Ghost.

  • GOOF: In his opening remarks Academy President Karl Malden recalled that "in 1981, Thomas Edison put his patent application on his movie picture camera". What he meant to say was 1891.

  • Due to the events surrounding the Persian Gulf War, which had just called a cease fire, security was tight at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and every one was searched and had to go through a metal detector. The only exception was Bob Hope because Bob Verdan, an academy spokesman, said "He's like the American flag. Are you going to make him go through a metal detector".

  • Season 61 Episode 1: The 61st Annual Academy A...

  • At 81, Jessica Tandy is the oldest Oscar winner for her work in Driving Miss Daisy.

  • This is the first time the presenters said "And the Oscar goes to..." rather than "And the winner is...." This was done to avoid offending the losers.

  • Producer Allan Carr wanted Jessica Rabbit and Roger Rabbit to be the presenters of the Short Film awards but Disney's price tag for the rights was too high, especially in light of what he was spending on the opening number. Instead, Carrie Fisher and Martin Short presented the awards.

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Arts, Events & Specials

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Award Shows, Art & Artists