BY MARISSA CASTANOS
Every year around this time, celebrities, filmmakers, producers, and everyone else involved in the film industry put on their best gowns and tuxedos and head to the Oscars. This year’s Oscars was a special one, as the Academy Awards celebrated its 90th year. In honor of 90 years of films being recognized for their greatness, Tiger Media Network has decided to take you through a timeline of the most memorable moments of the Oscars.
Turn the clock back 78 years to when Hattie McDaniel was the first black Oscar winner. She played the role of Mammy, a Georgia plantation slave, in Gone With the Wind. Due to segregation laws during this time period, McDaniel was forced to sit in the back of the venue. During her acceptance speech, McDaniel said, “I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry.” It won’t be until we move 51 years forward on our timeline before another African American wins another Oscar.
The year is 1969, when teased hair was all the rage. This was also the year that Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn split the Oscar for “Best Actress.” Due to Hepburn’s absence at the Oscars, Streisand took the stage and stole the spotlight to accept her award. This year, each actress received 3,030 votes. In the history of the Academy Awards, three more ties have happened.
Four more years up the timeline, we arrive at Marlon Brando, who refused his Oscar statuette. Brando is most famous for his work on The Godfather, and although he won Best Actor, he did not even attend the Oscars. Rather than accepting his award, Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a female Native American activist, to take the stage for him. Littlefeather explained that “he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award, and the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry.” A few months after the Oscars, Brando said he did not regret his decision to reject his award.
Anyone who knows Sally Field, most likely knows the quote she uttered at the Oscars, or did she? Even other celebrities have found themselves saying the quote that so many believe she said that night. The quote? “You like me, you really like me!” When Field won Best Actress for her work in Places in the Heart, she actually said, “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me.”
In 1994, 11-year old Anna Paquin won Best Supporting Actress for her first-ever onscreen role in The Piano. When her name was announced, Paquin, along with so many others, had the expression of surprise and joy on their faces. Paquin walked up to the stage, held her statuette in her hand, and giggled nervously before saying her ‘thank yous.’ Six years later during an interview, Paquin said that the experience was frightening, and that “I remember being very, very worried I wasn’t going to be able to say anything.”
Move along the timeline 8 years, where Halle Berry made history as being the first and only black woman to this day to win the Best Actress award. During her acceptance speech, Berry said that “this moment is so much bigger than me. It’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”
Heath Ledger’s performance in The Dark Knight did not fail to impress and was enough to win him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2009. Unfortunately, Ledger overdosed the year before, so his family accepted the statuette on behalf of his young daughter, Matilda. His sister, Kate Ledger, gave the acceptance speech for her late brother:
“Heath, we both knew what you had created in the Joker was extraordinarily special and had even talked about being here on this very day. We really wish you were, but we proudly accept this award on behalf of your beautiful Matilda.”
In 2014, Ellen DeGeneres, host of that year’s Oscars, took one of the most legendary selfies that will go down in history. Ellen had a plan to take this picture from the beginning of rehearsals, but it came to be that the stunt was a product placement by Samsung, who spent $20 million on airtime. Nonetheless, the selfie is still of iconic measures, and you can check it out here.
Two years later, Chris Rock, host of that year’s award show, brought attention to the fact that it was the second year in a row that 20 white actors and actresses were nominated in the lead and supporting row categories. Rock was not quiet about this, but rather played on it for his monologue, saying that “I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards.”
It was also this year that Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar after his many years in the film industry. DiCaprio used his time on stage to educate about climate change by saying:
“Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. Let us now take this planet for granted.”
For a complete list of this year’s Academy Award Winners, click the following link: http://variety.com/2018/film/news/2018-oscars-winners-list-academy-awards-1202713535/