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Academy Award Winners Who Rejected Their Oscars

Academy Award Winners Who Rejected Their Oscars

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It’s become cliche for actors, writers, and directors to say that they don’t care about winning an Academy Award, even if they do. But in the 90-year history of the Oscars, there have been very few people who won a golden knight statuette and then told the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to keep it.

One of the most famous instances was in 1973, when Marlon Brando won Best Actor for his role in The Godfather. When the presenters announced that he’d won, the camera panned to an Apache actress named Sacheen Littlefeather, who the announcer stated would accept the award on Brando’s behalf. But Littlefeather, who was the president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee, soon clarified that she was actually rejecting it for him.

“[Brando] very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award,” she said. “And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry … and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee.” (The federal government was then waging armed conflict against Native American activists in Wounded Knee, South Dakota.)

The backlash was swift. Midway through Littlefeather’s speech, audience members booed. Later that night, Clint Eastwood mused about whether he should present the Best Picture award “on behalf of all the cowboys shot in John Ford westerns.” After the ceremony, many people falsely claimed that Littlefeather was not really Apache. John Wayne, for instance, told the New York Times that “[Brando] should have appeared that night and stated his views instead of taking some little unknown girl and dressing her up in an Indian outfit.”

READ MORE: The Scathing Reaction to the Last Oscars With No Host

It was the first time an actor had sent someone to reject an Oscar in person, but it wasn’t the first time someone had refused the award. George C. Scott also famously rejected his Best Actor Oscar for the 1970 film Patton. Yet unlike Brando, whose snub caught the Academy by surprise, Scott had actually been saying he wouldn’t accept an Oscar for years.

Scott received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the 1959 film Anatomy of a Murder without much fanfare. But when he received another Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Hustler two years later, he told the Academy he didn’t want it, since he disagreed, on principle, with a competition that pitted actors against each other. He didn’t receive another nomination until 1971, when the Academy was forced to recognize his role as General George S. Patton.

Patton was such a universally praised performance, and he was such a shoe-in to win that year, that he had to be nominated,” says Dennis Bingham, the director of the film studies program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Scott once again informed the Academy that he didn’t accept the nomination and wouldn’t accept an award. This made it all the more surprising when he won—causing presenter Goldie Hawn to exclaim “Oh my god” when she opened the envelope.

Bingham thinks this stunt actually worked out in the Academy’s favor. “They were in one of their periodic spells where the public was questioning their legitimacy,” he says. In the late 1960s, actor Cliff Robertson’s successful advertising campaign had raised questions about whether actors could essentially buy their awards, alerting to the public to the practice of Oscar campaigning.

“So they took the Oscar to George C. Scott as an opportunity to say, ‘Well, no one buys these awards, sometimes people don’t even want them; we’ll give it to George C. Scott because we just simply thought he was the best,’” Bingham says. “And so it actually did something to re-legitimize the award in the public’s eyes,” even as Scott publicly derided the ceremony as “a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons.”

Scott’s accusation of “contrived suspense” may have been about keeping the winners a mystery until the ceremony, which the Academy hadn’t always done before the Oscars were televised. The advent of TV also made it more imperative for stars to show up to get their awards, rather than stay home and collect them later like Katharine Hepburn, who skipped all 12 times she was nominated, including the four times she won.

But even in the early days of the Academy Awards, you could still make a statement with your absence if you did it right. Screenwriter Dudley Nichols did this when he became the first person to decline an Oscar for the 1935 film, The Informant.

Nichols boycotted the Oscars to protest the Academy’s refusal to acknowledge the Screen Writers’ Guild, among other unions. At the time, the Academy opposed independent unions on the grounds that the Academy itself already served as a union for workers. Nichols was the only winner to boycott the event and reject his award, even mailing it back twice when the Academy tried to send it to him.

In 1938, Nichols’ boycott payed off, when the National Labor Relations Board certified the Screen Writers Guild as the representative of film industry writers. Once the reason for his protest had passed, Nichols finally accepted his Oscar.

Why Did George C. Scott Refuse to Accept His Oscar? The First Time in History It Happened!

Patton was a stunning movie and it deserved every bit of the recognition it received. When it was nominated for an Academy Award, nearly everyone was overjoyed.

George C. Scott, who already tried withdrawing from the Oscars 11 years earlier, made the bold move of refusing his award and not showing up at the ceremony to collect it.

8 Academy Award Nominees and Winners Who Snubbed the Oscars

During the first lines of Annie Hall, Alvy Singer explains his failed relationships with women through an old joke he attributes to Groucho Marx and Freud: "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." When the movie took home four Oscars the following year, Woody Allen was nowhere in sight on the dais. Although he has more nominations than any writer in history (fourteen — or twenty-three when you include best director and actor nods), not once has Allen attended the ceremony when he’s up for an award. Is it the old joke about not wanting to be a member of any club that would have him?

If so, he’s not the only one. Every year we hear a lot about who got snubbed by the Academy for a nomination, but what about the reverse? Since the 1930s, some of Hollywood’s brightest stars didn’t bother to R.S.V.P. when the Academy came calling. Here’s a list of nominees and winners who snubbed the Oscars.

1. Dudley Nichols

Nichols was a prominent screenwriter beginning in the 1930s. In a career that spanned over 35 years, his credits included movies like Bringing Up Baby, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the movie that made John Wayne a star: Stagecoach. He won an Oscar for The Informer (1935), a script he adapted from a book about the Irish War of Independence. He became the first winner to decline the award, citing an ongoing writer’s strike. Perhaps as a reward for his loyalty, he was elected president of the writer’s guild a few years later.

2. Katharine Hepburn

Hollywood’s greatest leading lady was nominated for twelve Oscars and won four for leading roles--a record. She never attended the ceremony when she was nominated, although she proudly displayed her statues for visitors at her home in Connecticut. She broke her tradition of non-attendance in 1974 to present producer Lawrence Weingarten a Thalberg Award, where she had this to say: “I’m very happy that I didn’t hear anyone call out ‘it’s about time.’ I am living proof that a person can wait forty-one years to be unselfish.” Watch the video here.

3. George C. Scott

Is it possible to refuse even a nomination for an Oscar? Scott, most remembered for his roles as Patton and the looney General Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove, did just that when he was first nominated for The Hustler. He didn’t win that time, but he did for Patton in 1970. Scott literally telegraphed the Academy his intention to refuse the award before the ceremony, so when presenter Goldie Hawn ripped open the envelope and cried, “Oh my God! The winner is George C. Scott,” no one was surprised to learn he was home at his farm in New York. The former Marine didn’t mince words about the Oscars: "The ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons." Watch the film’s producer accept the award for him here.

4. Marlon Brando

A couple years after Scott skipped the Oscars, Brando one-upped him by sending an Apache named Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse the Oscar he won for The Godfather. Littlefeather was booed and catcalled when she announced she was sent to protest Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans. Clint Eastwood wondered aloud a few moments later whether he ought not be presenting the Best Picture award because of all the slain cowboys in John Ford movies before him. It was later reported that Littlefeather wasn’t a Native American at all, and that she was in fact a Mexican actress named Maria Cruz. She explains her ancestry on her website. Watch the video of her speech here.

5. Terrence Malick

Writer/director Malick has never won an Oscar, but The Thin Red Line was nominated for seven of them in 1999. Despite an abundance of possibility, Malick skipped the ceremonies, in part because he was in the middle of a falling out with several of the film’s producers. In the end it was just as well--his World War II epic didn't win any of the awards it was nominated for. This year, Malick is nominated for best director for The Tree of Life.

6. Woody Allen

Although he’s never shown up on the night of his own nominations, Allen has made one appearance on the Oscar stage. In 2002, less than six months after the September 11th attacks, Allen appeared to introduce a montage of films that had been made in New York, telling the audience that the Big Apple was still a wonderful place to make movies. Watch his entertaining and sincere stand-up routine:

About the awards themselves, Allen had this to say: "I have no regard for that kind of ceremony. I just don't think they know what they're doing. When you see who wins those things -- or who doesn't win them -- you can see how meaningless this Oscar thing is."

7. Jean-Luc Godard

In late 2010 the Academy announced they would award the titan of French New Wave an honorary Oscar. They quickly discovered he was not an easy man to get in touch with. Despite attempts to contact him via “telephone, by fax, by emails to various friends and associates,” and “FedEx,” they never received a reply from Godard, who was just shy of eighty years old then. According to some sources, Godard doesn’t just have a contentious history with Hollywood--he also avoids flying because he can’t smoke on planes. Adding to the controversy was the suggestion in some quarters that Godard didn’t deserve the award because of perceived anti-Semitism. Although Godard never gave a reason for his non-attendance, his long-time partner had this to say: “Jean-Luc won’t go to America, he’s getting old for that kind of thing. Would you go all that way just for a bit of metal?”

8 George S. Scott

Known for playing such titanic public figures as Clarence Darrow, Scrooge, and General Patton, it was for the performance in the latter role that George S. Scott won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Upon knowledge that he might win, he politely told the Academy to "lose his number" because he viewed the Oscars as a "two-hour meat parade."

Scott declined his nomination and explained to the academy that he would refuse the Oscar if he won (he won regardless of his sentiment). It came a full decade after he declined his Best Supporting Actor nomination for appearing in The Hustler in 1961.


Production (Picture):

East Lynne (1931)
(rare film)

The Front Page (1931)

Skippy (1930)

Trader Horn (1931)

LIONEL BARRYMORE in "A Free Soul", Jackie Cooper in "Skippy", Richard Dix in "Cimarron", Fredric March in "The Royal Family of Broadway", Adolphe Menjou in "The Front Page"
MARIE DRESSLER in "Min and Bill", Marlene Dietrich in "Morocco", Irene Dunne in "Cimarron", Ann Harding in "Holiday", Norma Shearer in "A Free Soul"
NORMAN TAUROG for "Skippy", Clarence Brown for "A Free Soul", Lewis Milestone for "The Front Page", Wesley Ruggles for "Cimarron", Josef von Sternberg for "Morocco"

Rejected is now considered a cult classic and one of the most influential animated films ever made, [3] [ verification needed ] especially after it found its way onto the internet in the early 2000s [4] and became a viral sensation. [5] [6] In 2009, it was the only short film named as one of the "Films of the Decade" by Salon. [7] In 2010, it was noted as one of the five "most innovative animated films of the past ten years" by The Huffington Post. [8] Indiewire film critic Eric Kohn named Rejected one of the "10 best films of the 21st century" on his list for the BBC Culture poll in 2016. [5]

The film takes place over four segments and is initially introduced as a collection of unaired promo interstitials for the fictional "Family Learning Channel." The "advertisements" are surreal, feature non-human characters, are often gruesome, and have nothing to do with the product. The second section is introduced as a collection of rejected advertisements for the fictional "Johnson & Mills Corporation" and features the same surreal and absurd humour as the earlier section. The third section is introduced with an explanation that the animator had begun further rejecting the norms of animation and a single short is then shown which was apparently animated with Hertzfeld's left hand only. In this short, the audio is garbled and the characters speak only complete nonsense.

The fourth and final segment is introduced with a title card explaining that the "rejected" cartoons began falling apart. Various characters and elements from the earlier shorts then appear in disjointed succession as their world literally falls apart: Clouds and stars fall from the sky, killing characters the paper the cartoons are drawn on crumples and destroys the animations characters attempt to break out of the screen or are sucked in to holes in the page. A close up on a distorted, screaming character ends the short which abruptly cuts to end credits scored with dramatic classical music.

Production Edit

Hertzfeldt's first film after graduating from college, Rejected was photographed on a 35mm rostrum camera he purchased in 1999.

Rejected features simple hand-drawn artwork, featuring mostly black pen animation on a white background with occasional use of color. As the film progresses and the fictionalized animator begins to fall apart, the drawings become more crude and the animation becomes more erratic. As the film concludes, the paper that the animation is drawn on begins to crumple and tear, and the characters are seen struggling to evade the destruction.

Besides the iconic Allegro ma non troppo from Beethoven's 9th that plays in the text introductions to each segment, a particular segment with the "Fluffy Guys" uses background music from the Swedish Christmas song Nu är det jul igen.

Inspiration Edit

Although the film is fictional and Hertzfeldt has never done any advertising work, [9] he did receive many offers to do television commercials after Billy's Balloon received international attention and acclaim. In appearances he would often tell the humorous story of how he was tempted to produce the worst possible cartoons he could come up with for the companies, run off with their money, and see if they would actually make it to air. Eventually this became the germ for Rejected's theme of a collection of cartoons so bad they were rejected by advertising agencies, leading to their creator's breakdown.

Hertzfeldt has never accepted "real" advertising work and has stated numerous times on his website and in public appearances that he never will, as he feels advertisements are "lies" and he does not want to lie to his audience. [10]

Exhibition history Edit

Rejected world-premiered at the San Diego Comic Convention in 2000. Between hundreds of film festival appearances, Rejected also toured North American theaters in 2000, 2001, and 2002 with Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation in 2001 and 2002 again with a retrospective touring program of Hertzfeldt's and animator Bill Plympton's films called "The Don and Bill Show" and returned to theaters once again in 2003 and 2004 with Hertzfeldt's own the Animation Show tour. [2]

In 2003, two of the "Fluffy Guy" characters reappeared in three Hertzfeldt cartoons created to introduce and book-end the first year of the Animation Show: Welcome to the Show, Intermission in the Third Dimension, and the End of the Show. [11]

Rejected was scheduled to air on Adult Swim in 2001 but was delayed for unknown reasons—it was rescheduled to air in November 2002 "uncut and commercial free", and was heavily promoted on the network that week. However, the short was pulled from the schedule at the last minute, for unknown reasons. Rumors about the reasons behind this highly unusual action have included: the film's brief use of the phrase "Sweet Jesus" ("Jesus" being a word allegedly not allowed on a Turner Network back then), and an anonymous high-ranking network executive simply not finding the short to be funny. Rejected has since aired without incident on the Cartoon Network in other countries as well as on other international television networks, but has to date never been broadcast on American television. [2] However, a brief clip from the film has since aired on the Adult Swim anthology series Off the Air, 14 years later, in the episode Holes. The scene mentioned in the episode is the scene with the "fluffy guys" in which one announces that his "anus is bleeding." [12]

In 2020, for the film's twentieth anniversary, Hertzfeldt appeared at the Austin Film Society for a rare 35mm screening and discussed the making of the cartoon and its impact. [13]

DVD and Blu-ray Edit

In 2001 Bitter Films released a limited edition DVD "single" of the short film. The DVD "single" featured a deleted scene as well as an audio commentary, and is now out of print.

In 2006, Rejected was remastered and restored for inclusion on the DVD, "Bitter Films Volume 1", a compilation of Don Hertzfeldt's short films from 1995–2005. Special features on this DVD relating to Rejected included a new text commentary by Hertzfeldt (via closed-caption boxes), footage from the abandoned cartoon "the Spanky the Bear Show" that later evolved into a central scene in the film, original pencil tests, the 2001 audio commentary, and dozens of pages devoted to Hertzfeldt's original sketches, storyboards, notes, and deleted ideas from the film.

In 2015, the cartoon was remastered again, this time in high definition, for inclusion on the Blu-ray of It's Such a Beautiful Day.

A 35-second deleted scene from Rejected was only released on the 2001 DVD "single". In it, a father inquires into his son's desire to drink goat's blood. The scene appears to fit in with the "Johnson & Mills" portion of the original film, and is revealed to be an advertisement for cotton-swabs at the end.

5 Times People Rejected Their Grammy and Oscar Nominations

For most creative artists, receiving a Grammy, Academy Award or other coveted industry prize is a high honor that validates their talent and hard work. For others, the red carpet interviews and envelope-opening suspense of annual award shows are just self-congratulatory nonsense.

Woody Allen famously excused himself from all Oscars ceremonies claiming they conflicted with a standing clarinet gig at a local pub. (Allen presented once at the Academy Awards in 2002 to honor New York City films after 9/11.) And Katherine Hepburn, despite winning four Oscars, never collected her awards in person, but neither Hepburn nor Allen rejected their awards outright.

The list of actors and musicians who have taken the bold step of refusing a major industry award or nomination is short, but it's full of people taking stands for injustice or simply rejecting the very idea of creative awards outright.

1. Sinead O'Connor

In 1990, the moody ballad "Nothing Compares 2 U" was a breakout hit for the Irish singer Sinead O'Connor. For the 33rd annual Grammy Awards ceremony held in February 1991, O'Connor was nominated in four categories: Best Alternative Music Performance, Record of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance (Female) and Best Music Video - Short Form.

Just days before O'Connor was scheduled to perform live at the Grammys, though, the politically conscious musician announced she was boycotting the Grammys and all other awards shows to protest the "false and destructive materialistic values" of the music industry.

O'Connor was no stranger to controversy she had once refused to have the U.S. National Anthem played before one of her concerts and later tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II on live TV.

In a statement, O'Connor said that the industry-sponsored Grammys "acknowledge mostly the commercial side of art. They respect mostly material gain, since that is the main reason for their existence. And they have created a great respect among artists for material gain — by honoring us and exalting us when we achieve it, ignoring for the most part those of us who have not."

O'Connor ended up winning the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Performance, but refused it, becoming the first and still only Grammy winner to reject the award.

2. Three Grammy Nominees for Best Children's Music Album

For the upcoming 2021 Grammy Awards, three of the five musical acts nominated in the Best Children's Music Album category asked to be removed from consideration because all five of the nominees selected by the Recording Academy were white.

"After this year, to have an all-white slate of nominees seemed really tone-deaf," musician and nominee Alastair Moock told NPR. Moock's latest album, "Be a Pain," includes songs dedicated to civil rights leaders and social activists, and although he would love to get a Grammy one day, "I don't want it like this," he said, "where the playing field's not even."

In a year rocked by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black Americans at the hands of police, and the widespread Black Lives Matter protests that followed, Moock and two other nominees — the Okee Dokee Brothers and Dog on Fleas — felt it was wrong to compete in an all-white category.

When the Grammy Awards are held March 14, 2021, there will be only two nominees for Best Children's Music Album. One of them is Joanie Leeds, whose album "All the Ladies" is dedicated to empowering women.

3. Marlon Brando

The 1973 Academy Awards were the first to be televised internationally via satellite and actor Marlon Brando saw an opportunity to draw global media attention to the plight of Native Americans, particularly the protestors occupying Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

So instead of attending the Oscars himself, Brando sent a young Apache actor and activist named Sacheen Littlefeather. When Brando won Best Actor for "The Godfather," Littlefeather made her way to the stage dressed in traditional Native American clothing.

When one of the presenters, Roger Moore of James Bond fame, reached out to hand the Oscar statuette to Littlefeather, she politely motioned her refusal, then addressed the audience of Hollywood and entertainment industry elites. After introducing herself, she explained why she was there.

"I am representing Marlon Brando this evening," said Littlefeather in a calm voice, "and he has asked me to tell you. that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award, and the reasons for this being the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry."

At that point, some in the audience started booing, but they were quickly drowned out by supportive applause. Littlefeather finished her short statement and later met with the press to read a 15-page letter written by Brando.

As a result of her very public stand, Littlefeather says she was blacklisted (or "redlisted" in her words) from ever working in Hollywood again, although her appearance later inspired actors like Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith to boycott attending the 2016 Oscars in which all 20 nominees in the acting categories were white for the second year in a row.

4. George C. Scott

Months before the 1971 Academy Awards ceremony, actor George C. Scott sent a telegram to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences informing the show's producers that he would reject any nomination for his portrayal of General George S. Patton in the 1970 film "Patton."

Scott had been saying for years that he had no interest in awards or award shows and had even asked the Academy to withdraw his name from a previous Best Supporting Actor nomination for "The Hustler" in 1962.

"The ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade," said Scott, "a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons."

But the Academy went against Scott's wishes and nominated him for Best Actor in 1971 on the sheer strength of his performance. When actor Goldie Hawn giddily opened the envelope and announced Scott as the winner, Scott was reportedly asleep at home in New York. As promised, he refused the award, which was collected at the ceremony by the film's producer.

Two years later, Scott let it be known that he would not oppose an Oscar nomination for his directoral debut "Rage." He didn't get one.

All of the Most Scandalous Moments in Oscars History

Bjork's swan dress definitely wasn't the first controversial red carpet outfit.

When it comes to the Academy Awards, we've truly seen it all &mdash eyebrow-raising fashion choices, full nudity, awkward musical numbers, shocking award declines and so much more. Keep on reading for some of the biggest and most talked-about moments ever in Oscars history over the years.

Only a few years after the Academy Awards were created, screenwriter Dudley Nichols became the first of many to decline his Oscar, which was a Best Screenwriter award for The Informer. He refused the award as an act of solidarity with the Writers Guild, which was striking at the time.

There have been major Oscar snubs, but maybe none as big as this one. The Best Picture award in 1942 went to How Green Was My Valley instead of Citizen Kane &mdash which went on to be considered the best movie of all time by many critics.

When Elizabeth Taylor received her award, it was on the heels of her affair with Eddie Fisher, who was married to Debbie Reynolds &mdash basically America's sweetheart. This caused many people to see Taylor unfavorably. As if that wasn't enough, she won for her role in Butterfield 8, where she plays (as her character calls herself) the "slut of all time." Needless to say, more than a few eyebrows were raised when she won.

Both actresses received exactly 3,030 votes , making it a dead tie. Hepburn won for her role Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter , while Streisand won for her debut in Funny Girl. But Hepburn didn't attend the ceremony, so there was no one to rain on Streisand's parade that day.

George C. Scott had told the Academy that he would reject any nomination for his portrayal of Gen. George S. Patton in Patton . Still, despite his protests, he went on to be nominated for and win Best Actor in that year's ceremony. He wasn't there to accept his award, choosing instead to spend the night at home in New York. So why was he so against the award in the first place? He said he didn't like the idea of creative performances being compared.

Artist and photographer Robert Opel certainly made a statement when he ran naked across the stage at the 1974 Oscars. Actor David Niven saved the show and kept things moving when he quipped "Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"

Even if she hadn't won the Oscar for her role in Moonstruck , Cher still would've stolen the show in this custom Bob Mackie dress. Of course, she topped it with a huge feathered headdress. But believe it or not, it wasn't even the most revealing outfit at the 1986 Oscars .

Not to be outdone, actress Edy Williams showed off some serious skin at the awards ceremony. Williams is perhaps better known for her outrageous awards show outfits than she is for her acting career.

Lowe's 1989 Oscars performance of a modified version of "Proud Mary" alongside Snow White was so bad, Disney tried to sue for infringement. The disastrous performance was torn apart by critics, and prompted the likes of Julie Andrews, Paul Newman, Sidney Lumet, and Gregory Peck to co-sign a letter calling it an "embarrassment" and "demeaning." You can watch it here.

After Marisa Tomei won Best Supporting Actress for her role in My Cousin Vinny, people began to suspect there had been some mistake, since she had beat out several famous veteran actresses. Most seemed to think that presenter Jack Palance read the wrong name, or got confused, and the Academy just didn't want to cause an embarrassing scene. But that theory has been thoroughly debunked, and as we've seen from the Best Picture fiasco in 2017, the Academy will step in if a mistake is made.

Before she was a mother and activist, Angelina Jolie was something of a Hollywood wild child. One example: she famously locked lips with her brother on the red carpet before the 2000 Academy Awards. The same night, after winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Girl, Interrupted, she said in her speech, "I'm so in love with my brother right now, " which certainly raised a few eyebrows.

The comedic duo was nominated for Best Original Song, but what really stole the show was their outfits. Parker was wearing a unique version of the dress Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammys, and Stone was in a pink gown modeled after a dress Gwyneth Paltrow had worn to the Oscars in 1999. They later admitted that they were on acid during the ceremony.

The quirky bird-inspired dress would have been a statement on its own, but Björk took it a step further when she pretended to lay an egg on the red carpet. It's still one of the most talked-about Oscars outfits, and in 2015, was the centerpiece of an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

Halle Berry presented the award for Best Actor to Adrien Brody for his role in The Pianist. As he took the stage, he went in for a passionate kiss with Berry. She later confirmed that it wasn't planned, but said that she just went along with it.

After winning the Oscar for his film Bowling for Columbine , Michael Moore used his speech to make a point to President Bush. "We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons . Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you," he said. He was met with booing and the orchestra quickly started playing him off.

Another hugely controversial Best Picture win was Crash, which beat out the trailblazing Brokeback Mountain . Even the film's director Paul Haggis has said he didn't think Crash deserved an Oscar. A 2015 poll of Academy voters asking them to reassess past decisions found that many members would reverse the decision, and give the award to Brokeback Mountain.

At least, that's what The Hollywood Reporter said. Other reviewers said that Anne Hathaway seemed to be working hard, but even her sunny smile couldn't make up for Franco's sluggish and unenthusiastic performance.

Broadway star Idina Menzel is pretty well known for singing "Let it Go" in Disney's Frozen. But somehow, John Travolta didn't get the memo, and announced that the next performer would be "Adele Dazeem," resulting in some confusion.

Who could forget the fail of all fails during the 2017 Oscars? Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced that La La Land, had won Best Picture when it was in fact Moonlight that had won the honor.

When Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper's 2019 version of A Star Is Born hit theaters in October 2018 , fans immediately began "shipping" them as a couple &mdash despite the fact that Gaga was engaged and Bradley was in a long-term relationship. The pair went on to give a very passionate performance of their original song for the film, "Shallow," at the 2019 Oscars, which only added fuel to the romance rumors' fire. (Both of the stars' relationships have ended since then, but they still have not dated each other.)

Parasite was the big winner at the 2020 Oscars. But moments after members of the cast and crew walked on stage at the end of ceremony to collect the award for Best Picture, the lights went off, prompting the audience to gasp and groan. Right away, Tom Hanks, Charlize Theron and other stars started chanting "Up! Up! Up!" so that the Parasite team could fully enjoy their huge victory. Just like that, the lights went on again.

10. Kathleen York’s Crash crash (2006)

Lest anyone assume that the Oscars is all glitz and razzmatazz, please cast your mind back to Crash. A dopey, badly aimed, overcooked criticism of racism, the film is widely thought to be the worst to win best picture. But it is nothing compared to the musical performance that accompanied it. Kathleen York’s rendition of In the Deep should be remembered for many things. The backdrop of a literal burning car. The interpretive dancers acting out moments of agonisingly slow-motion multiracial torment. The way you started to pray for death after about 15 seconds of it. A classic.

Greek Oscar Winners Over the Decades: Academy Awards

Greek actor Katina Paxinou won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1944. Credit: Courtesy of AMPAS

Five Greek Oscar winners have existed throughout the glamorous history of the Academy Awards. At the Oscars, five Greeks have laid hold of the gold-plated statuette, including Katina Paxinou (1944), Manos Hadjidakis (1961), Vassilis Photopoulos (1965), Vangelis Papathanassiou (1982) and Costas Gavras (1983).

Many others, including artists of Greek descent, have distinguished themselves at the Oscars over the years as well. Yorgos Lanthimos, for example, was nominated in 2017 for Best Screenplay for his film “Lobster.” In 2019 his film “The Favourite” was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Film and Best Director.

The Greek Oscar Winners

Greeks and the Oscars go way back, to the years of World War II, when in 1944 Katina Paxinou won Best Supporting Actress award for her role in “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” a film based on Ernest Hemingway’s beloved novel.

Paxinou was not only the first Greek woman to hold an Oscar — she also became the first non-American to be honored with an American Film Academy Award.

Wearing a plain black dress in her acceptance speech at the awards ceremony, the Greek Oscar winner paid tribute to her colleagues at the National Theater of Greece and the American soldiers who were fighting in many fronts around the globe.

“The honor gives me the opportunity to send my deep love and admiration to the heroic soldiers of your great nation, the young people of America who fight with their allies all over the world for Freedom, Justice and Human Dignity,” Paxinou said in her remarks.

On April 17, 1961, Manos Hadjidakis was awarded the Oscar for Best Song for “Children of Piraeus” in Jill Dassen’s film “Never on Sunday.”

However, the Greek composer never treated the Oscars as a special moment in his career, saying “It might be a simple song that brought me the Oscar. But my ambitions and my obligations do not stop there …For me, it’s not the crown of a career, but my true beginning.”

Vassilis Photopoulos

Vassilis Photopoulos, an influential Greek painter, film director, art director and set designer, became an Academy Award winner in 1965 for Art Direction for the film “Zorba the Greek.”

On March 29, 1982, composer Vangelis Papathanassiou, known internationally simply as “Vangelis,” won an Oscar for his music for Hugh Hudson’s film “Chariots of Fire.”

The movie is based on the true story of two British amateur runners aiming to win the gold medal at the 1924 Olympics. The music of the Greek composer played an important role in the success of the film. The music of the opening titles is considered to be one of the most popular moments in the history of cinema music and has been used extensively in films and television shows.

The following year, on April 11, 1983, Greek-born filmmaker Costa-Gavras was honored for his Oscar-winning screenplay for the haunting film “The Missing.”

The film was based on a book by Thomas X, which tells the true story of American journalist Charlie Horman, who disappeared in Chile during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The film’s music was written by Vangelis Papathanasiou, who was an Oscar nominee.

In addition to Greek Oscar winners there are also many Greek Americans who have won Oscars.

The Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. They are regarded as the most famous and prestigious awards in the entertainment industry around the world. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements, as assessed by the Academy’s voting membership.

The various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette as a trophy, officially called the “Academy Award of Merit”, although more commonly referred to by its nickname, the “Oscar”. The statuette depicts a knight rendered in the Art Deco style. The award was originally sculpted by George Stanley from a design sketch by Cedric Gibbons. AMPAS first presented it in 1929 at a private dinner hosted by Douglas Fairbanks in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in what would become known as the 1st Academy Awards.

The Academy Awards ceremony was first broadcast by radio in 1930 and was televised for the first time in 1953. It is the oldest worldwide entertainment awards ceremony and is now televised live worldwide. It is also the oldest of the four major annual American entertainment awards its equivalents – the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater, and the Grammy Awards for music – are modeled after the Academy Awards. They are widely cited as the most famous and prestigious competitive awards in the field of entertainment. Greeks have won Oscars only in a few categories, but Greek Americans are often featured in the awards.

The Academy officially adopted the name “Oscar” for the trophies in 1939. However, the origin of the nickname is disputed. In addition to the Academy Award of Merit (Oscar award), there are nine honorary (non-competitive) awards presented by the Academy from time to time, including the Governors Awards, The Academy Honorary Award (annual) (which may or may not be in the form of an Oscar statuette), The Academy Scientific and Technical Awards: The Academy Student Academy Awards (annual), The Academy also awards Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

Greek Oscar Nominees in the 2021 Academy Awards

The Greeks who are nominated for the 2021 Oscars are Phaedon Papamichael for the photography direction of Aaron Sorkin’s “Trial of 7 in Chicago” and George Lambrinos for the editing of “The Father” by Florian Zeller.

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