Top Ten Oscar Moments Of All Time
First Published: March 5, 2010 5:57 PM EST Credit: Getty Premium
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Sunday, March 7, 2010 marks the 82nd Annual Academy Awards and with that comes the opportunity for new Oscar moments. And we know you probably won’t have the time to re-watch the previous 81 years, Access Hollywood has gathered our own list of the most memorable Oscar moments of all time. From legendary milestones, to people just plain going crazy, read on to find out which moment topped our list!
10. Cuba Gooding, Jr. Goes Crazy On Stage (1997) Cuba Gooding, Jr. channeled his inner Rod Tidwell at the 69th Annual Academy Awards when the Academy ‘showed him the Oscar.’ Audiences will never forget the outrageous and unexpected moment when the ecstatic “Jerry Maguire” star repeatedly screamed, “I love you!” to everyone in Hollywood when the orchestra started playing halfway into his Best Supporting Actor speech. Gooding proceeded to then jump around the stage and wave his Oscar in the air before one last, “everyone involved, I love you!” And his love for the world kicks off our list. 9. Martin Scorsese Finally Wins (2007) The world let out a huge sigh of relief the night of the 79th Annual Academy Awards when director Martin Scorsese finally won a Best Director Oscar for “The Departed.” He had previously been nominated and shut out five times; Martin himself could hardly believe it. “Could you check the envelope please?!” he said as he accepted the Oscar. When his fellow directors and friends Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola took the stage to present the award, Oscar watchers knew that Scorsese had just won. 8. Roberto Benigni Climbs Over The Audience (1999) There are the criers, the speechless, the in-denials, and the just-in-case-I-win I-will-write-an-acceptance-speech-ers. At the 71st Annual Academy awards, Roberto Benigni created a category of his own when he snagged the Best Foreign Film award for his emotional drama “Life is Beautiful” — the crazies. Upon hearing his name, Benigni kicked up his feet and climbed up on to the chair of the person sitting in front of him, raising his arms in excitement. After jumping down, he proceeded to hop to the stage to receive his award in front of a standing ovation. 7. Jack Palance Does Push Ups (1992) Jack Palance proved that his rough n’ tough cowboy performance as Curly in “City Slickers” was not just a heavy dose of movie magic at the 65th Annual Academy Awards. During his acceptance speech for his Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category, he showed the world that he was just as fit as the younger actors. After poking a little bit of fun at co-star Billy Crystal, Jack walked to the side of the podium, dropped to the floor and proceeded to do one-handed pushups. As the crowd laughed and cheered, he returned to the podium to quip, “That was nothing really, as far as the two handed ones are concerned, you can do that all night!” 6. A Streaker Crashes The Oscars (1974) On a night when Hollywood’s best talent shows off their stunning designer gowns and tuxedos, one man opted for a more ‘natural’ look. Robert Opal, infamously known as ‘The Oscar Streaker,’ bared it all for the cameras at the 46th Annual Academy Awards when he ran across the stage during co-host David Niven’s introduction of Elizabeth Taylor. In the midst of the shrieks and the laughter spreading through the room, Niven barely stayed composed as he chuckled the only response he could think of: “Probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings.” 5. Halle Berry Makes History (2002) Halle Berry joined the list of legendary African-American actresses to be nominated for an Oscar the night of the 74th Annual Academy Awards when she later that night became the first African American woman to win an Oscar in the Best Actress category for her role in “Monster’s Ball.” In a tribute to all who had come before her, she could hardly mask her uncontrollable tears. Halle ended up delivering one of the most moving speeches in Oscar history. “This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women that stand beside me - Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett and it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.” 4. Marlon Brando Says ‘No Thanks’ To Oscar (1973) Marlon Brando has given us classics like “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “On the Waterfront,” and “The Godfather.” His biggest moment, however, came at the 45th Annual Academy Awards when Brando became the second actor to ever say, ‘No thank you’ to Oscar. Marlon, who was absent from the awards ceremony, declined his Best Actor Oscar for his role in “The Godfather” as part of a political protest. Instead, Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather spoke on his behalf, opting to shed light on the ill treatment of Native Americans by the film industry. This large-scale stunt did not prove to be successful, as Littlefeather endured more boos than applause. Though his peers criticized him after the incident, one thing remains true: Brando’s protest remains a timeless Oscar moment. 3. Sidney Poitier Breaks Stereotypes (1964) No Oscar list is complete without the monumental win of legendary actor Sidney Poitier. In 1964, Poitier won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in “Lillies of the Field,” marking the first Best Actor Oscar awarded to an African-American. His win proved to be even more significant as he became the first African-American Hollywood superstar, breaking down racial stereotypes in the process. 2. Sally Field’s Emotional ‘You Like Me’ Speech (1985) Sally Field’s Best Actress acceptance speech will go down in history as the most quoted – and possibly misquoted – of all time. After snagging her second Oscar in five years for her role in “Places in the Heart,” Sally Field gushed those famous words of utter fulfillment and satisfaction: “I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!” The phrase has since often been quoted and parodied with the word ‘really’ inserted at the end, but hey… if that’s how most folks remember it! 1. Charlie Chaplin’s Return (1972) Who can forget the emotional return of Hollywood legend Charlie Chaplin at the 44th Annual Academy Awards? In 1972, after a 20-year self-imposed exile from the U.S. because of suspected “un-American activities,” the legendary actor, comedian, and director returned to the spotlight to accept an honorary Academy Award. When Chaplin stepped onto the stage to accept his award, Hollywood emotionally rose to its feet for a full five minutes, marking the longest standing ovation received at the Oscars and this list’s all time best Oscar moment.
And Our Access Honorable Mentions:
Quentin Tarantino Spits At A Reporter (1997) Though most of the Oscar moments happen during the show, director Quentin Tarantino proved that the red carpet can be just as unpredictable. At the 69th Annual Academy Awards, Quentin spit at reporter Chris Connelly because of something that had been said about Quentin’s biological father. Completely enraged, Quentin mistakenly thought Chris had edited a piece in Premiere magazine about his estranged dad and held nothing back while walking down the red carpet with Mira Sorvino.
South Park Writers/“Blame Canada” (2000) “South Park” sparked controversy all-around at the 72nd Annual Academy Awards with both Marc Shaiman’s questionable song lyrics of Best Original Song nominee “Blame Canada,” and writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s wardrobe choices. The song contained provocative language that the Academy feared would offend audiences while not adhering to FCC regulations. Ultimately, Robin Williams, who performed the song, gasped when the main word in question was supposed to have been sung. As for Trey and Matt, they contentedly made a bold fashion statement arriving in their own versions of Jennifer Lopez’s infamous 2000 green Grammys dress (Trey) and Gwyneth Paltrow’s 1999 baby pink gown (Matt). Marc accompanied them in a blue pimp suit. Adrien Brody Kisses Halle Berry (2003) They say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place. But don’t tell Adrien Brody that because he shocked the world twice the night of the 75th Annual Academy Awards. Not only had he become the youngest man ever to win an Oscar in the Best Actor category (for his role in “The Pianist”), but he also celebrated his award by planting a big one on his presenter, Halle Berry. His passionate make-out session left the auditorium speechless. Women around the world were all hot and bothered, and Adrien was catapulted into sex symbol status. David Letterman’s Famous Flub (1995) Who can forget David Letterman’s hosting disaster with his memorable, “Uma… Oprah” joke that completely bombed at the 67th Annual Academy Awards? During a joke about Hollywood’s unusual names, he introduced Uma Thurman to Oprah Winfrey, and then introduced both of them to Keanu Reeves exclaiming, “Uma… Oprah! Oprah… Uma! Oprah, Uma… Keanu!” Though the Academy Awards have yet to ask him back to host, Dave certainly gave us a moment to remember forever! Heath Ledger’s Posthumous Win (2009) It was nothing short of an intensely emotional moment for Oscar watchers when Heath Ledger won Best Supporting Actor for his psychotic role as The Joker in “The Dark Knight.” Heath’s posthumous win was only the second in Oscar history, following Peter Finch in 1977. Heath’s parents and sister accepted the award on behalf of his daughter Matilda and urged audiences to be happy and celebrate his achievements. Cher’s Crazy Black ‘Dress’ (1986) Cher is known for her crazy behavior and interesting wardrobe choices, but at the 58th Annual Academy Awards, she truly outdid herself. Cher, not nominated for her role in “Mask,” decided to make a statement another way. She showed up to the awards scantily clad in a black two-piece Bob Mackie dress with a feathered headpiece to match. While presenting onstage, she snapped, “I did receive my Academy booklet on how to dress like a serious actress.”
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