Academy Awards Watch: A Chronological History of Notable Information
Friday March 21 3:49 PM ET
To whet your appetite for Sunday’s telecast (assuming the show does indeed go on), what follows is an update of notable facts, observations and Oscar moments since its inception in 1928. Keep in mind that each bullet point pertains to the year the movies aired in.
Wings and The Last Command tie for top honors in a category referred to as Best Production while Sunrise is cited for Artistic Quality of Production. Notable loser: Charlie Chaplin ( news) for The Circus.
America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford ( news), is awarded for Best Actress in Coquette. Broadway Melody is the Best Production.
And the Oscar goes to All Quiet on the Western Front for Best Production and Director, George Arliss (Disraeli) for Best Actor and Norma Shearer ( news) (The Divorcee) for Best Actress. Interesting observation: Arliss and Shearer were each nominated twice in both categories.
Best Production is changed to Best Picture, with Cimmaron grabbing top honors. Lionel Barrymore ( news) (A Free Soul) and Marie Dressler (Min and Bill) take home the trophies in the acting categories.
Those pesky little Oscar contest killers, Best Short Subject, are added, with Laurel and Hardy’s The Music Box the first winner. Best Picture: Grand Hotel.
Katherine Hepburn wins her first Academy Award for Best Actress in Morning Glory. Cavalcade is the Best Picture.
The number one box office champ at the time, Shirley Temple ( news), wins an Honorary Oscar, and comedy It Happened One Night, one of 12 nominated films, is named Best Picture.
Bette Davis ( news) (Dangerous) wins her first of two Best Actress Oscars ( news – web sites). Mutiny on the Bounty is the Best Picture.
Supporting acting categories are now included and The Great Ziegfeld wins Best Picture. Frank Capra ( news) is cited in the directing category for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.
The honorary Irving Thalberg award is added, and The Life of Emile Zola is awarded Best Picture. Spencer Tracy ( news) is Best Actor for Captains Courageous.
Spencer Tracy (Boys Town) and Bette Davis (Jezebel) win their second Oscars.
Gone with the Wind sweeps the awards as 10 movies are nominated for Best Picture. Notable loser: the Wizard of Oz.
Although Rebecca is nominated for 11 Oscars, its only win is for Best Picture. Jimmy Stewart (Philadelphia) and Ginger Rogers ( news) (Kitty Foyle) take the top acting categories.
Citizen Kane loses to How Green Was My Valley as Best Picture. Gary Cooper ( news) (Sergeant York) and Joan Fontaine ( news) (Suspicion) win in the lead acting categories.
Although legend has it Greer Garson ( news)’s acceptance speech for Mrs. Miniver was over one hour long, it was actually only seven minutes. Best Actor: James Cagney ( news) for Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Casablanca takes home the statuette for Best Picture.
Leo McCarey (Going My Way) is the first person to win in both the directing and writing categories. Bing Crosby ( news) (Going My Way) and Ingrid Berman (Gaslight) are named in the lead acting categories.
“Mommy Dearest,” Joan Crawford ( news), wins for Best Actress in Mildred Pierce. Best Picture: The Lost Weekend.
The Best Years of Our Lives sweeps most categories.
Gentleman’s Agreement wins over perennial holiday favorite Miracle on 34th Street. Loretta Young ( news) (The Farmer’s Daughter) wins the Best Actress statuette.
Although remembered for her role as evil matriarch Angela Channing on Falcon Crest, Jane Wyman ( news) wins an Oscar for Johnny Belinda. Hamlet is Best Picture.
All the King’s Men is named Best Picture in this highly forgettable year of films.
Classic All About Eve wins Best Picture over favorite Sunset Boulevard.
Three acting awards for a Streetcar Named Desire (to Vivien Leigh ( news), Karl Malden and Kim Hunter ( news)) does not translate into a Picture win. And the Oscar goes to: An American in Paris.
The Best Picture is The Greatest Show on Earth with Shirley Booth, pre-Hazel, winner for Best Actress in Come Back, Little Sheba.
25-year old Audrey Hepburn ( news) is cited for her first film, Roman Holiday. Best Picture: From Here To Eternity.
Marlon Brando ( news) wins his first Oscar for On the Waterfront, which also wins Best Picture. Notable loser: Alfred Hitchcock ( news) for his directing efforts in Rear Window.
Despite minimal on-screen time, Jo Van Fleet snags Best Supporting Actress in East of Eden. Marty is named Best Picture, and eventual McHale’s Navy star Ernest Borgnine ( news) as Best Actor for Marty.
Around the World in 80 Days beats favorites The King and I and The Ten Commandments. Yul Brynner ( news) is named Best Actor.
The Bridge on the River Kwai snags the Best Picture Oscar and Miyoshi Umeki, pre-Courtship of Eddie’s Father, is named Best Supporting Actress for Sayonara.
With the exception of the acting categories, musical Gigi dominates.
Oscar champ Ben-Hur takes home 11 statuettes and Buster Keaton ( news) wins an honorary Oscar.
Elizabeth Taylor ( news) snags her first of two Academy Awards ( news – web sites) for her leading role as a prostitute on Butterfield 8. We’ll call that a sympathy win, given her then-almost fatal illness. Best Picture: The Apartment.
Musical West Side Story rules with 10 trophies.
Gregory Peck ( news) is cited for his lead role To Kill a Mockingbird. Lawrence of Arabia is Best Picture.
Sidney Poitier ( news) (Lillies of the Field) becomes the first African-American to win as Best Actor.
Julie Andrews ( news) is named Best Actress in the now-classic Mary Poppins. My Fair Lady is Best Picture.
The hills are alive with the sound of Oscar with a Best Picture win for The Sound of Music. Roseanne’s TV grandmother, Shelley Winters, wins in the Supporting Actress category.
The late, and great, Walter Matthau ( news) wins as Best Supporting Actor in The Fortune Cookie. Elizabeth Taylor wins her second statuette for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The ceremony is delayed two days due to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Eventually, In the Heat of the Night wins.
Barbra Streisand ( news) (Funny Girl) and Katherine Hepburn (The Lion in Winter) share the Oscar. Oliver! is Best Picture — the last musical to ever win in this category. Will Chicago put musicals back on the forefront on Sunday?
Midnight Cowboy becomes the first, and only, X-rated film to win as Best Picture. John Wayne ( news) is honored for True Grit.
George C. Scott ( news) refuses to accept his Academy Award for Patton while Glenda Jackson (Women in Love) is named Best Actress. Despite minimal acting skills (remember her as the wooden Lady Ashley in Dynasty?) Ali MacGraw ( news) manages to snag a nomination for Love Story.
Gene Hackman ( news) (The French Connection) and Jane Fonda ( news) (Klute) win their first Oscars. Best Picture: The French Connection.
Marlon Brando (The Godfather) sends Sacheen Littlefeather to the podium to accept his acting award while Liza Minelli is visibly present to accept her Oscar for Cabaret. Best Picture: The Godfather.
Remembered as the year of the streak, unknown Robert Opal runs onstage au natural past presenter David Niven ( news). The Sting is named Best Picture. Tatum O’Neal ( news) (Supporting Actress — Paper Moon) becomes the youngest person to ever win an Academy Award.
The Godfather II becomes the first sequel to win as Best Picture. Ellen Burstyn ( news) wins for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest reigns with Louise Fletcher ( news)’s memorable speech given in sign language to her hearing impaired parents. Jack Nicholson ( news) (also for Cuckoo’s Nest) wins his first of three Oscars. Will trophy number four come calling for Nicholson on Sunday?
Although Rocky wins Best Picture, Sylvester Stallone ( news) loses to the recently deceased Peter Finch (Network). Also giving an acceptance speech: Faye Dunaway as Best Actress in Network.
Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky scolds Supporting Actress winner Vanessa Redgrave ( news) (Julia) for using the Oscars to express her political views. Best Picture: Annie Hall.
Jane Fonda and Jon Voight ( news) win the top acting honors for their lead roles in Coming Home. Twenty-two years later Angelina Jolie ( news), Voight’s daughter, takes home her own Oscar.
Dustin Hoffman ( news) (Best Actor) and Meryl Streep ( news) (Best Supporting Actress) win their first Academy Awards in Kramer vs. Kramer. Sally Field ( news) is named Best Actress for Norma Rae.
Loretta Lynn ( news) and Jake LaMotta ( news) are present as the actors playing them — Sissy Spacek ( news) (Coal Miner’s Daughter) and Robert De Niro ( news) (Raging Bull) — take home the Oscar gold. Best Picture: Ordinary People.
Jane Fonda accepts the Oscar for her bed-ridden father Henry for his leading role in On Golden Pond. Katherine Hepburn is also honored for On Golden Pond while Jane Fonda loses in the Supporting Actress category to Maureen Stapleton for Reds.
Ghandi sweeps in most categories and a then-very pregnant Meryl Streep wins her second Academy Award (this time for Best Actress) in Sophie’s Choice. Double nominee Jessica Lange ( news) wins as Best Supporting Actress for Tootsie. Will Streep win Oscar number three this Sunday for her supporting role in Adaptation?
Terms of Endearment gets Best Picture with co-stars Shirley MacLaine ( news) (Best Actress) and Jack Nicholson (Best Supporting Actor) also honored. Pity poor Burt Reynolds ( news) — he passed on the role that went to Nicholson.
Yes Sally Field, Oscar really did like you in Places in the Heart – her second Academy Award. Best Picture: Amadeus.
Despite 11 nominations, Steven Spielberg ( news)’s The Color Purple fails to wins a single award. Epic Out of Africa is named Best Picture. Geraldine Page makes her first, and only, trip to the Oscar podium as Best Actress in The Trip To Bountiful.
After receiving an honorary Academy Award two years earlier, Paul Newman ( news) takes home the real thing in The Color of Money. Marlee Matlin ( news) (Children of a Lesser God) is named Best Actress. Best movie: Platoon.
I got you Oscar – Cher wins for Best Actress in Moonstruck. And the male winners are Michael Douglas ( news) (Best Actor for Wall Street) and Sean Connery ( news) (Best Supporting Actor for The Untouchables).
Dustin Hoffman and Rain Man are victorious with Jodie Foster ( news) winning her first Oscar for The Accused. Sigourney Weaver ( news) is a two-time loser for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl.
Jessica Tandy ( news) (Driving Miss Daisy) and Daniel Day-Lewis ( news) (My Left Foot) take top acting prizes. Best Picture: Driving Miss Daisy. Best Supporting Actor: Denzel Washington ( news) for Glory. Odds are in favor of Day-Lewis winning his second Academy Award on Sunday.
Kevin Costner ( news) rides a wave of victory in Dances with Wolves with Kathy Bates ( news) (Misery) beating the more deserving Angelica Huston (The Grifters) for Best Actress. Will Bates win her second Oscar this Sunday for her supporting turn in About Schmidt?
Silence of the Lambs wins all major honors, including acting statuettes for Anthony Hopkins ( news) and Jodie Foster. Host Billy Crystal ( news) saturates the audience with Jack Palance ( news) jokes after the actor takes home the Supporting Actor Oscar for City Slickers.
After six failed attempts, Al Pacino ( news) steps up to the podium for his role in Scent of a Woman. Gene Hackman (Unforgiven) wins his second trophy, this time in the Supporting Actor category.
It’s Steven Spielberg’s year — finally — for Holocaust drama Schindler’s List. Best Actress: Holly Hunter ( news) in The Piano.
Tom Hanks ( news) (Forrest Gump) takes home his second consecutive trophy following his prior win for Philadelphia one year earlier. Best Picture: Forrest Gump.
Oscar finally shines on Susan Sarandon ( news) with a Best Actress win for Dead Man Walking. Mel Gibson ( news), meanwhile, makes two trips to the podium for Braveheart (Best Picture and Director).
Cuba Gooding ( news), Jr. tears the house down with his energetic acceptance speech after being named Best Supporting Actor for Jerry Maguire. Best Picture: The English Patient.
Self-proclaimed King of the World James Cameron ( news) wins for Titanic. Jack Nicholson snagged his third Academy Award, this time for As Good As it Gets. Most undeserving win: Helen Hunt ( news) for Best Actress in the same movie.
Shakespeare in Love surprises the masses by winning as Best Picture over favorite Saving Private Ryan. Most obnoxious winner: Roberto Benigni ( news) for Life Is Beautiful.
American Beauty wins Best Picture and Kevin Spacey ( news) snags his second Oscar following his Supporting Actor win for The Usual Suspects in 1995.
Gladiator, Russell Crowe ( news) and Julia Roberts ( news) (Erin Brockovich) — come on down!
Halle Berry ( news) (Monster’s Ball) becomes the first African American woman to win as Best Actress; Denzel Washington takes home Oscar number two — this time for Best Actor in Training Day.
Here are our picks for Sunday’s telecast:
-Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York)
-Actress: Nicole Kidman ( news) (The Hours)
-Director: Rob Marshall ( news) (Chicago)
-Supporting Actor: Chris Cooper ( news) (Adaptation)
-Supporting Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones ( news) (Chicago)