Those toe-curling Oscar moments
We round up the villains and heroes who make the Oscars so memorable....
Those toe-curling Oscar moments
We round up the villains and heroes who make the Oscars so memorable....
GREER GARSON: THE LONGEST OSCAR SPEECH FOR MRS MINIVER (1943)
The record for the longest Oscar acceptance speech is still held by Greer Garson, accepting the best actress award for Mrs Miniver in 1943.
Despite the late hour - it was after 1am and the last award to be handed out - Garson, the star of the WWII drama - said "I'm practically unprepared" and launched into a speech that seemed to last as long as the war itself.
Taking in the "arbitrary nature of awards" as well as a ramble about ants on set (yes, really) , she droned on for seven minutes (45 seconds is now the maximum) with presenter Joan Fontaine actually opting to take a seat.
Garson never won an Oscar again.
After Garson, director Dickie Attenborough, picking up a gong for Gandhi, went on and on, suggesting "we should examine the criteria by which we judge the manner of solving our problems. That surely in the 20th century, we human beings, searching for our human dignity, could find other ways of ultimately solving our problems."
CHARLIE CHAPLIN: HONORARY OSCAR (1971)
The Little Tramp had been in a strop with the Hollywood system for years ever since the "talkies" had rendered his knockabout silent routine redundant.
His refusal to accept the technological march of time meant he was out of step and and he had been out of Tinseltown and even America for decades.
However, when the great and the good rose as one at the 1971 awards to give him the standing ovation to end them all, he was almost lost for words (no-one in Hollywood is ever completely lost for words).
They saved his entrance until last - even after the Best Picture award. And when he appeared on stage, the roar only paused long enough for the clearly touched Chaplin to force out a brief speech.
"Words are so futile - so feeble." he said. Moments later Jack Lemmon popped onto the stage and presented Chaplin with a hat and cane. The silent movie star promptly performed his Little Tramp routine, and the applause kicked off all over again.
DENZEL WASHINGTON - BEST ACTOR FOR TRAINING DAY (2002)
Denzel cited his hero Sidney Poitier when stepping up for the best actor gong. Here's his speech. He got carried away. Make of it what you will:
"Oh, God is good. God is great. God is great. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all. Forty years I've been chasing Sidney. They finally give it to me and what'd they do? They give it to him the same night. I'll always be chasing you, Sidney. I'll always be following in your footsteps. There's nothing I would rather do, sir. Nothing I would rather do. God bless you. God bless you.
Oh, I wanna thank the Academy. You know, when I was in college, first starting out as an actor, they asked each one of us what we wanted to do. I said, "I want to be the best actor in the world." All the students in the classroom looked at me like I was a nut. Life has taught me to just try to be the best that I can be. And I thank the Academy for saying to me that on this given night I was the best that I could be."
And that's just an extract...
BERRY AND WASHINGTON'S OSCARS FIRST (2002)
In 2002, Halle Berry and Denzel Washington scored a first when they won best actress and actor awards at the Oscars. It was the first time black actors have picked up both prizes.
Blubbing with emotion, Berry won her Oscar for her role in director Marc Forster's Monster's Ball - where she plays the wife of a man facing the death sentence.
"This moment is so much bigger than me," she said. "This is for every nameless, faceless woman of colour for whom the door has been opened."
Washington landed his gong for the thriller Training Day, where he played a corrupt LAPD officer opposite Ethan Hawke's naive rookie.
GWYNETH PALTROW: BEST ACTRESS FOR SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (1999)
The value of Kleenex shares went through the roof when a blubbing Gwyneth Paltrow had the Kodak Theatre awash with tears when she picked up an Oscar for Shakespeare in Love.
Unsurprisingly emotional following the death of her cousin, an anguished Paltrow broke down on stage and gushed. And gushed. And gushed. The ill-fitting pink dress didn't help either.
Later she would admit her embarrassment at the award. "I keep it tucked away at the back of the bookshelf in my bedroom because it weirds me out. For weeks after I won I kept it in storage... I won't even put it on the mantlepiece, the thing freaks me out.
"For some reason, I haven't been able to feel really good about it. I just feel sort of embarrassed and it brings up weird, traumatic feelings. It's associated with a tough time in my life."
HALLE BERRY: BEST ACTRESS FOR MONSTER'S BALL (2002)
Acceptance speeches didn't come much more toe-curling than Berry's for the drama Monster's Ball even if she was the first black star to win a best actress award.
Paying tearful tribute to Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne and Diahann Carroll, she then went on to gush profusely on behalf of Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett and Vivica Fox. 'Preciate it!
"Oh, my God. Oh, my God. I'm sorry. This moment is so much bigger than me," she reasoned. "This moment...is for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened. Thank you. I'm so honored. I'm so honored. And I thank the Academy for choosing me to be the vessel for which His blessing might flow. Thank you."
She went on to roll-call Spike Lee, Oprah Winfrey and, erm, Warren Beatty (best not to ask)...
JAMES CAMERON: BEST DIRECTOR FOR TITANIC (2000)
Hitting more wrong notes than Les Dawson tickling the ivories, the ever-modest James Cameron delivered an acceptance of speech so crass it went down like, erm, the Titanic.
When the movie won eleven Oscars in 2000, he kept returning to the stage to say thanks, eventually asking for a moment of silence in honour of the 1,500 souls who died when the ship sank in freezing seas in 1912. Then, after the audience had been hushed, Cameron shouted, "Now let's party till dawn!" Class.
It was also the ceremony when the bashful Cameron subtly mimicked one of Leonardo DiCaprio's lines from the film and declared "I'm king of the world." Hollywood eh?
JAMIE FOXX: BEST ACTOR FOR RAY (2005)
Jamie Foxx showed he was up to the marathon luvvie acceptance speech when he stepped up as best actor for the jazz biopic Ray.
"That's for Ray Charles. Give it up for Ray Charles and his beautiful legacy. And thank you, Ray Charles, for living." Well, thank you, Jamie.
"I want to thank Taylor Hackford," he warbled on. "Taylor, you took a chance, man. I mean that love for Ray Charles was deep, down in the earth. It's cracked open. And it's spilling. And everybody's drowning in this love. I thank you for taking a chance on this film. And thank you for waiting 15 years to get me to do it. I want to thank you.
I see Oprah (Winfrey) and I see Halle (Berry). I just want to say your names. I want to talk to you later. Both of you. Because Oprah allowed me to meet Sidney Poitier. And, yes, Sidney Poitier said, "I saw you once. And I looked in your eyes and there was a connection." And he says, "I give to you responsibility." So, I'm taking that responsibility tonight."
JANE FONDA: BEST ACTRESS FOR COMING HOME (1977)
Dreary scourge of the American right, Jane Fonda's views on Vietnam, feminism and every other ism prompted groans every time she stepped out with yet another cause in her clutch-bag.
In 1970, at her first ceremony as an Oscar nominee for They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, the mink-swathed star climbed from her chauffeur-driven limo and greeted the crowd with a Black Panther salute. How very dare her?
Nearly 10 years later, "Hanoi Jane" was at it again when she won a Best Actress nod for Coming Home and began her acceptance speech in sign language for the benefit of the deaf.
The hearing impaired were also recognized at the ceremony with Debby Boone crooning the Oscar-nominated ballad You Light Up My Life as eleven "deaf" students signed the lyrics beside her. Unfortunately, the kids weren't deaf at all, and worse, their "signing" was gibberish.
JOE PESCI: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR FOR GOODFELLAS (1980)
Humility is about as rare in Hollywood as a moment of introspection from Adam Sandler, so we must be thankful for the likes of Joe Pesci.
After winning the Oscar for his role as Tom DeVito in the 1990 movie Goodfellas his entire acceptance speech was "This is an honour and privilege, thank you."
When asked why he didn't say more, he said "I really didn't think I was going to win.
JOHN WAYNE: BEST ACTOR FOR TRUE GRIT (1970)
Another legend of Hollywood to have been all but ignored by the Academy throughout his career was John 'The Duke' Wayne.
The cowboy star with the gait that belonged in the Ministry Of Funny Walks, was finally honoured in 1970 for True Grit, despite the film not being anywhere near one of Wayne's best.
It was one of the Academy's more sentimental honours, something Wayne outlined in his acceptance speech.
"Wow, if I had known that, I'd have put on an eye patch 30 years earlier!" he said in reference to the one eyed character he plays in the movie.
The legend's return to the Oscar stage in 1978 was not so humorous. Wayne, ravaged with cancer, presented the Best Picture Award after Bob Hope had said a year previously that he would love to see the 'Old Duke' ambling down the carpet again.
The Duke duly obliged and received one of the longest standing ovations the ceremony has ever seen. Sadly, John Wayne died just two months later.
JULIA ROBERTS: BEST ACTRESS FOR ERIN BROCKOVICH (2000)
Tear ducts went into overdrive when Julia Roberts picked up the best actress Oscar for the hard-hitting drama Erin Brockovich.
Before getting into her speech, the star - who had previously been best known for Pretty Woman - advised the orchestra's conductor to ''sit...because I may never be here again.''
Cheerfully dismissing the 45-second acceptance speech rule, she went on: "I'm so happy, thank you. A girl's got to have her moment. Everybody tries to get me to shut up. It didn't work with my parents and it didn't work now."
In the film, she played the trailer trash mom-turned-lawyer who takes on a big utilities corporation...but unfortunately forgot to namecheck Brockovich during her four-minute speech.
KEVIN COSTNER: BEST DIRECTOR FOR DANCES WITH WOLVES
It was a movie which ticked all the right liberal Hollywood boxes - a humane depiction of American Indians - and Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves landed the first-time director seven Oscars.
No wonder he's looking smug.
This was more than a little galling for veteran Martin Scorsese who was left licking his wounds after Kev's arrows'n-feathers epic was chosen ahead of Goodfellas, the movie most people will remember.
Indeed, Scorsese was no stranger to failure - Raging Bull lost out to another first-time director - Robert Redford - with Ordinary People in 1981.
On a brighter, unrelated note, Robert De Niro, accepting best actor for Raging Bull, thanked Jake LaMotta, "even though he's suing us."
It was only with The Departed in 2007 that Marty would finally get recognised...for a remake.
LOUISE FLETCHER: BEST ACTRESS FOR ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1976)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest was a favourite with the academy back in 1976, so not a soul was surprised to see Louise Fletcher take the Best Actress award for her portrayal of the evil Nurse Ratched.
The audience was however, taken aback by Fletcher's speech - one of the most touching ever given. "I'd like to thank Jack Nicholson for making being in a mental institution like being in a mental institution," she said.
"I've loved being hated by you."
As she broke down in tears, she thanked her parents - who are both deaf - and in sign language, told them: "I want to thank you for teaching me to have a dream."
MICHAEL MOORE: FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE (2003)
One of the most controversial incidents in recent memory came when documentary maker Michael Moore collected his award for Bowling For Columbine.
The portly controversialist was stunned to have won the award and, instead of going up alone or even with his own crew, he did something no one had done before - he invited all of the other nominees on stage with him.
He explained he had no idea what to say but that he intended to slam President George Bush and the recently initiated war in Iraq.
Once on the stage, Moore proclaimed Bush to be a 'fictitious' president who was waging a 'fictitious' war.
Despite the efforts of the orchestra, Moore got his views across to a mostly well receiving crowd - though the few that booed near microphones mysteriously came across a lot louder on the ABC telecast.
PETER JACKSON: FOR LOTR: RETURN OF THE KING (2004)
Director Peter Jackson was rightfully recognised for the mammoth undertaking of bringing JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to the big screen with a haul of eleven Oscars for the final instalment.
LOTR: Return of the King gave Jackson Academy Awards for best picture and best director for the long-running saga that even defeated Stanley Kubrick.
After several false starts and a sheaf of unused scripts, Jackson eventually settled for a film trilogy with the backing of New Line cinema and shot the whole three films back-to-back on location in New Zealand.
ROBERTO BENIGNI: BEST ACTOR FOR LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL (1999)
Only the son of a bricklayer could have delivered such a clodhoppingly inappropriate display as writer/director Roberto Benigni when he won for Life Is Beautiful.
For a start, the movie itself cringe-inducingly portrayed a Jewish-Italian POW protecting his son from the horrors of an SS concentration camp by playing make believe.
He celebrated his Oscars victory by - barely able to contain his delight - spontaneously gurning, cheering, clambering over seats, jigging down the aisle and attempting to kiss Sophia Loren.
“I feel like diving into this ocean of generosity … ," he told the Oscars audience. "I would like to be Jupiter and kidnap everybody and lie down in the firmament making love to everybody.”
Presumably, they'd completely forgotten the fact he carried out exactly the same "hopping over seats" routine when he was honoured at Cannes before the Oscars.
MARLON BRANDO: BEST ACTOR FOR THE GODFATHER (1973)
One of the most memorable Oscar controversies was Marlon Brando's "acceptance speech" in 1973 for The Godfather.
In his place, he sent a Native American squaw, Sacheen Littlefeather, dressed in white buckskin and leather headdress, to read a speech blasting Hollywood for its racist treatment of Native Americans in film.
Amidst awkward silence, and then disgruntled murmurs, the bargain-basement Minnehaha finished Brando's rant with the observation: "I think awards in this country at this time are inappropriate to be received or given until the condition of the American Indian is drastically altered. If we are not our brother's keeper, at least let us not be his executioner."
The controversy, however, wasn't over. Later, Littlefeather was discovered to be an actress pretending to be an Apache.
SALLY FIELD: BEST ACTRESS FOR PLACES IN THE HEART (1984)
What Sally Field lacked in levity she certainly made up for in earnestness when she picked up the best actress Oscar for Places in the Heart.
"I haven't had an orthodox career," said Field, who had previously landed a best actress Oscar for Norma Rae in 1981.
"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!"
Since then the actress has been mercilessly lampooned for the (often misquoted) line: "You like me, you really like me!" Lighten up, love.
STEVE MARTIN: OSCARS HOST 2001
In what turned out to be a pretty dull year Oscars-wise, Steve Martin as host was the highlight of the 2001 Academy Awards.
(Standing in front of a giant Oscar statue) "We live in a great country. If this statue was in Afghanistan, it would have been destroyed right now."
"Eight hundred million people around the world are watching us and they're thinking the same thing: We're all gay."
"Please hold your applause until it's for me."
(Discussing violence in movies) "I took a nine-year-old kid to see Gladiator and he cried through the entire film. But maybe it's because he didn't know who I was."
STEVEN SPIELBERG: BEST DIRECTOR FOR SCHINDLER'S LIST (1994)
Sixteen years after first being nominated for best director, Steven Spielberg struck gold with the harrowing Holocaust drama Schindler's List.
"Oh, wow. This is the best drink of water after the longest drought of my life," said the director, who would go on to be recognised again for Saving Private Ryan.
Before Schindler's List, the critically-acclaimed film-maker had been previously nominated for Close Encounters of the Third Kind (he lost out to Woody Allen with Annie Hall), Raiders of the Lost Ark (he lost out to Warren Beatty with Reds) and ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (losing to Richard Attenborough with Gandhi).
SPIELBERG PONDERS WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1999)
Steven Spielberg nurses the Academy Award he won as best director for Saving Private Ryan alongside Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford.
However, it was mixed feelings for the film-maker as he had just watched his acclaimed World War II drama pipped to the best picture Oscar by the now barely remembered Shakespeare in Love.
DAVID NIVEN: UNFLAPPABLE OSCARS HOST (1973)
David Niven proved he needed no help from scriptwriters or autocues when hosting the awards in 1973.
A streaker brandishing a rather limp peace sign evaded security and invaded the set, much to the humour of Niven.
It could have ranked as the most embarrassing Oscar moments, until Niven pulled out the quip of the night: "Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was bound to happen. But isn't it fascinating to think that the only laugh that man will probably ever get in his life was when he stripped off to show his shortcomings."
TOM HANKS: BEST ACTOR FOR PHILADELPHIA (1993)
Tom Hanks needed a drink after realising that he'd just outed an old classmate and teacher as gay during his 1993 best actor acceptance speech for Philadelphia.
The slip occured in front of an audience of millions and resulted in unwelcome celebrity for high school drama teacher Rawley Farnsworth and former classmate John Gilkerson.
(Apparently, Hanks had already warned the teacher about the prime-time speech).
The revelation inspired the 1997 film In & Out, starring Kevin Kline as an English Literature teacher who is outed by a former student in a similar way.
KATE WINSLET: BEST ACTRESS FOR THE READER (2009)
With two Supporting Actress nominations under her belt, on top of the three Leading Actress nominations she'd missed out on for Titanic, Little Children and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, 2009 just had to be Kate's year.
The entirety of the Western World held their breath as Marion Cotillard opened the Golden envelope with that all important name inside. For it was close competition this year, with Anne Hathaway, Melissa Leo, Angelina Jolie and the almighty Meryl Streep all in the run to claim the crown.
But it was Kate who triumphed, grabbing everyone within her sight and enveloping them all in a bear hug on her way up to the stage, looking dazzling in her blue one-shoulder gown.
Clutching the statuette, she revealed that the 8-year-old Kate had run through this speech a thousand times, shampoo bottle in hand. After waving to her dad in the crowd, she then speedily listed each department involved the movie who she'd like to thank.
With one final salute to her fellow nominees, who she called "godesses," she glided off stage to the applause of all in the auditorium.
MARION COTILLARD: BEST ACTRESS FOR LA VIE EN ROSE (2008)
An Oscar for a non-English speaking role had not been won since Sophia Loren in 1961. So, regardless of the film's popularity and Marion's clear talent, it was still doubtful whether she'd go home with the much sought after statuette.
Instead, people were opting for Cate Blanchett to bag the award, having won Supporting Actress a few year's previously, and missing out on Best Actress twice.
But it was a speechless Cotillard who, on her first Oscar nomination, became the fifth performer to win for a non-English speaking role, and the first to win for a French-language performance.
Her career has not looked back since with appearances in films ranging from Inception to Rust and Bone.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE: BEST ACTRESS FOR SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2013)
While climbing the stairs to collect the best actress Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook from French star Jean Dujardin, the 22-year-old actress slipped on one of the bottom steps...but quickly regained her composure.
After receiving a standing ovation, she joked: "You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell. That's really embarrassing...but thank you.
She later explained: "Was it on purpose? Absolutely! I tried to walk up stairs in this dress and that's what happened. I think I just stepped on the fabric and they waxed the stairs. What went through my mind when I fell down? A bad word that I can't say. That starts with F."