Oscar Best Moments

Updated: February 17, 2011 16:18 IST

Here's a look at some of the best moments at the Academy Awards...

Oscar Best Moments
Halle Berry made history by becoming the first African American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar in 2002, for Monster's Ball. A tearful Halle motioned to the orchestra to give her more speech time. She said, "This moment is for all the nameless, faceless women of color who now have a chance because this door tonight has been opened."
Oscar Best Moments
Marlon Brando made a political statement by boycotting his Best Actor Oscar for The Godfather in 1973 and sending Native American Indian, Sacheen Littlefeather, to make a speech in his stead. Brando was protesting against the siege at Wounded Knee and against the misrepresentation of American Indians in film.
Oscar Best Moments
After being denied his Golden Man for nearly four decades, Jack Palance finally won an Oscar in 1992 for playing the snarling trail boss in "City Slickers”. Aged 72, the actor proved he still had it by dropping down to do one-armed push-ups on stage, leaving the audience clapping and the ladies nodding in admiration.
Oscar Best Moments
An unsuspecting David Niven was busy introducing Elizabeth Taylor in 1974, when a stark naked man ran behind him, flashing the victory sign. Without missing a beat, Niven deadpanned, "Probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings." Definitely an Oscar legend.
Oscar Best Moments
In true Italian fashion, Roberto Benigni wasn't afraid to show how thrilled he was when Life Is Beautiful won Best Foreign Language Film in 1999 and treated the Kodak Theatre to a very entertaining, and endearing, acrobatics display.
Oscar Best Moments
Professional agitators Trey Parker and Matt Stone dressed the part, using their appearance at the awards to poke fun at the Oscars. Nominated for Best Song for the hilarious “Blame Canada” from the 1999 animated musical “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut”, the duo decided to dress like J.Lo and Gwyneth Paltrow, who weren't amused one bit.
Oscar Best Moments
Rarely have the Oscars opened with such a pathetic whimper. In 1989, non-singer Rob Lowe dueted on Proud Mary with an actress dressed as Snow White. This, just a year after Lowe was caught having sex with a minor. Could the affair have got any more unwholesome? Apparently, yes – the performance netted him a role as a perverted criminal in Bad Influence
Oscar Best Moments
In 1992, host Billy Crystal made his grand entrance dressed as Hannibal Lecter, complete with mask. He walked to Sir Anthony Hopkins, nominated for playing Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, and invited him to dinner – pun intended. Hopkins' response – “Anytime!”
Oscar Best Moments
A wheelchair bound Christopher Reeve got a standing ovation from a teary audience in 1996 as he acknowledged those in the industry making movies on serious social issues.
Oscar Best Moments
Adrien Brody became the youngest Best Actor for The Pianist in 2002 and celebrated his victory by planting a big, wet one on presenter Halle Berry.
Oscar Best Moments
1999 was the year of Elizabeth I with Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench both nominated for playing the Virgin Queen. But their thunder was well and truly stolen by host Whoopi Goldberg, dressed as Elizabeth I and getting the laughs with her British-African accent.
Oscar Best Moments
James Cameron borrowed dialogue from his film as he stepped up to collect his Best Director awards for Titanic in 1998, declaring to a roomful of Hollywood greats – “I'm the king of the world”.
Oscar Best Moments
And the Oscar for Best Presenter goes to Ben Stiller who dressed as Na'avi and talked the talk as well. He was presenting for – you guessed it: Best Makeup, 2010.
Oscar Best Moments
It was an appearance that set the Oscar-freak bar even higher! Angelina Jolie, Best Supporting Actress nominee for Girl, Interrupted, brought brother James Haven as her date in 2000. So far so good – until Angie won the Oscar and sealed her love for her brother with a big smackeroo, right on the lips. She also confessed to being “so in love” with her brother.
Oscar Best Moments
A big hand to Kathryn Bigelow who became the first woman to win Best Director for The Hurt Locker in 2010. Victory was even sweeter because she beat ex-husband and Avatar director, James Cameron. As she accepted her Oscar, the orchestra played Barbra Streisand's The Time Has Come. The audience couldn't help but choke up.
Oscar Best Moments
Hugh Jackman pretty much tops our list of Oscar hosts with his one man show in 2009. Our favourite moment from the show – his song and dance routine with a very sporting Anne Hathaway. We think that's how she landed her hosting gig this year.
Oscar Best Moments
Walls came crashing down as Hattie McDaniel made history by becoming the first African-American to win an Oscar, ever, in 1940. She collected her Best Supporting Actress award for Gone With The Wind dressed in blue, with flowers in her hair. 69 years later, Mo'nique claimed her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Precious dressed in an identical fashion, as a tribute to Hattie McDaniel.
Oscar Best Moments
In 1968, there was a tie for the Best Actress award – for the first and the last time. Barbra Streisand won for Funny Girl, sharing the prize with Katharine Hepburn who won for The Lion in Winter.
Oscar Best Moments
Emotions ran high as The Breakfast Club gave late director John Hughes a rousing cheer in 2010. Matthew Broderick, Jon Cryer, Macaulay Culkin, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy made the legendary Hughes part of the Oscar pantheon with a tribute both meaningful and moving.
Oscar Best Moments
C-3PO, the robot character from the fictional Star Wars universe, won the best…er…look-alike award at the 1978 Academy Awards. Two thumbs up!

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