Step back in time with us and revisit the most unforgettable moments in Oscars history
Everybody anticipates the glamour and the melodramatic speeches at The Oscars, but sometimes, there are moments that the audiences are not prepared for. Here, we take a walk down memory lane and round up seven of the most unforgettable moments in Academy Awards history.
At the 87th Academy Awards, Neil Patrick Harris appeared on stage wearing just a pair of tight white underwear, black socks, and shoes. The stunt was a nod to Michael Keaton’s iconic scene in Birdman. In one of the film’s scenes, Keaton gets locked out of his Broadway theatre. His bathrobe is stuck in the back door so he rushes through Times Square New York in his underwear.
No one could ever forget Jennifer Lawrence’s fall at the 2013 Oscar awards. On her way to get the Best Actress award for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook, the actress tripped and fell on the stairs in front of the star-studded audience.
“I was very nervous and also very superstitious, I didn’t want to acknowledge the possibility that I would win,” Lawrence said in an interview. “I didn’t want to write down a speech, so I have everything in my head and very, very nervous. They call my name, I’m elated and in shock. You kind of back out, I actually don’t remember what that moment felt like when they said my name. And then I fell and it just erased everything from my mind and my whole brain went blank.”
In 1959, the final Oscar award was presented 20 minutes ahead of time, allowing three-time Academy Award host Jerry Lewis to kill time. Lewis did everything from joking about the show’s low ratings to encouraging Lionel Newman’s orchestra to perform several reprises of There’s No Business Like Show Business.
In 2003, Adrien Brody won the Best Actor award for his performance in The Pianist. The actor was so excited that he pulled a stunt nobody from the audience expected: he kissed Halle Berry on stage. In an interview, Berry said that the kiss was not planned at all. “I just went with it,” she said.
Sure, everybody wanted to kiss Brody in the early 2000s, but did this stunt age well? People from 2021 do not think so.
A statement like no other: in 1973, Marlon Brando rejected the Oscar award for his performance as Vito Corleone in The Godfather as a protest. He sent Native American rights activist and actress Sacheen Littlefeather to deliver the speech on his behalf.
Littlefeather used the moment to condemn the stereotyping of Native Americans in movies and TV shows and to support the American Indian Movement activists at Wounded Knee, S.D.
“I’m representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you … that he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry,” Littlefeather said.
In 2014, Ellen pulled off a once-in-a-lifetime selfie with celebrities like Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and more!
The photo is the most retweeted picture of all time, a feat they have achieved in just one hour. Eight months later, the selfie topped Twitter’s list of most-tweeted entertainment moments with more than 3.3 million retweets.
Natalie Portman relayed an important message for The Academy at the 92nd annual Academy Awards. The actress walked on the red carpet wearing a cape with the names of female directors who weren’t nominated.
Some of the names on her cape included Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Melina Matsoukas (Queen & Slim), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), and Greta Gerwig (Little Women).
In 2017, Moonlight won the Oscar award for Best Picture, but… Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty had called the wrong group on stage— the cast of La La Land.
As the cast and crew of La La Land celebrated their “win,” one of the film’s producers, Jordan Horowitz, announced that it was Moonlight that had actually won the award. “There’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture,” he said, motioning for the Moonlight crew to come on stage. “This is not a joke.”