In preparation for the 91st Academy Awards on February 24th, we take a look back at some of the most memorable moments in Academy Awards History.
The 92nd Academy Awards are right around the corner. Every year there are certain to be emotional speeches, big upsets, and unexpected moments. Let’s take a look at some of the groundbreaking moments and memories from past Oscars.
In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an acting award for her role in Gone With the Wind.
In 1957, Miyoshi Umeki became the first Asian actor to win an Academy Award for acting for her lead role in Sayonara.
In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first African American to win Best Actor for his role in the film Lilies of the Field.
In 1972, silent film legend Charlie Chaplin received the longest standing ovation in history when he presented with an Honorary Oscar. It lasted about 20 minutes.
Marlon Brando boycotted the 1973 Oscars, refusing his Best Actor Award. He sent actress Sacheen Littlefeather in his stead as a protest of the portrayal of Native Americans in film.
In 1974, 10-year-old Tatum O’Neal became the youngest winner of an acting award for her performance in Paper Moon.
In 1974, photographer Robert Opel won notoriety as the guy who streaked naked at the Academy Awards.
In 1975, Godfather Part II, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, was the first sequel to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
In 1985, Sally Field memorably said “You like me, you really like me!” after winning the award for Best Actress. At least, that’s how it’s remembered – what she actually said was “You like me right now, you like me.”
In 1987, Marlee Matlin at the age of 21 became the youngest female winner of a leading actor award. As she’s hearing impaired, she signed her entire acceptance speech.
In 1990, at the age of 80, Jessica Tandy became the oldest woman to win the best Actress Award for her role in Driving Miss Daisey.
In 1999, Italian actor Roberto Benigni celebrated by standing on his chair after his film Life is Beautiful won the award for Best Foreign Film.
In 2001, Julia Roberts won the Best Actress Award for her performance as the titular character of Erin Brockovich. She gave a speech for the record books, memorably continuing over the orchestra, telling them “you’re just going to have to sit.”
In 2002, Halle Berry became the first African-American to win the Award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball.
In 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King became the first fantasy film to win Best Picture. In fact, it won all 11 categories in which it was nominated, making it the largest sweep in Oscars history.
In 2007, Martin Scorsese finally won a Best Director Oscar for his film The Departed. He was given the award by legendary directors Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, and George Lucas.
In 2007, Ellen DeGeneres became the first openly gay person to host the Oscars.
In 2009, the family of Heath Ledger accepted his posthumous award for Best Supporting Actor for his memorable portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight.
In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker, a gritty film about an Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.
In 2013, Daniel Day-Lewis won his third award for Best Leading Actor, setting a record in the category.
In 2016, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Revenant. He used his speech as an opportunity to speak out about the dangers of climate change.