Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I loves me some Oscar.
I call it the Gay Superbowl, although what a Superbowl is I don't know; sounds like a big serving of noodles down at the Smallville Noodle Shack on Route One.
But the Oscars are a Gay Superbowl. The 'mos have the parties; we all cheer and boo and hiss; offer snarky commentary on who wore what, who wore whom; who's together; who's apart...and that's just at the party! The show itself offers much more drama.
So, in an effort to kick off Oscar season, I give you.......Lions roar.....drums rumble....trumpets sound......queens shriek...a History Of The Oscars!
1929: The first Academy Awards ceremony is held at the Roosevelt Hotel on May 16th; 270 guests attend.
1934: Katherine Hepburn wins her first Best Actress award, for 'Morning Glory;' she goes on to win the award three more times, making her the most honored actress in Academy history. But more importantly, if she were a tree what kind of tree would she be?
1935: 'It Happened One Night' wins all five major awards
1937: For the first time, awards are give to supporting actors; for the first eight years they really didn't matter. Gale Sondergaard and Walter Brennan win the first two.
1939: The Academy starts using the nickname Oscar; it's unclear where the name came from, although my favorite story is that Bette Davis took one look at the statute and said it looked like her husband Oscar....so I'm going with that one. I'm Team Bette all the way.
1940: 'Gone With The Wind' is the first all-color film to win Best Picture. Hattie McDaniel is the first woman of color to win an Oscar.
1941: The sealed envelope system is used for the first time because the year before the LA Times printed a list of the winners before the show! Horrors!
1943: Because of a metal shortage during the war, the Oscar is made of painted plaster--a practice that would go on until 1946.
1953: The Oscars--thanks Bette--are televised for the first time. Bob Hope hots from Hollywood; Fredric March, from New York. John Ford wins his fourth Oscar for directing 'The Quiet Man;' to this day, no other director has won more than three Oscars.
1955: 'On The Waterfront' star Marlon Brando--pre-FatActor days, I always get him and Kirstie Alley confused--wins the first of his two Best Actor awards; eight actors have won two: Brando, Gary Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Fredric March, Jack Nicholson and Spencer Tracy. Nobody has ever won three. But I think Day-Lewis or Hanks could break that record one day.
1957: Foreign language films get their own category; in previous years they won under the heading of 'Say what?'
1960: 'Ben Hur' wins 11 Oscars--thanks Bette; only two other films, 'Titanic' and 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King' have won the same number. Although LOTR: TROTK did win a special Oscar for the longest-ass title.
1962: 'West Side Story' wins 10 Oscars--sorry WSS you're no 'Ben Hur;' Sophia Loren--va-va-voom--wins Best Actress for a Foreign Language film. Say what? See? That's how that works. Roberto Benigni would do the same for 'Life is beautiful' in 1999 and Marion Cotillard in 2008 for 'La Vie En Rose.'
1964: Sidney Poitier becomes the first black man to win a Best Actor Oscar for 'Lilies for the Field.'
1969: Katherine Hepburn, 'The Lion In Winter,' and Barbra Streisand, 'Funny Girl,' tie for Best Actress--King Solomon decides to cut the award in half.
1973: Sasheen Little Feather accepts the award fro Marlon Brando, 'The Godfather,' then declines it because of the treatment of Native Americans by the film industry. A Future Homosexual of America, Bob in Sacramento, loved that moment.
1974: A streaker runs across the stage, showing off all his goods; David Niven quipped: "Just think, the only laugh that man will probably ever get is for stripping off and showing off his shortcomings;" Future Homosexual of America, Bob in Sacramento, wishes there were a machine that could capture that video and show it around the world over and over again--he would call it BobTube.
1981: The awards show is postpones one day because of the assassination attempt on President Reagan; it is the third delay in academy history. The first was in 1938, when flooding forced a one-week delay; in 1968 there was a two-day delay when Martin Luther King was assassinated.
1982: Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn win Oscars for 'On Golden Pond;' it was Fonda's first, and Hepburn's fourth and final, coming 48 years after her first.
1986: 'The Color Purple' is shut out of the awards despite it's 11 nomination; Out Homosexual, Bob in Sacramento, is thrilled because even back then he was tired of Oprah.
1989: Dustin Hoffman wins his second Best Actor Oscar for 'Rain Man;' non-nominated Tom Cruise, stomps his feet and storms from the auditorium, His first wife, Mimi Rogers straps him in his car seat and takes him home.
1992: 'Silence of the Lambs' becomes only one of three films to win the Top Five--Best Picture, Actor Actress, Director, Screenplay; the others are 'It Happened One Night' and 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.'
1994: Steven Spielberg wins his first Best Director award for 'Schindler's List.'
1995: For the second year in a row, Tom Hanks is honored as Best Actor; he won for 'Philadelphia' and 'Forest Gump;' oddly enough the Emmy's overlooked his landmark performance in 'Bosom Buddies.'
1998: 'Titanic' wins 11 Oscars; Out Homosexual, Bob in Sacramento, proudly declares he has never seen the film and never will--after all, the ship sinks, end of story. This is yet another chapter in his lifelong feud with Celine Dion. Side note; Jack Nicholson wins his third Oscar for 'As Good As It Gets.'
1999: The Oscars moves to Sunday, because that's how God intended it.
2002: Halle Berry, 'Monster's Ball' becomes the first African-American woman to win Best Actress; she goers on to star in the critically acclaimed, 'Catwoman, seen around the world by literally tens of people. Denzel Washington wins Best Actor for 'Training Day'--Out Homosexual, Bob in Miami, shrieks....e loves him some Denzel.
2004: LOTR: TROTK--I am NOT typing all that out again--wins all 11 Oscars for which it was nominated; that has happened only three times in Oscar--thanks Bette--history: 'It Happened One Night,' 'Gigi,' and 'The Last Emperor,' all of which had shorter titles.
2006: Ang Lee wins Best Director for Brokeback Mountain'--Out Homosexual, Bob in Miami, cheers; it marks the first time the award goes to someone who isn't white.