The Oscars: five memorable moments
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Hollywood (United States) (AFP) –
The Oscars is Hollywood's most glamorous night, and the gala has generated some remarkable moments in its more than 90-year history -- some funny, some moving and some confounding.
The following is a look at some of the most unforgettable moments in Oscars history:
- And the best picture goes to... oops -
The most memorable moment in recent Oscars history happened in 2017, when the Academy's top prize was briefly handed to dreamy musical "La La Land," when coming-of-age drama "Moonlight" was the actual winner.
It turns out accountants for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm responsible for tabulating and safeguarding Oscar votes and results, had handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope.
They ended up with a duplicate of the best actress envelope -- a prize that went to Emma Stone for "La La Land" -- instead of the one that had "Moonlight" winning for best picture.
The embarrassing mix-up, the worst snafu in the history of the Academy Awards, came to be known as "Envelopegate."
"It was a heartbreaking fiasco," Entertainment Weekly critic Jeff Jenson wrote at the time.
"You felt embarrassed for Dunaway and Beatty, who clearly knew something was amiss when he opened the envelope but didn't know how to proceed."
- Political protest -
In March 1973, the legendary Marlon Brando won the best actor prize for his work in mob epic "The Godfather," besting a remarkable field of contenders -- Michael Caine, Peter O'Toole, Laurence Olivier and Paul Winfield.
But Brando did not attend, and Apache actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather took the stage in his place.
When actor Roger Moore offered her the golden statuette, she held up her hand in refusal, and he and co-presenter Liv Ullmann stepped back as she began to speak.
Before a stunned audience, Littlefeather said Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award" as he wanted to protest the movie industry's treatment of Native Americans.
Her statement was met with applause, cheers and a few boos.
- It's a tie! -
There have been a handful of ties in Oscars history, but one that earned a lot of attention came in 1969, when Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn both won the award for best actress.
"The winner -- it's a tie!" exclaimed presenter Ingrid Bergman.
Streisand earned the honor, her first Oscar, for her performance as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl," while Hepburn -- the all-time leader among actors and actresses with Oscar wins at four -- triumphed for "The Lion in Winter."
Only Streisand attended the ceremony.
"Hello, gorgeous!" she said, looking at the golden statuette.
- Lip lock -
Of course, actors are thrilled when they join the hallowed pantheon of Oscar winners, but in 2003, Adrien Brody definitely took it a bit too far when he picked up the best actor statuette for "The Pianist."
When he took the stage to accept his award from the previous year's best actress winner Halle Berry, he stunned the audience -- and Berry -- when he swept her into a brief but passionate kiss on the lips.
"That was not planned. I knew nothing about it," Berry said in a 2017 interview, explaining she was caught totally off guard.
But she confirmed she just "went with it."
For his part, Brody said in 2015 that "time slowed down" for him in the moment, but that the stunt almost cost him his chance to make a speech.
"By the time I got finished kissing her... they were already flashing the sign to say 'Get off the stage, your time is up," he said in an interview at the Toronto film festival.
- Show of strength -
The late Jack Palance won his first and only Academy Award in 1992 for best supporting actor, for his portrayal of a crusty old cowboy opposite Billy Crystal in the Western comedy "City Slickers."
After Whoopi Goldberg handed the then 73-year-old Palance the award, he gave a short acceptance speech about how producers worry about casting actors "at a certain age plateau."
"They forget to ask" if you can do certain things, he said -- and then left the audience gobsmacked when he dropped to the stage and did one-handed push-ups in his suit, earning a jovial round of applause.
"I didn't know what the hell else to do," Palance later quipped.
© 2021 AFP