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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 16:24 GMT
The Academy Awards' 80 landmarks
The 2008 Academy Awards marks the 80th anniversary of the prestigious Hollywood ceremony.

To mark this landmark in the history of the Oscars, here are some of the memorable moments, from the early days to the present.


1 At the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, 270 guests attended and tickets cost $5.

Norma Shearer
Norma Shearer won best actress for The Divorce in 1930

2 All 15 Oscars went to men at the inaugural gala - apart from best actress.

3 While the Oscar winners were supposed to be a secret, 1930 best-acting winners George Arliss and Norma Shearer posed with their awards two days before the ceremony.

4 In 1932 Walt Disney was presented with an honorary Oscar for creating Mickey Mouse.

5 In the same year, the ceremony was broadcast on the radio for the first time.

6 In Depression-hit 1934, writers and performers protested at a proposed 50% pay cut and formed the Screenwriters and Screen Actors Guilds.

7 At the 1935 ceremony, It Happened One Night became the first film to win a sweep of all the major awards.

8 The first supporting actor and actress prizes were awarded in 1936, to Walter Brennan and Gale Sondergaard.

9 The 1939 gala saw both Bette Davis and Spencer Tracy collect their second acting Academy Awards, while floods delayed the ceremony by a week.

THE 1940s

10 1940 was the year of Gone with the Wind, which picked up eight competitive and two special Oscars. Hattie McDaniel became the first black actress to win an Oscar and attend the ceremony.

11 In 1940 the Academy adopted the sealed-envelope system of announcing the winners, after the Los Angeles Times broke the embargo and revealed the results in its evening edition on the day of the awards.

12 In 1942 Bette Davis resigned as Academy president after her plans to sell tickets to raise money for Britain's war effort were rejected.

Hattie McDaniel was presented her Oscar by actress Fay Bainter
Hattie McDaniel (left) was the first black actress to win an Oscar

13 The following year, Hollywood contributed to the war effort by giving out Oscar statuettes made of plaster to counter wartime metal shortages.

14 In 1945 actor Barry Fitzgerald was nominated for both best actor and best supporting actor for the same performance. The rules were changed so this never happened again.

15 That same year, the awards ceremony was broadcast to American troops fighting overseas.

16 Joan Crawford triumphed as best actress in 1946 for her performance in Mildred Pierce but did not attend the ceremony, receiving her award at home some days later.

17 Foreign-language films were admitted to the competition in 1948, with Italian move Shoe-Shine winning the honours.

18 In 1949 Shakespeare made an impact at the Oscars, with a best picture award for Hamlet and its titular star Laurence Olivier.

THE 1950s

19 Dancing legend Fred Astaire was awarded an honorary Academy Award in 1950.

20 In 1951 Marilyn Monroe made her only appearance at the Oscars as presenter of the best sound award.

Film poster from The African Queen
Bogart and Hepburn both won Oscars for The African Queen

21 The African Queen scooped an acting prize at the 1952 ceremony, with Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart taking home the spoils.

22 In 1953 the Academy Awards were televised for the first time on NBC, with Bob Hope acting as master of ceremonies.

23 Judy Garland and Grace Kelly went head-to-head for the best actress prize in 1955, both playing wives of alcoholics, with Kelly winning.

24 With Hollywood gripped by the era of the blacklists, a rule that no communists were permitted to win an Oscar was introduced in 1957.

25 Miyoshi Umecki became the first Asian actress to win an Academy Award in 1958 for her performance in Sayonara.

26 The same year saw a slew of awards for The Bridge on the River Kwai by British director David Lean.

27 Bugs Bunny scooped his one and only Oscar in 1959.

THE 1960s

28 Ben Hur broke Academy Awards records in 1960, converting 11 of its 12 nominations.

29 In 1961, Elizabeth Taylor was considered such a certainty to win best actress for her role in Butterfield 8 that three of her fellow nominees failed to turn up.

30 British star Hayley Mills won a special Oscar that year for outstanding juvenile performance for her role in Pollyanna.

Shelley Winters
Shelley Winters won two Oscars during the 1960s

31 In 1962 Italian star Sophia Loren became the first best-actress winner for a performance not in the English language.

32 Sidney Poitier became the first black man to win the best actor Oscar in 1964 for his role in Lilies of the Field.

33 In 1965 the acting awards were all won by non-Americans for the first time, including Britons Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins) and Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady).

34 Audrey Hepburn failed to be nominated that year for playing Eliza Doolittle because her singing had been performed by Marni Nixon.

35 The Oscars ceremony was seen in colour on television for the first time in 1966.

36 In 1968 the awards show was postponed by two days following the assassination of Martin Luther King.

37 The best actress category was tied for the first time that year, with Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand both collecting statuettes.

38 It was Hepburn's second award in a row - she won for her performance in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner in 1967.

THE 1970s

39 In 1970 Western legend John Wayne won the only Oscar of his career, 19 years after his first nomination.

40 Legendary film-maker Orson Welles was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1971 but did not collect it in person. He claimed to be in Spain but was at his Hollywood home.

Marlon Brando's representative at the 1973 Oscars
Marlon Brando's Oscar was collected by Sashim Littlefeather in 1973

41 A year later, screen legend Charlie Chaplin was given the accolade, gaining a five-minute standing ovation from the audience.

42 Cabaret won eight Oscars in 1973, but it was overshadowed by The Godfather, which scooped best picture and best actor for Marlon Brando's lead performance. He declined to accept his award in a protest over American Indian rights.

43 Charlton Heston was lined up as host of the ceremony that year, but was substituted at the last minute by Clint Eastwood.

44 Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Oscar winner at the age of 10 when she won best supporting actress for Paper Moon in 1974.

45 The child star was not nominated for best actress, despite appearing in most scenes of the film.

46 That year Katharine Hepburn attended the ceremony for the first time when she was presenting a statuette rather than collecting one.

47 Woody Allen's Annie Hall scooped the major awards at the 1978 ceremony, but the film-maker failed to put in an appearance.

48 In 1979 anti-Vietnam war films The Deer Hunter and Coming Home took the honours.

49 Also Laurence Olivier was given a lifetime achievement award and he attended the ceremony for the first time since 1939.

THE 1980s

50 1981's ceremony was postponed by 24 hours owing to the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

51 Chariots of Fire won four Oscars at the 1982 ceremony including best picture, leading to screenwriter Colin Welland to proclaim: "The British are coming!"

Cher made an impression with her choice of outfit for the ceremony

52 Henry and Jane Fonda became the first father-daughter nominees for On Golden Pond that year, but Jane lost out.

53 1983 was the year of Richard Attenborough's Gandhi, which picked up eight Oscars.

54 Prince's score for Purple Rain and Stevie Wonder's song I Just Called to Say I Love You scooped musical Oscar spoils in 1985.

55 In 1986 Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple amassed 11 nominations but failed to win a single statuette.

56 The 60th anniversary of the Oscars in 1988 was marred by a Writers Guild Strike, leading to comic hosts and presenters who could speak off the cuff.

57 Cher won the best actress award for Moonstruck, beating Glenn Close and Meryl Streep among others.

THE 1990s

58 Jessica Tandy became the oldest winner of a competitive Oscar - she was 81 years old when she won best actress for Driving Miss Daisy in 1990.

59 In 1991 Kevin Costner's debut as a film-maker - Dances with Wolves - won seven Oscars, including best director for Costner.

60 Whoopi Goldberg became only the second black actress to win an Oscar after Hattie McDaniel in 1939.

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow made a splash with her acceptance speech

61 1993 was considered another good year for the Brits, with Emma Thompson winning best actress for Howard's End, a period piece which scooped two other awards.

62 Schindler's List swept the 1994 ceremony with 10 Oscars, including a first best-director award for Steven Spielberg.

63 British animator Nick Park won the first of three Oscars for Wallace and Gromit.

64 Eleven-year-old Anna Paquin memorably gulped in shock on the podium after winning best supporting actress for The Piano.

65 In 1995 Tom Hanks won his second Oscar on the trot for Forrest Gump.

66 Elton John won an Oscar, along with Tim Rice, for a track from The Lion King.

67 In 1996 Emma Thompson became the first person to add a best screenplay Oscar to her 1993 best actress gong.

68 Titanic dominated the 1998 ceremony with a haul of 11 awards. Director James Cameron famously declared himself "king of the world".

69 In 1999 Gwyneth Paltrow won best actress for Shakespeare in Love and made a tearful, gushing speech on the podium. Judi Dench was awarded for her cameo as Queen Elizabeth I in the film.

70 Italian Roberto Benigni also became the first best-actor winner for a role in a language other than English.


71 The first awards of the new millennium was a triumph for American Beauty and Britons Sam Mendes, and there was a second Oscar for Michael Caine.

72 Spanish film-maker Pedro Almodovar, who won best foreign language film for All About My Mother, had to be coaxed off the stage by Antonio Banderas as his acceptance speech overran.

73 Historical epics Gladiator and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon shared the spoils in 2001.

Bjork made fashion headlines with her swan dress

74 Icelandic star Bjork attended the ceremony in her famous swan dress, but lost out to Bob Dylan in the best song category.

75 Halle Berry became the first black woman to win best actress in 2002, and was overwhelmed with emotion when she accepted the award.

76 The US invasion of Iraq led to a muted ceremony the following year, with heightened security and politically-tinged acceptance speeches.

77 In 2004 The Return of the King became the only film ever to have won every single Oscar it was nominated for.

78 Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby won the main awards in 2005 including best director, consigning Martin Scorsese to the sidelines for the fifth time in his career.

79 In 2006, a major upset was caused in the best picture category when Crash won instead of hot favourite Brokeback Mountain.

80 Martin Scorsese finally won best director for The Departed, while Dame Helen Mirren capped an awards-laden year for her role as Queen Elizabeth II.


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