Ahead of Oscars 2019, 9 Academy Awards highlights — from Heath Ledger's win to La La Land-Moonlight mix-up

FP Staff

Feb 20, 2019 19:08:41 IST

The Academy Awards is arguably the most prestigious event in the international film industry. The list of nominees for the upcoming ceremony was recently announced by the Academy across 24 categories from a catalogue of films that hit screens in 2018.

There have been many memorable moments from the ceremony that have gone down in history. Here is a look at some of the best ones.

Hattie McDaniel becomes first African American Oscar winner

 Ahead of Oscars 2019, 9 Academy Awards highlights — from Heath Ledgers win to La La Land-Moonlight mix-up

Hattie McDaniel. Image from Twitter @FavorAcademy

In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to be nominated for an Oscar and win the award for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone with the Wind. As the venue was still segregated, she was forced to sit away from the cast of Gone with the Wind. "I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry," she had said in her acceptance speech.

Marlon Brando refuses Best Actor award

Sacheen Littlefeather refused Marlon Brando's award on his behalf. Image from Twitter @emiliotongva

Sacheen Littlefeather refused Marlon Brando's award on his behalf. Image from Twitter @emiliotongva

Marlon Brando, who won the Best Actor award for The Godfather, did not attend the ceremony in 1973. He refused to accept the award and sent Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather to speak on his behalf. Dressed in traditional Apache attire, Littlefeather took the stage and said, "He very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this is the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry." Her brief speech was met with a mixture of applause and boos from the audience.

A streaker upstages 1974 Oscars

Robert Opel streaked across the stage at the 1974 awards. Image from Twitter @historysphoto

Robert Opel streaked across the stage at the 1974 awards. Image from Twitter @historysphoto

Gay rights activist and artist Robert Opel stepped onto the 1974 Oscars naked and flashed the peace sign at the audience interrupting David Niven as he was about to introduce Elizabeth Taylor, who was going to present the award for Best Picture. According to Open Culture, instead of being arrested, he was given a press conference. When he was asked to explain the reason behind his stunt he said, "You know, people shouldn't be ashamed of being nude in public. Besides, it is a hell of a way to launch a career."

Heath Ledger posthumously wins Best Supporting Actor award

Heath Ledger's posthumous honour for Dark Knight. Image from Twitter @onthisdayinfilm

Heath Ledger's posthumous honour for The Dark Knight. Image from Twitter @onthisdayinfilm

At the 2008 awards, Heath Ledger was posthumously honoured as Best Supporting Actor for his work in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. According to Harper's Bazaar, the late actor's family and his daughter Matilda Rose accepted the award on his behalf.

Jennifer Lawrence fall in 2014

Jennifer Lawrence. Image from Twitter @ursogeorgeous

Jennifer Lawrence. Image from Twitter @ursogeorgeous

Jennifer Lawrence tripped and fell on her way to collect the Best Actress accolade for her work in Silver Linings Playbook. But she was helped by her former co-stars Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper, who were seated in the front row.

Ellen DeGeneres' star-studded selfie

Image from Twitter @TheEllenShow

Image from Twitter @TheEllenShow

At the 2014 Oscars, Ellen convinced ten film stars to pose for a big group selfie. Cooper took the picture featuring DeGeneres and several other stars, including the likes of Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The photograph felt spontaneous, but it was later revealed to be a product placement stunt by Samsung. The company spent $20 million for ad time, reported The Wall Street Journal

Leonardo DiCaprio finally bags an Oscar

Leonardo DiCaprio. Image from Twitter @DrimtaNews

Leonardo DiCaprio. Image from Twitter @DrimtaNews

After an exceedingly long wait, Leonardo DiCaprio won a Best Actor trophy for The Revenant in 2016. In his acceptance speech, he spoke about the issue of global warming: "Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together, and we need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters and the big corporations but who speak for all of humanity."

The Best Picture goof-up

Image from Twitter

Image from Twitter

Warren Beatty mistakenly announced La La Land as the winner for the Best Picture award 2017. By the time the mistake was detected, the team of La La Land had already reached the stage to accept the award. Producer Jordan Horowitz announced that there was a mistake, and that the real winner was Moonlight.

Frances McDormand's speech

Frances McDormand during her acceptance speech for Best Actress. Image from Twitter/@THR

Frances McDormand during her acceptance speech for Best Actress. Image from Twitter/@THR

The Best Actress award in 2018 went to Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. In her speech, she asked  the female Oscar nominees to stand up with her, ("Meryl if you do it, everyone will), and spoke about inclusion.

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Updated Date: Feb 20, 2019 19:08:41 IST