The annual Academy Award ceremony is the most prestigious event which highlights the art of film-making. Known as a career-elevating night, it is no secret that it has been home to several great, memorable and even shocking moments throughout its history. From surprising upsets to controversial wins, let’s take a look at the most shocking moments in Oscar history:
15. The Academy Snubs Farrah Fawcett
At the 82nd Oscars ceremony, the “In Memoriam” montage video featured several icons who made their mark in music, television and movies including King of Pop Michael Jackson. But it was met with controversy as Farrah Fawcett, who died the previous year, was not included.
The Academy’s executive director Bruce Davis acknowledged the snub and apologized at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards as he stated, “There’s nothing you can say to people, particularly to family members, within a day or two of the show that helps at all. They tend to be surprised and hurt, and we understand that and we’re sorry for it.”
14. An Actual Pizza Delivery
Ellen DeGeneres sure knows how to keep a ceremony alive and the 2014 Oscars was no exception. In one of the most remarkable moments of the night, host Ellen ordered 20 pizzas from Big Mama’s and Papa’s for the stars such as Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Jared Leto and Jennifer Lawrence to name a few.
Edgar Martirosyan, the pizza delivery guy, was initially thought to be an actor as a part of a stunt but it was revealed to be a genuine delivery as he had no idea that it would be the most memorable delivery of his life. As nice as it sounds, Martirosyan received a $1000 tip for the delivery.
13. Seth McFarlane’s Offensive Hosting
When creator of Family Guy Seth McFarlane was announced as the host of the 2013 Academy Awards, the ceremony became one of the most awaited ones but disappointed big time. People looked forward to him only to be offended by McFarlane’s desperate tries to get a laugh from the audience.
Raunchy humor may seem entertaining while it remains limited to a cartoon show but McFarlane took the cake when he teased Abraham Lincoln’s death and started making sexist jokes particularly about Rihanna’s physical abuse and Adele’s weight during the ceremony which was watched by more than a billion people.
12. Adrien Brody Beats Competition, Kisses Halle Berry
History was made when the 29-year old Adrien Brody became the youngest winner of the Academy Award for Best Actor. Not only that, he beat Hollywood A-listers and past winners of the same category Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Caine, Nicolas Cage and even Jack Nicholson.
The young and enthusiastic Brody could not believe what just happened but the party did not stop there as he engaged in a long kiss with presenter Halle Berry before accepting the Oscar. “I bet they didn’t tell you that was in the gift bag,” stated Brody as audience laughed much to the dismay of the unexpected Berry.
11. Hilary Swank Forgets Her Husband
The recipient is always experiencing a roller coaster of emotions during their acceptance speech. That is where Hilary Swank comes in when she won the Academy Award for Best Actress in the 2000 Academy Awards ceremony.
The recently married actress thanked more thanked more than a dozen people to the point of mentioning their respective roles but forgot to thank her husband who had been crying tears of joy on her big win.
The audience could not help but take notice and rumors about the marriage possibly failing spread. On an interesting note, Swank made up for the mistake by thanking her husband when she won the award again five years later.
10. Marlon Brando Declines His Victory
Arguably the greatest movie ever made, The Godfather was a pinnacle of film-making. Revolving around an Italian-American family who have chosen crime as a profession, it was considered a masterpiece and one of the most talked about movies of the year notably due to Marlon Brando’s iconic performance.
When Brando won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role of Don Vito Corleone, he sent an American-Indian Rights activist named Sacheen Littlefeather – who wore an Apache attire – on stage to publicly announce his decision to boycott the award as a sign of protest against the “poor treatment of Native Americans in the film industry”. It was certainly an offer the brilliant actor could refuse.
9. Crash Beats Brokeback Mountain
Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, Brokeback Mountain was one of the most acclaimed movies of 2005. Nominated for eight Academy Awards, the movie had strong chances of winning Best Picture.
Even legendary actor Jack Nicholson eyes opened wide as he exclaimed, “Wow” while opening the letter to present the Academy Award for Best Picture to Crash. However, Brokeback Mountain did manage to win the Academy Award for Best Director.
8. 11-year Old Anna Paquin Wins Best Supporting Actress
Do you believe in miracles? Anna Paquin does! Almost all 11-year old kids do not have any idea what they want to do for a career. By then, Paquin was already establishing herself as an actress. Starring in the romantic drama film The Piano, it was her very first film yet she got nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
As shocking as it may sound, the rookie Paquin took the night by storm as she defeated Holly Hunter, Rosie Perez, Winina Ryder and Emma Thompson to become the second youngest recipient of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.