And the Award Goes to...
Everyone who watched last year's Oscars remembers that moment when "La La Land" producer Jordan Horowitz, having accepted the award for Best Picture, returned to the mic and announced, "There's a mistake. 'Moonlight,' you guys won Best Picture." Suddenly the tightly controlled awards ceremony went off the rails—and not for the first time. Click through for 20 more unscripted and unforgettable Oscar moments.
Sealed With a Kiss
THE MOMENT: Adrien Brody, winner of the Best Actor award for his role in 2002's "The Pianist," scoops presenter Halle Berry into his arms and surprises her with a full-on kiss.
THE UPSHOT: "Since we didn't really kiss, I can't tell you how good he was," Berry said later that week. "But I can tell you this: He was wet."
THE MOMENT: As host David Niven introduces presenter Elizabeth Taylor at the 1974 Oscars, artist/activist Robert Opel runs naked across the stage, flashing a peace sign and much else.
THE UPSHOT: Niven's witty off-the-cuff response: "Isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get ... is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings." Sadly, Opel was murdered by burglars in 1979, a year after opening a gay art gallery in San Francisco.
'You Like Me!'
THE MOMENT: Accepting the Best Actress award for her part in 1984's "Places in the Heart," Sally Field gushes, "I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"
THE UPSHOT: The embarrassingly earnest remark became one of the most parodied (and misquoted) lines from any Academy Awards speech. Few recognized that Field was referring to a bit of dialogue from her earlier Oscar-winning film "Norma Rae."
THE MOMENT: In an Oscars first, the 1959 ceremony ends 20 minutes ahead of schedule, so host Jerry Lewis ad-libs to fill the remaining airtime. ("We would now like to do 300 choruses of 'There's No Business Like Show Business.'") Grabbing a baton from the conductor, he leads the orchestra as stars in the audience get up to dance.
THE UPSHOT: Despite Lewis' valiant effort, NBC finally cut to a rerun of a sports broadcast.
J. Law Stumbles
THE MOMENT:Jennifer Lawrence falls on her way to accept the Best Actress Oscar for 2012's "Silver Linings Playbook."
THE UPSHOT: What tripped her up was a strange sort of mantra—"cakewalk, cakewalk, cakewalk"—going through her head. It was only after falling that she remembered her stylist's instruction: "Kick, walk, kick, walk." As Lawrence told W magazine, "You are supposed to kick the dress out while you walk, and I totally forgot because I was thinking about cake!"
Photo by Kevin Winter
Frank Capra's Walk of Shame
THE MOMENT: "Come up and get it, Frank!" says the famously folksy Will Rogers at the 6th Academy Awards in 1934. Just one problem: Two Franks were nominated for Best Director. Frank Capra is nearly on stage when he realizes that the winner is "Cavalcade" director Frank Lloyd.
THE UPSHOT: The return to his seat was "the longest, saddest, most shattering walk in my life," Capra wrote in his autobiography. He won his first Oscar (pictured here) in 1935, for "It Happened One Night."
Photo via Getty Images
Tom Hanks Outs His Teacher
THE MOMENT: Tom Hanks, named Best Actor for playing a lawyer with AIDS in 1993's "Philadelphia," pays tribute to his high school drama teacher Rawley Farnsworth, identifying him as one of "the finest gay Americans." The speech is moving but potentially awkward: As a teacher, Farnsworth kept his sexuality private.
THE UPSHOT: Now retired, Farnsworth was cool with it. The incident inspired the 1997 comedy "In & Out."
A Show of Strength
THE MOMENT: "Billy Crystal ... I crap bigger than him," says Jack Palance, paraphrasing the character he played in the 1991 comedy "City Slickers." And that's just the beginning of his wild Best Supporting Actor acceptance speech. A minute later the 73-year-old actor drops to the floor and does several one-armed push-ups.
THE UPSHOT: It turned into a running joke. The next year's Academy Awards opened with Palance hauling a colossal Oscar onto the stage, with host Billy Crystal on top of it.
It Just Slipped Out
THE MOMENT: Melissa Leo inadvertently drops an F-bomb while accepting the Best Supporting Actress award for playing a foul-mouthed mom in 2010's "The Fighter." "When I watched Kate [Winslet] two years ago, it looked so f---ing easy," she says, quickly adding, "Oops."
THE UPSHOT: "I apologize to anyone if they were offended," Leo told reporters backstage. "There's a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular."
The Case of the Missing Oscar
THE MOMENT: An unidentified man appears on stage to accept the Best Supporting Actress award won by "In Old Chicago" star Alice Brady, who's at home with a broken ankle. He makes a clean getaway and the plaque (Oscar statuettes would come later) is never seen again.
THE UPSHOT: The Academy gave Brady a replacement award (pictured here) as soon as she was back on her feet.
Roberto Benigni Flips
THE MOMENT: The director and star of 1997's "Life Is Beautiful," winning the award for Best Foreign Language Film—goes a little nuts, climbing over the audience and balancing on backs of seats. It happens again when he's named Best Actor.
THE UPSHOT: "If that little Italian fart wins, I'm gonna have a fit," Nick Nolte remembers Ian McKellan telling him before the ceremony. Later they met at a bar with fellow nominee Edward Norton and mocked one another for losing to "the little fart."
THE MOMENT: Boos are mixed with applause as Sacheen Littlefeather, an Apache representing Marlon Brando, announces that the screen legend is turning down the Best Actor award for his comeback role in 1972's "The Godfather."
THE UPSHOT: Oscars producers refused to let Littlefeather read a long-winded statement from Brando denouncing Hollywood for "degrading the Indian." After that, the Academy banned acceptances by proxy.
Julia Roberts Stops the Clock
THE MOMENT: Julia Roberts, winner of the 2001 Best Actress award for the title role in "Erin Brockovich," protests the Academy's 45-second time limit on acceptance speeches. But she does it charmingly: "Sir, you're doing a great job, but you're so quick with that stick, so why don't you sit, 'cause I may never be here again."
THE UPSHOT: Although she took nearly five minutes and thanked "everyone I ever met in my life," Roberts overlooked one important person: the real Erin Brockovich.
THE MOMENT: "Oh my God!" exclaims Goldie Hawn after opening the envelope and seeing that 1971's Best Actor winner is "Patton" star George C. Scott, a no-show who dismissed the Oscars as "a two-hour meat parade." Producer Frank McCarthy accepts the award, despite Scott's earlier refusal even to be nominated.
THE UPSHOT: Scott was the first actor to turn down an Oscar. McCarthy, a veteran of World War II, donated the statuette to the George C. Marshall Foundation.
Lost in Translation
THE MOMENT: "Please welcome the wickedly talented, one and only Adele Dazeem," says John Travolta, introducing the mezzo-soprano about to perform "Let It Go," 2014's Best Original Song. Just one problem: The singer's name is Idina Menzel.
THE UPSHOT: The garbling of her name went viral and Travolta apologized, but no need. Menzel found it funny and, as his co-presenter the next year, introduced the "Pulp Fiction" star as Glom Gazingo.
THE MOMENT: The Academy proudly presents the Best Supporting Actress award to Hattie McDaniel for her iconic role as Mammy in 1939's "Gone With the Wind"—while shamefully holding the event at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, where she is forced to sit at a segregated table in the back.
THE UPSHOT: McDaniel, the first African-American Oscar winner and an all-around class act, nonetheless called it "one of the happiest moments of my life."
A Political Showdown
THE MOMENT: Vanessa Redgrave, a supporter of the Palestinian Liberation Front, "salutes" Hollywood for resisting "Zionist hoodlums" who protested her Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in 1977's "Julia."
THE UPSHOT: Screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky drew cheers when he responded: "I'm sick and tired of people exploiting the occasion of the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal political propaganda."
Sign of the Times
THE MOMENT: Louise Fletcher, the archvillainess in 1975's "One Flew Over the Cuckoos's Nest," tearfully thanks her parents, both deaf mutes, in sign language.
THE UPSHOT: Inspired by Fletcher, the Academy added signing to future ceremonies. But the response was less than enthusiastic when, three years later, Jane Fonda signed her acceptance speech after winning the Best Actress Oscar for "Coming Home."
THE MOMENT: Host Ellen DeGeneres pulls off the most star-studded selfie ever, a shot that takes in 11 A-listers, including Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep and Bradley Cooper.
THE UPSHOT: The snapshot became the most retweeted post of all time.
The Greatest Show?
THE MOMENT: In the first televised Academy Awards ceremony, Cecil B. DeMille wins the Best Picture Oscar for 1952's "The Greatest Show on Earth"—later called the worst movie ever to win that award;
THE UPSHOT: Reportedly heard on the air was someone in the audience saying, "Who decides these things, anyway?"
Photo via Getty Images
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