The 10 Weirdest Oscar Moments Ever
Everyone will be glued to their TVs on Sunday for the Academy Awards, a night that both entertainers and fans will be talking about in the days that follow. One of the great traditions of the annual ceremony celebrating the best of the past year of Hollywood is how unpredictable and outrageous it can get. Whether it’s unexpected speeches or strange interruptions, the spontaneous moments are always the ones that command the most attention. Here’s a look back at 10 of our favorites from the Oscars’ 86 years.
Marlon Brando Sends Sacheen Littlefeather to Accept His Oscar
It was perhaps the most uncomfortable moment in Oscar history when in 1973 Marlon Brando sent up Sacheen Littlefeather to accept his Best Actor Oscar for ‘The Godfather.’ It was a form of protest for Hollywood’s misrepresentation of American Indians, and Brando prepared a long speech for Littlefeather to deliver. He wanted a statement to be made. Instead, a producer cut Littlefeather down to 60 seconds. She got to give the entire speech backstage to the press and everyone watching at home was just confused. Littlefeather recently spoke about her Oscar moment and revealed she is writing a book about her friendship with the enigmatic Brando.
In 1974, with counterculture and streaking still very much a part of contemporary society, a streaker named Robert Opal got the biggest applause of the night when he flashed a peace sign as he passed behind host David Niven during the ceremony. It was Opal’s crowning achievement, but it was Niven who had people most impressed as he was able to keep his cool and make the most of the crazy situation.
Three 6 Mafia Win Best Song
Hip-hop groups are not common guests at the traditionally stuffy Oscars, but in 2006 Three 6 Mafia took the crowd by storm when the group won an award for the song ‘It’s Hard Out There For A Pimp’ from the ‘Hustle & Flow’ soundtrack.
It was a surprise win for the group, who won over the crowd with their acceptance speech. They reemerged later on when they performed a relatively clean version of the song on stage.
Rob Lowe sings with…Snow White?
There was no official host at the 1989 show, and the opening number brought out an act featuring Merv Griffin, Snow White (played by actress Eileen Bowman) and Rob Lowe. It was Lowe and “White” who left the audience there and at home perplexed when they went into a rewritten rendition of “Proud Mary.” Needless to say, it wasn’t met well and the Academy went back to its standard styles in the years that followed. Bowman recently discussed her role in one of Oscar’s most unfortunate moments.
The “Deaf” Children’s Choir
Remember Debby Boone? No? That’s because she was a one-hit wonder for the song ‘You Light Up My Life’ in 1979, a song she sang on stage at the annual awards ceremony. However, there was a catch: a group of children, who appeared to be deaf, joined her. Only the children didn’t know sign language very well, leaving everyone to realize at once this whole act was a farce.
Roberto Benigni’s Chairwalk
It was the chairwalk to remember. In 1999, Italian filmmaker Roberto Benigni rose from his seat with such enjoyment upon learning he had won for Best Foreign Film for his film ‘Life is Beautiful’ that he actually walked on the backs of the seats in front of him. Nobody seemed to know what to do at the time, as other attendees held him up in place so he wouldn’t fall back from the daydream he was experiencing.
Jack Palance Shows Off
Jack Palance showed off that he still had the beauty and the brawn for entertainment’s biggest night when in 1992 he tweaked a line from the movie ‘City Slickers,’ in which he starred in with Oscars host Billy Crystal, to say “Billy Crystal… I cr$$ bigger than him.” Then, the 73-year-old hit the floor and did one-handed push-ups. Throughout the rest of the night, Crystal called back to the event with lines like “Jack Palance has been named People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive.”
Angelina Puckers Up…With Her Brother
Now Angelina Jolie may be at the top of Hollywood, but back in 2000 she made headlines for a completely different reason. On the red carpet in 2000, for inexplicable reasons, she kissed her brother James Haven. Like really kissed him. It led to a ton of press and publicity that Jolie did not want, stirring rumors that the two were engaged in some illicit affair. Now Jolie just makes waves with her sexy dresses and keeps her mouth to herself.
Burkett’s “drunk” moment
You may not recall producer Elinor Burkett by name, but will you might remember how in 2010 she stormed the stage and interrupted her ‘Music by Prudence’ collaborator Roger Ross Williams during his acceptance speech for the Best Documentary Short award.
Because of Burkett’s over-the-top zest for the spotlight, many at home speculated that she was under the influence of alcohol at the time. She said, “You know, in a world in which most of us are told and tell ourselves that we can’t, Liyana, the band behind the film, teaches us that we’re wrong. Against all odds, they did so we can. The bottom line is, to me, my role models and my heroes [are the members of Liyana].” It’s a nice message, but she may have found a better way to get it out.
Alice Brady’s stolen statue
In 1938, Alice Brady won for Best Supporting Actress for ‘In Old Chicago,’ but she was very sick from cancer and could not attend the festivities. So a random guy walked up on stage, accepted the award on her behalf, and left, never to be seen or heard from again. The Academy had falsely assumed this was planned, but when they realized their error, they made it up to Brady by giving her an apology and a replacement statue. Unfortunately, Brady passed away before she could receive her rightful award.