Most Memorable Speeches At The Oscars Over The Years

The Academy Awards is a special event for many people, even for those who aren’t walking up the red carpet in hopes of receiving one. It is the one day each year that all of Hollywood’s hottest stars come together and mingle, congratulate, and sometimes even fight. But, sometimes, their thank you speeches are the best part of the entire show. Fox 19 News has given viewers a taste of award speeches past.

Marlon Brando reigned supreme in best award speech in 1973. Brando was nominated for, and won, an Oscar for ‘Best Actor’ in The Godfather. However, he publicly declined his award, and chose instead to send Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native American activist. It was Brando’s way of standing up for the treatment that Native American actors and extras received in show business, and it certainly melted the crowd.

Sally Field was a bright, neon glow as she accepted the 1985 Oscar for Best Actress in Places in the Heart.

“You like me, right now, you like me,” she said and got several glowing smiles in return.

In 1991, Gwyneth Paltrow won Best Actress for her role in Shakespeare In Love. Her acceptance was beautiful, almost flawless, and she even added a very emotional moment of recognition to close family members.

The movie In & Out was inspired by Tom Hank’s acceptance speech in 1994. He gave his high school drama teachers a heartwarming thank you, saying that he mentioned them because they were “two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men,” that he had the incredible fortune of meeting so early in his life.

Robin Williams had skits that had viewers eyes watering before his first character switch, and his genuine gratitude for recognizing him with his 1998 award were just as powerful. Tears welled in a few eyes as a humble and kind Robin accepted the award and thanked everyone. “This might be the one time I’m speechless,” he said.

Cuba Gooding Jr., Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, and Roberto Benigni — who actually jumped for joy! — wrapped up the 90s Oscars acceptance speeches, in 1997, 1998 and 1999, respectively. However, each star tries to outdo the last.

Halle Berry accepted her award in 2002. She was followed by Adrien Brody in 2003, who gave her a big kiss onstage while receiving his award as a surprise that was not in her gift bag. Philip Seymour Hoffman was honored in 2006, and Jennifer Hudson in 2007.

Jennifer Lawrence was no exception, maneuvering around her big, bulky gown. She stole hearts, not the show, when she got her foot caught in the bottom of her dress and fell, grace first, en route to the stage. She received a standing ovation and laughed.

Octavia Spencer earned the honor in 2012 for her role in The Help. Then there was Lupita Nyong’o in 2014 for 12 Years A Slave and Graham Moore for Best Adapted Screenplay of The Imitation Game in 2015 also joining the list of touching, funny or otherwise memorable Academy Awards acceptance speeches.

Favorite stars can always make an audience laugh, cry, or run screaming for our lives. That’s why they are favorites. However, it takes more than honey words and sweetheart smiles to win over a crowd with a speech. Whether it’s a baby-faced young adult with excitedly flushed cheeks, a tough guy or gal with tears streaming down his or her face, or a trip-and-tumble to the stage, many fans agree that a sincere, honest response or reaction will always win the audience’s heart.

[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]