From Trailer Park to Hollywood
After Hilary Swank won second Best Actress Oscar in 2005 for her role as a female boxer in MILLION DOLLAR BABY, who can forget her humble words when she said, “I don’t know what I did in this life to deserve all this. I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.”
Buddies Matt and Ben
Childhood friends Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were ecstatic as they won their first Oscar for GOODWILL HUNTING in 1998. They even showed their hometown pride when they gave a shout-out to Boston.
Crossing the Racial Barrier
Sidney Poiter was the first African-American to win Best Actor in 1964 for his role in LILIES OF THE FIELD. He gratefully accepted the honor as he remarked what a “looong journey to this moment,” it was.
Al Pacino’s Long Overdue Win
Receiving the nomination for Best Actor seven times without winning, eight turns out to be the lucky number for Al Pacino as he takes home the Oscar for SCENT OF A WOMAN in 1993, two decades after he was first nominated. “You broke my streak,” were his first words when he accepted the long-awaited honor.
Fighting for Gay Rights
In his touching acceptance of the award for Best Screenplay, Dustin Lance Black offers words of encouragement and inspiration for gay and lesbian youth everywhere. He reminds them that they are “beautiful, wonderful creatures of value” and encourages them to keep pushing forward for equal rights.
Angelina Jolie’s Ecstatic Acceptance Speech
A shocked Angelina Jolie won her first Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in GIRL INTERRUPTED, 21 years after her father Jon Voight took home his first Oscar. "I'm surprised nobody's ever fainted up here," she happily exclaimed.
Ol’ Blue Eyes Takes Home an Oscar
Long before the Oscars began airing on color TV, legendary crooner Frank Sinatra won an Oscar for FROM HERE TO ETERNITY in 1954. It was Sinatra's first Oscar for acting, having previously won an Honorary Award in 1946 together with musical colleagues.
The first and only X-rated film to receive an Oscar, MIDNIGHT COWBOY won Best Picture in 1970. Producer Jeremy Hellman accepted the award presented by Elizabeth Taylor.
Steven Spielberg Presents the Thalberg Award to George Lucas
Thanking his teachers, mentors and the entire team that makes a film production possible, STAR WARS creator George Lucas accepts the Thalberg Award at the 1992 Oscars. The crew aboard the Atlantis spaceship also personally congratulate him via a live broadcast with a floating Oscar statuette.
Russell Crowe’s Big Win
In 2001, Australian actor Russell Crowe won his first Best Actor Oscar for his role in the epic action-adventure GLADIATOR. He offered encouraging words for people growing up in the suburbs or on the “downside of advantage,” reminding them that anything is possible.
Tom Hanks’ Humble Speech
Tom Hanks won his second consecutive Oscar for Best Actor in 1995, this time for FORREST GUMP. He humbly accepted the honor as he remarked that his fellow nominees, which included Morgan Freeman (THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION) and John Travolta (PULP FICTION), were just as deserving of the award.
Cher Wins an Oscar
Wearing a sparkling black gown, glamorous Cher proclaims, “When I was little, my mother said, ‘I want you to be something…’” as she accepts the Best Actress Oscar in 1988 for MOONSTRUCK. “I guess I’m on my way.”
Elizabeth Taylor’s First Oscar
At the age of 29, the always elegant Elizabeth Taylor won her first Best Actress Oscar in 1961 for her role in BUTTERFIELD 8. She kept her acceptance speech brief yet gracious as she accepted the honor.
For more, visit the Oscar History Timeline. And watch the Oscars LIVE Oscar Sunday Mar 2 7e|4p on ABC.