Top Ten Most Iconic Oscar Moments.
Let’s be honest…. Oscars 2022 was a freaking disaster. There’s no reason to deny it or try to sugar coat it. So much a disaster that the really great moments got completely overshadowed. It’s a shame, really because like everything else in the world, the Academy Awards just ain’t once they used to be. There was a time where everyone and their mother did it up big for Oscars night with watch parties with all sorts of food and dressed to the nines in their best attire. It was a true event that brought together all walks of life that couldn’t wait to see their favorite stars and movies win awards for Best this and Best that, as well as whose wearing who and how well they’re wearing them. Nowadays hardly anybody is even watching the awards and most people dog out the crazy outfits these folks show up in. Well, I miss the good old days when The Oscars were something special, in fact I miss when any Awards show was special. There were so many iconic moments that the Oscars gave us that I felt were worth counting down. And hereeee we go!
10. Whoopi Goldberg Wins For Best Actress and makes room for more comedians and women of color to reach new heights. 1991.
This was a big win for the comedienne in more ways than one. Her win paved the way for other comics such as Monique, Jamie Foxx and Robin Williams as well as helped make more room for women of color, specifically black women to reach for the goal of being recognized for their work by the industry like Halle Berry, Viola Davis, Taraji P. Henson and Monique again. Gotta love how excited Whoopi was and the way she grabbed onto Denzel for dear life!
9. Tatum O’Neal Wins Best Supporting Actress and becomes youngest winner ever. 1974.
Yes, Ms. Tatum O’Neal is on record to be the youngest Oscar winner ever making history. She won for her role in the film Paper Moon and gave one of the shortest speeches ever. We can all appreciate getting quick to the point, and it doesn’t hurt to be given the Oscar by the legendary Charles Bronson either.
8. Charlie Chaplin gets a twelve minute standing ovation. 1972.
The silent movie legend that was Charlie Chaplin received the illustrious honorary Oscar for all his monumental achievement in the industry. The most memorable and iconic moment, however, was how he was given a rousing standing ovation that lasted twelve minutes, the longest record of a standing ovation in Oscar history. Only Mel Gibson’s ten minute standing O for Hacksaw Ridge comes close. It was applause well received for a man who basically helped make movies what they became and solidified the term “movie star”.
7. Heath Ledger’s Oscar Win. 2009.
A historic posthumous win for the late actor whose riveting portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight earned him both critical and audience acclaim as well as became the defining portrayal of the Joker in live action. (Though Jack Nicholson is still up there too in my book) Ledger’s family accepted his award for him and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as they spoke very heartfelt words on behalf of their lost loved one. One of the most emotionally raw moments ever in live television.
6. Marlon Brando Rejects Oscar and Sacheen Littlefeather accepts and makes a powerful speech. 1973.
Everyone remembers this moment. It was quite controversial but ended up shining a light on a very big topic as well as made for a memorable moment we’ll never forget.
5. Jamie Foxx Wins For Ray. 2005.
This was an iconic night for the legendary actor\comedian whose speech was one of the top 3 greatest Oscar speeches ever given: Funny, warm, inspiring and genuinely heartfelt. All the competition was incredible with such heavyweights like Clint Eastwood, Don Cheadle, Leonardo DicCaprio and Johnny Depp so the fact that Jamie won out with all that talent up against him proved how truly great his performance was. A truly great moment in the Academy’s history that needs to be talked about more now than ever.
4. Streaker runs past David Niven. 1974
One of the most unexpected and truly hilarious moments in Oscar history no doubt and what was even better was Niven’s brilliant reaction and line. David Nivens repped the old school classy stars that knew how to think on their feet and handle crazy situations with grace and wit. It’s kind of sad that in today’s time most celebs wouldn’t be able to handle this situation as well as David Nivens and his ilk did with a good sense of humor and professionalism. Times sure have changed, huh?
3. Sidney Poitier Wins Best Actor. 1964.
A historic night was had when the Sidney Poitier, one of the top 5 greatest actors ever won his first Oscar for the classic film(and one of my personal favorites) Lillies of The Field. The first black male actor to ever win the Academy Award as well as the second ever black Oscar winner period. As Sidney said in his great speech, “it was a long journey” and that journey was continued for many generations after his historic win because of Sidney and all his amazing work. A bit of fun is had when Anne Bancroft takes so much joy in handing Sidney his prize. The two were obviously great friends, which was very nice to see during the era of the civil rights movement.
2. A Historic Night is Made When Sidney, Denzel and Halle Win Big. 2002.
Speaking of iconic moments in black Oscar history…. Twenty years ago something truly amazing happened when Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington and Halle Berry all took home Oscars that fateful night. Not only were all three monumental for the obvious reasons but were also so well deserved because all three did amazing work with Denzel in Training Day, Halle in Monster’s Ball and Sidney just for his lifetime of amazing work. The speeches given by all three legends are still so memorable and elegant to this day. Especially great for me, though, was when both Sidney and Denzel, both have been compared many times because they’re essentially versions of the other, raised their Oscars to each other. Nothing will ever top that for me.
- Hattie McDaniels Is The First Ever Black Oscar Winner For Gone With The Wind. 1940
This was truly an iconic moment that changed things forever in the Academy and Black history. She may have had a role that a lot might see as negative or stereotypical, but at the end of the day had she and many others at the time not done such a role paving the way for Black actors to get any kind of major part in film or anything else there may never have been a Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, Morgan Freeman etc. or any Black Oscar winners period. That night was truly groundbreaking and well deserved because Ms. McDaniels was simply brilliant in Gone With The Wind.
I’m not a big Award show fan. I don’t even bother watching any of them other than a clip on Youtube of an Actor or film\show I like winning something. But even I know that the Oscars were something special and a huge deal a long time ago. Call me an optimist but perhaps they’ll become something memorable and special again in the future.
This article is dedicated to my late Grandfather Willie C. Brown aka. “June”. A influential and inspiring pioneer in his own right.
Love and miss you always. You helped take care of me for 26 years and it was an honor to pay you back by taking care of you for the past two.