46th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1974)

  • Date of Ceremony: Tuesday, April 2, 1974
  • For films released in: 1973
  • Host(s): John Huston, Diana Ross, Burt Reynolds (video) and David Niven
Other years:

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The 46th Annual Academy Awards were hosted by John Huston, Diana Ross, Burt Reynolds, and David Niven when they were presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Tuesday, April 2, 1974.

The Sting won seven of its ten nominated categories including Best Picture, a Best Director for George Roy Hill and an eighth Oscar for Edith Head in Costume Design.

Jack Lemmon won Best Actor for Save the Tiger while Glenda Jackson won her second Best Actress for A Touch of Class.

71-year-old John Houseman won Best Supporting Actor for The Paper Chase, while, at age ten, Tatum O’Neal became the youngest winner ever in a competitive category, taking home the Oscar for her supporting role in Paper Moon.

Marvin Hamlisch scored a hat trick, taking home three Oscars: Best Music, Original Song alongside Alan and Marilyn Bergman for “The Way We Were”, Best Music, Original Dramatic Score for The Way We Were and Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation for The Sting.

The legendary Katharine Hepburn, who had won three Best Actress Oscars but never attended the ceremony, made a rare public appearance to present the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to her friend, Lawrence Weingarten. She received a standing ovation and then said, “I’m living proof that a person can wait forty-one years to be unselfish.” Actress Susan Hayward, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer, made her final public appearance.

One of the events that this night is most remembered for is the streaker who ran behind David Niven as he was about to introduce Elizabeth Taylor. Commenting on the naked runner, Niven quipped, “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?” Much debate has ensued over the years as to whether producer Jack Haley, Jr. was in on the stunt and even whether Niven’s line was actually ad-libbed.


Best Picture

  • The Sting
    Tony Bill [Producer], Michael Phillips [Producer] and Julia Phillips [Producer]

Best Directing

  • The Sting
    George Roy Hill

Best Actor

  • Save the Tiger
    Jack Lemmon

Best Actress

  • A Touch of Class
    Glenda Jackson

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • The Paper Chase
    John Houseman

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Paper Moon
    Tatum O'Neal

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Day for Night

Best Art Direction

  • The Sting
    Henry Bumstead [Art Direction] and James Payne [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography

  • Cries and Whispers
    Sven Nykvist

Best Costume Design

  • The Sting
    Edith Head

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • The Great American Cowboy
    Kieth Merrill

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Princeton: A Search for Answers
    Julian Krainin and DeWitt L. Sage Jr.

Best Film Editing

  • The Sting
    William Reynolds

Best Music (Original Dramatic Score)

  • The Way We Were
    Marvin Hamlisch

Best Music (Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation -or- Scoring: Adaptation)

  • The Sting
    Marvin Hamlisch

Best Music (Song)

  • The Way We Were "The Way We Were"
    Marvin Hamlisch [Music by], Alan Bergman [Lyrics by] and Marilyn Bergman [Lyrics by]

Best Short Subject (Animated)

  • Frank Film
    Frank Mouris

Best Short Subject (Live Action)

  • The Bolero
    Allan Miller and William Fertik

Best Sound

  • The Exorcist
    Robert Knudson and Chris Newman

Best Writing (Screenplay - based on material from another medium)

  • The Exorcist
    William Peter Blatty

Best Writing (Story and Screenplay - based on factual material or material not previously published or produced)

  • The Sting
    David S. Ward

Honorary Award

  • Henri Langlois
    Note: …for his devotion to the art of film, his massive contributions in preserving its past and his unswerving faith in its future.
  • Groucho Marx
    Note: …in recognition of his brilliant creativity and for the unequaled achievements of the Marx Brothers in the art of motion picture comedy.

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

  • Lawrence Weingarten

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

  • Lew Wasserman

Scientific or Technical Award (Class II)

  • Joachim Gerb [of The Arnold and Richter Company] and Erich Kastner [of The Arnold and Richter Company]
    Note: …for the development and engineering of the Arriflex 35BL motion picture camera.
  • Magna-Tech Electronic Co. Inc.
    Note: …for the engineering and development of a high-speed re-recording system for motion picture production.
  • William W. Valliant [of PSC Technology Inc.], Howard F. Ott [of Eastman Kodak Company] and Gerry Diebold [of The Richmark Camera Service Inc.]
    Note: …for the development of a liquid-gate system for motion-picture printers.
  • Harold A. Scheib [of Research Products Incorporated], Clifford H. Ellis [of Research Products Incorporated] and Roger W. Banks [of Research Products Incorporated]
    Note: …for the concept and engineering of the Model 2101 optical printer for motion picture optical effects.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class III)

  • Rosco Laboratories Inc.
    Note: …for the technical advances and the development of a complete system of light-control materials for motion picture photography.
  • Richard H. Vetter [of Todd-AO Corporation]
    Note: …for the design of an improved anamorphic focusing system for motion picture photography.
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