66th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1994)

  • Date of Ceremony: Monday, March 21, 1994
  • For films released in: 1993
  • Host(s): Whoopi Goldberg (video)
Other years:

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The 66th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, were presented on Monday, March 21st, 1994.

Goldberg’s gig made her the first African-American and first woman to serve as a solo host of the Oscars.

Schindler’s List entered the night with twelve nominations and ended up going home with seven, including Best Picture and Best Director for Spielberg, his first competitive wins.

I actually, I have friends who have won this before, but — and I swear — I have never held one before. This is the first time I’ve ever had one of these in my hand. Oh, dear.” – Steven Spielberg

While Tom Hanks won for his moving portrayal of gay lawyer with AIDS, his acceptance speech did serve as an inspiration for a comedy. In his speech Hanks mentioned a teacher, Rawley Farnsworth, and a classmate, John Gilkerson, saying “I mention their names because they are two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with, to fall under their inspiration at such a young age.” While it was unclear if Hanks actually outed the men during a worldwide broadcast, producer Scott Rudin used that possibility as the inspiration for the Kevin Kline/Tom Selleck comedy In & Out.

Holly Hunter won Best Actress for her portrayal of a mute woman in The Piano.

When I was six years old I started pretending to play the piano on the window sills of my bedroom in the house where I grew up. And then after a while my parents realized that I wasn’t going to stop, so they got me a cardboard keyboard to play to see if that might, you know, if I would get tired of that. But I wasn’t. I didn’t. And so then they got me a piano. So for the next ten years they let me have piano lessons. So I need to thank Eileen Parish, my first piano teacher, and I need to thank my parents for letting me have these lessons.” – Holly Hunter

Hunter’s 11-year-old co-star, Anna Paquin, took home Best Supporting Actress, making her the second youngest winner after Tatum O’Neal. Tommy Lee Jones took Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Fugitive. Taking to the stage with a bald head, Jones felt the need to explain it was just for a role.

My thanks to the Academy for the very finest, greatest award that any actor can ever receive. The only thing a man can say at a time like this is: I am not really bald. Actually, I’m lucky enough to be working and for that I have to thank the boss, Bob Daly, the other boss, Terry Semel.” – Tommy Lee Jones

Paul Newman, who had been awarded an Honorary Oscar in 1985 and a Best Actor award in 1986, came back to accept the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

In my estimation the United States is the most generous country on the face of the planet. And in the nation there are a group of communities, and one of those communities is the community of artists and entertainers, and I think they are the most generous community in the United States. And not just in terms of money, but in terms of inspiration and effort and time and commitment and risk. So to be singled out like this, out of that community, I must say is an honor indeed.” – Paul Newman

Another highlight of the night happened when 72-year-old actress Deborah Kerr was presented with an Honorary Oscar.

Thank you. Thank you. There should be some more words for thank you, shouldn’t there? I’ve never been so frightened in all my life. But, I feel better now because I know I’m among friends.” – Deborah Kerr


Best Picture

  • Schindler's List
    Steven Spielberg [Producer], Gerald R. Molen [Producer] and Branko Lustig [Producer]

Best Directing

  • Schindler's List
    Steven Spielberg

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  • The Piano
    Holly Hunter

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • The Fugitive
    Tommy Lee Jones

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Belle Epoque

Best Art Direction

  • Schindler's List
    Allan Starski [Art Direction] and Ewa Braun [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography

  • Schindler's List
    Janusz Kaminski

Best Costume Design

  • The Age of Innocence
    Gabriella Pescucci

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School
    Susan Raymond and Alan Raymond

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Defending Our Lives
    Margaret Lazarus and Renner Wunderlich

Best Film Editing

  • Schindler's List
    Michael Kahn

Best Makeup

  • Mrs. Doubtfire
    Greg Cannom, Ve Neill and Yolanda Toussieng

Best Music (Original Score)

  • Schindler's List
    John Williams

Best Music (Original Song)

  • Philadelphia "Streets of Philadelphia"
    Bruce Springsteen [Music and Lyric by]

Best Short Film (Animated)

  • The Wrong Trousers
    Nick Park

Best Short Film (Live Action)

  • Black Rider (Schwarzfahrer)
    Pepe Danquart

Best Sound

  • Jurassic Park
    Gary Summers, Gary Rydstrom, Shawn Murphy and Ron Judkins

Best Sound Effects Editing

  • Jurassic Park
    Gary Rydstrom and Richard Hymns

Best Visual Effects

  • Jurassic Park
    Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri

Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published)

  • Schindler's List
    Steven Zaillian

Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen)

  • The Piano
    Jane Campion

Honorary Award

  • Deborah Kerr
    Note: …in appreciation for a full career's worth of elegant and beautifully crafted performances.

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

  • Paul Newman

Gordon E. Sawyer Award

  • Petro Vlahos

Scientific or Technical Award (Academy Award of Merit)

  • Panavision Inc.
    Note: …for the Auto Panatar anamorphic photographic lens.
  • Manfred Michelson [of Technical Film Systems, Incorporated]
    Note: …for the design and development of the first sprocket-driven film transport system for color print film processors which permits transport speeds in excess of 600 feet per minute.

Scientific or Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)

  • Mark Leather, Les Dittert, Doug Smythe and George Joblove
    Note: …for the concept and development of the Digital Motion Picture Retouching System for removing visible rigging and dirt/damage artifacts from original motion picture imagery.
  • Fritz Gabriel Bauer
    Note: …for the design, development and manufacture of the Moviecam Compact Modular 35mm motion picture camera system.

Scientific or Technical Award (Technical Achievement Award)

  • Wally Mills, Gary Stadler and Gustave Parada
    Note: To Wally Mills for the concept; and Gary Stadler and Gustave Parada for the design of the Cinemills Lamp Protection System.
  • Gary Nuzzi, David Johnsrud and William Blethen
    Note: …for the design and development of the Unilux H3000 Strobe Lighting System.
  • Harry J. Baker
    Note: …for the design and development of the Ronford-Baker Metal Tripods for motion picture photography.
  • Michael Dorrough
    Note: …for the design and development of the compound meter known as the Dorrough Audio Level Meter.
  • David Degenkolb
    Note: …for the development of a Silver Recovery Ion Exchange System to eliminate hazardous waste (silver ion) in wash water and allow recycling of this water.
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