74th Annual Academy Awards Backstage Quotes


74th Oscar® News

On stage or backstage, there’s always some great comments. Here are a few:

I arrived in Hollywood at the age of 22, in a time different than today’s. A time in which the odds against my standing here tonight, 53 years later, would not have fallen in my favor. Back then, no route had been established for where I was hoping to go. No pathway left in evidence for me to trace. No custom for me to follow.

Yet, here I am this evening at the end of a journey that, in 1949, would have been considered almost impossible and, in fact, might never have been set in motion were there not an untold number of courageous, unselfish choices made by a handful of visionary American filmmakers, directors, writers, and producers, each with a strong sense of citizen responsibility to the times in which they lived. Each unafraid to permit their art to reflect their views and values, ethical and moral and moreover acknowledge them as their own. They knew the odds that stood against them and their efforts were overwhelming and likely could have proven too high to overcome. Still those filmmakers persevered, speaking through their art to the best in all of us. And I benefited from their efforts, the industry benefited from their efforts, America benefited from their efforts, and in ways large and small, the world has also benefited from their efforts.

Therefore, with respect, I share this great honor with the late Joe Mankiewicz, the late Richard Brooks, the late Ralph Nelson, the late Darryl Zanuck, the late Stanley Kramer, the Mirisch brothers, especially Walter whose friendship lies at the very heart of this moment. Guy Green, Norman Jewison, and all others who have had a hand in altering the odds for me and for others.

Without them, this most memorable moment would not have come to pass and the many excellent young actors who have followed in admirable fashion might not have come, as they have, to enrich the tradition of American filmmaking, as they have.

I accept this award in memory of all the African-American actors and actresses who went before me in the difficult years. On whose shoulders I was privileged to stand to see where I might go. My love and my thanks to my wonderful, wonderful wife, my children, my grandchildren, my agent and friend Martin Baum and, finally, to those audience members around the world who have placed their trust in my judgment as an actor and filmmaker. I thank each of you for your support through the years. Thank you.Sidney Poitier, accepting his honorary Oscar

No I — I didn’t write it out, but I — I thought about it in my shower for over two weeks. I kind of put it together in my mind, and then I started to get the panicky feeling that, without hot water coming down on my back, I was not going to be able to do it, you know. Because — but I did practice it at home a couple of times in my shower, and then — and I feel I was better in my shower, actually, you know. But I guess you always think like that.Woody Allen, discussing his introduction of the tribute to New York City

Thank you, Mama, thank you Papa. It feels humbling to receive a humanitarian award for doing what my parents brought me up to do. I had an unbelievably caring mother and father, who lived their lives with the moral values of love and compassion; of respect and responsibility; of human dignity, and standing up for what’s right.Arthur Hiller, accepting his Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

And above all I would like to thank my wife Anastasia for coming with me on this long and rather unpredictable journey. And good luck to Moulin Rouge.Jim Broadbent, accepting the Best Supporting Actor Oscar

Finally, I want to thank Jeffery Katzenberg who has a love for animation that borders on obsession and who is the real reason we’re here tonight.Aron Warner, accepting the first Best Animated Feature Oscar

I have mixed feelings. You know, mixed. But I was very surprised and it was a good feeling, you know. And the orchestra was kind of happy for me, and the audience stood up, you know. And I thought I’d have to wait until I died, you know, for that to happen.Randy Newman, when asked if he was upset that he didn’t break the record for most nominations without a win

So it’s not really about me as much as it is about me as much as it is about so many other women of color who have tried to permeate, you know, this system for so many years. and today this meant I hope, that the glass ceiling was broken wide open. And that just feels good for me and for all of them, too.Halle Berry, talking about her win backstage

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