The Oscars is Hollywood’s biggest night, and the gala has generated some remarkable moments in its more than 90-year history — some funny, some moving and some confounding.
The following is a look at some of the most unforgettable moments in Oscars history:
And the best picture goes to… oops
The most memorable moment in recent Oscars history happened in 2017, when the Academy’s top prize was briefly handed to dreamy musical “La La Land,” when coming-of-age drama “Moonlight” was the actual winner.
It turns out accountants for PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm responsible for tabulating and safeguarding Oscar votes and results, had handed presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope.
They ended up with a duplicate of the best actress envelope — a prize that went to Emma Stone for “La La Land” — instead of the one that had “Moonlight” winning for best picture.
The embarrassing mix-up, the worst snafu in the history of the Academy Awards, came to be known as “Envelopegate.”
“It was a heartbreaking fiasco,” Entertainment Weekly critic Jeff Jensen wrote at the time.
“You felt embarrassed for Dunaway and Beatty, who clearly knew something was amiss when he opened the envelope but didn’t know how to proceed.”
In March 1973, the legendary Marlon Brando won the best actor prize for his work in mob epic “The Godfather,” besting a remarkable field of contenders — Michael Caine, Peter O’Toole, Laurence Olivier and Paul Winfield.
But Brando did not attend, and Apache actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather took the stage in his place.
#otd March 27, 1973: Sacheen Littlefeather announces at the Academy Awards in L.A. that Marlon Brando is declining to accept his Oscar as best actor in The Godfather. Littlefeather said Brando was protesting “the treatment of Native Americans in film and television.." pic.twitter.com/UzqMQ5qvzX
— Beatgrrrl 🇵🇸 (@Beatgrrrl) March 27, 2021
When actor Roger Moore offered her the golden statuette, she held up her hand in refusal, and he and co-presenter Liv Ullmann stepped back as she began to speak.
Before a stunned audience, Littlefeather said Brando “very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award” as he wanted to protest the movie industry’s treatment of Native Americans.
Her statement was met with applause, cheers and a few boos.
It’s a tie!
There have been a handful of ties in Oscars history, but one that earned a lot of attention came in 1969, when Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn both won the award for best actress.
“The winner — it’s a tie!” exclaimed presenter Ingrid Bergman.
Streisand earned the honor, her first Oscar, for her performance as Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl,” while Hepburn — the all-time leader among actors and actresses with Oscar wins at four — triumphed for “The Lion in Winter.”
Only Streisand attended the ceremony.
“Hello, gorgeous!” she said, looking at the golden statuette.
Of course, actors are thrilled when they join the hallowed pantheon of Oscar winners, but in 2003, Adrien Brody definitely took it a bit too far when he picked up the best actor statuette for “The Pianist.”
When he took the stage to accept his award from the previous year’s best actress winner Halle Berry, he stunned the audience — and Berry — when he swept her into a brief but passionate kiss on the lips.
“That was not planned. I knew nothing about it,” Berry said in a 2017 interview, explaining she was caught totally off guard.
But she confirmed she just “went with it.”
For his part, Brody said in 2015 that “time slowed down” for him in the moment, but that the stunt almost cost him his chance to make a speech.
“By the time I got finished kissing her… they were already flashing the sign to say ‘Get off the stage, your time is up,” he said in an interview at the Toronto film festival.
Will history repeat itself?
Sixty years ago, Rita Moreno won the best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of the feisty Anita in the original film version of “West Side Story” — and history could repeat itself Sunday if Ariana DeBose wins for the same role.
“I can’t believe it! Good Lord. I leave you with that,” Moreno said in the briefest of speeches after accepting the golden statuette from Rock Hudson in 1962.
The Oscars win — the first for a Latina — was Moreno’s first step on the way to achieving rare EGOT status, as the winner of competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. There are only 16 EGOTs in history.
This time around, DeBose is the heavy favorite to capture the Academy Award for her new take on Anita in Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of the classic musical.
“She was fabulous, she was divine,” Moreno said of DeBose in an interview with AFP.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk