The 1974 Academy Awards was a good year for handing out film awards, and there were plenty of stars accepting them or handing them out.
The Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles on April 2nd, and were presided over by Burt Reynolds, Diana Ross, John Huston, and David Niven…quite a lineup.
The award ceremony is most remembered for a streaking incident: from Wikipedia:
The 46th Academy Awards ceremony is perhaps best remembered as the ceremony in which a streaker named Robert Opel ran across the stage naked while flashing a peace sign with his hand. In response, host David Niven jokingly quipped, “The only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings.” In 2001, this incident was voted as the most memorable Oscar moment in history, coming in first over Marlon Brando’s 1972 boycott of the 45th Academy Awards, in which he nominated Sacheen Littlefeather to explain why he would not be coming to collect his Oscar for The Godfather.
Read the Wikipedia page about Robert Opel, it is interesting and unfortunately his life came to a tragic end only five years later.
There were plenty of big names handing out various awards, but the most interesting pair was Linda Blair and Billy Dee Williams as the presenters of the Short Subjects Awards. Other big names included Alfred Hitchcock, Marcel Marceau, Yul Brynner, good ol’ Ernest Borgnine, The Bronson, and The Heston. See them all here.
There were plenty of performers too, including Henry Mancini, Liza Minnelli, and Jodie Foster. The one I would have most liked to have seen was Telly Savalas singing “You’re So Nice To Be Around” from Cinderella Liberty. I can’t find it on YouTube, but I did find this gem. I have seen that film, good one.
Here are a few of the notable awards given…
Best picture – The Sting
Lizzy fluffed her lines but recovered magnificently. Click here for a video clip.
Best actress – Glenda Jackson for “A Touch of Class” (presented by Susan Hayward and The Heston)
Glenda is mostly doing theatre work these days.
Best actor – Jack Lemmon for “Save The Tiger” Presented by Liza Minnelli and Gregory Peck)
Jack beat Marlon Brando for “Last Tango In Paris”, Jack Nicholson for “The Last Detail”, Al Pacino for “Serpico”, and Robert Redford for “The Sting”…some pretty stiff competition there, but I am sure Jack deserved it.
Actress in a supporting role – Tatum O’Neal (presented by The Bronson and Jill Ireland)
She was ten at the time and to this day remains the youngest winner of an Academy Award.
Costume design – Edith Head (presented by Peter Falk and Twiggy)
Edith was nominated 35 times for best costume design, and won eight times, with this film being her last award. She did costume design for Roman Holiday, and won for that too.
Honorary Academy Award – Groucho Marx
Jack Lemmon gave a good introductory speech. Groucho was 82 at the time.
It was a fine year for the Academy Awards. The Exorcist was the only other major film to win an award, and films that lost out included American Graffiti, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and The Day of the Dolphin. The biggest winner by far was The Sting with seven awards, with The Exorcist getting only two (Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, and Sound).
To see all of the awards, click here.
As far as I can ascertain Kirk Douglas was not at the awards.
And here is a funny photo taken outside the awards…