Memorable Oscar Moments - Red Carpet - Stylist Magazine

Iconic Oscar Moments

Iconic Oscar moments

Jaw-dropping scenes from the Academy

Even the wildest celebrities are on their best behaviour for the Academy Awards ceremony, but the Oscars has not reached its 84th year without a few raised eyebrows at controversial speeches, shocking outfits, unexpected kisses - and even a touch of nudity.

A passionate Angelina Jolie announcing she was "in love" with her brother and Adrien Brody's exuberant embrace of a shocked Halle Berry are a few of the stand-out moments, along with Marlon Brando's controversial refusal of his Best Actor award, and Gwyneth Paltrow's painfully emotional acceptance speech.

As we count down the days to Hollywood's favourite event, click into the gallery below and tell us which Oscars moment left you in awe on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Words: Anna Pollitt

Picture credits: Rex Features

  • Oscar Gold: Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry

    Oscar Gold: Adrien Brody ki…

    In 2003, a relatively unknown Adrien Brody won… More details

    Oscar Gold: Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry

    Oscar Gold: Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry

    In 2003, a relatively unknown Adrien Brody won the Best Actor Oscar for The Pianist, making the 29-year-old the youngest actor to ever be awarded the title. But the surprise victory was quickly overshadowed by his six-second smooch with stunned presenter Halle Berry, who Brody enveloped in his arms like they were the stars of an old-school Hollywood romance.

    The audience swooned and a sex-symbol was born.

  • Oscar Gold: Angelina Jolie's brother gush

    Oscar Gold: Angelina Jolie'…

    Angelina Jolie, 2000's Best Supporting Actress… More details

    Oscar Gold: Angelina Jolie's brother gush

    Oscar Gold: Angelina Jolie's brother gush

    Angelina Jolie, 2000's Best Supporting Actress winner for Girl, Interrupted, took older brother James Haven as her plus-one and gave him a quick kiss on the lips when her award was announced - and she may wish she had left it there.

    However, the sultry actress went on to tell the audience, "I'm in shock. And I'm so in love with my brother right now, he just held me and said he loved me." After the ceremony the pair were famously pictured in a rather longer lip-on-lip embrace, and have struggled to live down the controversy ever since.

  • Oscar Gold: Gwyneth Paltrow's tearful speech

    Oscar Gold: Gwyneth Paltrow…

    She was dressed like a princess but all Gwyneth… More details

    Oscar Gold: Gwyneth Paltrow's tearful speech

    Oscar Gold: Gwyneth Paltrow's tearful speech

    She was dressed like a princess but all Gwyneth Paltrow's poise and decorum vanished when it was announced that she had won the Best Actress gong for Shakespeare in Love at the 1999 Academy Awards.

    The actress has never been able to live down her indulgent and lengthy acceptance speech, throughout which she managed to cry without any actual tears as she lurched from thanking her "earthly guardian angel," to telling her grandfather, "I want you to know you've created a beautiful family who love you more than you know," before dedicating her award to a dead cousin.

  • Oscar Gold: Marlon Brando declines honour

    Oscar Gold: Marlon Brando d…

    Hollywood heavyweight Marlon Brando bowed out of… More details

    Oscar Gold: Marlon Brando declines honour

    Oscar Gold: Marlon Brando declines honour

    Hollywood heavyweight Marlon Brando bowed out of the 1973 Academy Awards, and to everyone's amazement he sent Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather to decline his Best Actor award for The Godfather, as a protest against the movie industry's treatment of Native Americans.

    Littlefeather read from a prepared statement as presenters Roger Moore and Liv Ullman hovered awkwardly while the crowd booed. Brando's stunt prompted the organisers to change the rules so that absent award winners could not send anyone else to collect an award in their place.

  • Oscar Gold: Damon and Affleck's double win

    Oscar Gold: Damon and Affle…

    In 1998 childhood friends Matt Damon and Ben… More details

    Oscar Gold: Damon and Affleck's double win

    Oscar Gold: Damon and Affleck's double win

    In 1998 childhood friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting, and won over the world with their unaffected and enthusiastic acceptance speech.

    The actors, who had both taken their mothers to the ceremony, described them as the "most beautiful women in the room," and speedily and animatedly thanked everyone they could think of, including their hometown of Boston, before punching their golden statues into the air and bounding off stage.

  • Oscar Gold: Sally Field's exuberant speech

    Oscar Gold: Sally Field's e…

    Perhaps the most memorable - and misquoted -… More details

    Oscar Gold: Sally Field's exuberant speech

    Oscar Gold: Sally Field's exuberant speech

    Perhaps the most memorable - and misquoted - speech of all time was Sally Field's gushing proclamation at the 1985 Oscars.

    Accepting her second Best Actress Academy Award, this time for Places of the Heart, she told the audience, "I've wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn't feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can't deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!"

    For years the speech has been parodied as "You like me, you really like me!"

  • Oscar Gold: Joan Crawford's sickbed acceptance

    Oscar Gold: Joan Crawford's…

    Joan Crawford set an exceptionally high standard… More details

    Oscar Gold: Joan Crawford's sickbed acceptance

    Oscar Gold: Joan Crawford's sickbed acceptance

    Joan Crawford set an exceptionally high standard for diva-ish Oscars behaviour in 1946 when she accepted her Best Actress award for Mildred Pierce from her bed.

    The starlet could not bear to be at the ceremony if she did not win the award, so feigned a bout of the flu and sent her hairdresser and make-up artist in her place, with instructions to bring the award immediately to her if she won. Photographers were on hand to snap the carefully groomed actress in her "sick-bed" as she posed with her golden statue -- and stole the limelight from the show itself.

  • Oscar Gold: Cher's dress code snub

    Oscar Gold: Cher's dress co…

    Legend has it, superstar Cher wore this risque… More details

    Oscar Gold: Cher's dress code snub

    Oscar Gold: Cher's dress code snub

    Legend has it, superstar Cher wore this risque beaded ensemble and gigantic Mohawk-inspired headdress to the 1986 Oscars in an act of defiance against the Academy, which had failed to nominate her critically acclaimed role in 1985 drama Mask.

    Cher, who announced the Best Actor gong, consoled herself by ignoring a memo sent to presenters instructing them what they should, and should not wear, and stole all the headlines with her Bob Mackie-designed costume.

  • Oscar Gold: The streaker

    Oscar Gold: The streaker

    Arguably the most scandalous Oscar moment of all… More details

    Oscar Gold: The streaker

    Oscar Gold: The streaker

    Arguably the most scandalous Oscar moment of all time came in 1974, when the world saw a naked man run on stage just as suave leading man David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor to present the Best Picture Oscar.

    The legendary British actor managed to keep his cool, glancing at the streaker and smirking as he told the audience,"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?"

  • Oscar Gold: Halle Berry makes history

    Oscar Gold: Halle Berry mak…

    "This moment is so much bigger than me. This… More details

    Oscar Gold: Halle Berry makes history

    Oscar Gold: Halle Berry makes history

    "This moment is so much bigger than me. This is for every nameless, faceless woman of colour for whom the door has been opened."

    Halle Berry gave a famously tearful speech at the 2002 Oscars when she won the Best Actress gong for her role as a death row prisoner's wife in Monster's Ball, and in doing so became the first black woman to be given the honour.

  • Oscar Gold: Audrey Hepburn's Roman Holiday win

    Oscar Gold: Audrey Hepburn'…

    Everyone wanted a piece of iconic British star… More details

    Oscar Gold: Audrey Hepburn's Roman Holiday win

    Oscar Gold: Audrey Hepburn's Roman Holiday win

    Everyone wanted a piece of iconic British star Audrey Hepburn after her 1954 Best Actress win for Roman Holiday -- her one and only Academy Award.

    She attended the ceremony in an Edith Head-designed gown worn by her princess character in the last scene of the film, but the legendary studio designer had adapted it for the evening by adding spaghetti straps and a scoop back.

  • Oscar Gold: Audrey Hepburn returns to Oscars

    Oscar Gold: Audrey Hepburn …

    After a nine-year break from acting, Audrey… More details

    Oscar Gold: Audrey Hepburn returns to Oscars

    Oscar Gold: Audrey Hepburn returns to Oscars

    After a nine-year break from acting, Audrey Hepburn cemented her 1976 Robin and Marian comeback with a sparkling appearance at that year's Oscars ceremony, when she presented the award for Best Picture for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

  • Oscar Gold: Jolie and Pitt's awkward Aniston moment

    Oscar Gold: Jolie and Pitt'…

    All eyes were on Angelina Jolie and Brad pitt at… More details

    Oscar Gold: Jolie and Pitt's awkward Aniston moment

    Oscar Gold: Jolie and Pitt's awkward Aniston moment

    All eyes were on Angelina Jolie and Brad pitt at the 2009 Oscars when Pitt's ex-wife Jennifer Aniston - whom he left for Jolie - took to the stage to present the award for Best Animated Feature.

    The couple managed to look genuinely amused by Aniston's banter with Jack Black, despite the fact their relationship with the Friends star has simmered with animosity since Pitt split from the golden girl in 2005.

  • Oscar Gold: Charlie Chaplin's honorary Oscar

    Oscar Gold: Charlie Chaplin…

    After 20 years of self-imposed exile in Europe… More details

    Oscar Gold: Charlie Chaplin's honorary Oscar

    Oscar Gold: Charlie Chaplin's honorary Oscar

    After 20 years of self-imposed exile in Europe following FBI accusations of communism, comedy legend Charlie Chaplin made a triumphant return to the US in 1973 to receive an honorary Oscar - and an unprecedented 12-minute standing ovation from a delighted audience.

    The stunned 82-year-old was finally able to utter, "Thank you so much ... you're wonderful, sweet people." Already in declining health at the time of the Oscars, he deteriorated soon after and he died on Christmas day in 1977.

  • Oscar Gold: The longest speech

    Oscar Gold: The longest speech

    It was after 1am when the 1943 Oscars ceremony… More details

    Oscar Gold: The longest speech

    Oscar Gold: The longest speech

    It was after 1am when the 1943 Oscars ceremony got round to handing out its final award of the evening, Best Actress, to Mrs. Miniver star Greer Garson.

    However, the Hollywood legend was not about to wrap up the evening in a hurry and accepted her gong with a five-and-a-half minute long speech - officially the longest in Academy Award history.

    The organisers imposed a 45-second limit shortly afterwards and despite being nominated for many more Oscars, Garson never won again.

  • Oscar Gold: Barbra Streisand's see-through outfit

    Oscar Gold: Barbra Streisan…

    Barbra Streisand's 1969 Best Actress gong for… More details

    Oscar Gold: Barbra Streisand's see-through outfit

    Oscar Gold: Barbra Streisand's see-through outfit

    Barbra Streisand's 1969 Best Actress gong for Funny Girl was almost overshadowed by the superstar's glittery bell-bottomed pant suit, which appeared completely see-through under the glare of the Oscars stage spotlights.

    Streisand shared the award with Katharine Hepburn for the late star's performance in The Lion in Winter - in the Academy's only Best Actress tie. Hepburn famously avoided Oscars ceremonies and was not there to collect her golden statue, leaving Streisand to bask in the glory of both her award and her gasp-inducing Arnold Scaasi design.

  • Oscar Gold: Hattie McDaniel's significant win

    Oscar Gold: Hattie McDaniel…

    "I sincerely hope I will be a credit to my… More details

    Oscar Gold: Hattie McDaniel's significant win

    Oscar Gold: Hattie McDaniel's significant win

    "I sincerely hope I will be a credit to my race and the motion picture industry."

    Hattie McDaniel's triumphant performance as Mammy in Gone with the Wind earned her the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1939 - a time when parts of America were still so segregated she was banned from attending the Atlanta premiere of the iconic film.

  • Oscar Gold: James Cameron's 'I am King'

    Oscar Gold: James Cameron's…

    When James Cameron was named Best Director at the… More details

    Oscar Gold: James Cameron's 'I am King'

    Oscar Gold: James Cameron's 'I am King'

    When James Cameron was named Best Director at the 1998 Academy Awards he signed off his sober acceptance speech with an ill-advised reference to Leonardo DiCaprio's classic line from the film, throwing his arms in the air and shouting, "I'm the king of the world! Wooo hoooo! Hoo hoo hoo."

    The film's whopping 11 Oscars provided Cameron with ample opportunity to mess up, which he did again when he picked up the gong for Best Picture and asked for a moment's silence to remember the real-life Titanic victims, before insensitively ending the tribute with, "Now let's party 'til dawn!"

  • Oscar Gold: The speech hijacker

    Oscar Gold: The speech hija…

    When Kanye West infamously hijacked Taylor… More details

    Oscar Gold: The speech hijacker

    Oscar Gold: The speech hijacker

    When Kanye West infamously hijacked Taylor Swift's big moment at the 2009 VMAs, he seemingly started something in Hollywood - the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony saw Elinor Burkett interrupt Roger Ross Williams' Oscar acceptance speech with, "Let the woman talk. Isn't that the classic thing?"

    The pair had worked together on Best Documentary Short Music by Prudence, but were not on speaking terms when the ceremony came around. Ross Williams and Burkett were both named as winners, but Ross Williams beat his former partner to the stage and began his speech alone - prompting Burkett's cringeworthy outburst.

  • Oscar Gold: Roberto Benigni goes wild

    Oscar Gold: Roberto Benigni…

    Roberto Benigni was so excited that his… More details

    Oscar Gold: Roberto Benigni goes wild

    Oscar Gold: Roberto Benigni goes wild

    Roberto Benigni was so excited that his tragicomedy Life is Beautiful won the gong for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1999 Academy Awards, the Italian director and actor jumped on the back of the chair in front of him and clambered over a host of stars - including fellow director Steven Spielberg - to reach the stage to collect his award.

    The following year, Oscars host Billy Crystal hovered around Benigni with a giant net as he announced the award for Best Actress, in case he got giddy again.

  • Oscar Gold: Julia Roberts' emotional speech

    Oscar Gold: Julia Roberts' …

    Opinion is divided over whether Julia Roberts'… More details

    Oscar Gold: Julia Roberts' emotional speech

    Oscar Gold: Julia Roberts' emotional speech

    Opinion is divided over whether Julia Roberts' 2001 Best Actress acceptance speech for Erin Brokovich was a triumph or a disaster.

    The actress began her speech by warning music conductor Bill Conti not to drown her out when she exceeded the alloted 45 seconds for an acceptance speech, "You're doing a great job, but you're so quick with that stick. So why don't you sit, 'cause I may never be here again."

    She interrupted her own speech to "make my dress pretty" and forgot to thank the real life Erin Brokovich whose life she portrayed, but her obvious excitement and playfulness warmed the hearts of many fans.

  • Oscar Gold: John Wayne's True Grit gong

    Oscar Gold: John Wayne's Tr…

    John Wayne was finally recognised by the Academy… More details

    Oscar Gold: John Wayne's True Grit gong

    Oscar Gold: John Wayne's True Grit gong

    John Wayne was finally recognised by the Academy in 1970 when he won the Best Actor gong for True Grit, an award that was seen by many as a sentimental gesture that paid tribute to his whole career.

    The Western legend's next appearance at the Oscars came in 1978 at the behest of Bob Hope, who said he would love to see the 'Old Duke' on the red carpet again. Wayne, who was suffering from advanced stage cancer, duly obliged and the 72-year-old received a standing ovation that lasted almost as long as Charlie Chaplin's. He sadly died two months later.

  • Oscar Gold: Katharine Hepburn's first appearance

    Oscar Gold: Katharine Hepbu…

    Despite winning four Best Actress Academy Awards… More details

    Oscar Gold: Katharine Hepburn's first appearance

    Oscar Gold: Katharine Hepburn's first appearance

    Despite winning four Best Actress Academy Awards - still the highest number a single actress has won - Katharine Hepburn did not attend an Oscars ceremony until 1974, when she presented producer Lawrence Weingarten with the Thalberg Memorial Award.

    "I'm very happy I didn't hear anyone call out 'It's about time!'" the late star told a delighted audience after receiving a standing ovation. "I'm living proof that someone can wait 41 years to be unselfish."

  • Oscar Gold: Anne Hathaway and James Franco

    Oscar Gold: Anne Hathaway a…

    What James Franco lacked in femininity he did not… More details

    Oscar Gold: Anne Hathaway and James Franco

    Oscar Gold: Anne Hathaway and James Franco

    What James Franco lacked in femininity he did not make up for in enthusiasm when he hosted the 2011 Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway.

    The pair's seemingly perfect combination of youth, good looks and wit did not transfer to their onstage skits, with Hathaway's boundless energy failing to rub off on her lethargic co-host - who later had to deny reports that he was stoned during the ceremony.

  • Oscar Gold: Vanessa Redgrave's Julia speech

    Oscar Gold: Vanessa Redgrav…

    Vanessa Redgrave's acceptance speech for Best… More details

    Oscar Gold: Vanessa Redgrave's Julia speech

    Oscar Gold: Vanessa Redgrave's Julia speech

    Vanessa Redgrave's acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress for Julia in 1978 was booed by the audience when she let her political allegiances get in the way of her gratitude.

    A supporter of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), she thanked the Academy for recognizing her with the gong, despite "the threats of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums."

    Playwright Paddy Chayefsky, who later presented an award, was cheered when he said, “I'm sick and tired of people exploiting the occasion of the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own political propaganda. Redgrave's win is not a pivotal moment in history, and doesn't require a proclamation.”

  • Oscar Gold: Ben Stiller's Avatar make-over

    Oscar Gold: Ben Stiller's A…

    Ben Stiller stole the show at the 2010 Oscars… More details

    Oscar Gold: Ben Stiller's Avatar make-over

    Oscar Gold: Ben Stiller's Avatar make-over

    Ben Stiller stole the show at the 2010 Oscars ceremony with his Avatar spoof, taking to the stage in full Na'vi makeup, hair and speaking the Na'vi language to present the award for Best Makeup.

  • Oscar Gold: Marisa Tomei's unexpected win

    Oscar Gold: Marisa Tomei's …

    A fresh-faced Marisa Tomei beat Judy Davis, Joan… More details

    Oscar Gold: Marisa Tomei's unexpected win

    Oscar Gold: Marisa Tomei's unexpected win

    A fresh-faced Marisa Tomei beat Judy Davis, Joan Plowright and Vanessa Redgrave to the Best Supporting Actress gong in 1992 for her part in My Cousin Vinny - a role that had not even earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

    Her triumph over the other heavyweight nominees was so unexpected that a rumour began circulating that Jack Palance, who presented the award, had read the wrong name by mistake, a claim denied by the Academy.

    Tomei was nominated for the same award again in 2008 for her role as a kind-hearted stripper in The Wrestler.

Tags: Oscars, Awards seasons

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