The Red Carpet’s Greatest Hits: 20 Years of Memorable Oscar Moments

The annual Academy Awards show is a classy, frequently faultless Hollywood event. Yet occasionally things go wrong, as they did in 2022 when Chris Rock was struck in the face by Will Smith after he climbed the stage. Thankfully, the dazzling event is also remembered for its numerous humorous and lighter moments as well as its history-making diversity and inclusion moments.

We must wonder what the 95th Academy Awards will offer as the event draws near. Browse the images in the slideshow to relive some of the most unforgettable Oscar pranks to date.

1940: Hattie Mc Daniel Makes History

The most memorable Oscar moments of the past 20 years

The first Black actress to win an Academy Oscar waited more than ten years. The award for Best Supporting Actress was awarded to McDaniel for her portrayal of Mammy in Gone with the Wind (1939). The victory wasn’t entirely a step forward, though; in 1940, when segregation was still legal, McDaniel was forced to sit in the rear of the theatre instead of with the rest of the ensemble.

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1943: Greer Garson Delivers a Record-Breaking Speech

Garson’s extraordinarily lengthy victory speech after being named Best Actress for her work in Mrs. Miniver established a record that hasn’t been surpassed (1942). The long speech lasted seven minutes, and many credits it with sparking the contemporary time limit’s establishment.

1968: Alfred Hitchcock Gives a Short Acceptance Speech

The most memorable Oscar moments of the past 20 years

During the course of his lengthy career, the maestro of suspense had five Oscar nominations; but, he didn’t really take home the trophy until 1968, and even then, it was only by a small margin. He received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is akin to a lifetime achievement honor for filmmakers, rather than winning one of the Academy’s more traditional categories. Hitchcock made one of the shortest acceptance speeches in Oscar history, ending with a simple “thank you,” maybe not content with his honorary title.

1972: Charlie Chaplin Receives Honorary Oscar (and Longest-Standing Ovation)

Although the majority of famous silent film performer Charlie Chaplin’s career took place before the Oscars, his influence on the business was unparalleled. In 1972, the Academy presented him with an honorary award in recognition of it, and when he accepted it, there was a 12-minute standing ovation.

In his lecture, Chaplin lamented the futility and weakness of words. I can only express my gratitude for the honor of your invitation.

He had his re-entry permit to the United States canceled in 1972 as a result of controversy over his supposed communist affiliations, according to The Washington Post. His presence at the event was especially important because it was one of his first public ones in the country in 20 years.

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1989: Rob Lowe Opens with The Infamous Musical Number

The most memorable Oscar moments of the past 20 years

The Oscars usually begin with a hilarious skit and, sometimes, a song. And in 1989, Eileen Bowman played the role of Snow White in a Lowe and Bowman performance of “Proud Mary” that was inspired by the Disney princess. Disney sued the performance following the disastrous routine, but the action was eventually withdrawn after the Academy issued an apology, according to AP News.

Paul Newman and Julie Andrews were two of the celebrities who signed an open letter denouncing the presentation, calling it “a disgrace to both the Academy and the whole picture business.”

2002: Halle Berry Gets Emotional After Historic Oscar Win

When Berry won Best Actress for Monster’s Ball in 2002, being the first Black woman to do so, it was sheer happiness for her. She instantly started crying after hearing her name announced and then stood up to give one of the ceremony’s most memorable acceptance speeches.

Berry declared, “This moment is so much greater than me. “This door tonight has been opened for every nameless, faceless woman of color who now has a chance,”

2010: Kathryn Bigelow Wins Best Director

The most memorable Oscar moments of the past 20 years

Just three of the seven women who have been nominated for Best Director at the Oscars have won the prestigious award. Bigelow created the first for the 2008 movie The Hurt Locker. In her winning speech, she stated, “This truly is, there’s no other way to put it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

After Bigelow, Jane Campion was the third woman to get the honor in 2022 for The Power of the Dog, and Chloé Zhao was the second to do so in 2021 for Nomadland.

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2013: Jennifer Lawrence Trips on Her Way to The Stage

The most memorable Oscar moments of the past 20 years

Lawrence is renowned for her quirky sincerity, which was on full show as she tripped on the steps as she ascended the Oscars platform to accept her best actress trophy for silver linings playbook (2012). as expected of j. law, she handled it without incident.

She remarked in her winning speech, “You people are only standing up because you feel awful because I fell, and that’s incredibly humiliating, but thank you. “This is crazy,”

2017: Envelopegate Happens

The most memorable Oscar moments of the past 20 years

Dated February 26, 2017. There was only one prize remaining to be given out at the 89th Academy Awards. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, who starred in Bonnie & Clyde, approached the stage to award the Best Picture trophy. Beatty halted as she opened the envelope. He showed Dunaway the envelope when she pushed him to do so, and the audience laughed. La La Land, Dunaway announced as the title of the movie (2016). The talks started once their cast and crew entered the stage.

Stagehands began to cross the stage behind them, signaling that something was wrong. Team La La Land members’ expressions changed from ecstatic elation to terror and perplexity. “We lost, by the way,” producer Fred Berger said.

Jordan Horowitz, a fellow producer, then spoke on stage and may have said the most famous Oscars quote ever: “A mistake was made. You guys won Best Picture for Moonlight.” He seized the right card from Beatty’s grasp and displayed it to the audience. I’m going to be incredibly happy to present this to my buddies from Moonlight, Horowitz continued.

Beatty then came on stage to explain what had occurred, saying that he and Dunaway had received an additional envelope for Best Actress that said, “Emma Stone, La La Land,” by mistake. Barry Jenkins, the film’s director, then entered the room after he had given Moonlight the prize.

This clearly could not be true, not even in my fantasies, he said. “But I’m done with it; forget dreaming. since this is accurate.” One thing is certain: Envelopegate will probably never be topped in Oscar history. It was an unparalleled fiasco that garnered media attention for weeks.

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2020: Eminem Makes a Surprise Performance at The Oscars

Several noteworthy events occurred at the last pre-COVID awards presentation (Parasite’s victories! first Oscar for Pitt! A legion of Elsas!) , but the moment Eminem ascended the stage to sing “Lose Yourself” 18 years after the rap song won the Oscar for Best Original Song caused the biggest “OMG” for celebrities in the crowd and fans at home alike. He famously skipped the event in 2003 when his song was up, and he thanked the Academy for letting him return in an Instagram post following the performance.

2021: Chloé Zhao Breaks Barriers

The most memorable Oscar moments of the past 20 years

Zhao, who was only the seventh woman to ever be nominated for Best Director, made history in 2021 when she took home the prize for Nomadland, being the first woman from Asia (and just the second woman overall) to do so.

The filmmaker, screenwriter, and producer discussed the poetry she learned alongside her father while growing up in China and how they motivate her to keep going when times are tough in her acceptance speech. She cited one translation that resonated with her: “People from birth are fully nice.”

She went on, “Everyone who has the conviction and fortitude to cling to the goodness of others and themselves is the recipient of this. This is for you because you motivate me to continue.”

2022: Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock

As Rock made a joke about G.I. Jane 2 to Jada Pinkett, Will entered the stage and struck Rock before leaving and yelling, “Get my wife’s name out of your f——— mouth!”

Yeah, guy, it was a G.I. Jane joke, Rock said as he handed over the trophy for best documentary to the audience’s startled silence. In his tearful victory speech, Will, who eventually won Best Actor for his performance in 2021’s King Richard, addressed the incident and apologized to the Academy and his fellow candidates, but not to Rock.

Will later withdrew from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the organization imposed a 10-year prohibition on the actor’s attendance at any of its functions, including the Oscars.