KING OF THE WORLD (1998): An 11-win clean sweep put Titanic director James Cameron on a high. He may have spent up on the big-budget film, but no one was worried about the bucks on Oscar night. As he collected his Best Director award, he threw his arms into the air and famously cried: “I’m king of the world.”
POITIER’S WIN (1963): Sidney Poitier was the first black person to win Best Actor, one of the few times Oscar has marked a moment in broader culture. The win for Lilies of the Field made him Hollywood‘s hottest property for a short time.
GWYNNIE’S GUSH (1999): Tears, tears and more tears flowed when shock Best Actress winner Gwyneth Paltrow collected her little gold man for Shakespeare in Love. In a voluminous baby pink silk Ralph Lauren gown, she looked the picture of overwhelmed vulnerability.
IT’S A TIE: Ingrid Bergman got to announce the result that’s only happened once in the awards’ history, a dead heat for Best Actress between Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn. “It’s a tie!” she cried as she opened the envelope. Each got a statuette.
THE DUKE (1979): An ailing John Wayne received a standing ovation when he strode on stage to present Best Picture. “Oscar and I have something in common. Oscar came on to the Hollywood scene in 1928. So did I. We’re both a little weather-beaten, but we plan to stick around for a whole lot longer,” he said. He died two months later.
ALI v ROCKY (1976): Sport and film collided – literally – when the greatest boxer of the real world, Muhammad Ali, met the greatest boxer of the movie world Rocky Balboa … er, Sylvester Stallone. The pair got into a mock fight; the audience went wild.
SUPERMAN RETURNS (1996): The crowd applauded as Christopher Reeve motored on to the stage in a wheelchair after a paralysing horseriding accident. He made a speech about social responsibility and there was barely a dry eye in the house.
THE YOUNGEST (1934): Little Shirley Temple was given an Honorary Juvenile Award in 1934 “in grateful recognition for her contribution to screen entertainment”. She was six.
WOODY’S FIRST (2002): After September 11, many wondered if the Oscars would go ahead. They did but quietly, the Academy paying tribute as best it could: Woody Allen making his first appearance to present a tribute to films about New York.
WIND IT UP (1943): Greer Garson is probably responsible for modern-day winners being chased off stage by the orchestra. When accepting Best Actress for Mrs Miniver, she rambled for more than six minutes – the longest acceptance speech in Oscar history.
LAYING AN EGG (2001): In a sea of elegance and class, Icelandic oddball Bjork arrived dressed in a dead swan, then left a trail of golden eggs along the red carpet.
FINALLY … (2007): Martin Scorsese had been nominated for Best Director six times before at last getting his hands on the little gold man for The Departed. That he’d never won one in a career spanning 30 years was a stain on the Academy.
THE STREAKER (1974): Host David Niven was all class when one of his segments was interrupted by streaker Robert Opel, flashing a peace sign. “The only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping … and showing his shortcomings,” Niven quipped.
PUSH-UPS (1992): After accepting his award for Best Supporting Actor in City Slickers, Jack Palance hit the floor for some one-handed push-ups. He was 73.
HEATH LEDGER (2009): Having missed an Oscar in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain, Aussie Heath Ledger seemed on the way to greatness before he was found dead in his Manhattan apartment in January 2008. He was awarded a posthumous Best Supporting Actor award for his role as the maniacal Joker in The Dark Knight.