Top 10 Best Oscar Moments

Top 10 Oscar Moments of All Time

Betty's favorite moments from the Academy Awards

-Carrie Seim


The Oscars are a national holiday in Los Angeles. Glittery gold gifts, Champagne until dawn and costumes beyond your wildest imagination. It's like Christmas, New Year's and Halloween all rolled into one.

In honor of this fairytale day in the La La Land of Make Believe, we've picked Betty's 10 Most Memorable Academy Awards Moments. (Plus classic clips, ooh la la!)

And the Oscar goes to ...

1. Charlie Chaplin, 1972

Charlie Chaplin

After a 20 year, McCarthy-related banishment, Chaplin returned to the U.S. in 1972 to receive an honorary Oscar. The standing ovation, his teary gaze into the audience and his poignantly brief acceptance speech, "Thank you for the honor of inviting me here, oh you're wonderful, sweet people, thank you," move us beyond words. Just as Chaplin would have liked.

2. The Oscar Streaker & David Niven, 1974

David Niven and the Streaker

Streaking was such a huge fad in the ‘70s that it even made its way to the Oscar stage. You know what was another big fad in the ‘70s? Moustaches. And they're making a comeback. I'm just saying.
Speaking of comebacks, presenter David Niven has one of the best of all time, quickly improvising, "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." Diss!

3. Sally Field, 1985

If you watch carefully you'll see the maligned Sally Field is often misquoted - but the narcissism sentiment is still the same.

4. Jack Palance, 1992

Jack Palance

Upon winning a trophy for City Slickers, the salty Palance executed a set of one-armed push-ups on the Oscar stage, proving his virility once and for all. (He also reminded Billy Crystal that he "craps bigger than him," which proves something else entirely).

5. Roberto Benigni, 1999

Roberto Benigni

We're divided on whether Benigni's (pre-Tom Cruise) chair hopping counts as an Oscar best or worst. But we'll go Champagne glass half-full on this one, and give his giddiness about winning a statue for Life is Beautiful it's beautiful due.

6. Bjork, 2001

That swan dress was such a party fowl. Oh come on, we had to say it.

7. Halle Berry, 2002

While there was some debate on whether Berry's performance in Monster's Ball was truly worthy of the Oscar, there was no debate about what this moment meant to history. As the first black woman to win Best Actress, Berry was overcome by that moment, marking its occasion with honest emotion that is forever etched in our memories.

8. Adrien Brody, 2003

Adrian Brody and Halle Berry

After hearing his name called for The Pianist, Brody swooped an unsuspecting Halle Berry into his arms for a dramatic Hollywood smooch. Then quipped, "I bet they didn't tell you that was in the gift bag."

9. Steve Martin, 2003

Michael Moore won best documentary for Columbine in 2003, then delivered an impassioned and scathing rebuke of President Bush. Martin, brilliant as always, returned from the commercial break with the best joke of the night. (Which I wouldn't dream of spoiling for you - watch and enjoy for yourself!)

10. Jon Stewart, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, 2008

We knew Jon Stewart was hilarious, but he also proved his class last year. When Hansard and Irglova won for best original song for the film Once, Hansard delivered one of the most humble, gracious Oscar speeches in recent memory. Stewart quipped, "Wow, that guy is so arrogant," to the audience's delayed - then delighted laughter. But poor Marketa got cut off by the orchestra before she had a chance to speak. So Stewart brought her back later in the show, allowing her to deliver a speech full of endearing hope.

Kind of what this whole Oscar thing is supposed to be about.

What's your favorite Oscar moment?


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