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Random Thoughts on the Academy Awards

February 28, 2012

I did not watch the Academy Awards and feel some regret. Earlier on Sunday, I saw part of a “Between Movies” feature Turner Classic Movies aired about the Academy Awards for 1939, which not so arguably was the greatest year in movie history. A certain great New York publicist would find it odd and perhaps amusing that I have such regret about not recording it.

The feature showed Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel (both of “Gone with the Wind”) accepting their awards and making brief speeches. Robert Donat, who won that year for “Goodbye Mr.Chips,” was shown in the movie but not at the presentation which was held at The Coconut Grove. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and the great David O. Selznick were shown receiving awards, the former remembering his father and the latter winning the Irving Thalberg Award. Spencer Tracy was shown reading the 5 nominees in both best actor categories. It is truly a collector’s item but I should not regret being unable to record it. That same great New York publicist would remind me of the internet and all that is available on it.

Finally, random personal experiences with just the “Jack Webb” (ie: facts involved). I did get a picture with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. but the one time I met Meryl Streep (“Best Actress” award winner in 2011 as the second favorite going in) she was “too busy” going into an event at the 92nd Street Y to take a photo. She is a brilliant actress, was not rude, drove her own vehicle and paid to park it in a garage but alas, 30 seconds of her time to produce a precious memory for me was a bit much for her to manage.

When Al Pacino finally won an Academy Award for “Best Actor,” in “Scent of a Woman,” a future best actor winner had a fair sized role in the film. Then virtually unknown, his name was Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Phillip S. Hoffman in the credits). You do stay for the credits and the equivalent here is Meryl Streep took such good care of a dying John Cazale that she need not have stopped to pose for a picture with me.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

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