Movie Maniac

8 Oscar winners who didn’t attend the ceremony

Paul Newman won an Oscar for best actor for “The Color of Money.”
Paul Newman won an Oscar for best actor for “The Color of Money.” Courtesy photo

Winning an Oscar is a dream come true for some. For others, it’s all just a bunch of baloney.

There has been talk of boycotting this year’s Oscars for several reasons. Whether all the nominees show up remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t be the first time if some didn’t.

Here are eight Oscar winners who didn’t attend the ceremony to accept their award.

▪ Marlon Brando, best actor for 1972’s “The Godfather” Perhaps one of the most notorious no-shows, Brando’s involvement with the American Indian movement prompted him to boycott the Oscars as a statement on the ongoing siege at Wounded Knee at the time and to protest Hollywood’s misrepresentation of American Indians. He sent actress/activist Sacheen Littlefeather to the awards in his place, and she took the stage when he won to read a written statement by Brando denouncing the Oscar. Guess it was an offer he could refuse.

▪ Katharine Hepburn, best actress for 1962’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” 1966’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” 1968’s “The Lion in Winter” and 1981’s “On Golden Pond” – She has the most Oscar wins of any performer but was never there to accept any of them. She made one appearance in 1974, wearing gardening togs, of course, to present the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producer and friend Lawrence Weingarten.

▪ George C. Scott, best actor for 1970’s “Patton” – Before nominations were even released, Scott sent a telegram to the academy saying he would reject a best actor nomination. But he was nominated anyway and would go on to be very vocal about his dislike of the Oscars. Time magazine featured the controversy on its cover, while “60 Minutes” featured Scott mere days before the awards show. On Oscar night, it was so surprising that Scott won anyway that presenter Goldie Hawn declared, “Oh, my God, the winner is George C. Scott!”

▪ Roman Polanski, best director for 2002’s “The Pianist” – Polanski did have a pretty good excuse for not attending: If he had, he would have been arrested. Polanski was charged in 1977 with unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He fled the country in 1978 to avoid imprisonment.

▪ Woody Allen, best director and original screenplay for 1977’s “Annie Hall,” original screenplay for 1987’s “Hannah and Her Sisters,” original screenplay for 2012’s “Midnight in Paris” – Allen has always skipped the Oscars (even though he’s been nominated a whopping 24 times), attending the awards only once, in 2002 for a 9/11 tribute to New York City, his hometown.

▪ Paul Newman, best actor for 1986’s “The Color Money” – This was Newman’s seventh acting nomination. But after such memorable performances in “The Hustler,” “Hud,” “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Verdict” with no Oscar wins, he seemed to be getting frustrated. Even though he was a front-runner to finally win for “The Color of Money,” he didn’t attend the ceremony, and told the Associated Press: “It’s like chasing a beautiful woman for 80 years. Finally, she relents and you say, ‘I’m terribly sorry. I’m tired.’ ”

▪ Michael Caine, best supporting actor for 1986’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” – “I’m sorry I can’t attend the Oscars ceremony even though I am nominated because I’m busy filming ‘Jaws: The Revenge.’ ” Not sure Caine actually ever uttered those words, but that’s exactly why he wasn’t on hand to collect his Oscar. (He did win again for 2000’s “The Cider House Rules” and made it to the ceremony that time.)

▪ Glenda Jackson, best actress for 1969’s “Women in Love” and 1973’s “A Touch of Class” – Jackson just never believed in any of it. She told Entertainment Weekly that “the Oscars have been transformed into what they are now. They have much less to do with cinema. They are about frocks and the whole shebang of nonsense. Nowadays, it seems like the real competition is between the different award shows.”

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