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The 51st Annual Academy Awards (1979) Poster

(1979 TV Special)

Trivia

For the first time, all five nominated songs are performed by the singers who originally performed them in their respective films.
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John Wayne, who had missed the previous year's ceremony because he was undergoing heart valve replacement surgery, accepted an invitation from his friend Bob Hope to show up for this one and present the Best Picture Oscar. It would be his final public appearance, as he died from stomach cancer two months later.
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Laurence Olivier received and honorary Oscar for his body of work. This was the first time he attended the ceremony since being nominated for Wuthering Heights (1939) in 1939.
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After the ceremony, honorary recipient Walter Lantz returned to his car only to find that he had been pick pocketed.
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Although Johnny Carson ultimately proved a popular Oscar host, there was some initial criticism of his selection since he had only made one movie, the 1964 high-budget failure Looking for Love (1964). He took the criticism lightly and joked about his motion picture debut (and farewell) on this and several subsequent Oscar broadcasts for which he was host.
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Of the 20 nominated actors, Ingrid Bergman, Robert De Niro and Jack Warden were not in attendance.
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When Ruby Keeler appeared onstage to present the Academy Award for Best Song (after Kris Kristofferson introduced her with a scene from the movie '42nd Street'), Mrs. Keeler received a spontaneous standing ovation from the audience. She was emotionally overwhelmed.
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Of the three Honorary Oscar recipients, Walter Lantz was the only one not given a standing ovation from the audience.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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