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This was the year that "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" won 5 Academy Awards--Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay. It was the first film to win all four of the big awards since "It Happened One Night" back in 1934. Louise Fletcher gave what is perhaps the most moving acceptance speech in the history of the Academy Awards, as she spoke to her deaf parents in Alabama that night via sign language. She said, "I want to thank you for teaching me to have a dream. You are seeing my dream come true". Must be historic for me to remember it after all these years. Also, I remember the ending of the show, which seemed to went downhill fast, as for some reason Elizabeth Taylor came out and babbled on about finding Hollywood everywhere in the world and then she, along with the USC (University of Southern California) band, tried to get the audience to sing "America the Beautiful", but apparently Miss Taylor did not know the words. Pitiful way to end an Oscar telecast!!
One of the quirkiest, yet funniest, Academy Awards moments of all time, occurred on the night of the ABC telecast of the 48th Academy Awards, when French actress Isabelle Adjani and American actor Elliott Gould were just about ready to announce the winner of the Oscar for the category of Best Film Editing. After Isabelle Adjani had finished saying "And the winner is...", Elliott Gould inadvertently said "Indiana, 86 to 68" (in referring to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball National Championship Game between two teams from the Big Ten Conference, the Michigan Wolverines and the Indiana Hoosiers, played in Philadelphia earlier that same night on NBC, which had lost the Oscar rights to ABC that year). I thought that was an early April Fool's joke, because April Fool's Day was three days later.
It was incredible . yes, incredible, Marty chose me from a long list of
'availables' to replace his assistant when she went on a trip to Europe
.. I was nervous . but not for long, Marty can put a person at ease
quickly .. and to work on the Oscars .. Marty is one of the MOST
creative bosses I have ever worked for .. he flew to Amsterdam to see
IF it would be possible (1st time ever) to Satellite a broadcast from
there to the LIVE Oscars .. he brought me back a pair of little wooden
shoes ..they still hang on my wall .. YES, it probably would work . he
would be sending Howie Koch, Jr. to direct that segment .. Oh, and
Poloroid decided they wanted Marty to do a LIVE commercial at the head
of the awards . he agreed ..
Marty would go and take an apartment near the Dorothy Chandler for weeks so he could be right there daily . LONG hours . I was supposed to stay in 'his office' . but I was needed at the Chandier .. I went and it was SUPER .. Photos (huge) were put in the seats where the person would be sitting ...so the cameras (believe he had 18 . another first) would know where each person was .. So much going on .. constantly .. we ate there . had 'chits' to get in to get a meal... I was in the 'production office' the day of and had been told that Marty did NOT take any calls that day ..even IF his house were on fire .. the phone rang .. a male voice asked for Marty . I said 'he cannot take calls today, who is this?' .. 'Don Adams' .. I said 'get off my phone Don!' ..he asked who I was . I told him (have worked for him on/off for 5 years & neither of us recognized our voices) . he told me he HAD to have tickets for the Awards .. I told him perhaps I could get Howard W. Koch to speak w/him .. after running to the audience .. Howard said to give him the number.. I did .. a few minutes later . Don called back and said 'he hung up on me.. said I was NOT Don Adams?!' . I went back to the audience . Howard told me was NOT Don . I told him it was . he told me that he asked Don how his horse did yesterday (Don being a real horse junky) . and he had no idea . I told Mr. Koch that had he asked how Telly's Pop did and not 'my horse' Don would have told him .. with that . he turned away . but his assistant said there were some seats in the balcony .. I called Don .he called back and did NOT want the seats in the balcony ..
Marty had also gone to Pickfair to interview Mary Pickford for a special Oscar . she was too frail to make the Oscars .. it was incredible. how much I would have liked to have gone there ..
Elizabeth Taylor looked gorgeous .. she was to close the show .. she arrived with an entourage .. but was just perfect .. the whole night was perfect ..
It was time .. from the mobile booth, the crew (we all had to be in formal attire in case the camera caught us) heard Marty's voice say, and in 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 .. TAKE 6 (or whatever camera he used) . the commercial.. oh boy, it was good . but Marty said he would never do that again as it took away from his thinking for the main show . but he IS a pro .. the BEST .. AND then the camera in Amsterdam for Dianna Ross singing theme from Mahogany . would it work . 5 in the a.m. there (think) .. YES . it worked . . Everything worked . the celebrities WERE in their proper seats and cameras could find them easily .. Marty's voice was a raspy whisper by that night .. all the rehearsals . but what an incredible man and evening .. AND . .I still marvel that I got to work on the show .. I still have the gold lettered 3 ring binder with my name on it and the script inside ..
And then it was over ... back to the office next day . late though .. now to write letters to all the presenters & winners .. Marty, not only 'the pro' .. but well mannered ..
Inside info .. when a seat is empty by a person leaving to go on stage .. an extra takes it .. so the seat is never empty .. a standing ovation? .. An extra rises or two perhaps to get the rest of the audience to rise .. it works ..
Was an INCREDIBLE 'too short lived' position for me .. finishing up the Grammys and all of the Oscars for the 48th year ..
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