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- April 09, 2001
- Vol. 55
- No. 14
Oscar's Family Tree
For More Than a Few Hollywood Stars, Walking the Red Carpet at the Academy Awards Is Just Another Way of Following in Mom, Dad or Even Grandpa's Footsteps
After accepting her award from Babes costar Mickey Rooney, Garland, 17, sang Oz's "Over the Rainbow," which had taken Best Song earlier that night.
1973: Liza Minnelli, Winner, Best Actress, Cabaret
After the actress earned her second nomination—she received a Best Actress nod in '70 for The Sterile Cuckoo—LIFE magazine pronounced, "Liza Minnelli is still Judy's daughter, but now she is her own voice." Minnelli, then 27, was congratulated by Albert Ruddy (left), producer of Best Picture winner The Godfather, and Cabaret costar Joel Grey, who was named Best Supporting Actor.
1996: Kirk Douglas, Winner, Honorary Award
The three-time Best Actor nominee, who was recognized for lifetime achievement at 79, claimed that he discouraged his children from acting: "I even told Michael he was awful the first time I saw him perform in a college play."
1988: Michael Douglas, Winner, Best Actor, Wall Street
Not long after receiving his second Oscar—his first was for coproducing 1975's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest—Douglas, then 43, told his dad, "Relax! I'm not doing too bad."
1958: Debbie Reynolds, Performer
Wearing what she now describes as "a very sweet dress made for a young girl by MGM costume designer Helen Rose," Reynolds, then 25, sang "Tammy," a Best Song nominee from her film Tammy and the Bachelor.
1978: Carrie Fisher, Attendee
Her role as Princess Leia in 1977's Star Wars rocketed Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher's then-21-year-old daughter to fame, but Fisher would insist the movie "didn't show that any of us can act. We just became celebrities. I still have to prove myself."
2000: Angelina Jolie, Winner, Best Supporting Actress, Girl, Interrupted
After her victory, a 24-year-old Jolie lifted her trophy and declared, "I've never actually held an Oscar before. My dad's mother has his in a goldfish bowl, or something, on her mantelpiece in New York."
1979: Jon Voight, Winner, Best Actor, Coming Home
Twenty-one years after his own big night at age 40, Voight was at a party when daughter Angelina won her Oscar. He recalls hearing her name announced on TV: "I had forgotten that her category would be one of the first, so soon. It was like everything around me stopped."
1967: Lynn Redgrave and Vanessa Redgrave, Nominees, Best Actress, Georgy Girl and Morgan, respectively. Said Lynn (left), now 58, of the rivalry the media had done their best to foment: "The press was upon us, desperately looking for antagonism because it was so much more interesting if we hated each other. We weren't that way." Vanessa, now 64, agreed, declaring that she "was absolutely astounded by Lynn's work." Vanessa won Best Supporting Actress in 1978 for Julia.
1994: Natasha Richardson, Attendee
Vanessa's older daughter Natasha has only been to the ceremony once, at 30, with her husband, Liam Neeson, a Best Actor nominee for Schindler's List. "Going to the Oscars is hard work," she says. "Watching it at home is fabulous. I wouldn't miss it for the world."
1999: Joely Richardson, Attendee
Joely, then 34, filled in for her sister as Liam Neeson's date. "I was working and couldn't go," says Natasha. "I was onstage in New York City, so Liam took Joely instead."
1931: Lionel Barrymore, Winner, Best Actor, A Free Soul
The brother of actors John and Ethel Barrymore, Lionel (here with Best Actress winner Marie Dressier) bagged an Oscar for his bravura performance as an alcoholic attorney at age 53. He'd turned up in a stupor for the filming of the climactic trial scene, and it was shot in one take.
1983: Drew Barrymore, Attendee
Lionel's grandniece (and John's granddaughter), now 26, says that she has "wonderful memories" of her four Oscar nights, including her first at the age of 8, when she wore "that frilly pink dress" in the wake of ET's success.
1949: John Huston, Winner, Best Director, Best Screenplay, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Walter Huston. Winner, Best Supporting Actor, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Accepting his Oscar, Waiter, 64 (right), said that years earlier he had asked his son John, 42, "If you ever become a writer or a director, please find a good part for your old man." Decades later John obliged.
1986: Anjelica Huston Winner, Best Supporting Actress, Prizzi's Honor
When Anjelica, then 34, received the Academy Award, her father, John, became the only filmmaker to have directed a parent and a child to Oscar victory. For the actress it meant recognition. She said, "There couldn't have been a clearer statement from the Academy: You won it on your own."
1975: Diane Ladd, Nominee, Best Supporting Actress, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
The part of sharp-tongued waitress Flo brought Ladd, then 35, the first of three Oscar nominations.
1979: Bruce Dern, Nominee, Best Supporting Actor, Coming Home
Of his only Oscar at age 42, Dern recalls: "I felt if you are nominated, all bets are off. I went just to have a nice time."
1992: Laura Dern, Nominee, Best Actress, Rambling Rose
As the stars of Rambling Rose, Diane Ladd and Laura Dern, then 25, became the first mother and daughter to earn simultaneous Oscar nominations, Ladd for Best Supporting Actress. (The Dern-Ladd trio remain the only father, mother and child to have each earned an Oscar acting nomination. Said Laura at the time: "Mom is nervous, so I'm relaxed."
1961: Tony Curtis, Performer, and Janet Leigh, Nominee, Best Supporting Actress, Psycho
There was an "unbelievable electricity" at each of the 10 or so ceremonies Leigh says she has attended, but her fondest memories are of 1961, when the actress, then 33, wore a "gorgeous" Edith Head dress in formfitting lavender satin trimmed in bugle beads. She lost the Oscar but didn't have time to be disappointed: She had to perform a song and dance with Danny Kaye and her then husband, Tony Curtis, 35.
1995: Jamie Lee Curtis, Presenter
As a child, Jamie Lee loved watching her mother, Janet Leigh, get ready for the Oscars. "It was like dressing up a doll," Leigh recalls. In 1995 a 36-year-old Curtis had her own chance to play dress-up when she wore a Pamela Dennis beaded yellow-silver top with a cream crepe skirt.
1971: Ryan O'Neal, Presenter and Nominee, Best Actor, Love Story
The boyish star, then 29, got a credibility boost with his first and only Oscar nomination, and he desperately wanted to win. "[I've] been watching the Academy Awards since I was 3 or 4 years old," he said that year. "It's thrilling!" The Oscar, alas, went to Patton's George C. Scott.
1974: Tatum O'Neal, Winner, Best Supporting Actress, Paper Moon
Her dad and Paper Moon costar, Ryan O'Neal, was working in England when the tuxedoed 10-year-old became the youngest ever Oscar winner, so her grandfather escorted her onstage. "All I really want to thank is my director, Peter Bogdanovich, and my father," she said.
1981: Blythe Danner, Presenter
Eighteen years after she handed out the Best Cinematography Award at age 38, Danner saw Gwyneth—her daughter with director husband Bruce Paltrow—take the Best Actress prize. Said Danner: "It's a thrill when your child has found her passion."
1999: Gwyneth Paltrow, Winner, Best Actress, Shakespeare in Love
Backstage an emotional 26-year-old Paltrow paid tribute to her family. "You can go so far when your parents really love you," she said. Mom and Dad later bought her the $160,000 Harry Winston necklace that she had borrowed for the night to wear with her pink Ralph Lauren gown.
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