This is it, folks, that one glittering night of the year—Osear Night!—when the industry pats itself on its tuxedoed back. But why wait to find out who won? After all, there are people who have an innate feel for these things. No, we're not talking about studio muckamucks, mega-agents or superstars. We're talking about the humble foot soldiers who really make Hollywood what it is—the actors in waiting. Waiters to you.
PEOPLE asked two dozen genuine actor-waiters to vote for their Oscar favorites. Without further ado—and before we recite today's specials—here are their choices:
And the nominees are: Awakenings; Dances with Wolves; Ghost; The Godfather Pari III; Good Fellas
And the winner is: Dances with Wolves
Quote: "All the talk at the tables is about Dances," says Joseph Alan Johnson, 33, a waiter at Le Dome, in L.A., whose credits include the film The Slumber Party Massacre.
The nominees: Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves); Robert De Niro (Awakenings); Gérard Depardieu (Cyrano de Bergerac); Richard Harris (Vie Field); Jeremy Irons (Reversal of Fortune)
And the winner is: Robert De Niro
Quote: "I felt I was there with him. You couldn't get any more out of an actor," says Pebbles Summers, 39, a waitress at the Seaside, in Playa Del Rey, Calif., who hosts Comedy Therapy with Pebbles on cable.
The nominees: Kathy Bates (Misery); Anjelica Huston (The Grifters); Julia Roberts
(Pretty Woman); Meryl Streep (Postcards from the Edge); Joanne Woodward (Mr. & Mrs. Bridge)
And the winner is: Kathy Bates
Quote: "She deserves it because she's worked her butt off for years," says Kim Marks, 22, a waitress at Edie's Diner, in West L.A., who has been on Miami Vice.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The nominees: Bruce Davison (Longtime Companion); Andy Garcia (The Godfather Part III); Graham Greene (Dances with Wolves); Al Pacino (Dick Tracy); Joe Pesci (Good Fellas)
And the winner is: Joe Pesci
Quote: "He has been underrated ever since Raging Bull. Plus, he scared the crap out of me." says Walter Borchert, 26, who caters for Parties Plus, in L.A., and has appeared in Fox's DEA.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
The nominees: Annette Bening (Vie Grifters); Lorraine Bracco (GoodFellas); Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost); Diane Ladd (Wildat Heart); Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves)
And the winners are: Lorraine Bracco, Diane Ladd and Mary McDonnell, in a three-way tie
Quote: "Bracco reminded me of girls I went to high school with, the ones who often ended up in gangs," says Ed Nast, 50, a waiter at Mel's Drive-In, in L.A., whose credits include Murder, She Wrote.
The nominees: Francis Ford Coppola (Vie Godfather Part III); Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves); Stephen Frears (Vie Grifters); Barbet Schrocder (Reversal of Fortune); Martin Scorsese (GoodFellas)
And the winners are: Martin Scorsese and Kevin Costner, in a tie
Quote: "Scorsese has the biggest bag of film tricks. He's a complete magician with the camera," says John Kennedy, 26, a waiter at the Holly Street Bar & Grill in Pasadena, Calif., who does voice-over work while trying out for TV roles.
BEST FOREIGN FILM
The nominees: Cyrano de Bergerac; Journey of Hope; Ju Dou; Vie Nasty Girl; Open Doors
And the winner is: Cyrano de Bergerac
Quote: "It was the only foreign film I saw," says Tim Fields, 29, of Danny's Hollywood Diner. His credits include Totally Hidden Video.